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Last Updated: Friday, 21 October 2005, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Soccer website in Premier battle
A fan who shows links to live football matches on his website is embroiled in a row with the Premier League.

Craig Harris, of Sunderland, allows subscribers to link to premiership games as they are happening.

The Premier League has closed his site down four times claiming he is breaching its copyright.

But every time he is shut down, Mr Harris re-opens the site using a foreign, secret host server. He said he would fight the case in court.

'Prepared to go to court'

The matches are shown legally in other parts of the world then fed back to computers in the UK.

Subscribers pay 5 a year for the service and Mr Harris claims he has 10,000 clients. The site is currently hosted at a secret address somewhere in America.

Mr Harris said: "We provide links to the content and then it is up to people to decide if they want to use that content.

These sites claim they are doing nothing wrong, but the simple fact is they are breaking the law
Christopher Stokes, Net Results

"The Premier League say we are affecting the gates at matches but there is no proof of this. I would be prepared to go to court if I have to."

But Christopher Stokes, of web detective company Net Results, which works on behalf of the Premier League, said Mr Harris was breaking the law.

He said: "A year ago there were just a few of these companies - mainly in the Far East. Now one or two a month are coming on line.

"But it does not matter where they are because we will eventually find them and close them down.

"All of these sites claim they are doing nothing wrong but the simple fact is they are breaking the law."


SEE ALSO:
EU takes stand on football rights
14 Oct 05 |  Business
Rival soccer rights bid 'planned'
12 Oct 05 |  Business
Premier boss looks for TV support
26 Sep 05 |  Business


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