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UK Data Rights Case Begins

Thursday, 10th November 2005

In Ireland, a group of 59 bookmakers has begun "an action in the commercial court in Dublin against the British Horseracing Board, the outcome of which will either set a firm foundation for the funding of British racing through data payments from overseas bookmakers or put its day-to-day finances at risk," declared racingpost.co.uk. The case (which has been led by former Irish government minister Ivan Yates, who owns 34 betting shops) "centres on the introduction in March 2001 by the BHB of a new licensing agreement, under which bookmakers agreed to pay for pre-race data (such as runners, riders & draw)". The bookmakers claim the BHB "had no rights over information on the database from which the data was derived" & during opening submissions, their counsel Brian Murray said that "3 weeks ago the BHB conceded they had no right". The bookies argue the licensing agreements are void, because of the judgements of the European Court Of Justice and the UK Court Of Appeal in the BHB's recent court case against betting shop firm William Hill; on that basis, they say their agreements with the BHB "were entered into under duress & they are entitled to repayments & damages, which could add up to £20 million (A$48m)".

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