Australia Supports the Matildas (But just not on Instagram or Facebook)In case you have been living under a rock, you would know that the Matildas and their world cup success are big news right now. You have probably seen it on TV and on news websites and live streaming services. However, you probably haven’t seen it on Instagram or Facebook though. Why is that? The likely reason is that it has been removed by the platform at the request of FIFA: https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/fifa-deletes-matildas-fans-world-cup-videos-from-social-media-20230721-p5dq5z.html FIFA owns the copyright and the broadcasting rights to every match played in the world cup series. It sells the rights in the copyright to live streaming services and television broadcasters, which is a key revenue stream for FIFA. If FIFA allowed people to attend the matches and film them with their camera phones and post them to Instagram and Facebook then it would not have the ability to sell the exclusive rights in their copyright to Seven Network and Optus Sport, so they enforce it stringently. The legal mechanism is a portfolio of trade marks, and conditions on match tickets purchased that prohibit personal broadcasting. FIFA employs a team of people to monitor social media for breaches of their copyright, which they report to the social media platform as soon as they are detected. The words “World Cup” are trademarked, so if a business in Australia used it, say, as part of a promotion, then it may be pursued for trade mark infringement. Trademarks are covered by Federal law in Australia and depending on the type of offence, may be caught by the Trademarks Act 1995 (Cth) and the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). The legislation imposes criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment, however, the civil claims for compensation and costs could outweigh the fines imposed. Trademarks, Copyright, Halal Meat and Stripper Poles A clear example of this is the Federal Court case Vertical Leisure Limited & Anor v Skyrunner Pty Ltd & Anor  FCCA 2033 in which it was not possible to assess the financial gain of the respondent, which was selling a X-Pole dancing pole and DVD set online into the Australian market that passed off as the applicant’s product. The Court acknowledged that the conduct of the respondent cannot give rise to separate and additional damages under the Trademarks Act 1995 (Cth) and the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Laws, rather the offending must be considered in its totality, and considered in context. The award of damages to compensate for lost profit and reputational harm amounted to $94,800, but additional damages of $300,000 were also awarded to punish the respondent for its flagrant and continued breach, but also to deter others. An example where the fine was higher than the damages award is the case of Halal Certification Authority Pty Limited v Scadilone Pty Limited  FCA 614 which concerned a meat product wholesaler that sold the meat with the “Halal Certified” emblem despite not having the right to use it [...]
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui was cited for a lifting tackle but has been cleared on that charge. The Titans forward has subsequently been charged with a grade 1 dangerous contact charge, which will see him free to play for the Maroons in game one of the State of Origin series. Salerno Law support professional athletes Australia wide. Members of our Sports Law Team have years of experience in advising athletes, sporting clubs, governing bodies and all other industry participants at all levels in relation to all of their legal matters. This includes previously acting for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, numerous Australian athletes (including professional athletes who have represented Australia), national sporting bodies and professional sporting clubs. Members of our team also sit on various sporting judiciary committees. Gold Coast Titans official report HERE
Liability for Injuries suffered in Combat Sports What are Combat Sports? Combat sports are one of the fastest growing sports in the world, both in terms of participation, spectators, and revenue. The most well-known combat sport is the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The UFC has previously attracted over 2.4 million pay per view viewers in one event, which was no doubt a factor leading to its record ownership sale in 2021 of US $1.7 billion. Combat sports is a broad categorisation of different forms of established combat sports and martial arts originating from a variety of different cultures and countries. Combat sports have evolved into various forms and styles of combat. These include Boxing, Wrestling, Ju Jitsu, Karate, Judo, Muay Thai (a traditional Thai boxing style), Kick boxing (K1) and Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Medical Concerns As in all sports there is the potential to suffer injury when engaging in combat sports at all levels. The difference with combat sports from other sports is the definitive intention to force your opponent into either submission or to suffer an injury which would be significant enough to render that person physically unable to continue. Potential medical concerns come with the understanding that combat sports are focused on the technique to cause harm. The consequence of such physical violence naturally carries the high-risk level of doing physical damage to competitors. In a recent study, Dr Lystad of Macquarie University observed the deaths of boxers between the year 1832 and 2020, which included 122 professional and 40 amateur boxers, in Australia alone. With most of the deaths caused because of a traumatic brain injury. Dr Lystad noted that minority of deaths occurred during the fight, however, the majority (96%) occurred post fight, being in the following days after the event. Michael Watson Case The highest profile case relating to combat sport and liability for injuries suffered, involved a professional boxer called Michael Watson. Mr Watson was an English professional middleweight boxer who fought on the 21st of September 1991 in a fight supervised by the British Boxing Board of Control (BBBC). The fight was against Mr Chris Eubank with both fighters having previously fought for world titles. During the fight Mr Watson was knocked out by a punch. It is reported that it took 7 minutes before doctors provided medical assistance to Mr Watson. Subsequently, an ambulance was called. During the immediate treatment for his injuries, Mr Watson was not given oxygen and was first sent to a hospital which lacked a neurosurgery unit. Tragically, Mr Watson spent 40 days in a coma and 6 years in a wheelchair with doctors predicting he would never walk again. Mr Watson brought a claim against the BBBC (see (2002) QB 1134 and (2000) EWCA Civ 2116) arguing that as they made the rules governing professional boxing in Britain that ensured his safety, they owed him a duty of care and should have ensured that he was appropriately treated following him being knocked out. The medical [...]
“Life is risky. People do not expect, and are not entitled to expect, to live in a risk-free environment. The measure of careful behaviour is reasonableness, not elimination of risk” (Gleeson CJ quote on Swain v Waverley Municipal Council) A school’s liability surrounding student injuries, particularly during school sports, can be a complex issue. A failed slam dunk? A tackle gone wrong? Or even a fall while running? This article will explain how and when schools may be liable for sporting injuries of their students. It will also discuss two real-life examples of the application of a school’s liability for an injury suffered by a student during school sport. When are schools deemed liable for its students’ sports injuries? Schools and teachers have a duty of care to ensure reasonable steps are taken to minimise the risk of their students’ suffering injury or harm whilst under the supervision and care of the school. This duty of care extends to any extracurricular activities that the school offers to their students. This duty of care will also extend to any visiting students on the school’s grounds who are engaging in school sports. The traditional perception surrounding duty of care is that school teachers and any third party extracurricular facilitators will take care of the students the same way a parent would with their child. There is an expectation for schools and their teachers to take reasonable steps in protecting students against any foreseeable injuries that may take place whilst participating in school sport. In Queensland, the Department of Education provides educators with a student supervision guideline for over 70 activities. The guideline illustrates best practice methods to ensure the safety of students and further provides reasonable steps on mitigating school sport related injuries. An example of reasonable steps a school may implement to avoid a sport-related injury in rowing could include: - Using appropriate equipment to better handle the boat i.e boat ramps - Ongoing assessment of marine animal presence to avoid attack whist on the water; - Watch and warn procedure for moving vehicles near boats; - Correctly tying down and storing of equipment to mitigate tripping or similar hazards; and - Having a first aid plan. Example of a school not being held liable for a student sporting injury: (Sanchez-Siridopoulos v Canavan  NSWC 1139) In this case, a 10-year-old boy while at school was warming up for a PE class. During the warm-up, which involved players running from one side of the asphalt to another, the plaintiff bumped into another student and the plaintiff fell to the ground injuring her wrist. Years after the injury, the plaintiff developed complex regional pain syndrome in her injured wrist. The plaintiff argued the injury had impacted her social and future professional life. The plaintiff alleged that the school had breached its duty of care to her by promoting a game/sporting activity that had given the risk of injury to the students involved. This was also corroborated by the alleged lack of [...]
The popularity of cryptocurrency has begun to permeate every area of modern life and it seems that Friday night footy is no exception. The NRL recently announced its entry into a minimum three-year deal with Brisbane-based digital currency exchange Swyftx which will include naming rights to the in-game video referee review system known as ‘The Bunker’. Outside of Australia, the sponsorships and partnerships that have developed between elite sporting teams or leagues and crypto-connected businesses are becoming mainstream news.
The full bench of the Federal Court has unanimously decided to uphold the decision of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke in cancelling the visa of world number one men’s tennis star Novak Djokovic. Chief Justice James Allsop ordered that the reasons of the Court be delivered at a alter date but did stress that the Court was required to rule on the legality of Minister Hawke’s decision rather than its merit. The saga surrounding Djokovic’s vaccination status and the effect it was having on his visa to enter Australia and play lasted for 11 days, primarily due to his initial success having the decision of the Australian Border Force overturned. The reason that the visa was initially cancelled was due to the suspicion that Djokovic (or rather his agent) had given false or misleading information on his Australian traveller declaration upon entering the country. This is considered a serious offence and often results in the cancellation of visas as well as civil penalties. However, the legal challenge brought against this decision by Djokovic was successful, primarily thanks to the knowledgeable and effective work of the Australian legal team from Hall and Wilcox he chose to represent him. Although he lost the dispute in the end, it was a perfect example of the need for solicitors that are going to be in your corner and fight for you in every way possible. For someone who was visiting Australia, such as Djokovic, it was obviously vital that he had legal representation who were able to understand the law and communicate with him in a way that was easy to understand. At Salerno Law, our Litigation team can provide representation that fights for you as fiercely as Djokovic’s advocates did in his matter. We have a wealth of experience in the courtroom helping to win for you and secure the best outcome when issues reach the litigation stage. From civil procedure to dealing with Courts and opponents, the Salerno Law Litigation team is efficient, effective and most importantly, constantly oriented towards your needs as the client. If you need representation in a litigious matter, contact us today or learn more about our litigation practice here. By Josiah Neal
Court of Arbitration for Sport dismisses World Anti-Doping Agency and Sport Integrity Australia appeal. On 26 June 2019, Shayna Jack (Jack) underwent an out-of-competition doping control test. The test sample returned a positive result for a metabolite of Ligandrol. Ligandrol is a Non-Specified Substance and is prohibited both in and out of competition under Class S1.2 of the 2019 World Anti-Doping Code (the Code). On 12 July 2019, Swimming Australia imposed a mandatory provisional suspension in accordance with Article 7.9.1 of the Swimming Australia Limited Anti-Doping Policy 2015 (the Policy). On 7 November 2019, the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel of Swimming Australia determined that Jack had possibly committed an Anti-Doping Rule Violation (ADRV). Upon final consideration of the ADRV, a four-year period of ineligibility was imposed under article 10.2 of the Policy, commencing on the date of the provisional suspension. Jack challenged the determination of imposing a four-year period of ineligibility through the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). Jack submitted that although she was unable to demonstrate how the Prohibited Substance entered her system, the ADRV was not intentional and did not occur due to her recklessness. Consequently, she sought a finding of no significant fault or negligence under clause 10.5 of the Policy. In order to invoke this clause, Jack needed to demonstrate that the ADRV was not intentional and did not occur due to her recklessness. Based on such a finding, Jack sought the period of ineligibility be reduced to two years under clause 10.2 of the Policy. The Sole Arbitrator found, on the balance of probabilities, that Jack did not intentionally or recklessly ingest the prohibited substance and considered that she had discharged her onus of proving that the ADRV was not intentional. Consequently, a reduced ineligibility period of two years was imposed. Both the World Anti-Doping Authority and Sports Integrity Australia (SIA) appealed the decision, primarily seeking to reinstate the four-year period of ineligibility. SIA CEO, David Sharpe, said the decision to appeal was based on the need for clarity and consistency in the application of the Code. A three-member panel of the CAS (the Panel) heard the case de novo and ultimately upheld the sole arbitrator’s decision for different reasons. The Panel found that the sole arbitrator’s reasoning was not in accordance with the Policy and to WADA and SIA’s credit, created a lack of uniformity in the Policy’s application. The Panel analysed Jack’s case through the lens of the Jarrion Lawson (Lawson) meat contamination case. In Lawson, the CAS panel analysed the relevant evidence by beginning with the science, considering the totality of the evidence through the prism of common sense which then may be bolstered by the athlete’s credibility. In Jack’s case, the science was important but not decisive given the absence of the origin of the prohibited substance. The science did not point towards an intentional violation and presented contamination as an option. The totality of the evidence supported Jack’s assertion that the violation was unintentional. Common sense suggested that Jack [...]
Salerno Law regularly provide legal advice in all areas pertaining to sport. This includes providing advice to both professional athletes, sporting clubs and governing bodies on corporate, commercial and contractual matters, advising on personal injury claims suffered during sport, sanctions against players and clubs (including for doping violations) and also appearing for players and clubs in relation to both administrative and judiciary matters. This has included providing legal advice across all of the major Australian sporting codes and also to some of Australia’s most high profile rugby league, AFL and rugby union players and clubs. This expertise in sports law also extends into regional sport, particularly where Salerno Law have an office in Kununurra, Australia. In fact, Kununurra Oval and not the MCG, was last weekend subject to sporting controversy. In this regard, the result of the East Kimberley Football League (EKFL) Grand Final is in limbo due to somewhat unusual and novel circumstances. Following a nail-biting victory to the Ord River Magpies over the Halls Creek Hawks on Saturday, 7 August 2021 by 43pts to 42pts, the Magpies thought that they had tasted premiership success. However, the Hawks considered that one of the of goal umpires had cost them victory in circumstances where goals were deemed behinds and vice versa. These decisions being at the expense of the Hawks. Of particular concern was that a behind was awarded to the Hawks in the dying minutes when some players and spectators considered it was in fact a winning goal. Remarkably, following a complaint from Hawks officials shortly after the final siren, the goal umpire in question was immediately breathalysed and found to be over the legal limit to drive a vehicle. This has resulted in the fate of the EKFL premiership being passed to the Western Australian AFL Football Commission (Commission) to deem whether the result should stand, or whether the game will be required to be replayed (and no doubt being officiated by extremely sober umpires). The Commission will have the benefit of video footage and photographic evidence of the final to help them in their deliberations. The decision of the Commission is being eagerly awaited and with much interest by the people of the East Kimberley (which covers a large part of North West Australia and incredibly is bigger in size than both Greece and Cuba). This is particularly the case where there is extreme passion for AFL in the East Kimberley. Should you require any legal advice or assistance in relation to any sports related matter please contact Salerno Law’s Managing Partner, Cliff Savala. Cliff heads up the Salerno Law Sports Law team and his experience in sports law includes acting for the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, numerous Australian athletes (including professional athletes who have represented Australia), national sporting bodies and professional sporting clubs. Cliff also sits on various sporting judiciary committees including Football Queensland Appeals Tribunal and Gold Coast Rugby League Disciplinary Tribunal and was also recently appointed Honorary Solicitor for Football Gold Coast. By Cliff [...]