Friday 25 February 2011


ProBatter: The Last Instalment

Following our discussion last week surrounding the registered rights which ProBatter hold for its invention, it is now time to turn our attention to the unregistered intellectual property rights.

These appear to be limited to copyrights and personality (image) rights.

It is clear that there will be copyright in the broadcast and images of the bowler. The question which arises is: where do the images come from? In all likelihood the images are licensed from a broadcaster such as Sky or SuperSport. It would be interesting to study licensing agreement to see whether any restriction is placed on the use of the images. The view of Media law experts is that standard agreements of this nature will not place any limit on the further or ancillary use of the images, and the use should therefore be permitted.

The logical solution from ProBatter’s point of view is to shift the obligation of obtaining the requisite images to the purchaser. In this regard, it would be interesting to hear comments on whether this use of the images is any different from recording a match for later video analysis – something which every professional sport team in the world does.

The next issue is whether the bowler has any rights in either the display of his image or in the bowling delivery itself?

In my opinion the answer will once again lie in the contracts. Although there are certain personality rights which the bowler holds in his image, it seems likely that these rights would have been transferred/licensed to the original broadcaster, and depending on the scope of rights granted, the ancillary use may very well be permitted. The view of Media Law experts is once again that standard agreements will not prevent such use of the bowler image (at least not under South African Law).

The short answer is therefore that the bowler is not likely to have any rights which may prevent ProBatter from using his image and bowling action. Any alternative view or debates will be welcome, especially from a US and English Law point of view.

This is the last instalment of our ProBatter series of articles. Good luck to the teams taking part in the Cricket World Cup – we know that at least the English and Kenyan teams have used the ProBatter device during training in the last year. From those teams’ first round performances one would not have guessed it. Or maybe the English team just did not have footage of the Dutch bowlers.



Subscribe via email (you'll be added to our Google Group)


Write comments
2 March 2011 at 15:33 delete

I also used ProBatter devices and I could testify that these devices are really great. I could produce good images by using this. Thanks and good luck to the team.