Bulgarian organizers take Chessbase to court
2 June 2010, 13.00 CET Last modified: 22:22 By Peter Doggers

The Bulgarian organizers of the Anand-Topalov World Championship match take Chessbase to court for “violating copyright rules”. Chessbase transmitted the moves of the match live on their Playchess server, against the will of the Bulgarians.

During the Anand-Topalov World Championship match it already became clear that the organizer were planning to take legal action against Chessbase for transmitting the moves of the match live on Playchess. On May 27th the Bulgarians filed a case at a court in Berlin, and Chessdom has now quoted Silvio Danailov on the matter:

Before the start of the World Chess Championship we explicitly stated that no company can use the moves without the official site’s staff permission. And this was violated by Chessbase, they put themselves above the law in Europe, above the general FIDE ethical rules. (…) I believe in European law and in our Attorney who is presenting the case – Mr. Rainer Polzin. What’s more, I am candidate for President of the ECU and as such I have to stand behind the rights of professional chess. Such actions, as the one by the German company Chessbase, affect the sponsors of events negatively, which damages sponsorship, from there future organization and level of events. In the long run the biggest damage is made on the chess fans, who are the most important part of the game – they certainly deserve to enjoy high level events and have chess sponsorship on all levels. Thus, by defending our rights through European law, we will be defending all fans and the future of chess.”

Interestingly, the Bulgarian organizers first attacked ICC, but in recent years they only seem to point their attack to the German company Chessbase. It’s well known that the relationship between the Bulgarians and Chessbase has become very bad, especially after a video was embedded by Chessbase on February 11th, 2007 that was claimed to show “assistance given to the world’s top-rated player Veselin Topalov during his games”.

Why only Chessbase?

We asked Silvio Danailov why other media, like ICC, Chessdom, Susan Polgar and Crestbook (Sergey Shipov) were not taken to court. He answered:

“With Chessdom we have commercial agreement signed. Susan Polgar and Sergey Shipov I respect very much. Both are excellent professionals, doing a lot for chess, making it more popular. They are not commercial and don’t resell the games. Having in mind all this, they had our permission.

With ICC I have long collaboration with mutual interest for both sides. But I explained [them] already before that this is the last time; next time they should paid like everybody else.”

Here is the full report by Peter Doggers of Chessvibes.

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