09 Feb 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Board obtained Judgment today against the bookmaker William Hill in a landmark case in the High Court

BHB obtained a ruling that the publication by William Hill on their Internet betting site of lists of runners in forthcoming horseraces without BHB’s consent infringed their database right.

The database of racing information, compiled on BHB’s behalf by Weatherbys, includes vast quantities of data concerning horses, their owners, trainers, jockeys and other information relevant to the racing industry in Great Britain.

The principal findings of the trial Judge, Mr Justice Laddie, were as follows:

(a) BHB had invested significant time and money not only in compiling but in verifying and presenting the data comprising the BHB database and the Judge declared that the database right subsisted in the BHB database and that William Hill is not entitled to use data extracted from the BHB database for the purposes of its on-line betting sites;

(b) The publication of this data on William Hill’s websites amounts to “”re-utilisation”” within the meaning of the Regulations even though the information was already available to the public in licensed publications such as The Racing Post;

(c) The lists of runners published on William Hill’s websites constitute, by themselves, a substantial part of the database having regard to the importance of this information to those interested in horse racing;

Commenting on BHB’s victory, BHB Chairman, Peter Savill said, “”I am delighted that the judgment has been made in favour of BHB. It is clear and unequivocal in its affirmation of BHB’s rights in its database and confirms that BHB is entitled to control the use of lists of runners and other information derived from its database.

“The judgment will enable us to refine our strategy for developing and licensing our data. It will also assist us in negotiating licences and payment from the many bookmakers who have so far refused to enter into licenses with BHB, despite the fact that they pay the Football League for the right to bet on their fixture list and pay racing for the data used in their betting shop and credit operations.”

“I would like to congratulate our legal and executive team on stating the case so clearly and forcefully.”

BHB was represented by Theodore Goddard who instructed Peter Prescott QC and Lindsay Lane, with Mark Platts-Mills and James Abrahams, instructed by Allen & Overy, representing William Hill Organization.

For further information, please contact Tristram Ricketts on 0207 343 3312