With the advent of social media, smartphones and the ability to pause and rewind live TV, it has never been easier to share clips of sporting events online.

Vine, the Twitter-owned short video sharing service shot to prominence during this summer's World Cup in Brazil, when millions of people shared and watched replays of goals and incidents from all games during the tournament.

That was despite broadcasters and governing body FIFA issuing takedown notices to Vine users.

Now, ahead of the start of the 2014-15 Premier League the governing body has issued a warning to those planning to share copyrighted content with their Twitter and Vine followers.

Automated removal

Speaking to the BBC, Dan Johnson, director of communications for the Premier League, said:

"You can understand that fans see something, they can capture it, they can share it, but ultimately it is against the law."

The Premier League is even developing its own technology to automate the removal process:

"It's a breach of copyright and we would discourage fans from doing it, we're developing technologies like gif crawlers, Vine crawlers, working with Twitter to look to curtail this kind of activity."

He added: "I know it sounds as if we're killjoys but we have to protect our intellectual property."

Protecting their investment

The Premier League is the richest league in the world and between them Sky Sports and BT Sport paid £3 billion to show live games over the next three seasons. That is aside from the money received to show highlights and rights sold to broadcasters in countries across the globe.

As well as TV rights, the Premier League sold the online rights to The Sun and The Times allowing subscribers to see all the goals immediately after the games finish, something which would be negated by the uploading of Vines.

Earlier this week Manchester United announced that it was banning the use of iPads and other tablets at Old Trafford with some suggesting this was a reaction to fans posting extended clips of games online.

While Twitter's Terms of Use say that users cannot post content which "violates the rights of a third party" the ubiquity of Twitter makes it next to impossible to prevent people from uploading clips as soon as goals go in. Even if the Premier League succeed in removing some of the clips, there are dozens of others which will take their place.