NFL Thinks It Gets To Decide How Long Is Fair Use For Video Clips

from the you-don't-get-to-decide dept

Sports leagues are amazing in their ability to try to over protect the content that should be delivering them additional fans. We’ve recently covered Major League Baseball’s continued attempt to convince judges that it can own facts, while various soccer leagues have been suing YouTube for helping attract more fans to the sport. The National Football League is stepping out to its own levels of ridiculousness lately as well. In the past, we’ve covered the NFL’s demand that news organizations only use official video footage of games (wondering if they’ll ban cameraphones as well) and also its anger over churches showing the Super Bowl on a big screen without paying up. Then, of course, the NFL has been overly aggressive in bullying anyone who uses the name of the Super Bowl for anything, and recently tried to trademark “the Big Game” as well, after many advertisers started using that phrase to avoid running afoul of NFL lawyers over the Super Bowl. The NFL also abused the DMCA in demanding a law professor take down a clip on YouTube that was clearly fair use and which (amusingly) was being used to show how the NFL asserted certain rights it didn’t actually have.

The latest is that the NFL has now expanded its rule for media companies. Not only must they only use officially provided NFL footage rather than their own cameras, they can only display 45-seconds of game time or players on their own websites — and if they use any footage at all, it needs to contain a link back to the NFL site. While it’s true that the NFL can set conditions for providing media outlets access to a game, they simply cannot dictate how a media organization reports the news. The restrictions say that media organizations can show as much of their own reporters standing in front of a camera as long as (yes, it gets this ridiculous) no NFL players are seen in the background. If the media interviews a player (or players) on its own, it can’t include more than 45 total seconds of video coverage. The NFL admits that it’s only doing this because it thinks it will get more money from having more people visit its own sites that will host more video clips. This is incredibly short-sighted, of course. The goal of the NFL should be to keep getting more fans, and then there are plenty of ways to make money off those fans without dictating how and where they can see video clips. In the meantime, it’s about time that news organizations stood up to the NFL and said that they’re going to report the news however they see fit, without restrictions from the league. They might also want to point out that the NFL doesn’t get to decide what’s “fair use” for their videos. News reporting is a fair use exception, so news organizations should be free to make use of whatever amount of the video they feel is appropriate for reporting on a story, without artificially made up limitations from the league. And, for video created by the organizations themselves, the media should be able to use as much of it as they want.

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Comments on “NFL Thinks It Gets To Decide How Long Is Fair Use For Video Clips”

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mystery says:

Re: NFL Blackout

I agree. What is their product anyway? A life-saving medicine? A labor-saving gadget? A cheaper energy source? No, it’s entertainment! There are so many options for entertainment that the consumer should stand up and speak up. Don’t pay their outrageous ticket prices. Don’t pay for their special broadcasts. DON’T BUY THEIR LOGO CLOTHING! Find new ways to entertain yourself. Make the big leagues suffer. Kill their economy. I won’t support them as long as players are getting million$ per year for grand-standing and ego stroking. You shouldn’t either. Money talks, use yours to scream at them.

mystery says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ever see them take a right-turning victory lap? They turn right, just not often enough to be any good at it.

Worst racing = drag racing, only real skill is reaction time.
Second worst = any oval track racing, only real skill is maintaining control when pushing an opponent into the wall.

Brian says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Bah!!! Drag racing is the absolute best racing…if anything, it suits my very short attention span in a way that folks driving for HOURS in a circle cannot engage me. That being said, the only pro sport I watch is hockey (us Detroiters love our Red Wings–please save the jokes). I think the Stanley Cup playoffs serve up as much drama as any stupid TV show. But that’s just me.

mystery says:

Re: The sooner they all dissappear the better

Sports had a useful place many years ago. A team actually represented a city/state/metro area. Players lived in the city that the team called home and were loyal to that team. Major league sports were a useful way to advertise a city or region to the rest of the country in times when communications tended to be slow and limited by today’s standards. Now, teams trade players right before the finals to ‘stack the deck’. Players represent themselves and not the team or home city. Amateur sports can reach the world instantly over the internet. Why do we need major leagues any more? We don’t. The advertisers are the only ones who need major league sports. Hurt them. Don’t buy sport logo items. Don’t buy based on pro athlete endorsements. And above all, don’t buy just because they tell you to buy now.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t bother with sports, at least not professional sports. Waste of time, waste of money, waste of effort, etc. Most “professional” athletes these days are just a bunch of whiny, greedy babies who make way too much money. Thanks, but pass. If you’re not playing/watching just for the fun of it, it’s pointless. I have other much more important things to spend my time and money on.

Green Machine says:

Another limitation

In addition to the onerous rule of allowing no more than 45-seconds of video coverage (total!) on any given day (including any given Sunday), the NFL requires that the footage, however limited it is, be removed from the Web site within 24 hours.

It’s not exactly clear what the NFL proposes to do if and when any Web site (or news gathering organization) violates their little policy, but presumably they will be pulling credentials. While “legal experts” say there is nothing wrong with this policy, acting on the policy may run afoul of public forum issues.

Mitch the Bitch says:

NASCAR is a skill game

Anyone that says Nascar is somehow easy or takes no skill show themselves to be the “elitist” they are and as such gets no respect from anyone (but themselves, obviously lol).

Saying Nascar (turning left) takes no skill is just like saying pro baseball players just play catch. It shows you really don;t know anything.

If you do not enjoy Nascar or Motor racing that’s fine but to base your dislike on pure ignorance and bias shows what a little puny man you actually are.

Sad little losers, get a life already….

SailorRipley says:

Re: NASCAR is a skill game

You obviously adore/idolize Nascar, which is ok, <sarcasm>non-elitists have to have their bread and games too, and preferably different ones from what the elitists like, that way the elitists’ favs don’t have to be dumbed down</sarcasm>, but your post demonstrates you are offended and take it personally and as a result you start some name calling, yet provide no shred of fact or argument as to why reducing Nascar to “taking left turns” is so extremely far from the truth.

One could successfully argue that the one needing a life, ie the one being a sad loser, is the one who gets upset about what some other anonymous online person thinks of his favorite sport, especially if all this results in is said person starting some name calling.

and personally, I think Nascar is as much just turning left as I think “pro baseball players just play catch“: I think both are like shooting fish in a barrel

Sanguine Dream says:

I wonder how...

they would react of new stations just used a 45sec clip of the scoreboard? And not even the part with the score on it just the part with the team names. Or maybe just a 45sec clip of the crowd and then not talk about the game at all (I mean that as in the only way you can tell who is playing is by looking at the colors/signs in the crowd)? Do that for a few weeks near the end of the season and then don’t even mention the Super Bowl.

The NFL can control how clips and info about the games are show all they want. But it looks like someone needs to remind them that the tv stations and web sites control IF those clips and info are shown at all.

Nasty Old Geezer says:

Pro Sports

I mostly agree with the idea of ignoring the games. I do enjoy watching sports — but the reason I enjoy it is appreciating the skill and discipline of the players.

MLB died for me a few years ago with the mid-season strike. If the players and owners didn’t care enouhg to keep up the pretenses about loving the game, why should I eve care again? NFL is becoming more overrun by thugs and goons, not to mention the drugs. NBA is even more glaring, plus the egos are more visible, and I find the game boring compared to college.

The NCAA is no better though — restrictions are even more strict and obtuse. They just are more subtle about enforcing their rules.

Screw ’em all and go fishing (not watching somebody else fish either)

BigEd says:


NFL (No F#cking Life). AS I sit here with my box of Raisin Bran and my Super Bowl and my Super Spoon to eat it with….

Now I’m gonna get sued for using the word. They are two words NFL freekazoids and can be used in what ever way one wants to use them.

Go to their website to view their stuff. Hell, I’ll go there to steal it and post it anywhere I want. Even my own website. But then why waste my time and effort. NFL …who… College Football is the real way to go. PRO’s, not in my book, Just a bunch of overpaid pansy ass backdoor lovin jerks. Complete losers.

Bad Brad says:

Sports in general...

You’d think that the sports execs would get a clue. Boxing has lost lots of fannage due to the pay-per-view business. You can’t even go to a bar and expect them to charge a reasonable amount to see a match. The bars get absolutely raped by the industry so badly there are only a handful of places here in Phoenix that will show a title matchup. Can you imagine what would happen to NASCAR if the started raping their fans the same way? It’s all about money, nothing more, nothing less. PURE GREED.

Outside the box says:

Maybe this is the NFLs way of using the Streisand effect to their own gain. The more they tick people off about ristricting video, the more people are going to post and upload and talk about the NFL.

Also, NFL players are not over paid, in fact, they are extremely underpaid because of the cap. They make their teams and the NFL A LOT more money than they get paid. Let’s take Payton Manning as an example. I don’t like the guy (he becomes such a baby, pointing fingers at everyone but himself whenever plays aren’t being made), but I have to admit he is an exceptional player. His salery in 2006 was $17.8 million. When the Colts began excelling because of Payton Manning, they were bringing in hundreds of thousands of dollars more than before Payton Manning, yet, because of the salery cap, they only compensate him $17.8 million. He is underpaid because if he leaves the Colts, the Colts save $17.8 million, but lose hundreds of millions of dollars.

Comicfan says:

Re: Outside the box ????

Under paid???? You can’t be serious! Only compensate 17.8 million???? Oh boo freakin hooo! How many regular people are not only underpaid but wage raped?! How many people bust their asses working more than one job even just to make ends meet?! So some sap got screwed from his hundreds of thousands for PLAYING a freakin GAME, SO WHAT! Tell me if firemen who risk their lives, or police men “slash” women, make that in a stinking life time. But hey, they only risk their lives, not run around in uniform chasing a ball. I may be wrong but for you to say they are NOT over paid is more ridiculous than what the NFL is pulling. Sorry but it’s true.

teknosapien (profile) says:

Well just maybe

If the news folk had any balls they would just not report the
games the scores etc… and explain that “do to the NFL’s restrictions we can no longer bring you the scores or for that matter any news concerning the NFL in General.” -I know a pipe dream-
Look, the only people that have any leverage over these types of tactics are the ones that open their wallets and support them.
Maybe if the fans just didn’t buy, purchase, support in anyway shape or form, a message would be sent. Let them hemorrhage Money for a change rather than make ridiculously outrageous demands of the ones that are supporting them . This also works for any corporation that steps out of the moral norm.(RIAA, MPAA, Mobile,exon *.gov etc…).
People need to learn that the only thing that “these types” understand is how much money is flowing into the coffers

~puts soap box down- goes back to commune

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