by Mike Masnick

NCAA Ejects Reporter For Live-Blogging A Game

from the owning-facts dept

Major League Baseball has been one of the worst offenders when it comes to claiming ownership of the "facts" of a game, claiming that any outside description of the game is a violation -- which clearly goes beyond both the intent and the letter of the law. It appears that the NCAA college-level baseball is copying their big brother in this attitude. Logan alerts us to the news that the NCAA forbade any reporters at the college regionals from issuing any kind of live reports during the game, and then ejected a reporter who was live blogging the game. This is bizarre for any number of reasons -- especially since live blogging sporting events has become quite popular in the last year or two and is seen as a great way for fans to remain connected to the game. It's tremendously beneficial to the game, so it's hard to see the complaint. At the same time, the newspaper who employs the reporter appears to be overreacting just as bit as well, claiming this is a First Amendment issue. The NCAA certainly has the right to determine who gets a press pass and what the conditions are for that press pass (no matter how dumb those conditions are). If the reporter wants to live blog the game while watching it from seats purchased by the newspaper or on TV, the NCAA couldn't stop him. The NCAA isn't preventing him from live blogging the game entirely -- just from doing so with a press pass. It may be incredibly stupid, but it's hardly a First Amendment violation.

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  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 11 Jun 2007 @ 5:33pm

    Re: Curve ball

    The NCAA is completely in their right to stop him if they feel that blogging a game while sitting in the stands is infringing on their broadcasting rights and contracts

    No. The NCAA doesn't get to decide what's infringing on their rights. Simply blogging what's happening is not infringement under any law.

    The NCAA (and MLB for that matter) would rather have more ppl come to the game, listen to it on the radio, watch it on TV, or read the newspaper the next morning, so they can get more money from advertisers and what not.

    In what world would a live blog actually take away from any of those things? If anything, it's likely to increase the likelihood of all of those things.

    Same rules apply to someone going into a movie theatre, and recording a movie and re-producting it. Just because you bought a ticket, doesn't mean your entitled to the content, whether it's a ball game or Ocean's 13.

    This isn't recording a movie and reproducing it. This is blogging about what's going on.

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