FTC Asked To Stop Bogus Copyright Warnings In Sports Broadcasts

from the stop-the-copyright-abuse dept

You may recall earlier this year that law professor Wendy Seltzer received a DMCA takedown notice from the NFL for posting a short clip to YouTube of the part during the Super Bowl where the announcers state the famous warning that often reads something like "Any rebroadcast, reproduction or other use of the pictures, accounts or descriptions of this game without the express written consent of Big Sports League, is prohibited." What got lost in the Seltzer story over whether or not posting that particular clip to YouTube was legal, was that her point in using it was to show how sports leagues were making claims to rights that copyright didn't actually give them. It appears that enough others have noticed this as well that a trade group, backed by various big name tech companies, is now asking the Federal Trade Commission to prevent broadcasters from making such "deceptive" copyright statements. The group is claiming that this incorrect statement that clearly reaches beyond the rights copyright provides, is harmful to consumers and technology companies. Of course, in the sports leagues' (and other content companies') defense, it appears that plenty of people ignore the bogus copyright warning anyway.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:08am

    I hope...

    ...that the particular defense doesn't work. That's basically saying "well, yea, it's an illegal rule, but people don't follow it anyway, so we should be allowed to continue saying its a rule."

    If that's their strongest defense, I don't see why they should win, other than from moronic and/or paid judges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:09am

    Wow (c), sanity comes to the government(c);

    I wonder(c), if the FTC will actually make the ProSports broadcast(c) take down their copyright(c) notices.

    My bet is the broadcast and the copyright(c) notices will continue, ignoring the governement(c) request(c).

    The opinions expressed(c) herein(c) are solely the property of the opined(c), whatever opined means(c).

    Oh, yeah, first(c).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Ajax 4Hire, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:10am

    Re: Wow (c), sanity comes to the government(c);

    I mean 2nd(c).
    Which is also copyrighted by the opiner(c).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Rob, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:10am

    About Time...

    It's about time that this deception has come to light. We talked about this in college business law class, but obviously it is finally out to the public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    ajaxoff4higher, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:15am

    not tech, not dirt

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    comboman, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 10:56am

    EULAs next please

    Since the FTC is going up against bogus claims that illegally expand copyright holders rights, how about taking on click-through EULAs as well.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    Please describe how the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) not related to technology? While you are at it, also describe how discussing legal issues which one of the two parties doesn't want you to know about, doesn't fall under the category of talking "dirt". Making a comment and not being able to back it up, makes your comment NULL.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Buzz, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 11:43am

    Amazing...

    I never really thought that it would come to this. The NFL actually believes they can own facts down to the point where even talking about them is illegal. Back in the day, the NFL's broadcast was superior to just about anything out there, so no one complained about using the NFL's means of finding out about the games. Now, with so many portable electronics at fans' disposal, the NFL's means are being challenged. So, what do they do? They attempt to ban them all instead of offer their own superior service. Are blogs the hot item? Hire the best bloggers and make it official. Are YouTube videos the hot item? Post several official videos there!

    The NFL is so obsessed with control that it is sickening. I am glad that I am one who embraces the information age and adapts appropriately. I will never engage in an information war with my customers. I will sell my tangible goods and release the digital ones.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 12:03pm

    Incredible...

    This should also attack the NFL limiting media outlets to 45 seconds of onlien video or audio with league or team personal per day. They want them all to go to their offical site...NFL.com to watch videos. Of course, the clips are already "banned" on youtube, et al.

    If you have WSJ access, read this article: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118454824975767224.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Denver D, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 12:58pm

    Question for the professionals?

    I have just started my own outdoor movie and video presentation company. I now have the clients who rent my giant outdoor systems acquire licensing for their selected movies through a licensing agent. Now the relevance:

    If I were to project a 4o foot image of an NFL game in a public place using the signal from the local over the air broadcaster, should I be waiting for the Gestapo to show up? I learned in college that the airwaves belong to the public and are policed by the FCC. Am I wrong? If I setup a 2 mile long coax or satellite dish and then did it I would understand. But these air the public airwaves, aren't they?

    Seriously. Any tidbits and advice would help.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Asmodeus, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 1:57pm

    Re: Question for the professionals?

    As I understand it, the over the air transmissions are for private use only. Any public use (which is what you are doing) requires a license.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    idunnoreally, Aug 1st, 2007 @ 3:23pm

    Re: Re: Question for the professionals?

    well, you could do it if it were for friends and no profit was involved. but since its your company, a license would be required. bars, for example, pay a TON for the same non private feeds of sporting events.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Aug 2nd, 2007 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Question for the professionals?

    Yeah but he's not the one using the eq - he's just providing it

    The bar equivalent would be if a sports bar bought all its TVs from Walmart and then showed sports games without a license - in that case you wouldn't be able to sue Walmart or the installations company

    Another example would be if a hire car were used in a robbery - you wouldn't sue the hire company

    I think that as long as he's not selecting the channels himself and isn't making money by directly renting these units as 'sports view' he should be OK. It would probably also help if he informed your customer somewhere that use of the units for the purpose of viewing sporting feeds etc without a license may make them liable for infringment

    I'm not a lawyer (just an IT guy) buts that's the way it plays out in my head

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    steer, Aug 4th, 2007 @ 5:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Why are you dragging the DMCA into this? It has absolutely nothing to do with the CCIA FTC complaint against the NFL et al.

    Let's you you back up this ridiculous attempt to connect the two.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This