by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 22nd 2008 6:58am
About a year ago, there was a push by some to get both the Democrats and the Republicans, along with the various television networks showing any Presidential debates to agree to freely license the content of any debate afterwards for any kind of media coverage. While some agreed to this, others did not. In fact, with last week's Democratic candidate debate, it appears ABC tried to take the issue even further. It demanded that other networks show less than 30 seconds of debate clips the night after the debate. This is quite similar to the restrictions MLB and the NFL have been trying to put on reporters as well. ABC claimed that it needed to do this because it delayed the broadcast of the debate on the west coast until later in the evening. First, people on the west coast aren't stupid. They know the debate already happened. Pretending it didn't isn't going to change much. Second, it seems ridiculous that ABC time-delayed the debate in the first place. But, most importantly, restricting how others can report on a news event seems pretty pointless -- and, indeed, the other networks basically ignored ABC's demands and broadcasted as much as they wanted to of the debates.
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