ESPN And Univision Say Screw Fair Use: Your 6 Second Vine Videos Of World Cup Goals Must Be Taken Down

from the permission-society dept

Last year, we wrote about the ridiculousness of Prince sending DMCA takedowns over 6 second videos on Vine. Those seemed like a pretty clear fair use case. The very nature of Vine, in that it limits videos to 6 seconds seems tailor made for fair use, even if there is no magical time period that guarantees fair use. Either way, it should be no surprise that when it comes to a major sporting event, the powers that be don't believe in any fair use at all. Similar to the Olympics, nearly every time we write about the World Cup, it involves an aggressive abuse of claimed intellectual property rights to stifle perfectly legitimate communications and content.

The latest, according to the Wall Street Journal, is that ESPN and Univision are rushing around taking down Vine clips of World Cup goals, even to the point that some major media properties have had their Vine accounts killed for being accused of infringement too often:
Since the start of the tournament Vox Media-owned sports site SB Nation, one of the chief purveyors of quick World Cup content, has had two accounts suspended on Vine, according to its managing editor Brian Floyd.

SB Nation received suspension notices from Twitter, Mr. Floyd said, after a complaint from media-protection company Irdeto, which works on behalf of Univision.

“They don’t seem to mind people Vine-ing funny stuff like fans,” explained Clay Wendler, who quickly crafts Vines for SB Nation. But when it comes to goals — breathtaking moments of glory seemingly tailor-made for the six-second looping video format — rights-holders are more stringent, Mr. Wendler said.
Considering that fair use rules are explicitly designed for news reporting, it seems rather clear that these are fair use. It's unclear from the report if SB Nation has appealed the takedown notices or not, but it's rather unfortunate that Twitter just killed those accounts without bothering to recognize that they're clearly being used for fair use reporting on the World Cup.

Similarly, the article points to a recent Slate post which for a little while had a video showing all 136 goals scored in the group stage of the World Cup, spliced together in quick clips, but that video has since been removed after ESPN contacted Slate to claim it was infringement. Once again, this seems like a fairly clear cut case of fair use, using news reporting in a transformative manner which isn't going to impact the market for the original. But, of course, ESPN is owned by Disney, and Disney doesn't exactly have the best of reputations when it comes to understanding fair use in others (even if it's been getting better on that front lately).

It's really too bad that it appears that Slate and Vox/SB Nation appear to have more or less given in to these takedown requests rather than standing up for fair use.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: 6 seconds, copyright, fair use, goals, takedowns, videos, vine, world cup
Companies: disney, espn, twitter, univision

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jul 2014 @ 5:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the only thing clear is this content isn't fair use

    You know you just cited an example of Fair Use?

    And the NFL can stipulate whatever the hell it wants, that doesnt make it copyright law. those are just their conditions which are only enforcable under contract. anyone in the world could use their footage and has a Fair Use defense against their claims of copyright infringement. Their contracts only mean something between the two parties that sign them, not the whole world.

    You have consistently failed your arguments. Just sayin.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.