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Newspaper Barred from Blogging Baseball Game

Louisville Courier-Journal: Courier-Journal reporter ejected from U of L game. A Courier-Journal sports reporter had his media credential revoked and was ordered to leave the press box during the NCAA baseball super-regional yesterday because of what the NCAA alleged was a violation of its policies prohibiting live Internet updates from its championship events. Gene McArtor, a representative of the NCAA baseball committee, approached C-J staffer Brian Bennett at the University of Louisville’s Jim Patterson Stadium in the bottom of the fifth inning in the U of L-Oklahoma State game. McArtor told him that blogging from an NCAA championship event “is against NCAA policies. We’re revoking the credential and need to ask you to leave the stadium.”

The paper is naturally challenging the NCAA’s right to do this, and should, because the collegiate association is being ridiculous.

But the paper should go much further. For one thing, it should go around the control freaks, and buy a ticket for a reporter and have him/her blog the game from the stands.

Then it should get the readers/fans involved. For example, the paper should ask readers to blog the game themselves, from TV sets or from the stands, or both — and then point to the best reader game-blogs.

This, of course, will infuriate the control freaks. They will try to clamp down even further before they realize that, unless they want to ban all digital devices from their arenas — another futile gesture — they’ll ultimately have to let people tell each other what is happening in something close to real time.

(Whoops; the original headline had the sport wrong…corrected. Thanks, Terry.)

6 Comments on “Newspaper Barred from Blogging Baseball Game”

  1. #1 Michael Silence
    on Jun 11th, 2007 at 8:30 am

    Beyond belief. Another example of why non-fiction is so much better than fiction.

    http://blogs.knoxnews.com/knx/silence/archives/2007/06/reporter_booted.shtml

  2. #2 Bill Smith
    on Jun 11th, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Very technical issue at play — most universities (and the NCAA and leagues like the SEC, etc.) consider three areas of copyright material: audio, video and data. The question ultimately will reside with whether or not the blogger violated the data stream. This is not different from the major leagues and why you can’t just watch a game on TV then write a game story (all descriptions, etc., etc., without the expressed written consent of MLB, NFL, NBA, etc.). Going into the stands won’t help that violation of data stream rights.

  3. #3 David Ardia
    on Jun 11th, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    Aside from the copyright infringement argument, which is tenuous at best, the ticket/credentials that provide access to these types of events typically include fine print on the back that may create contractual obligations for both parties. I say “may” because the language usually says that by entering the arena/stadium the bearer agrees to be bound by the terms. In other words, agreement to the terms is implied. I’d suggest that anyone who plans to live blog a sporting event simply cross out the terms on the ticket that limit this activity. It won’t give you the right to stay in the arena/stadium, but it might give you an argument that you are entitled to a refund of the ticket price.

  4. #4 Innovation in College Media » Blog Archive » NCAA attempts to hold back new media tide
    on Jun 11th, 2007 at 3:41 pm

    [...] coverage: TechDirt and Center for Citizen Media, which offers a unique way to circumvent this idiotic rule. Share and Enjoy:These icons link to [...]

  5. #5 Baseball blogging ban: dumb, dumb, dumb » mathewingram.com/work
    on Jun 12th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    [...] the 21st century at some point, and now is as good a time as any. Dan Gillmor says that newspapers should hire fans to blog for them. baseball, blogs, stupid | Share This | Related [...]

  6. #6 Baseball blogging ban: dumb, dumb, dumb » mathewingram.com/media
    on Jun 12th, 2007 at 7:31 am

    [...] the 21st century at some point, and now is as good a time as any. Dan Gillmor says that newspapers should hire fans to blog for them. baseball, blogs, stupid | Share [...]