Last night, I got an email from reader "Peter" that said he just had a video removed from YouTube by MLB. His video, a short clip from the final out of Roy Halladay's pefect game, contained about five seconds of actual game play footage. It was a spoof on the NHL's "what if" playoff commercials.
A few moments after receiving Peter's email, I noticed that YouTube had sent me a few of my own. They removed eight videos that, when pooled together, included about 20 seconds of game play footage (they were mostly screenshots of fans, including guys in Nacho Libre masks).
You mean to tell me Major League Baseball has nothing better to do then to troll YouTube for six month old videos of nonsense, quirky screen grabs?
Their stance on intellectual property is widely known. They typically address the letter of the law, rather the spirit of it. Remember the fans who had to remove the Phillies cap from their Phanatic flugtag? Or the dozens of shirts that had to be removed from The Fightins and Zoo With Roy? All thanks to the MLB copyright police.
We have no right to complain. What they did is legal (mostly– there's something called Fair Use, but that's for another post). But the league is so backward in their thinking, that it's almost laughable. The videos we had on YouTube were never highlight videos– they were quirky shots of fans and odd moments taken from CSN's broadcasts.
When it comes to online video, the NHL is an example of a league that just gets it. Instead of combing YouTube and other video sites, the NHL allows fans and bloggers to embed videos right on their site. In case you haven't noticed, most of our Flyers highlights are taken directly from PhiladelphiaFlyers.com. They encourage it. Why? Because it raises awareness for their product and is sometimes laced with an ad. Many news outlets do this too. People can use their videos, so long as they watch a :30 second ad prior to it. A fair trade-off.
Instead of Major League Baseball following suit and serving us hundreds of Taco Bell ads (a practice they could profit from and garner goodwill with), they force us to go rogue and covertly post them on sites less popular than YouTube. They want everyone to go MLB.com's clunky interface to watch their videos. Fail.
Well here's to you, MLB copyright person, Peter's video in-full after the jump.