Copyright Ruins Everything Again: How Dare A Sports Writer Get People Excited About The Olympics!

from the oh-stuff-it dept

Every few years, the Olympics comes along to remind us not so much about the power of personal triumphs in sports, but the vast overreach of copyright laws to control absolutely everything for no damn reason at all.

Over the weekend, a pretty amazing story came out of the Olympics. Dutch runner Sifan Hassan was entering the final lap in a 1,500 meter heat, when the runner in front of her tripped, leading Hassan to fall as well. Both runners were then way behind the rest of the pack, with just about 350 meters left to go. Somehow, Hassan got up, and passed 11 other Olympic runners to win the race.

The only reason I learned about this was because I saw a tweet by Sports Illustrated writer Chris Chavez that included a clip showing that final lap from the fall to the victory. That tweet went super viral. When I spotted it, it had thousands of retweets. Indeed, the NPR link I put above with the story suggests you watch it by linking to Chris’s tweet. Of course, if you go there now this is what you’ll see:

That missing tweet in the middle was the video.

It’s unclear if it was NBC or the Olympics (or someone else?) who took it down, but either way this is ridiculous. Yes, you can argue that the copyright holder has a right to take it down, but even that seems debatable. This seems like a pretty clear case of fair use — a reporter reporting on something.

But, even ignoring the fair use argument, this is just so stupid and pointless. Chavez was giving free advertising and promotion to an amazing moment at the Olympics. And it was going viral. Crazy viral. What kind of stupid landlord looks at someone giving them massive promotional value for free and says “we gotta stop that sorta thing!” The infatuation with ownership and control at the expense of word-of-mouth promotion makes no sense at all. It actively holds back interest in the event.

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Companies: nbc, olympics, twitter

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Comments on “Copyright Ruins Everything Again: How Dare A Sports Writer Get People Excited About The Olympics!”

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57 Comments
That One Guysays:

'The what now? Never heard of it.'

It would be ever so nice if people would stop giving that event free publicity, as it’s clearly not wanted, and didn’t so much as mention anything that took place during it. Those that run The-Event-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named want to be the only ones dealing with anything to do with said event then let them, and if that means that only a fraction of people know it even exists because the majority don’t subscribe to the specific service that it’s showing on then all the better.

Anonymoussays:

This reminds of of nintendo , taking down playthru videos of games,
so people are stuck in the 90,s ,they dont understand social media or youtube videos re free promotion, videos go viral because they are funny are interesting and they appeal to fans.
Also a sports reporter posting a short clip of a race is very likely fair use .
But then time and again we have seen certain companys or lawyers do not understand the concept of free promotion by fans .
or maybe nbc just wants every video to be on peacock or an official nbc channel .
remember it took the record industry 15 years at least to understand how to sell digital music on the web instead sueing every use of new tech to acess music on the web.

Bluegrass Geeksays:

But, even ignoring the fair use argument, this is just so stupid and pointless. Chavez was giving free advertising and promotion to an amazing moment at the Olympics

Ah, but that’s the point. They don’t care about free advertising for the Olympics. They want to funnel everyone to NBCs site to watch this moment, not see it for "free" on Twitter.

Anonymoussays:

Olympics

how many of our tax dollars have been handed over to the " Olympics" to help support them? how many places has government cleared, built, and provided for the "Olympics"? how many times do i need to say " Olympics" before i get a copyright strike?

Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics

this is what happens when GREED takes over!
used to be able to watch the "Olympics" on TV for free….

Anonymoussays:

olay limp icks

Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics Olympics

Anonymoussays:

It's A Numbers Game With Imaginary Numbers

1 advertising spot is worth X views on Twitter. Y views on Twitter is worth Z amounts of people opting to skip watching the same clip again when/where ads are run. As long as Z is over 1 they think they lose money. There is no one even remotely close to them who believe otherwise.

In short, they think they are doing the right thing and they have a dozen accountants who agree.

The "why" is easier to figure out than the Y

naschsays:

Re: Re: It's A Numbers Game With Imaginary Numbers

In short, they think they are doing the right thing and they have a dozen accountants who agree.

The accountants don’t care about stuff like this. They’re just making sure revenue, costs, etc. are tracked and reported appropriately, they don’t have any input into strategic decisions, let alone copyright issues. Accountants get blamed for a lot of stuff they have nothing to do with.

TaboTokasays:

Quibi shifts in the grave

When Quibi launched it was without the ability of fans to take and share screenshots/make memes/audio clips/etc to spread bits of the content organically (* cough *, I mean "virally").

Without the shares, the audience didn’t grow much (stupid format aside). A few months after they launched, they realized their mistake and added the ability to take screenshots (but in a broken way). No ability to make gifs or audio clips, because that would be stealing or something.

They protected their IP so hard that they plowed into the ground less than a year after launch.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Quibi shifts in the grave

To be fair, Quibi’s failure was more to do with it having a central product that nobody asked for, that didn’t do anything unique and restricted users so hard that they were unable to watch TV on their TVs.

The IP stuff was silly and obviously didn’t help, but I doubt that would have saved them.

Cowardly Lionsays:

Re: Re: Just watch it here:

And in 3-2-1 – your link now goes to a 30 second advert for Dreams mattresses…

Maybe there’s footage of the event in question on Eurosport, but TBF I can’t be arsed going to look for it… been that way ever since the IOC "cake police" went up and down high-streets confiscating celebratory 5-ring cakes from bakeries, and let’s not forget the taping over of manufacturers labels on WC porcelainware because they were not official sponsors…

Lisa Westveldsays:

Smart move by the Olympics...

Yeah, sure… This tweet would likely have given the Olympics more media attention on Twitter but most of the followers of Chris Chavez would already be following the Olympics too. So, no new audience here.
By taking it down, the Olympics now gets mentioned on TechDirt and several other websites where there are people (like me) who don’t care about the Olympics, yet we now see them mentioned again. Worse, search engines will no doubt pick up this article and connect the Olympics with keywords from TechDirt so even more Google Searches will end up with them, creating a bigger audience.
Sure, the Tweet gave them some attention. But taking it down gives them a lot more.
So instead of writing about the Olympics, we should actually stop referring to them!

tpsays:

Interest in the event isn't important

This must be the oldest reasoning pirates are giving for their piracy. It does not matter how much buzz there is with the content, if the money is going to wrong entity. If the money didn’t go through the people who created the event, then all the buzz is just doing damage. "We’re making it more popular" is completely crazy idea when the money is going to criminals.

Real solution is to kill the criminal market completely.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

So, maybe you can give us a window into your weird alternate universe that bears no relationship to the real world:

What money is going to anyone because someone mentions something in a tweet? When did talking about something become criminal activity in your diseased fantasy world?

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

What money is going to anyone because someone mentions something in a tweet?

Well, every time the content is mentioned (in a tweet or otherwise), the licensing terms for the content is saying that the money stack of the content developer must get higher and higher.

When did talking about something become criminal activity in your diseased fantasy world?

When the copyrighted content is mentioned in the blogosphere, and the money stack doesn’t increase in size, it’s indication that illegal activity is happening. I.e. the benefit of the content development process is going to the criminals who fail to purchase the content items from the authorised vendor. Instead some criminal organisation is reaping the benefits.

It’s like the developer got robbed with knives, and wallet emptied and money passed to the criminals.

Basically users have two possible alternatives: 1) either not use the product, or 2) purchase a valid license to the product..

There’s isn’t any 3rd alternative where the product is free to use by everyone.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

Thanks, I knew what ever you responded with would not bear any relationship to real life, human behaviour or the way people actually make money, I just wanted to see what a delusional failure was going to say this time. Although…

"When the copyrighted content is mentioned in the blogosphere, and the money stack doesn’t increase in size"

…I do wish I lived with this particular part of your delusion where merely talking about things magically makes money appear. It sounds so much easier than real life.

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

our delusion where merely talking about things magically makes money appear. It sounds so much easier than real life.

This is actually already reality in australia where news organisations got a law done where search engines, news aggregators, yellow press etc will need to purchase licenses to the content if they just link to the content or otherwise mention its existence.

I’m just waiting for that law to be adopted in EU.

The logic behind the law is pretty good, i.e. freeriders like google and facebook will need to start creating their own content instead of replicating other people’s content all over the globe. The whole world will benefit when google/facebook will hire professional journalists and puts them to dig through the war zones and report human rights violations happening in those areas of the world. Maybe they don’t need to replicate slow news items or celebrity cat wash news, when they could generate actually useful news that would make the world a better place.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

Or, Google can say the same "fuck you" to the whole EU as they did to Spain, and kill off smaller news outlets, meanwhile people who aren’t in news media who talk about something will continue paying you the nothing you deserve – they’ll give their money to competent developers.

"The whole world will benefit when google/facebook will hire professional journalists"

Fuck, no. You want them to literally control news media, rather than sending traffic to existing news outlets that may or may not agree with them? Because that how you get them controlling all news media.

Once again, delusional idiot wishes the worst on to the planet because he’s too incompetent to deal with the real world.

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't important

Because that how you get them controlling all news media.

It’s called growth. Yesturday they only controlled the news distribution. Tomorrow they should have grown even larger, and control also the content creation. Freeriding idiots are not welcome. Everyone need to become independent of rest of the world, i.e. they need to be able to create their own dependency tree. We’re already sick and tired of supporting google and facebook when they don’t contribute anything to content creation.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't importan

"It’s called growth"

Yes. Sane people would rather that they don’t grow and expand into areas where they currently only support other companies. We’d rather not have them as direct competitors who can easily abuse monopoly power.

"Yesturday they only controlled the news distribution"

No, they didn’t. The publishers controll distribution, in conjunction with who they use as an ISP and host. You don’t need Google or Facebook to access any news. They just send free traffic to the existing distributors.

You’re now suggesting that this isn’t enough and they need to control every aspect of news creation and distribution, thus locking out all competitors. You’re not suggesting what you think you’re suggesting.

"Everyone need to become independent of rest of the world, i.e. they need to be able to create their own dependency tree"

Says the dickhead completely dependent on free libraries, free protocols and the free internet for his own useless products, or indeed this conversation. Why are you dependant on itch.io for most of your software distribution? Shouldn’t you be setting up your own site that nobody goes to instead of an established player, you hypocrite, you?

"We’re already sick and tired of supporting google and facebook"

Then don’t use them.

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't impo

Shouldn’t you be setting up your own site that nobody goes to instead of an established player, you hypocrite, you?

Yes, I’ll do it once you give me keys to the google’s or facebook’s bank account. I simply don’t have the necessary money to do it properly.

Google or facebook cannot use this defense, since they have the money available.

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the event isn't

"I simply don’t have the necessary money to do it properly"

itch.io did. Plenty of independent sites have done exactly that, many of whom use Google and Facebook effectively to advertise their brand, so that they make money as well instead of whining about how nobody’s giving them free money.

What’s your excuse? Well, other than the fact that you wasted a stupid amount of money for your doomed attempt on bus adverts to try and advertise a site, for which you have to post instructions on how to use your software here since the documentation and UI are so poor, to people who were never in the market for that site?

PaulTsays:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the even

"I tried itch, and it generated $2 for me"

Yes, we’ve established that you’re not very good at these things and fail even when the resources to succeed are handed to you on a plate. That doesn’t undermine the viability of competing platforms, it just means that you are uniquely bad at it.

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re:10 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in the

fail even when the resources to succeed are handed to you on a plate.

What exactly is wrong with my itch.io dashboard… it looks like this: https://terop.itch.io/

Since you’re so smart and would succeed in a heartbeat, please explain how many more games I need to publish, before I get one successful one?

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re: Re:11 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest in

how many more games I need to publish, before I get one successful one

Not sure, but it might be just one, if that one was very good. On the other hand, a metric boatload of not-so-good games may only support you at the “eating out of dumpsters” level.

I think you may have a problem with your arguments generally, too. Neither Google, nor the other search engines, generate their value from creating content. Rather, the value from a search engine is that it has recently scoured the web and can tell me where to find the content in which I am interested.

As an example: if I want a great game of a particular genre, I might ask the search engine for such a thing. I would ask, not expecting Google or DuckDuckGo to have written such a game, but expecting rather that they will have links to people who comment on the greatness of particular games, and possibly links to the games themselves.

tpsays:

Re: Re: Re:12 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Interest

Neither Google, nor the other search engines, generate their value from creating content.

The value comes from "large number of content available in their service". The fact that they didn’t create the material themselves, means that they should really obtain license to display the material in their web page. Otherwise the people who actually created the material (and can only create small amount of content) need to compete against the large flood of content available in google search. This is why content owners are struggling currently, they need to compete against large chunk of (pirated) content, where owners of those websites failed to obtain even license to the content. Google search is one of the most eregious violators of that licensing requirement.

basically internet should be divided to two parts, one part containing services like google search where licenses are not being respected. And other part containing material that has been properly licensed. And then some balancing of perks and responsibilities need to happen between the two separate halves of the world.

Guess this is kinda wishful thinking.

Google search claimed that the large scale copyright infringement is necessary, and the robots.txt provided the answer to the problem. Anyone can choose to be removed from the search results. But how exactly does it solve the problem that my web page containing 170 demos/games need to compete against google search containing millions of content items?

Tanner Andrewssays:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Inte

The fact that they didn’t create the material themselves, means that they should really obtain license to display the material in their web page. [ … ]

We are all probably dumber for having read this. And, under this theory, you probably need a license from me to have your computer display this response.

Like I said above, the value comes from telling you where to find the stuff in which you are likely to be interested. Google do not create the content, any more than the guy at the gas station creates the store you are seeking, but they do provide value by giving directions.

NaBUru38says:

The Olympics official YouTube account (https://www.youtube.com/c/Olympics/videos) is full of highlights videos of the Tokyo Olympics. But they are all geoblocked to specific regions. So sharing any of those videos on social media is futile, because most people won’t have access to them.

Meanwhile, the Olympics and Tokyo 2020 Twitter accounts have no highlights videos. And at https://olympics.com/tokyo-2020/en/news/videos/ there’s only interviews.

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