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savafan
03-09-2008, 03:48 PM
http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003719357

By Joe Strupp

Published: March 04, 2008 5:00 PM ET

NEW YORK Major League Baseball's new restrictions on the use of online photo images has drawn a protest letter from the Online News Association, a 1200-member group of Web journalists.

In the letter, sent Tuesday to Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig, the nine-year-old group objected to the new restrictions that include limits on the number of game photos online and the duration of time video can be placed on a Web site.

The restrictions are being placed on all media credentials for the upcoming 2008 baseball season, which begins later this month.

"These terms interfere with our members’ ability to do their jobs as journalists and cover news of public importance," ONA President Jonathan Dube says in the letter.

The new restrictions include: a 72-hour limit on posting photos after games; a seven-photo limit on the number of photos posted from a game while it is in progress; a 120-second limit on video length from game-related events; and a ban on live or recorded audio and video from game-related events posted 45 minutes before the start of a game through the end.

"In the letter, ONA points out that limiting the number of photos from a game that can be displayed online to seven could potentially limit the ability of news organizations to publish reader-submitted photos and 'citizen journalism,'" the group stated in a release. "ONA also objects to allowing the Commissioner’s office to define what constitutes a game 'photo gallery' and prohibit their use on news sites.

The letter follows previous objections from the Associated Press Sports Editors and the American Society of Newspaper Editors. Representatives of both of those groups are set to meet with baseball officials about the restrictions on Wednesday.

The entire ONA letter is posted below:

************************************************** ****

March 4, 2008
Mr. Allen H. (Bud) Selig
Office of the Commissioner of Baseball
777 E. Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 3060
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Dear Commissioner Selig:

The Online News Association strongly objects to the terms on which Major League Baseball proposes to credential journalists and urges you to work collaboratively with representatives of
the media to develop credentialing terms that better serve the relevant business, journalistic, and societal interests.

Our association, which represents more than 1,200 online news media members, believes that many of the proposed restrictions are contrary to the interests of Major League Baseball, to baseball fans and to our members, who cover sports news in an emerging multimedia environment.

These terms interfere with our members’ ability to do their jobs as journalists and cover news of public importance.

We request that MLB collaborate with the news media to develop new credential terms that would mutually protect our interests -- and the public interest -- while encouraging open and robust coverage of baseball players and games.

Among the issues the Online News Association finds most objectionable:

• Limiting the number of photographs from each game that may be displayed online to seven. This restriction is particularly troubling because it applies regardless of whether
an organization took the photos itself. This limit could be interpreted to include readersubmitted photos, potentially limiting the ability of news organizations to publish usergenerated content and “citizen journalism.”

• Prohibiting the use of game photographs as part of a photo gallery, and having the Commissioner’s office determine the definition of a “photo gallery.” Leaving the Commissioner’s office to define, on an ad hoc basis, an online “photo gallery” would make it impossible for our members to plan coverage because the commissioner’s office would have the ability to define, unilaterally and after the fact, what does and doesn’t fall within the restriction.

• Prior written notice of the intention to display non-text accounts: This restriction is unnecessarily onerous and inconsistent with the need to communicate news in a timely
manner.

• Restrictions on recording audio and video from 45 minutes prior to a scheduled game until that game has concluded. This is unnecessarily restrictive, as news often develops in the time immediately preceding a game.

• Restrictions on the length of time non-text content may be archived online. Among other things, non-text content serves as an important part of the historical record, which would be undermined by the proposed restrictions.

The restrictions in these credentials make it harder for the members of ONA to do their jobs as journalists.

We urge you to reconsider these restrictions and collaborate with the news media to develop credential terms that serve our mutual interests and thereby better serve the public.

Sincerely,
Jonathan Dube
President
Online News Association

smith288
03-09-2008, 05:41 PM
I think Bud is trying to kill all interest in baseball

traderumor
03-09-2008, 05:46 PM
MLB is the proverbial bull in a china shop in dealing with technology issues. Just ban it unless we own it. Killing the golden goose trying to get it to lay a few more eggs.

Jpup
03-09-2008, 05:57 PM
I don't see the point of all of this. Baseball survived over a hundred years without these stupid restrictions. It really is time for Bud to go. Does he not realize that he would make baseball more money if he just left well enough alone?

Unassisted
03-09-2008, 07:44 PM
I don't see the point of all of this. Baseball survived over a hundred years without these stupid restrictions. It really is time for Bud to go. Does he not realize that he would make baseball more money if he just left well enough alone?

MLB has made a multi-million dollar investment in MLB Advanced Media. Most of the aforementioned rules are about giving MLBAM exclusivity online for its products. With these new rules, it is clear that MLB is not content to share the audience for baseball news, it intends to dominate it. This is not about being friendly and playing well with bloggers. This is MLB trying to be Microsoft and be completely profit-driven. Like it or not, it's all about making money.


Restrictions on recording audio and video from 45 minutes prior to a scheduled game until that game has concluded. This is unnecessarily restrictive, as news often develops in the time immediately preceding a game.

The NFL has placed similar restrictions on recording of game footage. I strongly suspect that the other new media rules are modeled on the NFL's rules. That's a good model to follow if you're trying to be Microsoft.

Remember, the money made by MLBAM is shared equally with all of the clubs. That's the kind of money that we fans of a small market team should embrace.

UKFlounder
03-09-2008, 08:01 PM
I don't see the point of all of this. Baseball survived over a hundred years without these stupid restrictions.

And the media survived that time without on-line content as well - should they just go away?

redsmetz
03-09-2008, 08:29 PM
And the media survived that time without on-line content as well - should they just go away?

Overall, I think, baseball has always resisted the advances of new technologies. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but when radio first came along, some owners resisted broadcasting home games. The same was true of television.

Letting folks get access to info and highlights and accounts etc., I think only builds the brand, if you will. MLB is being very shortsighted, but that's their way of doing things these days.

acredsfan
03-10-2008, 12:34 AM
Overall, I think, baseball has always resisted the advances of new technologies. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but when radio first came along, some owners resisted broadcasting home games. The same was true of television.

Letting folks get access to info and highlights and accounts etc., I think only builds the brand, if you will. MLB is being very shortsighted, but that's their way of doing things these days.
Thats a great point of view. From a marketing POV, I think you hit it on the nose with the brand building. There are many things that are out of your control in marketing, and the best thing you can do is react to it and try to use it to your advantage rather than attempting to take it over. MLB is old school and needs to embrace new age marketing. Good publicity is much more valuable than almost anything else in this era of instant information sharing and blogging. Companies all over the world are trying to figure out what they can do to use these tools to their advanage. This new style of news and information sharing scares old school marketers. I know I'm rambling on, but basically for a firm that already has a black eye from the performance enhancing drugs, this is a very poor move to make. If you want all the good publicity you can get, start by not trying to control all the publicity. The public isn't stupid, and we notice what they are trying to do.

TeamBoone
03-10-2008, 04:47 PM
Wow! Seems like Bud is doing everything in his power to make baseball less and less appealing and/or available to fans when he should be trying to do just the opposite.

And, unless I missed something, what is the reason for these mindless rules? What does MLB gain?

Isn't it enough that they already don't allow anyone but MLB to "televise" a game on the internet? Isn't it enough that streaming broadcasts of games is prohibited by radio stations?

Why not just continue to drive even more fans away that are unable to attend a game in person?

I don't get it.

ochre
03-10-2008, 06:28 PM
no truth to the rumor of the new mlb affiliated website: "budsusedvideos.com -- buy these previously owned videos below invoice".

M2
03-10-2008, 06:34 PM
The Web is social and any business that doesn't get that is going to hurt its brand over the course of time.

WMR
03-10-2008, 06:42 PM
The Web is social and any business that doesn't get that is going to hurt its brand over the course of time.

1000% correct.

ochre
03-10-2008, 06:45 PM
The problem is that the law seems to be on Bud's side I think. I'm pretty sure digital fair-use is restricted fairly heavily by the DMCA. "All rights reserved" I suppose. All they (mlb) have to do is start suing a la the MPAA and RIAA.

Honestly, it sounds to me like the mlb folks are prepping to take the bulk of their (advanced media) content to a subscriber only service. I've not read, or heard that anywhere, so I don't know for sure, but that sure is what I would anticipate based on this.