Protecting the Big Game ™

C/Net is reporting on the effort by Indiana, Indiannpolis, Postal Service and Federal law enforcement (including ICE) along with the efforts in Congress to put people in jail for unauthorized streaming of the big annual sporting event that takes place in February on a rectangular grassy field using a pointed brown ball whose name may never be mentioned that is being held in Indiana this year.

Other press releases from Westwood One (now part of Dial Global) indicate that over 600 radio stations plan to have the Big Game on their radio station this weekend, and typically those contracts do not permit streaming of sporting events by radio stations – the contracts only cover “over the air” broadcasting within the local service area of the station. I fully expect ICE to be spending this weekend looking for Radio Station owners who need to go to federal prison and lose their radio stations for failing to turn off their stream duing the Big Game whose name can not be mentioned.

Curiously, law enforcement seemed to already have the power to seize web sites engaging in copyright and trademark infringement without the need for the new SOPA/PIPA law.

This story actually conflates two unrelated things – one is a man in Michigan who apparently streams the video of sporting events onto the internet (part of the reason I never publish links to radio streams other than those on the station’s own web site) who was shut down. He is clearly a violator of copyright law, but ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) has no power to enforce copyright violation. ICE’s involvement in this story is about catching people trying to import knockoff unauthorized merchandise that contains the intellectual property of the sports organization that owns the rights to the big sporting event whose name cannot be mentioned. Customs has seized a total of 65,262 unauthorized items allegedly worth $6.4 million – which works out to an average of $98 per item, clearly an exaggeration unless someone is putting logos on Chevy Volts – and far exceeding the costs of this invetigation.

For extra reading, here is the testimory from the US Copyright Office about the need to control “Parasite” web sites.

The corporate domination of the Internet is almost complete – not that there should have ever been any doubt that it was coming.

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9 Responses to Protecting the Big Game ™

  1. foyle says:

    Since the 4th Amendment seems to no longer exist, I am wondering how long it will take before shutting down ‘illegal’ sites moves into the political/ideological realm.

    I have heard talking heads on TV and radio whining for years about sites like Drudge (especially if he links to stories that expose truth on their favorite candidate or issue). These crybabies use the same kind of logic about Drudge that the Feds seem to be applying to some of these sports sites — that is, if you post a link to a file deemed ‘illegal’ then you yourself are guilty of copyright infringement and theft of intellectual property. Strange how youtube (owned by the ‘good guys’ at Google) seems to get a pass on the millions of videos they HOST (not link to) which contain copyrighted material.

    As Mel Brook’s (portraying King Louis XVI in A History of the World) said when killing peasants and/or bedding the women of his choice “it’s good to be the king!”

  2. prboylan says:

    So under a strict interpretation of the “law”, anyone who uses a slingbox to relay the game from their home cable or satellite box to their cell phone or any remote location (such as an RV park in FL) is now a criminal, right? How is the slingbox streaming/rebroadcast technology different than what the small radio station operators are going to jail for?

    • Art Stone says:

      I’m not a lawyer, and don’t officially play one on the Internet. Slingbox probably is safe for now for two reasons. First, you are a customer of the TV services you are relaying (Cable TV or DirecTV), so you have a right to view that programming. The second is you are only viewing it yourself. If you resold access to your Slingbox to a third party or made its stream available to others (especially if you derive revenue from it), you’re in trouble.

  3. Parrott says:

    Big Game was OK, halftime show sucked.
    Rapper that flipped off everyone, really, really sucked. where do they get these clowns?

  4. 3tooz says:

    Soooo…… Does that also apply to a man of darker skin in a dark suit , standing on a platform with two micraphones or more in front of him , reading a speech off a clear plastic reflective device, breaking the law ? It seems that everytime he makes .speeches that almost every Television station and radio station broascast his event all at the same time. And don’t you think that MIA would really ad some class to his big event ? He likes that kind of “Music” ??? PS…You have to fogive my use of the word’s (speech and music), I find that I lack the ability to find other words to express what I ment. Thank You

    • Art Stone says:

      As an employee of the Federal Government, anything Barack Obama does in his official capacity as President is in the public domain, and not protected by Copyright. However, commentary by the hosts employed by the TV networks is protected by copyright.

      You will notice that when Rush Limbaugh plays clips of the Sunday shows, he always reads a paraphrase of the question that was asked and then the audio of the answer by the public figure. Rush can’t play the audio of the host / interviewer / moderator asking the question as that would be a copyright problem.

  5. JayMar says:

    I am glad I don’t care for sports or half-time shows. Too reminiscent of Huxley’s amusing ourselves to death.

  6. MrC_5150 says:

    No new posts for a week. Is everything okay?

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