Not deterred by the court ruling against them when they tried to keep fantasy sports sites from using baseball statistics, Major League Baseball is taking yet more measures to try to kill their community of online fans:
A group of top news and sports editors is planning to meet with Major League Baseball this week to discuss a string of new restrictions on media credentials that editors contend are an unfair limitation on Web-related reporting.
The new restrictions, which take effect later this month when the 2008 season begins, 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.
If you’ve already heard about this, it’s probably because of the blow it is to C. Trent Rosecrans, previously of the Cincinnati Post and now of 1530 HOMER fame:
I will not be live blogging, because MLB is cracking down on giving you information. They don’t want any competition for their gamecast. I will, however, update after every half-inning. I’ll probably still write live, just delay it. It’s a battle of semantics, but I’m only doing what I’m told by my people at 1530Homer.com. I apologize. It seems MLB doesn’t feel its content is good enough to go for a straight-up competition. I’ll do what I can. And again, I’m sorry. I’ll do my best to bend the rules.
|Picture by Beth Macre. See more on her blog.
My poor coworkers took the brunt of my rage after I read this news this afternoon. I’m still too angry to put my feelings about this eloquently, but I do feel like we need to do something about this.
My initial thought was to organize an email/snail mail campaign to MLB and each of the teams in the NLC to say how much we disapprove of this policy. I’ve already ditched the Reds for their behavior; it’s not an idle threat if I say I’ll start blogging football instead. The Colts rock.
Then I thought, if Congress is so willing spend their CSPAN3 air time to get involved in the steroids matter, perhaps they’d be willing to investigate whether MLB’s monopoly exemption allows them to trample on the first amendment and the entire spirit of free enterprise that we hold so dear in the United States. Maybe a petition would help.
Then I thought, hey, this might actually be illegal. Maybe the ACLU could get involved.
In any event, I’ll be writing a message to my fellow bloggers tonight to see if maybe we can get organized. If they’re willing to do this to their credentialed media, it’s only a matter of time before they’re dragging the Red Hot Mama into court to say I don’t have the right to deem anyone the NLC’s Hottest Baller without prior licensing.
I don’t usually ask for feedback because I can’t stand the silence when no one responds, but this is a time I’m willing to risk being left hanging to hear your views on the issue. Is MLB right to tell the media what they print (digitally) and when they can print it? What can we do about it?