If you’ve ever watched a baseball game, you’ve probably heard that absurd disclaimer that “express written permission” is needed to give an account of a game. Well, Major League Baseball — the US Federal Communications Commission has happily ignored your rule.
First, the disclaimer. A writer at the Consumerist did a funny look at this last year, when he tried to obtain permission to describe a game to a friend. The warning goes:
Any rebroadcast, retransmission, or account of this game, without the express written consent of Major League Baseball, is prohibited.
Any account of the game needs written permission? Seriously, MLB? So all those people who tweet from games, or while watching them (count me among the guilty) are violators?
It’s a stupid disclaimer. And now the FCC is ignoring it. In the wake of the Cablevision-Fox dispute (see this PDF from the FCC for more), the FCC has started live tweeting scores out of the current Phillies-SF Giants game. First came this:
Baseball fans disappointed about missing game three? (2-0 SF, top 5th) Cablevision-Fox dispute info at http://FCC.gov/consumer
and next this:
We’re filling in the baseball void for those without Fox-Cablevision. Matt Cain pitching a beauty. SF up 3-0 http://FCC.gov/consumer
Good for you, FCC. Plus, I feel more secure tweeting baseball in the future. Not that I was that worried.