Copyright battle over sports clips plays out on Twitter

Copyright battle over sports clips plays out on Twitter
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Twitter temporarily shut down a pair of prominent accounts run by sports news websites over the holiday weekend for posting short clips of NFL and college football highlights.

Deadspin’s account and one run by SB Nation were removed after receiving takedown notices under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law that says websites cannot be liable for what their users post but which also requires those websites to remove infringing content when it is flagged.


Deadspin’s account was reinstated after being down for about two hours Monday evening, while the SB Nation account, @SBNationGIF, was still down Tuesday morning.

The sharing of unauthorized sports highlights has been a point of past contention on social media platforms and how it relates to fair use. During the World Cup, a bot that automatically created and shared clips of every goal received takedown notices on Twitter and other social media sites at the time.

SB Nation’s account was suspended over college football GIFs, according to The Verge, a sister company of the sports website.

Deadspin told media organizations it received 18 takedown notices from the NFL about 16 tweets that included GIFs of football highlights. After Twitter stripped the GIFs out of the tweets, the account was reinstated.

Deadspin sent out a number of mocking tweets about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the dustup. 

Twitter recently signed a two year deal with the NFL to bring official highlights to the platform. The deal finalized in August is an extension of one first inked in 2013. The NFL has similar deals with Facebook and YouTube, according to reports.