Who says Twitter does nothing important?
For the record (again), I think Twitter is one of the silliest things, ever. It adds very little to anyone’s life, almost anywhere, and is really only useful as a marketing tool.
Now: everyone please sign up for a Twitter account, and show the National Football League what you think of them.
If you’re not a sports fan this may mean nothing to you, but if you’ve ever watched sports on TV or listened on the radio you’re familiar with the phrase “unauthorized use of the pictures, descriptions and accounts of this game without the express written consent of . . .” . Now, Twitter will be the test ground for what that really means. Facebook, too.
The NFL, notoriously aggressive in protecting their assets (ever notice how commercials always refer to The Super Bowl as “the big game”?), has issued rules that prohibit players and basically anyone associated with players from tweeting, not only during games, but for 90 minutes after games end.
If this were about on-field conduct, I could see it. But it isn’t. The NFL is literally trying to prevent anyone from speaking (OK, typing) in a way that might lower the resale value of broadcast rights for their games.
I think I want to go watch a football game at a bar, stand outside and tell passers-by what’s happening, because that’s what talking about a game on Twitter or Facebook amounts to.
Chad Ochocinco? Terrell Owens? Are you listening?
Your argument doesn’t add up.
Nobody is allowed to use “unauthorized use of the pictures, descriptions and accounts of this game without the express written consent of . . .” Nobody. Not even game players.
But this is about something else. Players etc are not allowed to Tweet during or after the game (the original article actually says that players have been restricted from doing this for a long time and that the only thing that’s changed is that the NFL is restricting a wider net now).
In summary, those two restrictions are mutually exclusive and restrict two very different things: one doesn’t allow reproduction of NFL copyrighted subject. The other doesn’t allow tweets from their employees during certain times no matter what they are.
In addition, this is not an issue of “free speech” as you would have one believe. When one refers to “free speech,” one, in general, is referring to the consitutional concept that the government shouldn’t infringe on speech. That concept does not reach private parties (ie the NFL). The NFL is free to contract with its associates to curb their speech. That’s what they did here.
I agree that the NFL or any other business has the right to set rules for its employees, and I never played the free speech card.
And I’m not at all interested in arguing about whether the NFL has the contractual right to do this/change this/ add this, because I’m not the NFLPA’s lawyer or any other kind of adviser to them.
What I said was that the NFL is making or expanding/enforcing their anti-social-media/Twitter/Facebook/whatever rule not only to control the players’ actions (and as you point out they have that right) but to make a statement to the world about how jealously they care to protect their assets.
People have been live-blogging—if not calling it that—for years, and now that it’s a social phenomenon the NFL wishes to legislate it. My point was simply that the NFL is making itself look stupid. They should find a way to embrace the change instead of making futile efforts to fight it.
>>>I never played the free speech card.
When I hover over the title of this page is says, “The NFL Doesn’t Believe in Free Speech….”
If you’re not playing the free speech card, what does that title mean?
I don’t think you want to argue whether they have a contractual right to do this because the simple fact is that you’ve caught yourself in a web of half truths.
You said: “unauthorized use of the pictures, descriptions and accounts of this game without the express written consent of . . .” . Now, Twitter will be the test ground for what that really means. Facebook, too.”
You never really explained what one has to do with the other.
You said: The NFL is literally trying to prevent anyone from speaking….
That’s not true. The NFL is trying to prevent their own players from speaking. As you said, they can do that. They are absolutely not trying to prevent anyone else from live blogging or anything like that. They aren’t doing it and they can’t. So, what’s the problem again?
You also missed the point that these rules for the players have been around for a long time. The real news here (which you failed to pick up on from the article you cited to, btw) . According to the article: “The fact that the NFL won’t allow tweeting during games isn’t new. The league instituted the policy for players after they started using technology in touchdown celebrations. But the updated regulations now extend to just about anyone who is remotely involved in the game.”
So, what has the harm been? How has the NFL looked stupid? By trying to protect their property? By trying to protect their players (NFL stars say some stupid stuff sometimes). How does stopping their own players stop anyone else?
I see the free speech reference, and apologize for missing it earlier. It wasn’t in the post or the keywords, and it hadn’t occurred to me that you were picking it up in the description that pops up when you hover. And I’ll tell you what: as a concept/construct, you’re right; that isn’t what this conversation is about; “free speech” probably is best thought of as a legal tenet and nothing more.
At the same time, I feel as though your argument is missing the point as well. From a literal standpoint, everything you say is correct. From an editorial perspective, on the other hand, it looks to me as though the NFL is doing a land grab with this policy. Yes, it only directly effects their employees (and by the way, that’s incorrect as well; the players are not league employees but employees of the teams they play for, and their agents, et. al., are not even associated with the league in any official way). In issuing this policy they are attempting to go way beyond what the players can do and exert influence over others.
What I did was express my belief in that statement and take it a step or three further: the NFL is trying to change the way not only their employees but other people do things, and at the extreme they are trying to use Twitter and Facebook and the other social media tools to put more teeth into their “pictures, descriptions, and accounts” position.
Like I said: not a legal argument or statement(s) of fact. Editorial license. And where I learned it, the purpose of editorial is to make people think.
Well, it *did* make me think….