On Monday evening, popular sports-related Twitter accounts of two major online media companies, @Deadspin and @SBNationGIF, were suspended.
At first, rumors went around that MLB, or the organization’s digital arm MLB Advanced Media, was behind it, presumably over content-rights issues, but the complainant was subsequently alleged to be the NFL. That came from Lacey Donohue, managing editor of Gawker Media, Deadspin’s parent company, and it was corroborated by others.
The NFL is very restrictive about its footage and may have filed a Digital Media Copyright Act (DMCA) complaint with Twitter about the use of GIFs and/or Vines by @Deadspin and @SBNationGIF. According to the Wall Street Journal, SB Nation received suspension notices from Twitter during last year’s World Cup, apparently originating from Univision.
NFL video clips can only be viewed at its Web site and can’t be embedded elsewhere, except in cases of certain corporate partners. Interestingly, Twitter itself became one of those partners in 2013, and in August, the social-media giant announced that Twitter users will “have access to significantly more official NFL content than in the past.”
Not surprisingly, the reaction online to the suspensions of @Deadspin and @SBNationGIF was overwhelmingly derisive of the NFL.
Briefly on Monday, Keith Olbermann lent his Twitter account to Deadspin and, a little later Monday evening, Deadspin’s Twitter account was reactivated. When it was, it wasted no time taking aim at a certain target.
Update: The NFL reportedly was not alone in filing DMCA complaints against the two Twitter accounts.
(H/T Awful Announcing)