August 18, 2009
Posted: 02:54 PM ET
Any baseball fan is familiar with MLB's frequent reminders not to rebroadcast a game without "the express written consent of Major League Baseball." But did you ever consider that your Facebook, Twitter or blog posts could be targeted by overzealous media regulations?
Can the SEC prohibit fans from sharing pictures similar to this iPhone shot of a Braves game I posted to my Facebook profile? Should they even bother trying?
According to current policy, Southeastern Conference (SEC) fans cannot "produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information."
Adam Ostrow, of Mashable.com, translates that to mean "no Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TwitPic, or any other service that could in any way compete with authorized media coverage of the event."
The SEC media-credential policy also states that violations may result in "ejection from the Event and prosecution for criminal trespass."
Conference spokesman Charles Bloom told the Charlotte Observer there are plans to loosen the restrictions, but the current policy forbids tweeting from the stands.
While speaking with CNN, Attorney Evan Brown questioned the legality of the SEC policy. Brown equates a ban on social media in state-sponsored schools to a violation of the First Amendment and a form of prior restraint.
Media-coverage rights to sporting events have always been expensive and, consequently, heavily policed (this year the U.S. Open banned all cameras and phones) but can social media possibly be restrained?
Could social media ever compete with authorized media coverage in a way that would threaten profits and rationalize SEC's media policy?
This afternoon the SEC released a revised version of its media policy (pdf). The revision provides exemptions for noncommercial updates and personal messages.
The new policy reads:
July 13, 2009
Posted: 10:40 AM ET
Sometimes you come back from the weekend already feeling behind. Here are a few of the latest tech stories to help you get back up to speed:
Microsoft Office 2010 gets the buzz award of the day. The new version of the mammoth computer applicaiton suite, which will be released to a select group today, is expected to challenge Web-based applications, like Google Docs, which have been gaining popularity. From TechCrunch:
More on what Office 2010 means in the big scheme of things from CNET:
Mashable has a good post on location-based phone services. A new survey says the number of people using location-based services will double to 5.7 million this year. The rise in GPS-enabled smartphones - those that know where you are and act like mini-computers - accounts for much of the increase.
Some cool ways to use these services, from the blog:
For the parents among us, BusinessWeek has an interesting story on the federal government's slashing of a program to put more technology in schools. Check out the story for the details of the impact, but the core of the story is in this factoid:
Finally, for those looking to purchase some of the many new gadgets out there - especially the iPhone 3G S - take note of this Ars Technica post, which says bricks instead of phones are turning up in some retail boxes. But don't blame the Apple store, the site says:
Are you a gadgethead? Do you spend hours a day online? Or are you just curious about how technology impacts your life? In this digital age, it's increasingly important to be fluent, or at least familiar, with the big tech trends. From gadgets to Google, smartphones to social media, this blog will help keep you informed.