David Stern Shoots an Airball

By Ryan McNeill

What was David Stern thinking when he told You Tube to take anything related to the NBA off of their site? Does he not get the whole concept of viral marketing? By having fans create clips of their favourite NBA moments it only serves to help increase the NBA’s brand awareness while increasing excitement over their product.

Preetom Bhattacharya wrote a great column called “Fans Lose Another One” about this for Hoopsworld. In his column Bhattacharya sums things up perfectly when he wrote, “By far the biggest blow in Stern’s destruction of the relationship between fans and the game, Stern has effectively removed an opportunity for fans to interact with basketball. These are the same fans that buy the tickets, jerseys, shoes, and posters, but they’re being shut out on the ‘net because David Stern’s backside needed some extra cushioning? Fans across the world watch short clips that others edit to make a highlight reel, often with music in the background and flashy graphics that these fans/video editors spend their free time putting together. Not only are they simply being fans and spending time on a hobby, but these people are damn good at what they do. In fact, they’re better than most arena video editors. They’re better than NBATV’s nightly Top Ten. Don’t believe me? Before it’s too late and YouTube is forced to take down the video, check out “Birth of a New Age: History of Flight” over at YouTube. The mix was compiled by four amateur video makers and chronicles the slam dunk and its rise in popularity. It’s an eight minute, power-packed reason as to why David Stern immediately needs to reconsider this decision. After watching this video, you may have realized the sheer amount of work put into making something like this come together, which is precisely why that single mix has been viewed nearly 28,000 times in the last year. No, the creators weren’t paid a dime for their hard work – they did it because they love the game of basketball.”

As readers of this site will know I post a Dunk of the Day. The majority of the clips have been from You Tube and have featured NBA players. However, now due to the changes that will be occurring at You Tube you will see some changes in that daily post. Now instead of posting clips from NBA games I’ll be posting clips of NBA stars in high school dunk contest, I’ll look for some clips of International players throwing down nasty crams and I’ll be chceking out the top players currently playing high school ball and I’ll post some clips from them.

Regardless of what conclusion David Stern comes to regarding You Tube the Dunk of the Day feature will continue here on HoopsAddict.com – it’s just frustrating as a fan that I won’t be able to draw on plays from my favourite league.

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15 thoughts on “David Stern Shoots an Airball

  1. You can also post Euroleague and European leagues dunks and clips, perhaps Mr.Stern wants NBA fans to watch more international basketball and less NBA.

    It’s incredible. Let’s ask Mark Cuban what’s his opinion.

  2. David Stern needs to check his love for controling this league like a rat in a cage. C’mon youtube? Give me a break, Stern. I mean, God forbid we, the basketball fanatics, that buy league pass, player’s signature shoes, tickets to games, NBA merchandise, and a plethora of other things have a resource like Youtube to give this league even more exsposure. I view this as unneeded opposition and just another example of Stern acting like a dictator. If he was really going to crack down on something, why doesn’t he crack down on all the knock off NBA merchandise on Ebay? There would be something worth dedicating some time to!

    ND

  3. Raul – Great idea! That’s something I would appreciate your help with. Perhaps giving me a heads-up on a couple of players to profile as I’m not familiar with many players currently playing in Euro leagues.

    Brian – The NBA does have an inhouse way of sharing clips (nba.com/video) but they don’t allow fans to generate their own clips. They have tried with Sprite’s Destination Dunk (nba.com/dunk) but I’m not a huge fan of what they have implemented so far.

    ND – Great point about Ebay! I think when money is exchanging hands (Ebay) it’s a much bigger deal than fans sharing videos (You Tube). However, now that Google has purchased You Tube it’s now owned by a company that could be forced to fork out big bucks if a lawsuit was won by the NBA.

    Mutoni – Great point about Google video but there are also a ton of other places such as MetaCafe that will see an increase in traffic. I think Google Video will be phased out because of You Tube but places like MetaCafe will thrive showing “bootleg” clips because they aren’t owned by a big company that could be worried about a lawsuit from the NBA.

  4. OK, just wanted to set things straight:

    A) the NBA and Google no longer have a deal. Also, Google now owns YouTube, so Stern is effectively saying “Google, take our videos off that site you just acquired”

    B) If Preetom thinks that fans can’t interact with the NBA anymore, he’s probably under one year of age because YouTube has only been around a little more than a year. What did fans do before YouTube? Some of them started blogs…just like us!

    C) Preetom fails to realize that David Stern is both a lawyer (and lawyers aren’t the most open-minded bunch of people when it comes to rights and content ownership and such) and that Stern represents 30 NBA team owners, who stand to gain no direct financial benefit from videos on YouTube or anywhere else being mixed and mashed for fun. Unless the NBA were still selling fans these clips, the owners wouldn’t approve of it.

    Anyone see where I’m coming from? I’m not saying I agree with Stern, but I see where he’s coming from: old, conservative guy is doing his job for the owners and holding on to dear life for what he (and the owners) consider to be their property being freely distributed.

  5. I can see where you are coming from, but honestly, how about policing the rampantness of “Official rip-off Merchandise”. The 30 NBA teams that Stern represents have a lot more to gain in that little venture than they do media clips, no?

  6. But the NBA can’t police individuals. It’s decentralized and they’re just people with little cash. YouTube is owned by Google, who are loaded, and can be sued for tons of cash. Nothing to gain by going after some small-timers, but lots to gain by going after big-timers.

  7. Chris – Completely agree with point A (that timing was perfect on the Commish’s part) but I disagree with point B and C. How do Blogs like this or yours help the NBA financially? We don’t drive up excitement the same way that dunk clips on You Tube do. This is a fun forum to add to water cooler chats but I don’t feel my site or yours add to the excitement that fans have for the game.

    In regards to point C, I alluded to that point in an earlier comment but I still don’t see why the NBA wouldn’t allow fans to create and post videos. You Tube hasn’t proven that they can generate substantial income from these clips so the fact that they are on You Tube doesn’t harm the NBA in anyway financially. I understand how The Commish wants to regulate the NBA’s image but I just don’t see how having fan clips on You Tube is a negative thing. I really like Nick’s point about rip-off merchandise on Ebay. Why doesn’t the NBA do something about this where it’s clearly cutting into their revenue?

  8. The NBA isn’t keen on allowing fans to mash up their videos because the videos belong to the NBA, plain and simple. They own the copyright. Remember the little bit that plays during every telecast? “This broadcast cannot be reproduced or retransmitted without the expressed written consent of the NBA”? To the NBA, that means something: don’t touch our goods.

    The NBA telling YouTube to take down their videos is probably a pre-emptive move. Google owns YouTube now, so things are going to change in the world of YouTube. All the copyright material will probably come down soon anyway. But here’s the rub: Google’s own video service, Google Video, didn’t make money selling NBA games, so the NBA took them down and ended the partnership. Now that Google owns Youtube, do you think the NBA will just allow Youtube to give away their material for free after it used to cost money on their other video service? I don’t think so.

    With regards to blogging, the difference is that it’s legal. We’re allowed to talk about the NBA all we like, so long as we don’t infringe upon any copyright laws or say anything that would damage their reputation.

    They need to understand that we’re in an age of the remix and mashup, where people want to express themselves creatively through channels like YouTube. The NBA “gets it” in many respects, but this is understandably one that isn’t easy for them to sign off on.

    Also, the NBA probably does try to crack down on people selling rip off stuff on eBay, but they can’t go after them all because it’s just not worth the time and energy to bring down small-time people. If the NBA went after everybody who sold fake goods, they would be broke paying all the lawyers who had to work to individuals selling single items for $50.

  9. What the hell happened to Stern!?

    Seriously, tucking in jerseys, the dress codes, the “no wristband rule”, I really don’t like where this is going. Its almost as if he wants to eliminate the “youth factor” from the NBA.

  10. I saw this coming a long time ago, especially when they went after a small site like mine for showing some Pistons footage here and there. The killer was they even had issue with images such as wallpapers and icons that I posted. Like my posting a couple of vidoes was going to take millions of dollars out the the pockets of the NBA executives.

  11. I think everyone in this thread so far in a fellow NBA blogger, so think of the issue thusly. Someone takes your writing/posts, rejigs it a bit without your permission, and uses it elsewhere in an attempt to make money (for them, not you).

    Yes, it’s on a different scale, but to me any “the NBA has plenty of money already” argument doesn’t hold water at all. It’s the principle of it…and it’s theft in both cases.

    Nick – I see what you’re saying about the ebay stuff, but that’s a little like if one person is bashing in your car with a baseball bat, and another is knocking over your mailbox with another bat. The mailbox guy is like, “Hey, why are you pissed at me? I should be allowed to do this. That guy over there is smashing your car in!”

    Imperfect analogy, but…yeah, that’s an imperfect analogy.

  12. Are people this reading this thread? Because I’d just like to chime in on Brian’s point about theft:

    Yes, it’s on a different scale, but to me any “the NBA has plenty of money already” argument doesn’t hold water at all. It’s the principle of it…and it’s theft in both cases.

    That’s what’s annoying and bad about it.. it’s comparable to the music industry (try to follow..) where individual songwriters don’t own their copyright to old masters anymore because large corporations bought them out years ago.
    So whenever you hear a song sampling from old records, even for 2 seconds worth, they’ll get heavily sued. Of course, copyright was implemented in the first place to protect the creator… but having made their earnings and selling their ownership of it, it is the corporations that goes after people that do remixes, not the creators

    Now.. the comparison is now NBA Media = Copryright Corporations. And at this stage I’d say it’s a bit more unfair because the video mixes aren’t really for sale from fans (unlike new song artists making songs with samples for a living)

    So I’m just saying, the idea of infringement of copyright is obviously a fundamental law for creators of any medium, but at some point, when it comes to sharing videos not for profit, Fair Use needs to be recognized.

    I know i know.. YouTube uses ads, which IS for profit.. and ever since Google bought them, it’s getting annoying for random slobs just posting things.. *oh sigh*..

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