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Back to the Internet ‘stone ages’ for the NBA

… because of copyright. See this ESPN article: Back to the Internet ‘stone ages’ for the NBA. As noted there,

Take a spin today through the NBA’s digital space and you’ll encounter the usual stuff.

There’s a menacing Kevin Garnett atop the Celtics’ site, with an image of Rajon Rondo on the right margin alongside a pitch to “Get Your Tickets Now” for the 2011-12 season.

Scroll down the Clippers’ main page and you’ll find a catalog of videos featuring Blake Griffin doing Blake Griffin things.

At the Heat’s site, you’ll see an archive that contains Couper Moorhead’s “Prized Possession” features, which include game footage to break down crucial plays.

David Stern has said that if negotiations progress between now and Thursday, there’s a possibility the deadline for the current collective bargaining agreement could be extended. “We know how to stop the clock if we’re close,” Stern said.

Does it really matter if there’s an extension of the CBA in July or a lockout? After all, there aren’t any games nor do players get paid during this summer.

But for the guys who are in charge of those team websites and NBA.com, the pending deadline is a huge deal.

That’s because the moment the clock strikes midnight on the current CBA, all those images and videos of NBA players have to disappear off NBA-owned digital properties. Depending on how you interpret “fair use,” the prohibition could include the mere mention of a player’s name on an NBA-owned site, though different teams have different interpretations of this particular stipulation.

Over the past few weeks, NBA website administrators and support staff have endured two-hour conference calls and countless planning sessions to figure out how to eliminate all these photos, highlights, articles and promotional features from the sites.

There are additional gray areas that are still up for discussion: What about a photo of a Lakers fan wearing a No. 24 Kobe Bryant jersey? What about a retrospective feature on the John Stockton-Karl Malone Jazz teams? Do tweets from the team’s official Twitter feed that mention a player and/or link to an image need to be deleted? How about Facebook posts?

Nobody seems to know for certain the definitive answers to these questions and the criteria seem to be arbitrary. According to more than one team website staffer, the cutoff for images of retired players right now stands at 1992-93 — Shaquille O’Neal’s first season in the league. And social media is an area they’re still grappling with as the deadline approaches.

[H/t Skip Oliva]

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To the extent possible under law, Stephan Kinsella has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to C4SIF. This work is published from: United States. In the event the CC0 license is unenforceable a  Creative Commons License Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License is hereby granted.