SBD/June 28, 2011/Media

NBA Will Have To Remove Player Images, Videos From Website If CBA Expires

NBA will launch rudimentary version of website if CBA expires
Images and videos of NBA players "have to disappear off NBA-owned digital properties" if a new CBA is not reached before the current agreement expires at the end of the day Thursday, according to Kevin Arnovitz of ESPN.com. Depending on how you "interpret 'fair use,' the prohibition could include the mere mention of a player's name on an NBA-owned site." NBA website administrators and support staff over the past few weeks 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." The NBA "has built and furnished each team with a website 'wire frame' that will take the place of the existing, much more sophisticated site." The wire frame is a "rudimentary version of the site, without a lot of the snazzy technology we've grown accustomed to seeing." As a result, "each of the 30 team sites will look virtually identical." One team website administrator said, "We're going back to the stone ages of the Internet. It's all going to be very dumbed down." Staffers are "going through thousands upon thousands of subpages, looking for any representations or mentions of NBA players." Arnovitz wrote, "It's no secret that team websites are far more about promoting the team than they are about providing the fan with hard news about basketball. That presents a major complication for those in charge of marketing the teams. How much can Rockets.com write about Clutch the Bear before fans tune out and go elsewhere for their Rockets fix?" (ESPN.com, 6/27).
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