Baseball’s Disclaimer a Post Even Harvard Would Love


By Paul Mahaney

“This telecast is copyrighted and any rebroadcast, retransmissions, pictures, descriptions, or accounts of this game without the express written permission of Major League Baseball are prohibited.”

It is said a picture is worth a thousand words, and although I feared that there had yet been a picture taken that could adequately project the ugliness that is Giants baseball of late, what happened in Atlanta yesterday and today managed to confirm those fears.

This will no doubt come as good news to those of you expecting such a picture, or even fearing another 1000 word post from me, especially if it is about the Giants, as most of you could care less about the boys from San Francisco anyway, or about whatever I might happen to write about them.

However that being said, that is not true about Major League Baseball. You see they care a great deal about what I post every Sunday, or for that matter anytime I post. No one was more surprised than I.

Before every broadcast of any game, Giants and A’s games notwithstanding, we hear this disclaimer. It applies to everyone, no buts; it applies to fans and journalist alike. It applies to anyone who dares to write, videotape, or reprint photographs of any MLB game.

You see, copyright to them is a big deal, I guess it is to anybody who owns one, and why not it’s their work they paid for it.

Yet in my haste to make a better post I often try to include images, mind you, I am not out to steal or harm anyone and their work. Now sometimes I will even use actual pictures from a game itself, and in doing so it is my hope that it will distract from my atrocious writing in my post, not that I would ever be guilty of such an atrocity.

Subsequently on occasions (meaning all the time), I have neglected to credit the photographer who took the photo in the first place. I feel a post is generally enlivened by pictures, and on balance I feel most of you feel the same, but we should probably also credit the good people who take them.

I admit to feeling guilty about not crediting the photographers whose photos I’ve used in the past, and want to go on record as saying I will do my very best to change that in the future, short of using my own photos. I also would like to say that I did it because it seems everybody else does it too.

Now at this very moment mom’s everywhere are saying, I suppose if someone went and jumped off a curb and fell in the street, that you’re going to do it too. Well hell no mom, I’ll just snap a picture of the moment, geez! After which dad probably will say, well be sure to get that copyright son.

Go to Google find a photo that applies to what you’re writing about, download it and then put it into your post. Everyone does it, some give credit to the photographer or agency in the caption, while others may not be aware that perhaps you should, or still others figure no one will sue.

But on occasions someone does sue, and when that happens ouch. It may not be our intent to commit a copyright infringement, nevertheless if we do, it can result in some uncomfortable problems to say the least. I believe here is where the law (and mom) will tell you, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Also this is where my wife say’s, what are they going to do, put everybody in jail? Well dear, excuse me for being selfish, but I am not exactly concerned about everyone else. I think they call this self preservation, and avoidance of that bar of soap on the floor, but back to bending, uh the rules.

Now there are a number of sights that deal with photos like Creative Commons, Flickr, and Pixabay and the photos are all free, or most are anyway. For example there are occasions where perhaps there is a request for written permission for use of the photo first, but usually they grant it.

Yet most of the photos as a rule are more generic in nature with some exceptions for baseball teams, but in general not many photos of recent games. That being said I am going to now attempt to figure out how to use these sites in the future.

Fact is, I really don’t know if what all of us are doing when we provide any images in our post are actually illegal or not? I can’t even say with any reasonable assurance that giving credit for the images we use will not be a violation of the copyright laws, as some still require written permission for use, and that might take a while. I mean the whole issue is bogged down in murky mumbo jumbo whether I object or not. Sorry your honor I don’t want to be found in contempt.

Guess that won’t help me for this week’s post though, so I guess my stick people drawing will have to do, since its mine I used a little creative license showing the Giants scoring, as they didn’t tonight.

I like to think that at least we are promoting baseball in all its glory when we write and post photos, not to mention promoting interest in the game we love. But that might not help me if Bud Selig and his corporate attorney’s decide to come after me with a bat.

This may be the first time that I regret not finishing that law degree from Harvard. Sorry mom. Hey if anyone read this (fat chance of that) I came in under a 1000 words. Yep “brevity is the soul of wit” thank you Bill Shakespeare, could say Bill and I go way back, darn a 1000 words again.


Posted on June 16, 2013, in Athletics, Braves, Giants and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Sent from my Android phone on T-Mobile. America’s first nationwide 4G network.

  2. LOL that a boy Dave giving credit to T-Mobile. You deserve a residual check for that.

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