Sunday, September 02, 2007

Now I know I we have made it! Swimming World link to us.

I am sublimely flattered; Swimming World linked to us regarding my questioning of the transparency of the WMG/USA Swimming marketing deal.

All WMG/USA Swimming press releases have been murky and full of marketing-speak. More summarily state that commercial interests will be created and placed along side USA Swimming's interests. These are WMG's words in a press release quoting another NGB partner:

“...This approach is a response to the ever changing marketplace of sports today. WMG’s technology, market savvy, and capital investment will help us build something new and provide a comprehensive platform to members, fans, and corporate partners. This combined effort will allow us to create resources that promote our brands, programs, athletes, and events, and serve the passions of those who care about these sports on a daily basis,” said Steve Penny, President, USA Gymnastics..."

This whole thing started when I couldn't post some You Tube and Google videos of various swims at 2007 US Nationals which were shot by fans in the stands. It stated that WMG had them removed since they owned the rights. I got pissed off and couldn't grasp how WMG could own the rights since they didn't even sponsor the meet. This led me to believe that WMG was given the rights by USA Swimming but how is USA Swimming allowed to profit from these rights since they are a non-profit?


"In the coming months we will be launching a new commercially-oriented web site that will be designed to better market and promote our sport. This is going to be a very exciting development for swimming and this new site will hopefully create an extremely active 'social community' for not only our members, but for anyone interested in learning more about all aspects of swimming." [Link]


Scott said...

Why wouldn't Swimming World link to your site? I haven't found any other website concerning itself with this very relevant subject. I'm following the thread with considerable fascination to see where it goes. What it seems you need is a legal opinion on whether USA Swimming legally owns the sport in the United States through its federal government mandate. I wonder if we could find a legal firm who'd be willing to do some probono work. If a class-action was filed to contest USA Swimming's right to do so it could have precedent setting implications for sport in America. Can't help but smile as it seems I'm not the only one to tilt at windmills.

lala said...
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lala said...

I am finding it ever more dificult to know what I am allowed to do in my own way to increase the profile of the sport. When I heard that people were being asked to remove video of races from youtube, I was sad for spectators and athletes alike. Swimming is under represented in the media in the US as it is. The spectator footage, or a "grassroots approach" seems to be such a great way to get people to notice what is going on in the sport. Prior to the blitz of the Olympics.

If you see my grainy footage of a race shot from the stands, I think it would only compel you to try to find the better footage. I know I am always looking to watch more footage of races online. It is a shame what little there is out there could be lost due to a dispute over "ownership".

Tony Austin said...

This is my guess, I think WMG went to to USA swimming and said we will market you for free endemically through our media properties such as 'Sportnet' and 'Timed Finals' if you allow us to sell advertising therein.

However, if USA Swimming accepts money from this arrangement, then there could be some issues with their non-profit status.

I am going to publish a list of video sharing services who validate copyright claims before the removal of a users video.

Anonymous said...

It's so hard for me to find video of races. They always seem to be pulled down and this makes no sense because I can't see anywhere I can buy these videos and it disencourages being a fan of swimming. It's really sad and pathetic.

Swimming could be more popular than it is currently and exposure gives more in the bigger picture. Like I say, how are they making money from taking the videos down anyway.

I would love to have somewhere with all of the Olympic, World Championship races going back decades indexed and viewable.