Friday, August 21, 2009

The Crackdown By The SEC

I have an SEC fan and unfortunate Arkansas supporter that has requested that I blog about the recent media restrictions implemented for the upcoming football season.

According to these restrictions, SEC fans are not allowed to “produce or disseminate (or aid in producing or disseminating) any material or information about the event, including, but not limited to, any account, description, picture, video, audio, reproduction or other information concerning the event.” The reason behind these restrictions are to prevent people interfering with a deal the SEC has made with a new digital network called XOS Technologies.

My first reaction to this news was to stultify this rule and claim that the conference is basically killing a fly with a flamethrower. I mean, have you seen the youtube videos fans upload from football games? They're awful. Blurred video, random sound. None of them would take away from a proper re-broadcast of the game.

These personal broadcast restrictions are like the ones imposed on aliens in the movie District 9. Except for the slums. And weaponry. And threats of genocide. (Don't worry, I'll stop before I give too much away.) Okay, these restrictions are nothing like those in District 9, but they are restrictions, which I generally hate.

The more I think about it though, I believe the SEC is simply making a preemptive move for the inevitable advances in technology. Some smart phones might become as powerful as a good video camera. This is when these media restrictions will come into effect. You can't walk into a movie theater with a video camera to make bootleg copies. You shouldn't do it in a football game either.

The key to this rule is how it's enforced this year. If you see security guards removing fans by the bus load for simply tweeting about how cool the game is, then SEC officials have clearly lost their minds and there will be issues. But my feeling is this rule is just a precedent for the future when personal media devices become advanced enough to rival professional equipment. After all, nothing is more important to SEC fans than their beloved football teams.

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