NBA Asks YouTube to Pull Brawl Clips


An old friend from high school sent me a link to a story he’d written about Nate Robinson for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. But his lede was uncannily prescient:

With his role in the brawl at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Nate Robinson continues his quest to be the most YouTube-worthy player in the NBA. A fan-created music video of the 2006 Slam Dunk contest, won by Robinson, is the site’s most-viewed basketball video. Robinson’s block of Yao Ming is probably the single most-watched play of this NBA season. And by now you’ve seen him rolling around the Garden floor with Denver’s J.R. Smith.

First, the brawl at the Garden was viewed more times than the block of Ming by Robinson, and it seems that the NBA has asked YouTube to pull the clip in an example of brand image management.

Or perhaps it’s a bit of bad-news censorship by selective copyright enforcement — since the NBA seems to have no problem with the hundreds of other clips hosted on YouTube featuring dazzling athletics and otherwise sportsmanlike behavior.


Liz pointed out that slightly edited versions of the same clip still abound, as well as some user videos that don’t use NBA footage. Until the NBA and its lawyers catch up, it looks like Nate Robinson’s reign over YouTube basketball highlights is secure.




I could not agree more on this. THis is a bad idea and we think it is not a direction YouTube should take. The brawl was on National TV, ESPN shows the damn clip every day, five times a day. What a dumb ass idea to get it censored.


I think YouTube is gonna set a bad precedent by allowing censorship like this. I’m a former student from UCLA and I remember witnessing the infamous UCLA tasoring via YouTube. Imagine if they removed the clip simply because it ‘tarnished’ the rep of the campus police officers? YouTube should continue showing uncensored news clips as its one of the only sources to see such video.

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