The Rules Of The Game

(Stan Honda/AFP/Getty)
Last Thursday, I noted the rather, um, thorough rules that non-NBC media outlets had to follow if they wanted to use footage from the MSNBC-sponsored Democratic presidential debate.

Jeff Jarvis called the rules, which stipulated, among other things, that "internet use is not permitted," "ridiculous." Yesterday, Broadcasting & Cable brought word that he has a kindred spirit in presidential hopeful Barack Obama.

Calling on the Democratic National Committee and NBC to make video of the debate free and unrestricted, Obama noted "there is no reason that this particular class of content needs the protection."

No dice, says MSNBC's Jeremy Gaines, who points out that the footage will continue to be available online, just not in an unrestricted form. He notes that "this is our production and our footage."

Below, the usage rules for last night's MSNBC/Politco.com-sponsored Republican debate. Fun with legalese!


USAGE RULES FOR AUDIO OR VIDEO FROM THE MSNBC / POLITICO.COM GOP CANDIDATES' DEBATE on MAY 3, 2006 (8:00-9:30 PM ET)

No use of audio or video from MSNBC and POLITICO.com's
Republican Candidates Debate is allowed by non-NBC and non-POLITICO.com entities except as provided below.

News organizations, including radio, network television, cable
television, local television, and news and information websites may use
excerpts of "The Republican Candidates' Debate" only subject to the
following restrictions:

1. On television, an unobstructed onscreen credit "MSNBC /
POLITICO.com" must appear during each debate excerpt and remain on
screen for the entire excerpt. On the internet, video must stream with
the unobstructed credit as described above, or links to MSNBC.COM and
POLITICO.com for the duration of the stream.

2. On radio or television, each debate excerpt must be
introduced with an audio credit to MSNBC.

3. No excerpt may air or stream in any medium until the live
debate concludes at 9:30 pm ET.

4. No more than a combined total of 2 minutes of excerpts may be
chosen for use during the period from the end of the live debate (9:30
pm ET) until 1:00 am ET on Friday, May 4. After 1:00 am ET, Friday, May
4, a total of 10 minutes may be selected (including any excerpts aired
before 1:00AM). The selected excerpts may air as often as desired but
the total of excerpts chosen may not exceed the limits outlined.

5. No excerpts may be aired or streamed after 9:30 pm on
Saturday, June 2nd. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of
excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only.

6. All debate excerpts must be recorded directly from MSNBC's
cablecast or obtained directly from MSNBC and may not be obtained from
other sources, such as satellite or other forms of transmission. No
portions of the live event not aired by MSNBC may be used.

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