Rules Of Engagement

(AP)
This morning, an email landed in my inbox with the usage guidelines for tonight's MSNBC-sponsored debate between the Democratic presidential candidates. These are the rules that non-NBC media outlets need to follow if they want to use any of video of the event. The rules are fairly standard of the restrictions that media outlets often apply when it comes to content like this, and they are nothing if not thorough:
1. An unobstructed onscreen credit "MSNBC" must appear during each debate excerpt and remain on screen for the entire excerpt.

2. Each debate excerpt must be introduced with an audio credit to MSNBC.

3. No excerpt may air in any medium until the live debate concludes at 8:30 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 (8:30 pm ET) until 1:00 am ET on Friday, April 27. After 1:00 am ET, Friday, April 27, 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 after 8:30 pm on Saturday, May 26th. Excerpts may not be archived. Any further use of excerpts is by express permission of MSNBC only.

6. All debate excerpts must be taped 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.

Oh, and no Internet use whatsoever. But otherwise, go nuts!

UPDATE: Jeff Jarvis is outraged at these rules. He asks: "What makes NBC think it has the right to own the democratic discussion in this country?"