Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Judges Called the YouTubes and the Judges Said, "No More Pine Tar May Your Users Embed"

This Monday, July 23, Rustoleum’s beloved Yankees come to Kansas City to take on the Royals in a four-game series. On Tuesday the 24th, the 24th anniversary of the Pine Tar Incident, the first 20,000 fans into Kauffman Stadium will get a commemorative powder blue George Brett t-shirt with pine tar smudges on the front and the back. Good stuff. I happen to work with a Yankees fan, we’ve even gone to a Royals-Yankees game together. Last night, we were talking about the series and, upon mentioning the t-shirt giveaway, it occurred to me that he’d no clue about this famed piece of baseball lore. Granted, he’s from Mexico and a Yankees fan solely because of the club’s vast number of championships, but whatever.

Anyway, I took the young lad up to the office to consult the almighty InterWebs and quickly found myself disturbed, then angry, and finally downright pissed. Here is why: It appears that a recent court ruling has determined any and all Pine Tar footage to be the property of Major League Baseball, and any seven-minute-plus clip from the YouTubes is in fact, in copyright violation of that property. Not good stuff.

Read a slightly more educated synopsis of the event here, should you desire. Or see what the YouTubes have in place of what was once the locale for Pine Tar footage here. So now, any young buck that wants to query the Pine Tar footage has only the option of doing so here, the MLB Web site, where they will probably attempt to charge you money for breathing. Very ungood stuff. offers a nice summary of the Incident here, my favorite part of which is the following:

"On August 18 (a scheduled off day for both teams), the game was resumed from the point of
Brett's home run. Martin symbolically protested the continuation of the game by putting
first baseman Don Mattingly (who threw left-handed) at second base, and pitcher Ron Guidry in center field. Before the first pitch to Hal McRae (who followed Brett in the lineup), Martin challenged Brett's home run on the grounds that Brett had not touched all the bases on his way home, and maintained that there was no way for the umpires (who were a different crew from those who worked on July 24) to dispute this. In response, umpire Davey Phillips produced an affidavit signed by the July 24 umpires and stating that Brett had indeed touched all bases. An irate Martin continued to argue with the umpires and was ejected from the game. The game finally continued with no further runs scored by either team and the Royals preserving their 5-4 win."

The point of this post, though, is to point out the absurdity of this ruling, what it might mean for those of us that troll the CyberUniverses and take full advantage of the Googles and the YouTubes that live on our block. What next? Will we be offereing credit to someone just because they wrote it? I suppose photgraphers and musicians won't be far behind, demanding royalties and currencies in every nook and cranny.

Why would you deprive the world of watching the best third baseman of all time losing his freaking mind? Beats the pants off of me.