Way back in January we posted this low-quality video, filmed off some schmo's TV screen, of a sound guy tripping and falling as Ryuji Imada prepared for his drive. It was not the pinnacle of sports commentary, but it was a guy falling down, and I thought it was pretty funny.
The PGA Tour disagreed. They sent us a nice little letter on PGA letterhead, noting that "deadspin.com is displaying unauthorized PGA TOUR video content....This footage could not have been captured except in violation of the PGA TOUR's on-site policies, and in violation of PGA TOUR's copyrights." You can see that letter here. Also included was a helpful printout of the post, including all of the comments, for some reason.
We forwarded it on to our fearless legal staff, who apparently got around to replying earlier this month. (They're the best.) They wrote back to the PGA, arguing fair use. Well, the PGA Tour got back to us today, rejecting the fair use argument. Their letter is here, but here's our favorite line:
"Gawker used the most substantial, important, and commercially profitable portion of PGA TOUR's content."
Once again, we're talking about a guy falling down. If that's the most profitable portion of the entire Humana Challenge broadcast, they've got bigger problems than some tinpot website milking it for laughs. The video stays up. Damn the man, save the Empire.