TV Rights holders and small, wearable cameras, will go to war? Nascar style

Today Tyler Anderson shot some video and shared it on Twitter. He shot it with his cell phone. What was it of? A big wreck at Daytona that seriously injured several people.

I watched the video before it was blocked by Nascar for copyright reasons. It shows the point of view of a fan that was almost killed by a flying tire off of a car. That made it a news event. When there is a news event all copyright has to sit down and allow use of video and other media via "fair use" protections. But Nascar is still claiming copyright on the video (on the back of every ticket it says that Nascar owns all video, even stuff you shot).

Why do events do this? Because there's big money in selling TV rights. Sometimes billions of dollars. When I hung out with the Target Indy team they said I couldn't shoot their car on the track, only in the pits. They explained that that rule existed to protect the billions of dollars that TV pays the sport to have exclusive TV rights.

But now we are about to see a revolution in small, wearable cameras. Google's +Project Glass  is just the most famous one. 

A couple of weeks ago I met the founders of +Epiphany Eyewear, started by a couple of Stanford Students. They showed me their new 3D printed prototypes that hold a 1080p video camera and can record more than an hour of video. 

I've seen other cameras, like these, that can even stream video. Pairasight's founder told me (audio recording of interview here: ) that his 3D glasses could stream 1.5 hours to something like Ustream or Google+ Hangouts on a single battery charge. 

So, imagine that thousands of people will have wearable cameras like these soon at such an event. Can Nascar really claim ownership of all that video? Will that stand up in court? I don't think it will. I certainly don't think it should, particularly when a news event happens that should push video of that short event into fair use. 

I wonder how the law will change. But it is clear there's a war coming between TV rights holders and fans who have wearable cameras on. 

How will it play out? I'm not sure. 

By the way, all Nascar did was ensure that every media outlet will replay this video over and over so many more people are likely to see it now.
February 23, 2013
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