Unlike Either Fighter, Video Taken Down

May 8, 2007

By reading MJD’s post at Deadspin on Sunday, I learned that the De La Hoya-Mayweather fight was on YouTube and so I rewatched some of it on account of not having seen some of it that well the first time around. Now comes the inevitable news that HBO had YouTube pull the video as of 4pm Monday due to a copyright complaint. This is why MJD, in providing the link to the bout, wrote, “I suggest you enjoy it as soon as you possibly can.”

I’m not here to bash copyright law, though it would be nice if boxing could get away from the pay-per-view model and have title fights on network TV or basic cable (I know, not going to happen). What strikes me about this episode and various other recent events is that it was predictable this would get on YouTube, be watched by lots of people, then be removed. It’s an easy way to avoid paying the $55 for the fight if you’re willing to wait until someone posts it the next day.

I can’t help but think that copyright holders will get wise to this recurrent pattern and crack down on the YouTubes of the world more effectively in the future. We might remember this as the golden age of free web video, much like Napster circa 2000.

Also see the Bill Simmons rant about the “business arrangement” between the boxers and hilarious recap of Floyd Mayweather Sr’s interview.