Xeni Jardin of BoingBoing asks, can you legally broadcast video over Wi-Fi using personal equipment at SBC Park?: The new Wi-Fi system at SBC Park is free this year, and ostensibly high speed enough for practical use. Thus, the question arises, without express written permission of Major League Baseball, one of the greatest legal phrases composed in the modern era, can a fan broadcast the game? There may be trademark and contract issues, an EFF staff attorney informally notes.
This is part of the entire set of issues raised by the Broadcast Flag and related restrictions on personal use of sound, image, and motion that has some copyrighted or protected part. As Cory Doctorow, another BoingBoing editor and EFF's evangelist has asked in the past, if you're filming your kid's birthday and the TV is on in the background and you pan by a Broadcast Flag protected program, does your camera lock up? If not, when you play back the video, does your VCR or computer refuse to play it?
I suppose MLB can't project a Broadcast Flag on the physical baseball diamond, thus preventing them from preventing you from recording in the first place. But if we can use Wi-Fi, it means we can bring computers in. If we can bring computers in, then we're going to be bringing in devices that can record and broadcast. If they restrict video cameras, we bring in digital cameras that have video capability and live output. There's no corking the bottle.