An Open Letter to T3Media

Thomas R. Buchanan
Corporate Counsel
T3Media Inc.
1530 16th Street, 6th Floor
Denver, CO 80202-1464
[email protected]

Hey Tom. How’s it going? You probably remember me and mgovideo from your cease and desist letter dated October 11, 2011. Most of this site’s visitors will remember you and T3Media as being responsible for the indiscriminate deletion of thousands of fan-created YouTube videos, many if not most of which were fair use of copyrighted material according to 17 U.S.C. § 107.

The Big Ten doesn’t own the rights to Don Criqui BOOM DENARD’D, Ondre Pipkins’ Hoke Impression, Jack Kennedy rapping to an Ohene Opong-Owusu beat, Facepalm Guy, GERG tickles Demens with a stuffed beaver, Vincent Smith’s Finger Guns, or anything Wolverine Historian was able to create from his dad’s old VHS tapes. All of those videos belonged to the people who made and enjoyed them and you had no right or responsibility to destroy all of that. That said, with the Big Ten’s launch of BTN2Go International making every Big Ten home game accessible to virtually everyone on the planet for a reasonable price, I have decided to make the following changes to the mgovideo site effective immediately:

1. The site’s bittorrent tracker is offline and will remain offline.

2.  Links to or embeds of full games have been removed and won’t be posted anywhere on the site in the future.

I understand that part of the reason that all of my videos were deleted was because some of them were full games that the Big Ten owned the rights to. I started mgovideo in the summer of 2007 when I realized after the launch of BTN that I and presumably many people like me would have no way to watch Michigan football games that fall. As a U.S. Army veteran and lawful permanent resident of another country, I was then and have been since sympathetic to deployed personnel, expats and foreign fans who had no way to watch games legally.

That first summer, the site’s community consisted of maybe 10 active members. My biggest mistake is probably running mgovideo as if the community is still just 10 when it has grown closer to 10,000. Everyone makes mistakes. Remember that time the Big Ten and T3Media signed a contract that required you to delete game footage on YouTube instead of just taking the ad revenue like the SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC and Notre Dame do? Yeah, that was pretty stupid, but it doesn’t mean that T3Media can’t make changes in the future to prevent itself from being consumed by a self-inflicted PR shitstorm.

I should probably also clarify for you and the site’s visitors what will not change:

1. Video content from mgoblue.com will be uploaded and embedded until they make their video player both embeddable and compatible with mobile devices and modern HTML5 browsers.

2.  Inside Michigan Football with Brady Hoke will be uploaded and embedded until mgoblue, BTN or Fox Sports make a high quality stream available.

3.  Extended HD highlights of Michigan football and basketball games within the 8-minute limit specified by T3Media will be uploaded and embedded.

4.  Other video content from various sources that doesn’t fit into any of the above categories will be aggregated and embedded.

Thanks for your time and attention to this matter.

GO BLUE!

Thorin