Social Networking Sports Business

The Impact of Social Networking on the Sports World


What: Panel: The Impact of Social Networking on the Sports World, Presented by the New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section

When: Tuesday, November 17, 2009 (8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

Where: Herrick, Feinstein, LLP, 2 Park Ave., New York, NY (14th floor amphitheater) / map

Moderator: Matthew D. Pace, Herrick, Feinstein LLP


  • Lawrence Epstein, EVP and General Counsel, Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Jeffrey Gewirtz, SVP & General Counsel, NETS Basketball/Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment
  • Steven Herz, Founder and President, If Management
  • Elizabeth Matthews, EVP & Deputy General Counsel of MTV Networks

Discussion: How social networking is impacting the business of sports today from the perspective of copyright owners, distribution partners and athletes.

  • How are Leagues, Teams and Athletes using social networking to promote themselves and their products?
  • What are the risks associated with use of social networking platforms?
  • Who controls the ownership of content — the League, the Team or the individual?
  • Is this strictly promotional or is there a business model to monetize this?
  • Does this impact the League news policies? Does this impact on the exclusivity of television agreements?
  • Does this fall within a news exception or other fair use category? How would that affect copyright owners?
  • How does the DMCA operate in this area, and how does it affect copyright owners? Is there law comparable to the DMCA in international markets?
  • Can the fan in the stands capture photos or video and distribute them electronically to those outside the stadium?
  • Does this, or real-time scores and blogs pose a threat to the content owners’ rights?
  • Relevant cases – Mark Cuban’s position against bloggers, Olympics blogging policy, Viacom v. YouTube and Google, New York Rangers vs. NHL

Cost: Students can attend for free.  New York State Bar members pay $25.  Nonmembers have to front $35.  Click here for more information and to register.

By Darren Heitner

Darren Heitner created Sports Agent Blog as a New Year's Resolution on December 31, 2005. Originally titled, "I Want To Be A Sports Agent," the website was founded with the intention of causing Heitner to learn more about the profession that he wanted to join, meet reputable individuals in the space and force himself to stay on top of the latest news and trends.

Heitner now runs Heitner Legal, P.L.L.C., which is a law firm with many practice areas, including sports law and contract law. Heitner has represented numerous athletes and sports agents as legal counsel. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Indiana University Bloomington from 2011-2014, where he created and taught a course titled, Sport Agency Management, which included subjects ranging from NCAA regulations to athlete agent certification and the rules governing the profession. Heitner serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he teaches a Sports Law class that includes case law surrounding athlete agents and the NCAA rules.

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