- Barstool Sports’ founder admitted his company was "moronic" in its online spat with a comedian.
- The comedian, Miel Bredouw, said Barstool posted a video clip of hers on Twitter without crediting her, then messaged her hundreds of times and offered her money to drop her complaint against the company.
- The case also illustrates how Twitter’s policy for handling copyright claims puts the burden on creators.
Barstool Sports’ founder said he regretted his company’s “moronic” behavior in a spat with a comedian who said the site posted a video of hers without crediting her.
The fight started when Barstool posted a video in December of a clip by Miel Bredouw, in which she sings the words of a raunchy Three Six Mafia song “Slob on My Knob” to the tune of “Carol of the Bells.” Bredouw said when Barstool didn’t respond to her request to credit her, she filed a complaint with Twitter to have the video taken down.
Barstool, a sports and culture blog that’s been the subject of unfavorable press coverage that’s described it as promoting sexual harassment and a trolling culture, responded by filing a counterclaim and its in-house lawyer, Mark Marin, offered her a $50 gift card to Barstool’s online store to retract her complaint.
Over the past three months, Bredouw went on to detail on Twitter, the interactions escalated, with Barstool barraging her with hundreds of messages and raising its offer to $2,000.
“Where Barstool went wrong is that when she refused to respond and it became clear she had no intention of speaking with us we should have ended it,” Barstool founder Dave Portnoy wrote to Business Insider in an email. “Unfortunately Barstool Sports has idiots in our company much like many other companies and those idiots acted like idiots. I regret our lawyer offering a 50 dollar gift card to our store not because it’s illegal in any manner but it’s just so moronic and makes us look like assholes. That’s why lawyers should not be on social media.”
Read more: ‘It’s just not fair’: Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy defends his site against accusations of toxicity and misogyny
Bredouw apparently doesn’t plan to fight the counter-notice. But the case illustrates the way Twitter’s policy for handling copyright claims filed under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act puts the burden on creators. When Barstool filed its counter-notice, Twitter notified Bredouw that the video would go back online unless she got a court order.
"If we do not receive notice within 10 business days that the original reporter is seeking a court order to prevent further infringement of the material at issue, we may replace or cease disabling access to the material that was removed," Twitter’s policy states. Twitter hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment.
Portnoy said Barstool’s intent wasn’t to steal anyone’s content. But it hasn’t committed to not reposting her video, either.
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