Rockets Twitter Account Suspended for Copyright Violations

The Rockets Twitter feed looked as sad on Monday as the final score in game six against the Warriors.
The Rockets Twitter feed looked as sad on Monday as the final score in game six against the Warriors. Screenshot
If it wasn't bad enough that the Rockets fell to the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals, ending what felt like a rather promising season, on Monday, their Twitter feed was shut down for copyright violations. Insult to injury, apparently.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the Rockets along with a number of college sports program Twitter feeds were closed by the social media giant due to copyright violations. The Rockets said in a statement that it was due to the unauthorized use of music in some posts.

No doubt Twitter was doing a sweep of feeds looking for prohibited content and a bunch of teams got caught in their web. This is not uncommon. Media owners like record labels, film companies and others are extremely protective of their content and vigorously defend against its use by anyone not authorized to do so.

The Rockets feed, like so many sports feeds these days, are more than just scores and basic information. They are often peppered with humor, sometimes at the expense of their opponents, and even in self-deprecation.

The Chron pointed out that one such tweet in 2015 cost a Rockets employee his job when he tweeted an emoji of a gun followed by an emoji of a horse after the Rockets beat the Dallas Mavericks.

It's likely that once the Rockets remove the offending posts, order (and their Twitter account) will be restored. But, it certainly demonstrates that no one is above scrutiny when it comes to sharing material subject to copyright law. If they will shut down a professional basketball team's feed, they will shut down just about anybody.
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Jeff Balke is a writer, editor, photographer, tech expert and native Houstonian. He has written for a wide range of publications and co-authored the official 50th anniversary book for the Houston Rockets.
Contact: Jeff Balke