A Special Fish Report: The Pac-12 Conference Forbidding Highlight and Analysis Videos

I am now out of the Oregon football video analysis business, due to new rules established by the Pac-12 Conference regarding use of game footage.

Per guidelines provided to all media as of Friday, September 7th, no news agency can use game footage for broadcast or on a website past 48-hours after the game has concluded without a license granted through XOS Digital.

Thus beginning for the 2012 season, all game footage video HAS to be removed from all TV and sports websites by Monday evening.  Those videos cannot exceed three minutes in length for that 48-hour period, including footage taken by a TV station/news source on their own, coupled with footage taken from the telecast.

This site, FishDuck.com is now an officially Oregon media-accredited news source, and must comply with the new rules. I cannot possibly make an analysis video immediately each week, put 15+ hours of work into it, and then have to take it down by Monday evening.

It is not worth the work, and not many fans would view it in the short window available.  Can you imagine the trouble this creates for TV and Newspaper websites?  It is pretty tough on everyone, not just me.

It is worse if you are not an accredited news outlet; the days of fans enjoying highlights online are over, as third parties cannot use footage and post it on YouTube, Facebook or other websites at any time.

All of the great highlight videos out there?  They will be gone.  My friend Mike Wines, who creates highlight videos after each game? Those will be gone as well, along with anybody else who posts any video of a Pac-12 Conference team participating in a sport.

Why would the Pac-12 do this?

They are simply following the highly successful business model of the SEC, Major League Baseball, and the NFL. Do you EVER see any MLB highlight videos? No…and when one emerges, they contact YouTube and have the site/channel obliterated, as Kurt’s popular channel was removed a few years ago.  Ditto for the SEC…as I was told that they routinely wipe out five or six channels EVERY DAY that carry new highlight or analysis video.

They are protecting their rights, their brand, and one of the components of that strategy is to enforce their rights of that footage.  They have very successfully stomped out any competition, and they are vigilant about stopping others immediately.

As Pac-12 footage is removed from other sites, the next step is to build a site (as the Pac-12 is currently doing) that drives EVERYONE to their exclusive portal for footage. Want game highlight videos? You will have to go there. Want game analysis on video? You will have to go there.

They are in the initial stages of building and enforcing, but it is clear from the recent rules where all this is going. We will all use the new network and website, and there will ultimately be no competition in their areas.

I love what other Oregon sports websites do with interviews, recruiting information, and message board traffic, and it makes me wonder what other restrictions may be coming soon? Perhaps many of the aspects covered by those sites will be taken over in the future by the conference, So we get everything in terms of information from them? While that is probably my personal paranoia stepping in—it is based upon the evolving track record emerging.

So what is the impact on FishDuck.com? It will for now be minimal, as over 80% of the visitors to FishDuck come to read our articles on the site, not watch videos. I may lose some of you who enjoy watching our detailed analysis videos, (but there won’t be any videos anywhere else), and the good news is that I am still in an analysis/learning mode providing the new written articles with screen-shot pictures and diagrams. But let’s be realistic, the video formula we had developed over time at FishDuck was unique and compelling.

I have fully complied with the Pac-12 on these issues; I took down the video from last week on FishDuck.com concerning Arkansas State and removed the same video from my YouTube Channel.  There will be NO further videos added to my site or to my YouTube Channel, and prior videos done (Over 50) are permissible to keep since they were before the 2012 season and not the property of the Pac-12.  (Thus I am grateful for the one year to make all the tutorials)

We love what Larry Scott has done for the conference, but this is part of the price to pay for this progress that ultimately all the universities of the conference will benefit from.


I still love my Ducks,


Charles Fischer

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Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer

Charles Fischer has been an intense fan of the Ducks for thirty years and has written reports on football boards for over a dozen years. Known as “FishDuck” on those boards, he is acknowledged for providing intense detail in his scrimmage reports and in his Xs and Os play analyses. He and his wife Lois, a daughter, Christine, and their dog (Abbie) reside in Eugene, Oregon, where he has been a financial advisor for 30 years serving clients in seven different states. He does not profess to be a coach or analyst, but simply a “hack” that enjoys sharing what he has learned and invites others to correct or add to this body of Oregon Football! See More...

  • such a shame all that info had to be taken down. you had by far, the best stuff out there.

  • Damn. I really looked forward to video analysis every Tuesday morning. That blows :(

  • Dukduponquack

    This is total BS, capitalism at it’s finest. Sorry Charles, yours and Mike’s videos were, and are, the best. Greed is killing this country and this is just another example of it

    • RYANROBOT123

      Actually, capitalism would be open to allowing Charles make the videos. Laissez-faire, remember? But let’s hope the Pac 12 hires him to make the videos for their website. I’d even watch him break down other teams, and explain why the ducks are better!

      • Laissez faire is a fairy tale. Like the man said, this is capitalism. Capitalism always leads to consolidation, as that is the inevitable conclusion of competition — the last few standing get all the goods.

  • Larry

    Pac-12 Network will never be able to do a good of a highlight job as you and Mike Wines did. Sadly. And they are the “experts!”

  • pkulak

    They can say whatever they like, but your use of the footage is a classic example of fair use: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_use They can’t supersede federal law. Keep using the footage, you may just have to host it yourself if Youtube starts getting fussy about it.

  • NativeDuck

    So the PAC wants to drive people away from following their teams? I am on the east coast and counted on highlights and replays to keep up with the Ducks. Can’t stay up and watch all night and work the next day.

    This is a real bummer.

  • jazzhippie

    I have to agree with pkulak. Your usage is classic fair use as it falls under criticism, research, teaching, and scholarship. Perhaps there is a mechanism to clear your usage with the Pac-12 beyond what is already legally your right?

    • I’m as bummed as the next Duck, but posting copyrighted material on a site for purposes of generating ad revenue is certainly not fair use. I’m excited because now Fishduck will have to step up their game on the blog side, which has been hit or miss. Keep up the hard work!

  • Joe4Ducks

    What absolute trash. I’m sorry to hear this.

  • Sam S.

    A very classy post, Charles. Thanks for all of your hard work.

  • okay, I know this is a political thing, but what you are doing follows under fair use. And you can argue.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL37312911C912FD10 <—this guy went through it at some point.

  • Chip Kelly

    We’ll get this all straightened out, Charles, and soon. You are a most gifted teacher, Coach and Duck fan.

    • If this is really Chip, hope you really do work it out. Everyone loves these Vids!

  • Drakewing

    What a bummer! A huge disservice to Duck fans. Hopefully the post below is really from Chip and something will be done about this.

  • Micki B

    That’s sad! I will miss your analysis so much. I’ve never learned so much about football in my life. Thanks for everything you did to edify a grateful fan base.

  • Bertram

    Fair use battles can be exhausting if you don’t have an institution behind you.

    But you could consider having a private website that isn’t a “news agency” or “news source.” Then the fair-use clause may be easier to defend.

    Also, you could have an email list of all your fans to whom you send the analyses, and Mike Wines should consider the same. I know that many of us (especially those who don’t live in OR — I, for example, live in Providence, RI) would be willing to pay a membership fee to keep this running in some form.

    You could create a grassroots movement, perhaps co-organized with the many Ducks fan clubs around the nation!


  • Wow. This has been a rough week on a lot of fronts. Going to be a boring off season now. I’ll still come here to read all I can, but obviously the videos were my favorite.

  • ACE DuCk

    Larry Scott is a fascist.

  • Rob

    Not cool, come on PAC 12

  • what a crock!! stop cowtowing charles,,, your a teeny fish that is now a dead duck. You should be disgusted not praising ‘the man’~!! please, it’s more than unbecoming.

  • Deadpainter & FishDuck Fan

    NO!!! Don’t let this be the end! I
    can’t tell you how many people I have sent to FishDuck to watch the videos. You
    make learning about the offence and defense so easy to understand. I’m no
    jazzed with the programing the Pac-12 has been offering so far. Please please
    consider showing your videos to the Pac-12 and asking for a weekly show that
    teaches people about football!!! It’s something that is missing. With football
    becoming more and more popular the need for people to learn is just going to
    grow and grow. Please lead the way. Your videos are awesome and in just the
    first two games of the season I’ve put to use the knowledge you have given me
    and taken my enjoyment of football to a new level! My husband and I both see
    the plays as they develop on both offence of defense because of you and these
    great tutorial videos! Thank you and
    please consider sharing this with others via the pac-12 network. I’m going to write to them about you right

  • EZducksIT

    You set the standard for others to follow, PAC 12 NETWORK, hopefully they will see what you have built in a little over a year and ask you and Kurt to come on board. With their backing, resources and money you can help to develop the next “ESPN”, “GOLF Channel” from the start up that is the PAC 12 Network. That would be AWESOME! Then you could quit your day jobs, make a lot of DUCK Fans happy.

  • SeanG

    I first started speaking to Charles in April, when he contacted me about helping with his first defensive tutorials. I can speak firsthand about his passion for the Ducks, his vision for these videos, and the understanding he has of the role they should play: educating excited Duck fans about the basics of the beautiful, beautiful schemes the Ducks have implemented over the past 3 seasons.

    Even back in April, he knew what he wanted to show the fans about our defense. And we talked back and forth for many many hours about how to achieve that. It was a great privilege to help put those five tutorials together, and to make some interesting content available to Ducks fans. But it was even more a privilege to help out a site that truly gets it right, and raises the level of college football discourse immensely from the status quo arguments about stats and stars.

    Once the dust settles, hopefully FishDuck can find a way to keep creating content. But I also want to thank Charles for being a selfless contributor to the passion of Ducks fans in case he can’t do it again.


  • Mitchell

    This requires a real fair-use doctrine analysis Charles. “Education” is a valid purpose and is exactly what you do. What you’re putting together is not highlights that summarize the game or take away value of the clips for them to put on the website (if you only took touchdowns or something else it might) but until they have teaching clips doing exactly what you do – such as blocking schemes, etc. It seems like it would be unlikely they would have a real case. Please don’t construe this as real legal advice or rely on it, but it might be worth exploring w/an IP attorney.

    However, I’m sure that even if they had no case it wouldn’t stop them from throwing a nasty cease and desist at you.

  • Ed in Denver

    What a waste of a GREAT resource available to Duck fans. I have lots of relatives in Wisconsin that I sent to your site before the Rose Bowl…they loved it and were envious of the site for Duck fans. Since watching one of your tutorials, I’m always excited to watch Hronis Grasu pull down the line and obliterate some unfortunate defender trying to make a tackle. Because of your videos I watch Duck games in a different and very enjoyable way. I’m pissed. I like what Larry Scott has done for the Pac-12, but this goes too far (along with no DirecTV contract, COME ON!). Thanks for all the hard work FishDuck!

  • snowhobbit

    Same here have referred and shown many people the site, I will miss the videos

  • Paul

    Just saw this while looking for the latest analysis. Too bad. I really enjoyed those. Glad to get what I did but I was really looking forward to the rest. You do a great job and I’ll be back for all the written stuff.

  • Yellerduck

    This is one of the saddest days in Duck history as far as I’m concerned. As a military guy deployed to Afghanistan unable to watch games last year I watched Mike Wines’s highlights on Youtube religiously, and when I finally discovered Fishduck, you went straight into my Favorites. Like so many others who’ve benefitted from your analysis, I’m identifying the “three duck chuck” on my own now, and really watching the games with a whole new level of understanding and appreciation. Find a way to keep the videos coming – no other team in college football had anything half as awesome as Fishduck. Do it, man! Fight!

    • I did the exact same when I was stationed in Iraq.

  • Echo the other commenters — this is an OUTRAGE and a huge disappointment. I am completely addicted to the great videos posted by FishDuck, MadMike, SeanG and other loyal Duck fans. It seems so short-sighted of entities like MLB and now the Pac-12 to strip YouTube of all highlight clips. Whereas the NBA tells it’s fans to just go for it! You can watch NBA videos all day long, from the entire history of the league right up to last night’s game. THAT is how you build interest and fan support!

    I sincerely hope Charles, Mike, Sean and others find a way to keep providing Duck football videos. You guys are the best!

  • FrenchDuck

    Following from France… This is a real bummer! Hope you can work something out as I understand from other comments that the legal issue is not so clear. Many thanks any way an all my best wishes.

  • Coach Read

    FishDuck has made such a difference in our program. I am currently coaching an 8-man program and with the help of this site and Mr. Charles we have been able to take Oregon’s offense and convert it to an 8-man style of play. Mr. Charles has always answered my emails in a timely manner and has pointed me in the right direction to videos or notes that has been a tremendous help. By the way, in the last year we have gone from averaging 46 points a game to 60 points per game so far. I hope we can get everything back in line so that he can continue to help the coaches at the high school level and give incite to fans that need it. One more thing, we usually score in under a minute of game time. Thank you Mr. Charles for what you do!

  • snowhobbit

    Just a thought as I have no clue how the new video games work but could you do analyses off of videos from them simulating situations that occurred in the actual game? Just a thought I know it would not be nearly as good but I I really loved learning via the videos always made game day more fun.

    Thanks again for everything


  • It’s time for the Oregonian to just go ahead and hire you and then have someone else do all the editing and foot work so this can keep on going.

  • beau

    well This sucks, I love seeing the high light videos and here what the avg. person say about the games.

  • Gageac

    I hate to see the Pac 12 making this move. I have learned so much from the FishDuck vids and I have been looking forward to learning much more. What I have learned from this site has greatly increased my appreciation this great game.

    I am not a coach or even a former player but like many I can learn even complex subjects — when they are clearly broken down into digestible segments. No other source offers this kind of analysis.

    The interviews with former players are like getting to see an old friend again. Getting to see a few minutes of video highlights of their Duck experience really makes the interview come alive. For many of us, our acquaintance with our young Ducks starts while they are still being recruited in high school. When they get on campus we watch them become young men. Then they leave and we don’t get to hear much about them anymore, even as their adventures in life continue. It’s only human to want to share their joys and sympathize with their trials.

    I particularly treasure the fact that Fish has kept this site free. He wants it to be a source that anyone can use for education and entertainment. Wives, mothers, girlfriends, high school kids, middle school kids, as well as ordinary guys have all gained so much here and become even bigger (if not new) Duck fans. I have a lot of international ties so I really love seeing the hits from abroad.

    The Pac 12 is off to a bad start with me. Their announcers can’t even tell the difference between a mesh decision on a zone read and a fake. Perhaps if the Pac 12 announcers would study the Fish tutorials they too could add to our enjoyment of the game. One of my most precious resources is my time. As it is, one can’t do everything one wants in life. We have already lost so much of our Duck experience. The Pac 12 seems intent on pushing folks such as myself into investing our time in more profitable pursuits. There is a reason many of us do not follow the other sports that the Pac 12 seems to have decided to imitate.

  • Colin

    Absolutely terrible.

    What the Pac-12 conference, and pac-12 institutions, do not realise is that this heavy-handed approach is a lose-lose. It’s classic game theory, I’m afraid.

    By restricting access to free gateway features (highlights, analysis, etc) which lead new and existing customers towards revenue generating content (channel subscription, advertising viewers and buyers, merchandise, tickets, DVDs, etc), the conference is reducing their competitiveness.

    There is plenty of research to back this up, and I encourage readers to educate themselves by either reading Boldin and Levine’s book [http://levine.sscnet.ucla.edu/general/intellectual/against.htm] or, at the very least, listening to Stephen Kinsella for half an hour [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWShFz4d2RY]

  • SadDuck

    I think you are massively underestimating the number of people that come to your site “just because of” the video analysis. I do read the articles but only because I come here looking for video. I hate to say this so bluntly but if you don’t find a way around this, I think you’re done.

  • ducklander

    i’ve made contact with the pac 12 network pleading for them to preserve your and mike wines’s services. some guy named bob responded with an appreciation for my passion, then went on to give the standard ‘this is the way the nfl, sec, etc., are doing it, so it’s the way we’re going to do it’ shtick. i just replied to bob pleading for him to just take a peak at what fishduck and madmike1951 are doing and come up with a way to let them continue. i challenged them to be set themselves apart from other models and blaze a trail. i doubt it will amount to much, but i love the analysis and highlights from these two guys. so if you’re one of ‘them’–PLEASE listen!!!!!

  • kcduck

    I suppose it was bound to come to this, still as long as you can scratch out X’s and O’s in the dirt with a stick, (ok, you can use a chalkboard), you will have a loyal reader here. Thanks Charles

  • snowhobbit

    I have continued to read your posts and appreciate the effort, they really do help learn the game. I never played football growing up but do love to watch and its nice knowing what is going on. Thank you for helping me with that.

    One thing is that it is still hard at times to read and understand what you are trying to point out in the pictures. A thought is are you able to use the pictures and analyze them via video pointing out specifically what everything means as you go along. I am not sure if that is against the rules now. just a thought.

    Thank you