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NFL complains, Twitter shuts down Deadspin and SBNation accounts

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Copyright laws are a complex beast. One person's fair use is a content owner's reason to shoot off a DMCA takedown notice. Gawker Media's sports site, Deadspin and Vox Media's SBNation both found that out today when their Twitter accounts were suspended after continuing to post GIFs of NFL-owned content. The @Deadspin account has since be reinstated while SB Nation's account (@SBnationGIF) is still unavailable. Gawker Media executive editor Lacey Donohue confirmed via Twitter that the notice concerning the suspension from the social media site was from the NFL. Earlier reports indicated that MLB was also involved, but that turned out to be untrue.

Both publications routinely posts GIFs of important moments in NFL and other sporting events. It's something the NFL apparently frowns upon. Gawker's social media strategist, Terron Moore, said the site received 18 DMCA takedown notices from the NFL before today's suspension.

Before the account was reinstated, ESPN sports pundit Keith Olbermann was temporarily hosting Deadspin's tweets on his own account.

We have reached out to Deadspin, SBNation, Twitter and the NFL about this article and will update when they reply to our queries.

Update: Twitter responded to our inquiry with the set of DMCA requests from the NFL, and at least one from UFC operator Zuffa. The request list a number of video files (which Twitter uses to play GIFs), and tweets by both the Deadspin main account and @SBNationGIF. According to Twitter, the requests will be submitted to the Chilling Effects Clearinghouse tonight or tomorrow.

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