How Barstool Built an Empire by Swiping Sports Highlights

Photo Illustration by Elizabeth Brockway/The Daily Beast/Getty

Four years ago, Barstool Sports were raked over the coals for taking a comedian’s video. The sprawling and bro-tastic media company already had a reputation for stealing jokes, but that act of theft inadvertently revealed another way they were profiting from content they didn’t own: an anonymous, seemingly random Twitter account which was in fact run by Barstool.

The innocuous account, one of many Barstool used to harass the comedian, did nothing but rip and post copyrighted sports highlights and other viral clips, which were then embedded and shared by official Barstool accounts on Twitter, which has since been rebranded as X.

It provided a crude but effective way for Barstool to prevent their legit accounts from accumulating Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) strikes. The law requires websites to remove allegedly stolen digital material while the matter is under dispute. On Twitter, an account found in violation of the law will receive a “strike.” With enough strikes, Twitter will suspend or ban an account.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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