With the continued growth of the eSports industry, there has come a wave of mainstream media outlets looking to provide coverage and create content for this demographic. The Daily Dot may have been ahead of the curve, but in their wake has come even bigger names, such as The Turner TV network and ESPN.
One of the latest outlets to throw their hat in the eSports coverage ring is troubled tech giant Yahoo, who as Breitbart reported had reportedly expressed interest in purchasing North America’s leading eSports tournament organiser MLG before a deal with Activision Blizzard was struck.
Despite Yahoo having been involved in a number of high profile and expensive failures under CEO Marissa Mayer, the company has not been deterred from trying to get involved with eSports. The Daily Dot recently revealed that Yahoo would be launching an eSports news section and would be making a number of hires in that area. It has been strongly rumoured that novelty League of Legends interviewer Travis Gafford would be first among a number of people brought on to Yahoo’s team after he announced his departure from Gamespot.
The start of Yahoo’s eSports content is off to an inauspicious start after they lifted an article in its entirety from the Red Bull website. An in-depth look at a Japanese eSports organisaton DetonatioN Gaming, written by freelance journalist Cameron Gilbert, was copy-pasted to Yahoo News without any changes being made whatsoever. Embarrassingly, whoever was responsible didn’t even bother to remove the author’s name, although bizarrely they didn’t copy the accompanying photographs.
Copying the content in its entirety and then sourcing the article at the bottom as an afterthought left Gilbert surprised. Gilbert himself seemed content to pass it off as a form of flattery, stating that he must have “made it” on Twitter.
A story of mine was apparently plagiarized in its entirety yesterday.
I guess I've "made it?" pic.twitter.com/D1LGYlwmZO
— Cameron Gilbert (@shirokaisen) February 11, 2016
The practice of rehosting other people’s content is a very hot topic at the moment. Social media sites like Facebook and Reddit have been at the centre of a debate about this practice, known as freebooting, and at YouTube content creators the Fine Brothers thoroughly disgraced themselves with an attempt to trademark the word “react” to stop other content creators making videos of a similar nature to their own. Yahoo might find the eSports community particularly unwelcoming of their efforts if they continue in a similar vein.
When contacted for comment, a Yahoo spokesperson told Breitbart Tech: “Some stories on Yahoo are selected and published by a technical algorithm. This particular story was pulled onto Yahoo in error and was immediately removed once the team was made aware.”