There may be a bit of an unusual method to the madness in how Barstool Sports has been getting its viral content up on social media faster than other media companies have been able to.
According to a report from The Daily Beast, the popular sports entertainment media brand has been using burner accounts in order to flout copyright laws to post copyrighted sports highlights and other viral content.
This allows Barstool’s main accounts to then share the videos on their own pages on X, formerly Twitter, without racking up any Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) complaints.
“A new investigation by The Daily Beast found over 40 more anonymous Twitter accounts that give every indication of being controlled by Barstool,” the report stated. “This network has laundered incalculable amounts of copyright-protected sports and entertainment videos and reaped billions of views over at least the last four years. For example: One anonymous account’s ripped video of The Weeknd’s Super Bowl LV performance racked up 36 million views for Barstool in less than 24 hours.”
The report later added that in an attempt to post content and collect views without penalization from the prospect of DMCA strikes, Barstool would use burner accounts to post its own content with copyright-protected music in it.
The outlet could then share the content without potentially being hit with a complaint.
On X, enough DMCA complaints can get an account suspended or banned altogether.
With the use of the burner accounts, the Daily Beast claimed, any potential repercussions would fall on the burner account and not on the main Barstool Sports accounts.
“Using sockpuppet accounts to obscure the origin of infringing videos does not make the underlying conduct any less illegal,”, copyright law and intellectual property expert and a professor at Emory University Law School, Matthew Sag said to The Daily Beast. “What it does do is make it harder for the DMCA notice and takedown process to work as intended.”
Barstool accounts boast millions of followers and the company uses its social media reach in its pitch to advertisers, according to the report.
This likely indicates why it is so protective of its social media accounts.
Barstool founder Dave Portnoy and CEO Erika Ayers Badan did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.
Portnoy bought back Barstool Sports from Penn Entertainment for $1 last month.
Discussing the purchase with The Post, he said that he was “getting my voice back.”
Barstool went through a round of layoffs that saw the staff reduced by roughly 25 percent, The Post first reported.