Social Media

No, the NHL is not banning GIFs

Fans of the Buffalo Sabres use their smartphones before an NHL game against the Washington Capitals on January 16, 2016 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.
Bill Wippert | NHLI | Getty Images

Fans who worried that the National Hockey League had banned GIFs can rest easy. The organization has no plans to put a stop to the viral animated images on social media.

"Breaking: I can confirm that the NHL is now not allowing anyone to post gifs. Huge news given playoffs are about to start," Mark Scheig, a reporter covering the Columbus Blue Jackets tweeted on Tuesday.

The report caused social media users to criticize the NHL, believing copyright infringement to be the cause for the ban.

Tweet 1

Tweet 2

Tweet 3

However, the NHL refutes the report.

"Our position on GIFS has not changed," the NHL told CNBC.

Goalie Nathan Schoenfeld #40 of the Arizona Coyotes stands for the national anthem before the start of a game against the Montreal Canadiens at Gila River Arena on February 15, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. Schoenfeld was an emergency call up after back-up goalie Anders Lindback was injured on Monday before the game.
Arizona banker tapped as back-up goalie for NHL team
Are viral sports GIFs violating 'fair use'?

Viral sports GIFs gained attention last year when Twitter deactivated SB Nation and Deadspin accounts due to alleged copyright infringement involving the use of GIFs. The NFL, UFC and the Big 12 and Southeastern collegiate sports conferences had also sent claims to the social media platform about copyrighted material.

GIFs have become universally used by social media users and can be monetized by companies for advertising opportunities and to grow the organization's fan base online.

For now, hockey fans will not have to worry about posting GIFs of their favorite moments on the ice.

Tweet 4