CNN Follows Fox News In Using DMCA To Take Down Fair Use Videos

from the thin-skinned-much? dept

What is it with cable news channels for being thinskinned the second some bloggers start posting criticism? Earlier this year, Fox News used the DMCA to take down videos that were being used in commentary, and then sought to force the site to waive its fair use rights for future video usage. So, that give liberals a chance to laugh at "conservative" Fox news... but don't laugh too hard, because now there's the flipside. The "liberal" CNN has filed a DMCA notice to have video taken down that was being used by a conservative blog for commentary purposes -- again, almost certainly fair use. Also, it sounds like some of the video footage that CNN demanded be taken down wasn't even filmed by CNN, suggesting they don't hold the copyright on it. Either way, it's quite silly for either news station to file such a notice. In both cases it was clear that the sites in question weren't trying to use the video to "compete" unfairly, but to offer criticism and commentary. The fact that both news channels went the DMCA takedown route, makes it clear that they were simply trying to shut up critics. And, of course, in both cases, it backfired, bringing more attention to the stories (and just how thinskinned) cable news networks appear to be... no matter where they might sit on the political spectrum.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    OKVol, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    To each, their own.

    When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    That's why I downloaded this comment with uTorrent...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    JohnFen, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:22am

    Not so much liberal

    CNN is not exactly a "liberal" news channel, it's just not a hardline conservative one like Fox.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:27am

    Worse

    You know, I get irritated when I hear stories about the RIAA and the MPAA's shenanigans, but the erosion of fair use rights is really what gets me upset. I think that because it affects us more directly, we -- I include myself in this -- tend to respond more to news stories about DRM in music, movies, and games. But this kind of abuse of the DMCA actually has more potential to harm our society.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:30am

    Re: Not so much liberal

    I think every one of my conservative friends believes CNN is a liberal news channel. You many not think it's liberal, but enough people do to warrant the scare quotes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:35am

    Re: Re: Not so much liberal

    Funny how "liberal" think CNN is mainstream and "conservatives" think the same about Fox. I suppose it is because no one think THEY are extreme but the other guy is....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    For the tenth time, I don't think either Fox or CNN are trying to contain criticism, I think they're getting uppity about someone using their content, same as the RIAA. Not justifying it in either case, it's just if you're going to blame them, I would blame them for a different thing.

    And yeah, CNN, like most media, is pretty liberal (90%, literally, of journalists are registered democrats). They're not as bad as MSNBC, though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 9:44am

    Question

    Isn't it illegal to post a false DMCA takedown? Or does it not apply with Fair Use?

    This is a serious question.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Washii, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:08am

    Re: Question

    Sure. But you still have to go through the legal motions. Although a lot of sites have the counterclaim templates online, it sometimes seems like nobody exercises their rights.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:10am

    Re:

    For the tenth time, I don't think either Fox or CNN are trying to contain criticism, I think they're getting uppity about someone using their content, same as the RIAA.

    So, you honestly believe that CNN feels that including a one minute twenty second video of CNN footage in the context of political commentary is not fair use? Because this is the only way that your statement makes any sense. For this to be true, CNN would have to have a fundamental misunderstanding of what fair use is. I'm not sure what's worse, that you (based on your statement) think that CNN is dangerously ignorant of what fair use is or what Mike thinks, that CNN knows what fair use is, but chooses to ignore it and abuse the DMCA. Niether looks good for CNN.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:15am

    Re: Re:

    Show me someone who does have a fundamental understanding of what fair is and I'll show you someone who has never taken a copyrights class. It's a ridiculously complex legal analysis and until a court rules one way or the other, you just can't say whether a given use is a fair use or not. I'm not agreeing with the networks here, I just feel that most people think fair use is more clear than it is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Matt, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:27am

    video site

    someone needs to make a video site that is 100% fielded with lawyers, put up a bunch of fair use clips, and start making moeny off the DMCA abuses.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:44am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Show me someone who does have a fundamental understanding of what fair is and I'll show you someone who has never taken a copyrights class. It's a ridiculously complex legal analysis and until a court rules one way or the other...

    Amen to that. It's almost as if it was designed to keep lawyers in billable hours...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's a ridiculously complex legal analysis and until a court rules one way or the other, you just can't say whether a given use is a fair use or not.

    I disagree. Sure, in order to be familiar with all of the ramifications of fair use and its application, you have to be an expert. But the principles of fair use are rather straight-forward. If this were not the case, then the utility of fair use would be be all but zero. In other words, if what you are saying is right about a "ridiculously complex legal analysis", nobody would take the chance and excersize their fair use rights. You're either right and there's really no such thing as fair use or you're wrong and it's being abused.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Aw, come on now! Even this should help everyone out:
    "The distinction between “fair use” and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission."

    From the U.S. Copyright website.
    *confused*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Mechwarrior, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    Re: Question

    Its only illegal if the its proven illegal. What this means is that the counter-party has to show proof that the DMCA notice was infringing on fair use.

    This is fairly impossible because the counter-parties are usually individuals. The DMCA offenders often have lawyers just to squash counter-notices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Link to source? Not saying it isn't true, but I find it odd that in explaining fair use, the government would use language like "taken without permission". The sense I get from that is akin to saying "You'd better watch out if you think you can steal the livelyhood of our fine, upstanding content owners without fear of righeous justice!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Link from www.copyright.gov website.

    Yep, it's all there in splendid, easy-to-understand verbiage.
    :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    CRAP!
    Sorry, not getting the link correct. Let's try this again:
    http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

    *hopes it turns into link*

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Not so much liberal

    I'm not a liberal or a conservative, I I believe that CNN has a strong liberal bias.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Lance Drager, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:46am

    "Liberal" CNN

    CNN is not now, and never has been, liberal. Glenn Beck? Lew Dobbs? Come on.

    I haven't near the space to justify this statement here,
    but for further analysis start with www.mediamatters.com and www.dailyhowler.com.

    Granted, CNN is not as crazy as Fox "News." I suppose that's some peoples' definition of "liberal".


    What this country desperately needs are news sources that deal with actual news, not fictional narratives designed to emotionally sway the voters.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Overcast, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 11:52am

    I find myself not only not watching these poor excuses for 'news channels' now, but actually wishing they would go away completely.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Comboman, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:10pm

    Daily Show? Colbert Report?

    The Daily Show and The Colbert Report use (and ridicule) clips from FoxNews, CNN, MSNBC, etc everyday. I can't imagine they are getting permission to use these clips (as they are often shown in a very negative way) so why aren't they being sued?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Norm, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Amen to that. It's almost as if it was designed to keep lawyers in billable hours...

    So True ... from the Copyright.gov link below:
    The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered “fair” nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney. (My emphasis)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Daily Show? Colbert Report?

    because they aren't online.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Hulser, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:15pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl102.html

    Thanks. But still...sounds like it was written by someone who views copyright as a form of complete ownership rather than a temporary privilege given at the expense of the public. How can you "take" something that isn't owned?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Sean, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Fair use and parody

    I think The Daily Show is clearly parody, which has a pretty wide fair use berth. Stanford U library has a pretty good online resource for copyright and fair use, easier to read than the government's site. From my interpretation, these DCMA takedowns are total crap when they are being parodied or used to make commentary about their content.

    The Stanford site:
    http://fairuse.stanford.edu/Copyright_and_Fair_Use_Overview/chapter9/index.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:48pm

    I wouldn't call CNN liberal. Childish fits much better.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Democracy Now! is liberal, CNN is just an Adjaculator posing as news service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Freedom, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 3:04pm

    What happened to reporting...

    It is no wonder CNN wants this clip down. This is a total embarrassment to their organization and the reporter on the scene. What happened to just reporting the news? Was her job really to go there and argue with the protestors? Are you kidding me? Whether you agree or not with the protest, just report the facts and move on. It isn't CNN's job to give their opinion on something like this - especially a field piece. Good grief!

    I get so sick of both CNN and Fox. Neither one of them are capable of reporting the facts in non-biased manor. Just give me the news, report the story as accurately as possible and then go to town with your opinion segments, but let me have the news straight.

    Frankly, if I was in charge at CNN I would want that piece down as well (not justifying the DMCA use which is wrong), but man is that bad!

    Freedom

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 20th, 2009 @ 10:13pm

    Let's review in the context of Fair Use

    It used to be that if you only used 30 seconds of copyrighted video or audio, no royalties had to be paid or licenses sought.

    Why not re-evaluate the takedowns and determine if they truly fall within Fair Use or not.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Enrico Suarve, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 12:51am

    Re:

    Democrat = Liberal??

    You're funny ;0)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    irv, Apr 21st, 2009 @ 8:22am

    abuse of DMCA

    It's interesting that the scumb - uh, people who wrote DMCA included provisions for counter-notices and fines for exactly the kind of frivolous take downs that are described in this article.

    Repeat: Sending take down notices in cases of clear fair use can result in serious penalties. But it never works out that way because Fox News and CNN can spend a lot more money on unscrupulous lawyers than the rest of us can (I say unscrupulous because, if they had any actual ethics, they would not send abusive notices).

    In other words, they knew DMCA would be abused just like this but made it the law anyway.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 5:05pm

    Re: Re:

    Democrat=Regular Conservative
    Republican=Bat-Shit-Crazy Conservative

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 22nd, 2009 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Daily Show? Colbert Report?

    M-O-N-E-Y

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This