Fox News Too Cowardly To Refuse Critical Ad Because It's Critical, Claims Copyright Instead

from the wimps dept

It's become something of a sport in the past decade for roughly half of America to mock, dismiss, and otherwise tear down the Fox News channel. Personally, I'd rather like to see all of cable news go away, but there are times when I think the criticism is a tad selective and unfair. For instance, it'd be very easy to lambaste the network for the man-clowns they trotted out in the wake of a Pew Research study that showed that mothers currently make up nearly half of American household's primary wage-earners. What was for me a meh-inducing announcement was a sign of the surely-coming apocalypse for Lou Dobbs, Erick Erickson and Juan Williams. They're easily targeted as examples of the bad on the station, but if you're blinded by ideology or party alliance, you probably didn't bother to shine a light on the absolutely glorious rebuttal by Fox News host Megyn Kelly.


What we have there is an example of Fox News presenting two sides of the debate and among their own hosts to boot. In case you can't see it, Kelly uses clips from Lou Dobbs' show within her own to demonstrate her point. I mention this only to demonstrate that Fox News was not sufficiently embarrassed by the dumb things said by some of their commentators to keep from re-airing them on another of their shows. When an advocacy group wants to use those same clips for an ad-spot, however, suddenly the scramble to copyright claims has occurred. An anti-sexism group named UltraViolet submitted the ad to air on Fox's channel, painting the commentators in a negative light and then asking them to be retired from Fox News. You might expect the channel to dismiss the ad simply on the grounds that they don't want to denigrate their own programming, but that wouldn't help in trying to keep the spot off of other networks, would it? So Fox instead relied on the go-to protocol for censoring negative information. Per UltraViolet's media buyer, Buying Time, LLC:

Team – Just heard back from Fox Business. Unfortunately, Fox has rejected the ad. Due to their copyright rules, they can’t air an ad that uses their material in a spot.
It's a dumbfounding refusal on its face and is almost certainly being used as an excuse rather than a legitimate claim. Certainly nothing in copyright law would keep a network from airing commercials that use its own footage, valid copyright claim or not. It's their footage. Beyond that, this seems like a clear-cut case of fair use, the clips being central to a critique which does not seek commercial gain, are not significantly long in use, and in a way that certainly doesn't compete against Fox's own programming. Watch the ad for yourself:


Whether you think that women being primary bread-winners is okay, or whether you think that it's just the first step in the lizard-people's plot to systematically ruin American families so that children will be easy pickings for their hungry salamander love-children, using copyright claims to put down criticism is an abuse. Thankfully, UltraViolet is savvy enough to still put their spot up on YouTube instead of being too scared to show it.

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:03pm

    You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

    I sure don't. Try to make it easy for readers, Timmy, it's key to being read.

    Your ability to obscure a topic with verbiage is right up there with what's-his-name, that Irish drunk who blithered on in "stream of consciousness", accumulating words without ever getting to a point. But where he was knowingly experimenting with a new style, I'm now sure that you're just a lousy writer.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:36pm

      Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

      Congratulations, Blue. You have won the award for "most kettle" in a comment ever.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:43pm

      Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

      And there you have it folks, Blue is Erick Erickson.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:49pm

      Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

      Sorry you can't understand it blue. Thankfully not everything is made for the lowest common denominator.

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

    • icon
      Dark Helmet (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 3:02am

      Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

      "Your ability to obscure a topic with verbiage is right up there with what's-his-name, that Irish drunk who blithered on in "stream of consciousness", accumulating words without ever getting to a point."

      Just to be clear, you're attempting to insult...INSULT me...by comparing me to James Joyce? Let me tell you something Blue, and I swear to all that's holy that I mean this, that's about the nicest thing anyone's ever said to me. So thanks, pal!

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 5:27am

        Re: Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

        +1 Insightful to you and +1 funny to him.

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

      • identicon
        Pragmatic, 10 Jun 2013 @ 5:32am

        Re: Re: You have NO idea what you're writing, do you?

        Your reply made me spit out my coffee!

        This Blue is an unreconstructed idiot who is most likely a huge fan of Fox News.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:23pm

    I like pie

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 7:32pm

    If anyone wants a userscript to hide out_of_the_blue comments, here it is
    I'd hack around with it to hide all the idiots that reply, but whatever
    http://pastebin.com/6Cm1gJVq

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 8:19pm

      Re:

      What's really needed is a compress/show entire rest of thread toggle that pops up with the 'this post has been hidden' message. It would certainly save me a lot of page scroll actions to skip down to some actual intelligent discourse.

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

      • icon
        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:04am

        Re: Re:

        What's really needed is a compress/show entire rest of thread toggle that pops up with the 'this post has been hidden' message.
        ^^^ THIS ^^^ Oh yes please!
        In fact a commenting system that would allow a standard +/- expand/compress for the comment trees would be totally fabulous!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 8:45pm

      Re:

      http://pastebin.com/A6EWJScM
      this is a little better, forces threading but a drawback is that it sacrifices next sibling regardless of whether it's ul.comments nest, works in most cases though
      now back to drinking, hope this comes in handy for anyone who wants it

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 3:14am

      Re:

      Quote:
      Pastebin.com has temporarily blocked your computer :(


      Pastebin blocked TOR :(

      Bad, bad sysadmin, NAT and proxies suffer with that kind of police.

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

    • identicon
      Wolfy, 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:37am

      Re:

      Thanks for the script, but I, for one, welcome OOTB's posts... they're quite funny! I think OOTB is a hoot!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2013 @ 9:16pm

    You Timothy Geigner say you wish cable news would go away.
    I on the other hand recall when I was in gulf one watching CNN and being amazed at the real time reporting. I relish cable news each and every day.

    Now lets chat about the Main Stream Media.
    I don't recall ABC, CBS or NBC ever airing an ad that was critical of their actions/views.
    I have never seen an ad in the New York Times, Boston Herald, The LA Times or for that matter the USA Today.
    I would be willing to make a wager that the above have used a similar theme to skirt the publishing of an ad they did not agree with.

    Get off your I dislike Faux and fight for things that matter to our liberties.

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

    • icon
      McCrea (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 1:02am

      Re:

      Yes, CNN was different back then. That war was sensational enough, they didn't have to sensationalize everything to make people watch it.

      CNN is much worse now.

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

      • icon
        LivingInNavarre (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 4:04am

        Re: Re:

        Seems all cable news has turned into tabloid stories. I admit if I watch tv news it will be FOX but they are a day or more behind what's already on the internet.
        Since I am a conservative I tend to Drudge. But I have noticed many of the breaking stories are links to local papers or small local tv stations.
        I guess I find it funny that when I hear FOX or CNN say 'breaking news' it's a story I already read 3 days ago put out by some small affiliate.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 3:22am

      Re:

      Mocking Faux News matters, else people believe that crap is real, at least this way people know that Faux News is a tabloid not a "news" channel, it is entertainment no journalism.

      Specially since it is part of the Murdock empire, which reminds me of MacGyver where one of his archenemies was a Murdock too, coincidence?

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

    • icon
      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:08am

      Re:

      Get off your I dislike Faux and fight for things that matter to our liberties.
      Maybe I was reading a different article but I didn't get "fox sucks" so much as "look how broken copyright law is when a news station can use it to censor criticism", which seems exactly about liberties to me.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 7:47am

      Re:

      "fight for things that matter to our liberties"

      So, spewing bullshit under the guise of news is perfectly acceptable now?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2013 @ 12:04am

      Re:

      You know what? I bet you're one of the astroturfers for fox news.

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

  • icon
    JWW (profile), 7 Jun 2013 @ 9:45pm

    This

    Story. sucks.

    This is the kind of vile scummy attack ad that substitutes for political "debate' nowadays. I may have concerns about copyright, but I'm not concerned enough about it to fight for the assholes that are dragging our political discourse into the gutter.

    If you disagree with someone then make your case and back your argument. This whiny, "so and so's opinion differs from mine, the need to lose their job" crap is just another spin on character assignation.

    It seems to me that too much now, people go to the personal attack first and argue their case, well, never.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 7:49am

      Re: This

      "It seems to me that too much now, people go to the personal attack first and argue their case, well, never."

      You're talking about Fox News - right?

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

    • icon
      Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 8:55am

      Re: This

      but I'm not concerned enough about it to fight for the assholes that are dragging our political discourse into the gutter.
      Whatever the "quality" (or not) of the ad, if you don't fight for the assholes' rights to free speech too then you don't have free speech period.
      If you want free speech, it can't be "free except for the stuff I don't like".
      "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours.
      "Andrew Shepherd" - The American President by Aaron Sorkin

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2013 @ 12:05am

      Re: This

      And I bet you're another astroturfer for fox news!

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

  • identicon
    Just another Lib Media buy, 7 Jun 2013 @ 10:48pm

    Oh, no! don't ask Faux to reform!

    Face it, Faux "news" is nothing more an episode of Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, or Rikki Lake. There's no real news here, just titillation of base prejudice and blatant push polls disguised as "news" directed at the most powerless in America - bigots, angry old white men, the KKK, and those afraid of anyone that isn't white. Tea Party whack'os seems to be a large target audience. (As opposed to the thoughtful and intelligent Libertarians.) The type of people that can say, in one breath, "Get Big Government out of healthcare but don't you DARE TOUCH Medicare!"

    Fox recently said they would pull their programming from public airwaves if Aireo wasn't stopped from re-distributing their programming. I can't think of a better public service they could do, other than shutting down completely.

    I used to listen to William F Buckley. Such a intelligent conservative, and while I could grant that he had valid points, I never once agreed with his conclusions. But I never ONCE thought of him as an asshat. This current crop of Faux News talking heads, almost without exception, would be an insult to asshats everywhere.

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

  • icon
    Tehrm (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 12:07am

    A blemish on the Techdirt brand

    Ironically, the author has intentionally misused copyright to address an unrelated topic.

    As to trotting out copyright in order to undermine criticism- this article doesn't seem to suggest that such a thing has happened. According to this article, Fox News did not seek to universally remove or prevent from publication works containing allegedly infringing content. According to this article, Fox News did blatantly confuse 'copyright rules' with internal marketing policy. Or perhaps the quote from UltraViolet indicates that Fox News misunderstands that 'copyright rules' are not subject to in-house edits.

    This article does seem to mix topics intentionally. The summary paragraph tailors the focus significantly toward applying a hatchet to Fox News. The crux of this article isn't about copyright abuse. If it deals with copyright at all, it reveals the rampant ignorance of the general public concerning copyrights through Fox News' obvious misinformation.

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

    • icon
      Tehrm (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 12:11am

      Re: A blemish on the Techdirt brand

      Second paragraph, last sentence:
      The quote is attributed to Buying Time, LLC.

      My mistake.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 3:33am

      Re: A blemish on the Techdirt brand

      No it did something more repugnant, it used copyright to justify its censorship ways.

      Don't giving a reason could fuel commentary and telling the truth would be embarrassing, so they used copyright as justification for abhorrent conduct that would be criticized otherwise, showing that copyright is not used to protect distribution channels but is being used also to shield parties from criticism, which is misuse at beast or downright abuse depending on how you chose to look at it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Oct 2013 @ 12:06am

      Re: A blemish on the Techdirt brand

      Tehrm positively identified as professional Fox news astroturfer.

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

  • icon
    Sheogorath (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 12:51am

    YouTube bots

    It's at times like this that I wish Google Inc.'s services were run by humans instead of robots, then we could appeal to them to ignore Fox's ContentID matches on this particular video.

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

  • icon
    Karl (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 3:24am

    Lizard People

    whether you think that it's just the first step in the lizard-people's plot to systematically ruin American families so that children will be easy pickings for their hungry salamander love-children

    I, for one, welcome our new Lizard People overlords.

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

  • identicon
    Ed C., 8 Jun 2013 @ 4:06am

    Oh...the insanity!

    "...or whether you think that it's just the first step in the lizard-people's plot to systematically ruin American families so that children will be easy pickings for their hungry salamander love-children."

    And yet that still wouldn't be the craziest conservative conspiracy I've heard.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 5:44am

    when you have an empire run by one of the biggest, two faced arse holes on the Planet, someone that doesn't, apparently, know what the most senior managers of his staff are doing for/to his business and lets those people then take the blame for everything that the business has been accused of, do you really expect anything else? Fox is supposed to be a News Channel'. to me, that means it is supposed to report 'the news'. if you dont agree with the news or what has happened, it should still be put out. when the news is changed simply to line it up with your beliefs, that isn't reporting its being bias. not good!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:24am

    "two sides of the debate"

    What debate -- Whether bigotry will be tolerated?

    It is entertaining to see one bigot revolt against fellow bigots.

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

  • identicon
    Wolfy, 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:40am

    I miss the CNN who was "going to cover the end of the world, then sign off."

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

  • identicon
    horse with no name, 8 Jun 2013 @ 6:42am

    one day

    one day the techdirt staff will figure out that having a video on their swanky expanding pages isn't very good if the video covers the expander.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 7:59am

      Re: one day

      Some day you will realize that web standards move on, and browsers get updated.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Jun 2013 @ 11:31am

      Re: one day

      one day the techdirt staff will figure out that having a video on their swanky expanding pages isn't very good if the video covers the expander.

      The expander has been tested on multiple browsers, and they all appear to work fine when video is there. What funky browser are you using? We can check it out.

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

      • identicon
        horse with no name, 8 Jun 2013 @ 7:58pm

        Re: Re: one day

        I am using the horribly non-standard, non-compliant Chrome browser.

        What happens is that when you place the video in the wrong part of the story, it covers up the "EXPAND" tab, except for a very few pixels to the side. So there is no simple way to click the expander, as clicking anything else is considered a click on the video.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Jun 2013 @ 3:09am

          Re: Re: Re: one day

          It's working for me, and I use Chrome. Obviously you shouldn't be using that you consider non-standard or non-compliant.

          Then again thinking and facts are clearly not your strong suit. How much time have you spent your life in Germany?

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

      • identicon
        horse with no name, 8 Jun 2013 @ 9:19pm

        Re: Re: one day

        Please note this is related to YouTube videos.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Jun 2013 @ 9:16am

    She can dominate me any day ;)

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

  • icon
    RyanNerd (profile), 9 Jun 2013 @ 5:23am

    Lizard-People?

    "...systematically ruin American families so that children will be easy pickings for their hungry salamander love-children"

    Uh Tim, I think you have been watching too many "V" reruns.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Jun 2013 @ 4:52pm

    People just need to stop watching FOX ffs

    I hate attack ads like that, so no tears over it being blocked. Calling for someone being fired for expressing a different opinion than you is just the ultimate sign of liberal bigotry.

    That said, people just need to stop watching the train wreck that is FOX news. I know its so awful its funny, but please stop and let it die.

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


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