It seems CNN was so embarrassed by the video’s floating around of their hack reporter Susan Roesgen where she rudely cut off tea-party protestors in Chicago, and then attacked them with the typical liberal talking points. So what do they do? They get YouTube to take down the video’s for “copyright infringement.” But as Ben Sheffner of Copyrights and Campaigns writes, the copyright infringement argument won’t fly: (h/t Patterico)
CNN does own copyright in its own news footage and, as a general matter, has the right to demand its removal from YouTube. However, as to this particular video, I think Founding Bloggers has a very strong fair use defense. The purpose for Founding Bloggers’ posting of the CNN footage is crystal clear: to comment on and criticize CNN’s reporting on the “Tea Party.” Such a use is right in the heartland of the fair use doctrine; the statute specifically mentions “criticism, comment, [and] news reporting” as protected uses that are “not an infringement of copyright.” 17 U.S.C. § 107. To quickly run through the four fair use factors as they apply here: 1) the use is transformative (for critical comment); 2) the CNN footage is factual, not fictional, and was previously broadcast; 3) the amount used is small in relation to the whole CNN broadcast; and 4) any effect on the market is minuscule (and if fewer people watch CNN because this video causes them to think less of its coverage, that’s simply not cognizable harm). Many fair use cases are difficult, close calls–but, given the facts as I know them, this is an easy one.
So now Patterico is urging all bloggers to put the new YouTube video’s up and link them. I’m going above and beyond and putting the video up on my server….check out the embarrassment of CNN Susan Roesgen yourself:
John Hinderaker believes they know what CNN is doing:
It is hard to avoid the inference that in this case, CNN was motivated not by a desire to protect its intellectual property but by a desire to avoid embarrassment caused by the unprofessional performance of its reporter. In today’s world, though, it just isn’t possible to track down all copies of a video and suppress them, when the video relates to a matter of broad and legitimate public interest. That CNN is willing to make the attempt reveals something, perhaps, about its attitude toward the public’s right to be informed.
Oh, btw….it appears Susan is taking a break from it all, I wonder why?