CNN Latest Media Thug to Use “Copyright” as Censorship

The Associated Press has done it to those who dare to use their own doctored photos as proof of AP’s bias. (

Now, it’s CNN’s turn to squelch fair use because of its embarrassment over Susan Roesgen’s erratic behavior:

Hat Tip to Patterico.

I’m sick of people knocking embarrassing videos off YouTube with bogus copyright violation claims.

The latest culprit is CNN, a network that was recently embarrassed by a video of reporter Susan Roesgen cutting off tea-party protestors in Chicago, and assailing them with silly liberal talking points. The blog Founding Bloggers showed up on scene and caught her in further arguments with angry citizens who noted her biased coverage. I posted the Founding Bloggers video on Thursday.

But guess what happens when you click on it now?


As to the validity of the copyright claim, let me turn over the megaphone to Ben Sheffner of Copyrights and Campaigns:

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.

That’s a very refined way of saying CNN is full of crap.

Patterico stated that if CNN wants to press the issue, he’s prepared to ‘take Sheffner’s advice and file a DMCA counternotice’.

If CNN is smart, they’ll drop this and chalk it up to a bad experience. They share the ratings basement with MSNBC. Censorship over the asinine behavior of one of their reporters won’t help.

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