PI Original Josh Kalven Wednesday January 7th, 2009, 6:41pm

More On The Fox Chicago Dispute

In response to Progress Illinois' dispute with Fox Chicago over our use of brief clips from their news coverage, some have asked me exactly how many YouTube videos we create that included WFLD footage.  Here's the answer: a sweep of our coverage during the past ten months ...

In response to Progress Illinois' dispute with Fox Chicago over our use of brief clips from their news coverage, some have asked me exactly how many YouTube videos we create that included WFLD footage.  Here's the answer: a sweep of our coverage during the past ten months found that we uploaded 11 videos with Fox Chicago content.

If you click on the links at the bottom of this post, you'll see that in four of these cases, we pulled down the clips to criticize something said by a political figure.  In six others, we were highlighting an interesting statement by a guest or reporter. In the remaining one we criticized Fox Chicago itself.  Furthermore, in only three of these cases are the full videos of the underlying segments available on Fox Chicago's website.  Meanwhile, a search of the YouTube database for the terms "Fox Chicago" and "Fox Chicago News" turned up nearly 300 functioning videos.

I'd also like to make this point about the use and subsequent removal of the Axelrod clip.  In my original post on the dispute, I noted that Fox complained about that video only after it gained some attention in the national blogosphere:

In the ensuing weeks, we uploaded additional brief clips from various WFLD broadcasts without incident, including an excerpt from David Axelrod's November 23 appearance on Fox Chicago Sunday.  Then, on December 9, ABC News' Jake Tapper embedded our YouTube video on his blog, pointing out that one of Axelrod's comments appeared to contradict a subsequent assertion from the Obama camp.

Apparently hoping to capture some of the traffic attracted by our Axelrod clip, FOX filed another infringment complaint.  Our video was subsequently taken down on December 10 and, later that day, our channel was suspended due to repeat copyright offenses.  At the same time, WFLD uploaded their own excerpt of the relevant portion of the interview to their website.

But here's the catch: reporters like Tapper and others never would have known about the Axelrod statement in question if we hadn't specifically highlighted it in our November 23 blog post.  While the full interview was indeed available on Fox Chicago's website (I incorrectly suggested otherwise in my initial post), the station didn't write any accompanying article.  In short: WFLD was frustrated that that our clip was attracting web traffic; but there wouldn't have been any traffic if it wasn't for our clip. 

Again, it appears we're being punished for seeing news value in Fox Chicago's content that they themselves are missing.

Progress Illinois posts containing WFLD footage:

- Sen. Sandoval Gives McCain Undue Credit On Immigration Reform (6/23/08)
- Roskam And Shimkus' VISION Act Fudges The Numbers (7/15/08)
- Halvorson Says She Would Have Opposed Both Bailout Bills (10/6/08)
- FOX's Conaty Calls Kirk's Drilling Claim "A Bit Disingenuous" (10/19/08)
- Fox Chicago Botches Report On "Voter Fraud" In Lake County (10/29/08)
- "This Is Making History" (10/30/08)
- The Need For Recessionary Tax Reform (11/17/08)
- The Chicago City Budget: Preparing For Round Two (11/18/08)
- Cook Co. Commissioners Try To Rein In Back-Door Pay Raises (11/18/08)
- Axelrod Comments On Open Senate Seat, D.C. Leadership Vacuum (11/23/08, two separate videos)

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