WKYC-TV Police Video: News or Property?

WKYC-TV exerted a copyright claim on the video I posted a link to (hat tip).  You can still find it here, here and here (for the moment).  The question is not purely why issue a copyright claim to have it removed, but what is the nature of the clip?  Is it the intellectual property of WKYC-TV, or is it a public service meant to spread the news?

To be fair, WKYC has the video here (part 2 here, and a follow up from the State Attorney General here), so at least they are providing the video online, rather than simply exerting copyright for the sake of copyright.  At the same time, with “exclusive” plastered all over the page (and repeated during the broadcast), WKYC is clearly claiming a kind of ownership of the story itself.

I can understand threatening youtube when someone dares to post the latest episode of [insert crappy sitcom name].  But a news story’s impact is directly a function of the number of people it reaches.  To assert property rights in this context runs counter to the purpose news should serve in our society.  In this case, WKYC-TV is putting their intellectual property before their impact and reach as a news organization.

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One Response

  1. Well, of course they will. They’re here to make money. Nothing more.

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