copyright fight

Why Fox News Is Going After the Gay Military Vet Who Clips the News


Once upon a time, video clips of the outrageous things uttered on cable news and morning shows were brought to the Internet by a company called RedLasso. The fun ended when major broadcast networks threw around words like “copyright infringement,” and RedLasso’s blog clipping service ended as we knew it. So then along came Jon, a D.C. resident who told us news-clipping is a “hobby” because “I am a news junkie and I like to push topics that I am passionate about.” But the fun is, for the moment, over: Fox News just had all of Jon’s clips yanked from YouTube.

Claiming copyright infringement, FNC got Jon’s YouTube account News1News purged, which means dozens of posts on this blog alone are rendered without video clips of Maddow, Cooper, Behar, Dobbs, and of course, O’Reilly and Beck. But FNC’s movie wasn’t made just because Jon was repurposing News Corp.’s intellectual property, but because he was repurposing clips that made Fox News talent look bad. From Bill O’Reilly’s screaming to Glenn Beck’s utter insanity, the clips were passed around the liberal blogs so we could poke fun. But as Gawker notes, FNC hasn’t gone after conservative YouTube clippers — because they are helpful commodities to the network.


This has happened to Jon before; his old account “NewsPoliticsNews” was suspended in early summer after Digital Millennium Copyright Act complaints, only to be reborn after YouTube’s lawyers eventually disagreed with folks who filed infringement violations. At the time, the account had clocked 16 million views. Getting suspended “will not happen again,” Jon told us in June.

Except now, it has. Of course, it’s easy to create YouTube accounts, so Jon’s upper-left badge is back at “NewsPoliticsAmerica”. Earlier this year, Jon told us he had “clearances” from the networks to use his clips. If FNC was on that white list at the time, they’ve since reneged.

So why is this such a big deal? Because folks like Jon — private citizens who have the time to rip and upload videos — are crucial to this “blogging” thing we do all day long. A single 30-second clip that might otherwise disappear into the ether can live forever online, driving debate for at least a 24-hour news cycle (or until the gals at The View talk about it, in which case it’s time to move on).

Moreover, Jon (who would like to remain anonymous, thank you very much) tells us both he and his partner are former military personnel, and have many friends still active, and thus have a vested interest in the gay debates and Don’t Ask Don’t Tell discussions. And, particularly, in the misinformation campaigns driven by Fox News.