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.

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  • Cam

    Keep it up Jon!

  • FakeName

    So not only does Faux News not know what the word “fair” means in the slogan “fair and balanced”, it also doesn’t know what the “fair” in “fair use doctrine” means. Posting 30-second clips from hour-long news broadcasts falls squarely under the doctrine.

    Funny how the Fox network, which clearly has a lot more to lose in revenue from clip sharing on YouTube, is allowing over 100,000 clips each from The Simpsons and Family Guy, over 10,000 clips each of American Dad and The Cleveland Show, ad infinitum for series that can be released on DVD (unlike anything that airs on Faux News).

  • Tommy


    You misunderstand the limits of “Fair Use.” It’s never been the QUANTITY of what’s published – 30 seconds or 30 minutes, no matter – it’s always been about exactly WHAT has been published.

    If you use someone’s work to buttress your own assertions – that’s fine. As long as that someone’s work – when taken in full context – supports your view. For instance, if someone wrote an entire book on the evils of homosexuality but included one sentence saying “I love homosexual people,” you can’t use that one sentence in an essay talking about the goods of homosexuality. It’s not Fair Use.

    The lawyers of FOX News are going to argue that “Jon” uses their clips to portray their talent as something other than they purport to be. “Jon” isn’t using the clips to relay news – that much we can agree – so FOX is assertion the clips he’s using isn’t within the context of its creation.

    That said, aims of satire allow much more liberal use of media under the Fair Use Doctrine and that’s Jon’s biggest defense.

    Ever case is judged individually, so whatever strategy Jon used in the past might not work for him in the future. Good luck to him, though! FOX News needs more people exposing their idiocy!

  • SteamPunk

    Tommy’s right about Fair Use. Also, despite what we’ve been led to believe, Fair Use isn’t a law. The DMCA is, unfortunately :(

  • FakeName

    Yes, fair use is most certainly part of US copyright law, unless you’re suggesting that the United States Copyright Office doesn’t know what the law is.

    There are four prongs as to whether use of copyrighted material falls under the doctrine:

    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;

    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;

    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and

    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    The doctrine also specifically states that “purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research” all fall under the doctrine. I have not viewed any of the segments that Jon uploaded and that YouTube pulled, but they fall under the headers of “criticism” and “comment” and quite possibly “news reporting”.

    FAUX News hasn’t a legal leg to stand on and their demand that these clips be pulled as copyright infringement either means that their legal department doesn’t know the law (which makes them incompetent) or knows the law and doesn’t care (which makes them unethical). Either way, this demand makes them look like whiny little bitches who can’t stand up to criticism. Sean Hannity recently was exposed (using copyrighted clips) misrepresenting attendance at a right-wing event and instead of whining about infringement he acknowledged the error. It’s shocking when Sean Hannity is the voice of reason about anything.

  • JoeyB

    Anderson Cooper is a disgusting hypocrite.

  • hyhybt

    “their demand that these clips be pulled as copyright infringement either means that their legal department doesn’t know the law (which makes them incompetent) or knows the law and doesn’t care (which makes them unethical).”Their legal department has to be incompetent and unethical to fit in with what’s on-air.

  • mk

    @ JoeyB

    Evidently you don’t comprehend the definition of “hypocrite”. Anderson Cooper does not criticize other gays for not coming out to the public so the fact that he has not done it himself does not make him a hypocrite. He does not criticize people for being gay so the fact he is gay himself does not make him a hypocrite. He doesn’t suppport news show hosts doing partisan editorializing in coverage of policy issues so the fact he avoids doing it himself on policy issues also does not make him a hypocrite.

  • JoeyB

    Oh please MK, enough with the defense of Cooper, obviously you have a crush on him, so move on. And yes, as long as he is on national TV playing coy, asking others hard questions that he refuses to answer himself, worried more about his ratings and the Real Wives of Atlanta, he has no respect or credibility in the gay community. Just because some of our gay brothers find him sexy – and to me he looks like a dodo bird – does not make him a hero.

  • Bubba

    umm, mk? what u wrote is completely nonsensical.

  • An

    I agree with MK. And Bubba, it does make sense, look up hypocrite in the dictionary.

    @JoeyB You move on. Let people live their own lives. Why is Cooper the only anchor who constantly gets heat for this? I think he has credibility, being gay is not all there is to a person, and I respect him for the work he does, like reporting from Afghanistan, etc. He doesn’t ask other people about their sexuality and then judge them for not answering it, and he’s not stopping others from asking if he’s gay, he just answers that he’s not discussing his sexuality, so he can ask all the questions he wants.

  • mk

    If you misuse words someone is probably going to point it out to you. “Hypocrite” makes no sense in relation to Cooper for the reasons I pointed out and also because you are wrong about him asking questions he refuses to answer himself.

    He obviously has some credibility and special value to the gay community at large or there wouldn’t be the years of mania to get only him specifically out of the closet. It’s completely stupid, but there’s a general attitude that, while it’s essential for Anderson Cooper to come out and he has a great responsibility to do it, other glass closets at the national level in news are totally unimportant and their inhabitants have no responsibility worth discussing.

  • FakeName

    Who the fuck cares about Anderson Cooper since he has nothing to do with this story other than queerty stupidly putting a picture of him on a story about FAUX News, for which company Cooper does not work?

  • jason

    Keep it up, Jon. Pox News deserves to be exposed.

  • JoeyB

    As long as there are Mathew Shepards dying MK and all those other apologists for Ms. Cooper, IT IS RELEVANT THAT THIS MULTIMILLIONAIRE QUEEN WHO REPORTS ABOUT GORILLAS IN THE JUNGLE take a stance. Because, why is his sexuality not an issue when straights get constantly questioned about their affairs and divorces?
    So, yeah, HE IS A HYPOCRITE. Guess you learn something new every day huh?

  • ME

    No one said there was no relevant correlation. MK was saying that he is not a HYPOCRITE. I like how once that was succinctly pointed out, the responses mostly became of the “whatevs” type. As if no one could be bothered to man-up and say: “You’re right, MK. He’s not a hypocrite in that sense. However, I am still saddened that he…” Nope, instead its all vitriol and bitchery like a good bunch of queens.

  • jason

    Fox News calls itself “fair and balanced”. I call it “phoney and baloney”.

  • An

    @JoeyB …You have no idea what hypocrite means, do you?

    Straights get constantly questioned, he gets constantly questioned, he just answers that he’s not discussing it in the media, as is his right.

  • MissUnderstood

    Sorry bitches, but JoeyB is right. Oh, he just does not answer it is his reply? That doesn’t cut it An. Yes, he is a hypocrite. You can defend him all he wants, but he is a fake. Accept the fact and move on.

  • An

    Sorry MissUnderstood, but I’d rather go with the dictionary definition than your word.

    It might not “cut it” in your opinion, but he’s not aiming to be a gay rights activist as you want him to be. He still has a right to make his own decisions, even if you rather he did something else to advance the gay community.

    He’s a “fake”?

  • mk

    @ JoeyB and Missunderstood

    Your answers do not make sense and I seriously suggest learning the definition of hypocrite before you post again on the subject.

    Because, why is his sexuality not an issue when straights get constantly questioned about their affairs and divorces?

    That has nothing to do with Cooper being a hypocrite. In basic terms, being a hypocrite means stating a particular belief on a topic while in personal practice acting directly counter to that stated belief. For example, if I go around saying everyone should recycle to save the earth and then it’s discovered I personally don’t bother to recycle then I am a hypocrite. Those religious people who say sex outside of marriage is terrible while fucking prostitutes themselves are also hypocrites.

    First off, Cooper’s sexuality IS an issue all the time. Unlike the other closet gays in news, he is always being outed by the gay press and he has been asked about his sexuality several times in interviews in mainstream publications. The New York Post even asked CNN for a comment on their recent gossip item about Cooper’s gaycation to India with his boyfriend.

    Secondly, since Cooper has not stated a belief gay people have a responsibility to come out or celebrities must give up any personal information requested of them by interviewers that would run counter to his own actions in giving “I’m not going to discuss that” type answers himself about his sexuality (and about his political preferences, and his religious beliefs and his social policy views), he is not being a hypocrite. In his own interviews he hasn’t raised the subject of orientation himself with people who aren’t out (which wouldn’t be hypocritical anyway because he has never stated a belief that doing so is wrong), and he hasn’t criticized interviewees for not telling him their sexual orientation (which would in fact be hypocritical since it would be speaking beliefs counter to his own actions).

    Thirdly, I think we’d all like to see the entertainment media cover gay and straight celebs’ love lives the same way but what that involves is the entertainment media changing their own conduct. If someone like Jodie Foster is walking around in public with her kids and a partner the tabloid press has their own choice whether to cover it the way they would with a straight family. They know Jodie doesn’t want the coverage, but they know some straight celebs don’t want it either and don’t let that stop them. News anchors’ partners don’t normally get coverage by tabloid media anyway, so same treatment doesn’t really mean much in that area. However, when people like Sam Champion, Shep Smith, Robin Roberts or Anderson Cooper do personal interviews it would be appropriate for matters related to sexuality to be raised as much as it would be with a straight person who is in the news business. At present all of those people have done personal interviews and the only one who has their sexuality raised in interview is Anderson Cooper, which means the entertainment media isn’t doing much about increasing gay visibility and is arbitrarily only putting pressure on one guy (not an effective strategy to get him or the rest of news out of the closet).

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