There are over 2,000 WHAS11 videos on YouTube and more than 45,000 Google results for “WHAS11 video.” Surprising, isn’t it? If so much of that station’s footage is allowed to virally spread across the internet, why on earth would anyone at that station single us out for a mere ten video clips? What’s with the hypocrisy? What could possibly need to be covered up so badly? This behavior is obviously in retaliation for our criticism. And we must have struck a chord.
Over the past 24 hours we have heard from numerous reporters, producers and employees at WHAS11 and BELO both expressing outrage at the situation and supporting our right to use video clips under Fair Use. Two other local television stations and one in Lexington have offered support.
We fully expect the individual at WHAS11 responsible for the copyright infringement claims to continue to deny our right of free speech. We expect them to spout off in an accusatory fashion or in some way to say the use of a news segment or clip (not an entire show!) is illegal. But we are hopeful new General Manager Mark Pimental will recognize that Fair Use is critical to freedom of speech in the United States of America and to the future of media in Kentucky. If we’re unable to talk about the news and share portions of it (as any other outlet would do) to tell our story– then how can we reasonably expect truth and reality to be a part of the news these stations air?
When critics are allowed to be freely targeted and silenced we move further and further into an Orwellian society. When sites like ours, Media Matters for America, Crooks & Liars, or any number of publications featuring video segments from news broadcasts endure censorship– our readers and the general public suffer unjustifiable harm.
We recognize that WHAS11 has seen their fair share of tough times recently. And we have pioneered the system for reporting those woes. But that’s no reason and no excuse for vengeful behavior.