Thanksgiving Update: Our Belts Aren’t Tight Yet Edition

Fair hiring practices on the way. Steve Beshear made public his plans to ensure fair hiring practices when unveiling a website created to accept applications for non-merit positions. The governor-elect said during a press conference that he’s prepping his staff to be well-acquainted with hiring laws and made it clear there won’t be any Fletcheresque scandals. He’s probably telling the truth unless he hires Heather French Henry. [H-L]

MACED! The Mountain Association of Community Economic Developers has responded to insane-o Rep. Jim Gooch. Gooch, you’ll recall, toted out some British kook with tired arguments denying global warming and then had the nerve to embarrass Kentucky on Good Morning America last weekend. Preach on, MACED, we’re with you. Responsibility is key and muddying the waters of reality like Gooch has attempted is, well, outrageous. [Cyberhillbilly]

Panhandlers are the devil and homeless people are scary. Rich white folks are afraid of downtown. Any downtown in the country. That’s especially true in Louisville where white flight is as apparent as it is in any other city. Some elected city hacks of Metro Louisville are suffering “cash-guilt” and have a serious problem with honesty. No surprises there. [LEO]

Guess who. It’s all about Crit. Never about people actually considering a run for office. Always about the woman who drags her feet. We’re not picking sides here but come on. We reported her desire to face McConnell months ago and she still hasn’t done anything. Time to piss or get off the pot. Playing games this late in the year is childish. We hear from our source in Schumerland that money for Crit is no longer guaranteed and no sides will be taken because there’s a serious candidate on the horizon. [CNN]

Open Records Whining. Mark Hebert has a great rant about state employee email and open records requests: “Now before you state employees start howling about privacy concerns, remember that you signed a legal form saying you would only do state business on your state computer and any other activity would be a violation of policy. In other words, if you’re sending nasty e-mails to a co-worker, or writing long letters to Aunt Betty on your state computer, you’re violating state policy.” P.S. We have a great photo of Hebert from his college days at Western. [Mark Hebert]

The McConnell Smear Machine

BlueGrassRoots has a great story on Mitch McConnell’s shameless attempt to smear journalist John Cheves with typical right-wing spin.

Since Cheves’ exposé last year about McConnell’s connection to Red China and the overall downfall of society, “Team Mitch” has been up in arms. They’ve been unsuccessful at changing the subject but they haven’t stopped trying.

Here is their basic argument: John Cheves was paid by a bunch of Commie liberals last year to spread lies (lies, damnit!) about Mitch McConnell in the Herald-Leader. After the LHL was caught red-handed, they were shamed into handing the Commie money back to the Reds. Fast forward to this year: John Cheves has returned to Lexington to spread more lies about McConnell. And where has he been? Why he’s been working for Sen. Ron Wyden (Communist-OR), busy plotting how to take down the Republicans with liberal propaganda.

Some of Mitch’s mindless minions use this argument: “if they’re so non-partisan, where is the research showing a corrupt Democrat”?!? Well, Billy, sit down and let me actually show you that. From CIR’s own website, we see CIR’s Will Simon ripping the Democratic leadership in the Senate to shreds in the pages of the LA Times. He scours Harry Reid, Robert Byrd, Herb Kohl and Jack Reed for hypocrisy on earmarks, as they publicly denounced them but filled legislation with pork to go back to their district. How’s that for ya?

Spin aside, there’s no way for McConnell to escape the dead weight that is China. It’s his Achilles heel. And we don’t know anyone who would want to be associated with the recent flood of dangerous products flowing from his inlaws’ shipping operations in China.

LEO Updates Copyright Story, Kinda Gets it Wrong

We have to take issue with with Jennifer Oladipo’s follow-up story in LEO this week.

Pimentel said the two sides had reached an agreement about the station’s expectations for how its content would be used, but declined to give specifics. He said WHAS would look at how user-friendly locating (and therefore linking to) video content is on its own site, once its Web content manager position is filled. In the meantime, he said the station doesn’t consider use of entire news segments as protected under Fair Use, nor is content that is posted unaccompanied by comment — links or no links. But yeah, there should be links.
No one will discuss any quid pro quo, but evidence suggests that WHAS has agreed to play fair as long as The Ville Voice and Page One agree to play a little fairer.

We linked to WHAS all the time– when we could, as their site is nearly impossible to navigate and uniquely devoid of content. We most frequently link to Mark Hebert’s blog because he’s quick with breaking political news.

We’ll assume she doesn’t completely understand the case as it was explained to her and is referring to a lack of links to WHAS on YouTube itself– the only area where we’ve not provided links to WHAS in the past. In our YouTube video descriptions we’ll be adding a link to WHAS11.com. As noted in the story, our critiques and discussion hit the web within minutes of broadcast– often hours (or days) before the information is available on the WHAS website. So a generic link may be all we can provide. At least for the time being and until content is provided more regularly by the station. We certainly will be making a concerted effort to link back to original stories when they become available. But as we pointed out yesterday, our audience isn’t WHAS’s core and we shouldn’t be considered competition. (Side note: We’re hopeful that WHAS11’s soon-to-be-hired web content manager begins to make video available for embedding on other sites. The station can still make money by including advertisements in the clips. Linking back to an occasionally available Windows Media file just isn’t viable.)

Read moreLEO Updates Copyright Story, Kinda Gets it Wrong

Big News: WHAS11 Copyright Infringement Resolution Reached

Thousands upon thousands of people have closely followed an incident involving WHAS11 and Page One/The ‘Ville Voice over alleged copyright infringement. (Yes, we’re surprised by the sheer numbers.) On October 25th someone at WHAS11 wrongly filed a complaint with YouTube which resulted in the removal of video excerpts our media operation was using for purposes of important discussion and criticism, protected by federal Fair Use laws.

It turns out this is a case of much ado about very little. That’s not to diminish its importance. After a meeting last week, WHAS agreed to allow the videos to reappear on YouTube. We agreed to do a better job of linking to their website when we post their videos.

To recap, on November 7th the mainstream media jumped on our story. Louisville Eccentric Observer ran a feature news story about our battle for the freedom of speech in new media. We welcomed and encouraged the publicity. We love publicity. Any news is good news – that’s us.

The problem, as we understand it, was that our video excerpts were attracting a significant audience, web viewers that some at the station believed could have been watching the same video directly through WHAS11.com. We’re all competing for eyeballs on the web, so in their eyes we were a threat. And, one of our videos (like this McConnell story, for instance) did attract more than 22,000 views. So they were probably right to be concerned. Of course, a closer look at the traffic statistics shows that about 65% of our readership comes from outside the Louisville media market– not WHAS11’s core.

Read moreBig News: WHAS11 Copyright Infringement Resolution Reached

Major Press: WHAS11 Copyright Story Gets Mainstream Attention

LEO’s Jennifer Oladipo delves into the WHAS11 Fair Use mess as the paper’s Arts & Entertainment feature story. You’ll recall that two weeks ago someone at WHAS11 wrongly accused us at Page One and The ‘Ville Voice of copyright infringement. The accusation resulted in the loss of major video that was making a national impact and we were left scrambling in the midst of a breaking political scandal.

We’re glad the mainstream media is finally giving this story the legs it deserves. When the printies write about an issue it actually starts to mean something, right? So please take time to read the story and spread it around the blogosphere. And encourage your friends to pick up a copy from newsstands. Sticking up for new media is of major importance to us all.

Update: As a result of this story WHAS11’s management have approached us. We’re optimistic that a resolution is just around the bend!

www.YouSue.com: WHAS-TV goes after Louisville bloggers for posting its video. How far will the station go?

By Jennifer Oladipo

Right now on YouTube, you can find clips of WHAS-TV newscasts, everything from a story about a boy who died from electrocution by a garage door to an interview with the grown-up members of Hanson or footage of a cute but nervous puppy hurling on the anchor’s desk. Keying “WHAS11 video” into Google brings up hundreds more hits.

But there are 10 clips you won’t see, those posted by Louisville blogs The Ville Voice and Page One Kentucky, both published by Full Signal Media. The clips were used in commentaries about news coverage and other issues at WHAS. Page One co-owner Jacob Payne said he believes that’s made them a target: Two weeks ago, the station filed a copyright infringement claim with YouTube against Page One and Ville Voice for using those clips.

Click here to read the rest…

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 7

We were informed last evening, October 31 at 6:31 P.M., that our counter-notification to WHAS11’s wrongful copyright infringement claim has been forwarded to the station.

Oct 31, 2007 6:31 PM
Dear Jacob,

Thank you for your counter-notification. It has been forwarded to the
party that sent the takedown notification. If we receive no response, your
material will be restored between 10 and 14 days from today.

Sincerely,

Harry
The YouTube Team

Page One and The ‘Ville Voice for updates to this story.

WHAS11 Fair Use Update: Day 5

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.