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View Full Version : Nevada Air Race Crash and CNN's iReport/'Courtesy of' videos


S.Horton
17th of September 2011 (Sat), 10:32
This is a post about media with money potentially taking advantage of the situation where people post video or give it away without knowing what it is worth. I have no horse in this race.

First of all, this is a tragic event. RIP for the pilot who, no doubt, was doing all he could to avoid more injury. I hope the injured can and do recover to return to normal lives.

But around that event, the videos used by CNN (and others) appear to be used in return for credit.

What I am curious about is whether or not people know that their product, in this case video, is worth something. And, do outlets like CNN pay them at all, and if they do pay is it the right (market) amount?

Related is the idea that in general people have no way to negotiate with outlets if they do not know how, and whether posting something on YouTube makes it 'free' for outlets.

Not to single-out CNN, because they all seem to engage in the practice, but here is the link:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/09/17/nevada.plane.crash/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

So, what is the issue?

First, YouTube gets paid in ad revenue. And every high-profile event they host raises their brand higher.

Second, media outlets make money (ratings -> ad revenue) by having access to that video.

Finally, the cost of a video is tiny in comparison to those revenue streams.

Shouldn't there be a mechanism for people who have valuable product to get paid up-front in the right amount?

S.Horton
17th of September 2011 (Sat), 10:46
On the related iReport page, where you can click to UPLOAD your file and comments for CNN, here are the terms of use:

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S.Horton
17th of September 2011 (Sat), 10:48
...pretty much a rights grab for unrestricted use by CNN et al and CNN can resell your product and pay you some percentage which they determine at their sole discretion.

Wow.

mikekelley
17th of September 2011 (Sat), 12:34
I'm surprised that this surprises anyone, to be honest...

robbug
17th of September 2011 (Sat), 20:09
I'm surprised that this surprises anyone, to be honest...

As stated a numerous times throughout this forum, with the proliferation of digital technoligies and the ease of use, common people are ignorant of what the market will bear. News organizations understand business and will capitalize on this. Are they evil for doing this - no because no harm between the parties occured. Both parties were satisfied with the arrangement as evident by the individual accepting the license agreement when uploading the video. In this sense a business transaction was conducted at what was considered a fair market deal.

Lots of people clamor to be able to say their work was used/featured in a nationaly televised program. Or (most likely in this case) done in a good samaritan way. Getting news out to the masses. I would venture to guess the individual submitted this video to youtube not to make money but to get the word out about how horrific this really was. And in doing so didn't think about any monetary gain.

It's all about how much the market will bear. In the case of digital media, there is so much of it out there, the market is suppressed.

MOkoFOko
18th of September 2011 (Sun), 00:21
...pretty much a rights grab for unrestricted use by CNN et al and CNN can resell your product and pay you some percentage which they determine at their sole discretion.

Wow.

Surprisingly, I'm not too shocked by that. If they set it up so that they have to agree to pay ahead of time, they won't be able to get footage quickly. The only quick way to do it (as they'd argue it) is to take all user media on a free basis.

photoguy6405
18th of September 2011 (Sun), 13:22
I'm surprised that this surprises anyone, to be honest...
No, not surprising, but still worthy of occasional reminders.

Surprisingly, I'm not too shocked by that. If they set it up so that they have to agree to pay ahead of time, they won't be able to get footage quickly. The only quick way to do it (as they'd argue it) is to take all user media on a free basis.
Granted, regarding timing, but they could be a little more fair about it. At least some nominal fee paid if they actually use it.

Edwin Herdman
18th of September 2011 (Sun), 15:51
I was thinking about this a week or so ago (at the time of hurricane Katia) and I was expecting this to more or less be the case. Their grabbing the right to resell your media...doesn't surprise me although I would have been somewhat hopeful they wouldn't try to enforce that. They can talk all they like about "citizen journalists" but they are knowingly displacing real journalists by doing this, and "iReporters" are doing the same. It's disgusting - if they are going to monetize the photos and video they receive they ought to do that the old fashioned way.

If I had been there, I wonder if I would've run around and told people not to send iReports in so we could bargain with CNN for money to help treat people's wounds. Uhh...who would've believed that? About as believable as the thought that a phone call to CNN might go other than this:

"Hi CNN, I got great footage of XX and YY. I'll offer to give you a license to run it on air this week."
"Cool, send it in as an iReport"
"I think you misunderstand me...I said I could license YOU to use the video, not to allow you to claim the video and try to license it back to ME. You'll need to pay us before you see anything."
"... *click*"

Next time, choose Magnum or somebody...anybody but CNN.

Of course, I don't know if I'll stop watching CNN - I think their only "sin" here is attaching a big fat name like iReport (like iDisavow, iLoseAllRights, iSuckers) to it to give a target...but I'm sure the other networks would try to do something similar. They might even have some talking heads try to concoct a story about the "ghouls" trying to make a profit off tragedy. :confused:

babel_fish
18th of September 2011 (Sun), 16:17
About as believable as the thought that a phone call to CNN might go other than this:

Exactly...

And thank you OP for the reminder.

photoguy6405
18th of September 2011 (Sun), 16:23
I really don't mind using people for photos and videos... they are there when it happens, and reporters can only be at so many places... but I do mind news organizations taking advantage of people's naivete.

Yeah, I know, freedom of choice and caveat emptor and all that other stuff, which wins when push comes to shove, but that still doesn't make it right. That's why reminders like this thread are so important.

EveryMilesAMemory
21st of September 2011 (Wed), 23:18
Of course, I don't know if I'll stop watching CNN - I think their only "sin" here is attaching a big fat name like iReport (like iDisavow, iLoseAllRights, iSuckers) to it to give a target...but I'm sure the other networks would try to do something similar. They might even have some talking heads try to concoct a story about the "ghouls" trying to make a profit off tragedy. :confused:

I think almost every news organization on the air has something like this on their website. Pick any of your local channels and check out their websites. Every single one I looked at had a clickable link that said something like "Send us your shots for a chance to get them shown on the news tonight"

I recently had a friend who was at a Detroit Tigers game when a crazy storm blew over. He snapped a photo of it and emailed it to the local news station from his phone.

He said his phone about blew up with phone calls from friends because the news station had it on both the 6pm and the 11pm news with a little line that said "Courtesy of 'Friends Name'"

He posted a link on Facebook which is where I saw it still on the local channels website.

I went to the news stations site and they had it on their main page and kept it there for a few days!!!:confused:

I sent him a long email asking him to contact the news agency asking for some sort of compensation because they were using it so much, but he was really proud that he had a image they were using, so he didnt care...which is sort of the state of affairs these days it seems.

philwillmedia
21st of September 2011 (Wed), 23:54
I went to the news stations site and they had it on their main page and kept it there for a few days!!!:confused:

I sent him a long email asking him to contact the news agency asking for some sort of compensation because they were using it so much, but he was really proud that he had a image they were using, so he didnt care...which is sort of the state of affairs these days it seems.

It's for precisely this reason that news agencies will continue to do this.
There are so many people who will supply them with material for no financial recompense, but are happy with the wank factor of seeing "Photo - Harry Suck" underneath the image.

For every person who wants to be paid for such images, theres probably 200 who just want to see their pics in print and don't care about the money.
The usual thing I hear is something like "...but I'm not a pro and I just want to see my photo in the paper"

From a news agency's perspective, which pics would you take - those you have to pay for, or those you don't.

I had a similar situation recently where I sold some images to several Australian newspapers.
A TV station saw them and contacted me about using them.
I said I was happy to send them and they were rapt.
As soon as I said that I would require a fee, they didn't want to know.
Following our phone conversation, this was my email.

"Thanks for your enquiry re the photos of (competitor) at (event)

I'm more than happy to supply the images used in the (newspaper) for (TV Station) use on your television news broadcast.
As with other media outlets which have used the images, there would be a negotiated fee payable and image credit provided for such use.

As you will understand, this is how I make my living and pay my bills and costs and a picture credit/byline alone does not help to pay those costs.
Understandably, I wouldn't be able to advertise on the TV station without there being a cost to do so and I'm sure the rest of the staff at (TV Station) don't provide their services for free.

Feel free to call me on the number below to discuss this matter further."

I'm still waiting for their reply....

EveryMilesAMemory
22nd of September 2011 (Thu), 00:11
I'm still waiting for their reply....

Dont hold your breath!

P51Mstg
23rd of September 2011 (Fri), 13:13
Not exactly...... CNN does pay.

I was at Reno and got photos (about a dozen) of Jimmy before the crash. I had the trim tab coming loose and then coming off the Ghost.

They wanted to interview me on the air (which I did) and they looked at the pictures. They said they'd like to use the pictures on the broadcast.

Well as media at Reno I agreed to let them look at any crash photos BEFORE I released them. I had given a copy to RARA and another to the NTSB. Really I didn't feel right about giving up the pictures before RARA had a chance to review them.

So I declined to let them be shown on the air. The anchorman offered to buy them, (didn't state an amount) and principles are principles and I declined to sell (at any price)......

So YES VIRGINIA CNN does buy photos.

However some who had dramatic shots, gave them away.... Thats their problem. I think one of mine will be a magazine cover this month.

Mark H

S.Horton
23rd of September 2011 (Fri), 13:46
I cannot imagine the trauma of being at that event.

I think the only good part of that story was how well everyone worked together to help those in need.

There is a need for a house like Magnum to enter the business of playing gateway between unwitting (if lucky) amateurs and customers who should pay.

It is a real market if they could get word out that 'free' photos are 'worth thousands' -- IMO.

chakalakasp
23rd of September 2011 (Fri), 14:35
I was thinking about this a week or so ago (at the time of hurricane Katia) and I was expecting this to more or less be the case. Their grabbing the right to resell your media...doesn't surprise me although I would have been somewhat hopeful they wouldn't try to enforce that. They can talk all they like about "citizen journalists" but they are knowingly displacing real journalists by doing this, and "iReporters" are doing the same. It's disgusting - if they are going to monetize the photos and video they receive they ought to do that the old fashioned way.

If I had been there, I wonder if I would've run around and told people not to send iReports in so we could bargain with CNN for money to help treat people's wounds. Uhh...who would've believed that? About as believable as the thought that a phone call to CNN might go other than this:

"Hi CNN, I got great footage of XX and YY. I'll offer to give you a license to run it on air this week."
"Cool, send it in as an iReport"
"I think you misunderstand me...I said I could license YOU to use the video, not to allow you to claim the video and try to license it back to ME. You'll need to pay us before you see anything."
"... *click*"

Next time, choose Magnum or somebody...anybody but CNN.

Of course, I don't know if I'll stop watching CNN - I think their only "sin" here is attaching a big fat name like iReport (like iDisavow, iLoseAllRights, iSuckers) to it to give a target...but I'm sure the other networks would try to do something similar. They might even have some talking heads try to concoct a story about the "ghouls" trying to make a profit off tragedy. :confused:

Quite honestly, if you have incredible photos or footage of nationally important news that nobody else has, going right to CNN seems like a poor choice. If I snapped a shot of Elvis shaking hands with Bigfoot, I'd probably phone up Getty or Corbis -- someone with international reach who can easily negotiate exclusivity agreements in a rapid-fire fashion.

S.Horton
27th of September 2011 (Tue), 13:51
....and here we have CNN teaching people to take better photos. They are smart to attempt the creation of a crowd-sourced set of free photos which they can sell.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/IREPORT/09/02/capture.photo.bootcamp.irpt/index.html?iref=obnetwork