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Issue with local TV station

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Aaron Cadieux
Issue with local TV station
on Mar 27, 2013 at 1:21:25 pm

Hello Everyone,

I'm working on a documentary right now. Back in 2011, there was a segment on the local news featuring an interview that ties in to our subject matter. I'd love to show snippets of the interview. When the local station conducted their interview, it was actually over the phone, so there is no video to speak of. When they aired the interview, they simply showed a picture of the person who was speaking.

Anyway, I contacted the station recently to inquire about getting permission to show parts of the interview in the documentary. I even offered to pay. I was told that they, in no circumstances, ever release the copyright to anything they feature in their news broadcast for use outside of an NBC affiliate.

To make a long story short, we'll now have to contact the individual to conduct our own interview.

Is this common practice in this industry? Wouldn't a station want to make money issuing permission to use their news clips? Maybe I'm wrong, but aren't we in a bad economy where stations should be looking for added revenue streams?

Best,

Aaron



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Tom Sefton
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:02:56 pm

It might depend on the subject matter?


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Wayne Keyser
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 27, 2013 at 2:40:12 pm

It's their choice.

They might change their mind if there's another event like the Hindenburg explosion and they're the only one covering it, but it's their choice.

Get some fresah comments from the subject, or do without ... how hard can it be? If the info in the original interview is that crucial, put it in the mouth of a narrator: "In a December 2004 interview, [Name] told Detroit television station WWWW that he had testified..."

=============

There is no "way to peace." Peace is the way.


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Todd Terry
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 27, 2013 at 5:37:50 pm

[Aaron Cadieux] "Is this common practice in this industry?"

I don't think there's an established "norm." Many news outlets sell footage, many do not. For those that do, it's often not cheap. The last time we had to buy any footage from a news organization was several years ago (from CNN), and it was well over a thousand dollars for just a few seconds.



[Aaron Cadieux] "Wouldn't a station want to make money issuing permission to use their news clips?"

They probably don't feel it is worth their time/energy/liability, that most people wouldn't pay a rate to make it "worth their trouble," and/or they've had a bad or litigious experience in the past that caused them to establish this iron-clad policy. If you were planning to offer them enough cash (an amount with several zeros) they'd probably revisit that policy, but if you were wanting the clip for something like a few hundred bucks then it's simply not worth their time to bother with.

Keep in mind that virtually no (any?) television stations are single-owned by an individual person or company. This station is almost certainly owned by a larger group that probably owns several media properties. You could try going up the food chain and making the request to their parent company or group... but I don't think there's a real good chance of getting a different result.

Since this original interview was only a short time ago (2011) it's not exactly like vintage archival audio of a witness who had just seen the Hindenburg explosion, so I don't see any downside to conducting a new interview yourself since the subject is apparently available. You'd get something much better than the TV station's crappy "phoner" anyway.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Chris Tompkins
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:00:27 pm

Look up "News Monitoring Services" for that station. You can buy news stories that aired on TV.

We offer this service for the NBC affiliate in Atlanta.

Chris


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Todd Terry
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 28, 2013 at 3:50:40 pm

Be REALLY careful with that.

News monitoring agencies do indeed sell news stories, newspaper copy, etc., but they are not necessarily selling the rights to reuse that material (nor even own those rights to do so in the first place), especially in a commercial venture like a film.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Chris Tompkins
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 28, 2013 at 4:39:44 pm

Very good point and I should have mentioned that. They are not for re-sale, re-broadcast. For private use only.

You can sometimes, get permission to use. But you're right, you need to follow protocol.

Chris


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Bob Cole
Re: Issue with local TV station
on Mar 29, 2013 at 11:12:28 pm

There could be many reasons for a station not to be interested, several of which have been stated already. You are asking them to sell something they created wearing their "journalist" hats. This could well compromise their standing as journalists. After all, they don't know, or can't be assured, of what you will do with the footage.

It is probably harder to use footage in a cooperative fashion than if you were openly antagonistic. For example, The Colbert Report and The Daily Show use news coverage all the time (I assume without permission). You may want to investigate the concept of "Fair Use".

Bob C
("I AM NOT A LAWYER.")


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