A Fox News spokesperson contacted DMW today and stated that it was a mistake to remove the clips of Chris Wallace’s interview with former President Clinton on YouTube. In an official statement, Fox News claims that their Internet division used “poor judgment” when going after YouTubers. Strategically, Fox News recognizes that the clips are of great PR value and that the company is “thrilled” that the interview received so much publicity.
Many of DMW’s readers have reacted to my analysis piece yesterday, when I examined the strategic implications of enforcing the copyright of popular TV network content such as Fox News Sunday’s interview with Clinton on YouTube. You can read the story here.
After speaking to Fox News this morning, here are the facts, which confirm what I wrote yesterday:
- Fox News Internet Division did go after YouTubers on Monday. Users who used the keywords "fox news" in their descriptions of the Clinton-Wallace exchange received cease and desist letters from YouTube, which said Fox News had lodged copyright claims against it.
- Internally at Fox News, based on the statement, they clearly realized that part of the reason that the interview got so much attention was because of the clips on YouTube and other non-Fox video websites. On the following day, Tuesday, the videos were restored on YouTube and other sites.
- Fox News officially admits that it was a mistake to try to take down the clips on YouTube and that their Internet Division used “poor judgment”. At Fox News, they now state that they are “thrilled” that the interview has received so much attention and that the clips on YouTube are getting a tremendous number of views.
What is interesting to me, is not just that Fox News on one day did a 180-degree turnabout, but what does it tell us about News Corp.’s general policy toward YouTube? Like some of our readers have commented, does this mean that all Fox video content is fair play now on YouTube? When is it “poor judgment” and when is it prudent to enforce copyright restrictions? How can individual YouTubers know which clips they can and cannot use?
The lines are still fuzzy.
Here is the complete statement from Fox News:
"Our Internet division used poor judgment in asking this to be taken down. We're thrilled the Wallace-Clinton clip has received so many hits on You Tube."