Thursday, August 18, 2005

Fuck the Corporate Media

Fuck the Corporate Media
Originally uploaded by Insurgent.
On July 8th, I filmed a protest in San Francisco. During the demonstration, an officer was injured.

Obviously the injury of the police officer sparked a media sandstorm; however, the newsmedia had elected not to cover the protest so they had no footage of the event.

Brian Shields of The Bay Area is Talking was compiling all the photos and reports as they came in from the protest and I contacted him about my footage shortly before posting it to Indybay and my vlog.

In an attempt to steer KRON's story towards a more balanced outlook of the event, I elected to sell a selected portion of my footage documenting the police's oppresive actions to the station.

Now that KRON had the footage, what would the rest of the stations do as the story became a major ratings grab? They did what everyone else did, they went to Indybay and watched my video of the events, only they also decided to put excerpts from my video on television without asking my permission, providing any sort of attribution or offering compensation.

Upon hearing this, I spoke to a few friends and one of them suggested that I simply send them a bill. So that's what I did, I wrote a letter to each of the stations announcing my frustration with them using my footage and demanding fulfillment of my invoice for a sum significantly higher than the going stringer rate.

It worked, and almost all of them agreed to honor my invoice in exchange for the full quality footage already available on my website. I agreed, and have already recieved payment from most of the stations.

But that's all backstory... well, tonight, CBS 5 aired a story about a report released by the police chief in regards to July 8th, and my footage was used quite liberally.

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation, I can't really comment on the events of the night (yikes, I sound like Scott McClellan), I have an appointment with my lawyer tomorrow morning, and I'll be sure to share what I can as soon as I discuss the matter with him.

But suffice it to say that the news report on CBS 5 was not accurate and neglected some very important elements of the story which are quite clear after watching this video which the CBS story relied on heavily. Judge for yourself, and please let me know what you think.

I'll try to deliver a more direct response to the CBS story once, I speak with my legal counsel.


At 10:48 AM, Blogger bloodshot and half-blind said...

youre a rockstar, josh!

At 10:57 AM, Anonymous brizone said...

Nice! Well done, go get those fuckers!

It might interest you to know that the same thing happened to the original Independent Media Center in Seattle, in 1999. Some network (I forget who) grabbed a bunch of our video and used it for some show (it wasn't their regular news coverage, as I recall).

Jill F., the video coordinator, got on their case right away and extracted some much-needed cash from them, at an appropriately-high price. Worked out quite nicely, actually.

They've got money, they can part with a little for good causes!

At 12:25 PM, Anonymous Brian Shields said...


I can't comment on the CBS5 story since I didn't see it.

But I would point out that as a stringer, when you sell the video, you don't have any kind of right to expect editorial control over the way it's used. Whether the is used ethically or not, accurately or not, once you sell it, it's out of your hand.

I'm glad I advised you to invoice the other stations... but don't be surprised if it shows up as file video in the future on some story completely unrelated to the original event.

That's TV, baby!

At 1:12 PM, Blogger Insurgent said...

Brian, thanks again for offering that suggestion, that helped a lot. I don't think my entry implies that I expected any sort of editorial input in any of the newscasts involved. At the same time, my blog provides an opportunity for me to be critical of the MSM coverage of the event.

At 6:44 PM, Blogger ~ FluxRostrum said...

In yer face Corpo Media!

At 5:03 PM, Anonymous Tom said...

Way to exercise your rights to your intellectual property! You shot the film, they used it, they must pay for capitalism!

At 9:45 PM, Anonymous Doug said...

I am glad that you are getting paid for the footage they used it.

Too bad that artists have to pull a lawyer in so often to get what is due to them.


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