By Eriq Gardner
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation has decided to crack down on Fox News clips appearing on the Internet, recently sending out more than 150 takedown notices to YouTube. The efforts caused the temporary shutdown of News1News' YouTube channel, which provides clips of Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly and the rest of the Fox News gang to a number of web outlets, including Huffington Post.
There are a couple of ways to read this new development.
At first, Fox News' DMCA claims seemed to be targeted at the liberal blogosphere
as a way to prevent left wingers from ridiculing the channel's personalities. But Fox News later sent takedown demands and subsequently caused the shutdown of some right-leaning YouTube channels too, such as GlennbeckClipsDaily and ConservativeNation.
But there's another way to read what's going on.
In the past couple of years, many rights-holders have wondered whether embedded clips threaten their businesses. In May 2008, Fox, CBS and NBC took down RedLasso
, a then-popular web service that let users search its database of recorded television for clips to post online. (After signing licensing deals, the company recently relaunched
a more modest version.)
After ASCAP started targeting websites and bloggers
who embed clips, YouTube agreed to pick up the legal fight on downstream embedded uses of YouTube videos. Currently, both sides are before the Copyright Royalty Board arguing how much YouTube should be charged to allow its users to embed videos.
The decision, as well as crackdowns by Murdoch and others, could end up impacting the future of embedded video clips online.