Back in 2009, while we were working on building Myows Online Copyright App, I remember reading about Sky News using a Twitpic picture by Joe Neale without permission or licensing and the debate that followed.

In Today’s case, the perpetrator is again SkyNews, this time using a 1 minute Youtube video without seeking permission and then using legalese bullying techniques to reach an ersatz settlement.

When Terence Eden discovered that a video about O2’s Security flaws he uploaded on Youtube (with usage restrictions) had been used on SkyNews, the news channel of the year shamelessly first offered to pay a laughable 75$ compensation.

Terence rightfully refused and instead asked for a reasonable 1500$ fee.

To add insult to injury, the answer he then received is proper white-collar Goliath intimidation:

As I indicated, we do not yet agree on a sensible figure for this use.

Bearing in mind you are now invoking the Copyright Designs and Patents Act I have placed this matter in the hands of our lawyers.

This does not represent an unwillingness to come to an agreement between us but, unfortunately, it is likely to slow the progress slightly.

So now we have a giant news channel that steals content from the public, then only offers to pay $75 when caught, or else the matter “must go to their legal department that will slow down the process”. I cannot believe that SkyNews is unable to provide a proper licensing fee for it’s content without resorting to such techniques.

No, it’s not OK to just steal someone’s work, and if they catch you to offer a tiny fraction of what the cost would be to produce it in a proper way.

It’s like someone taking a train without buying a ticket – if that person gets caught, has money and attitude, should they be allowed to get away with paying 1/4 of the regular price? What would that say to the other passengers who’ve duly paid for their ride?

So how did this gripping copyright saga end? To be honest, quite disappointingly.

Head over to the original article Sky News Infringed My Copyright on Terence Eden’s blog to find out.

After Thought

Perhaps this is a clever ploy to force content creators worldwide to watch SkyNews, just in case they discover one of their pics or videos being used without permission? Skynews, we’re keeping an eye on you, and you can’t fool all the people all time!