This election year may have been something of a clusterfuck for just about everyone… but it was damn good for CNN. The cable news channel that was generally filled with some of the most idiotic and meaningless banter made out like a bandit, apparently bringing in a billion dollars in profit by being the country’s official organ player in a grand circus of political entertainment. The hiring of direct partisans on both sides, the failure to do very much actual deep looking at anything, and the complete pointlessness of whatever a Wolf Blitzer is all seemed to delight in turning anything about issues into horse race he said/she said soundbites.
And now it’s being an annoying copyright asshole too.
As you may have heard, on election night, as the results rolled in, Clinton surrogate Van Jones made a very impassioned speech about the very real fear that he and many others felt about the results. It’s worth watching.
And CNN is really pissed off if you watch that without adding another stack of pennies to their billion dollar profits.
“CNN views this as a violation of our intellectual property rights,” said Andrew Morse, executive vice president of editorial for CNN, which is owned by Time Warner Inc.’s Turner. “We take that very seriously. The video was used without attribution or permission. We are currently exploring our options with regards to NowThis, Facebook and Twitter.”
To be fair, it looks like CNN’s main focus is on a specific operation — NowThis — which was sharing the clip and was able to get more Facebook and Twitter shares of the video than CNN’s own team. But, really, what does that say about CNN’s social media operations — that they let some other third-party get the jump on them and better promote their own videos? Is it infringement? It’s possible, though I think there’s a strong fair use argument there as well. But either way, that’s not even the point. Here was a chance to actually share a rare “real” rather than plastic moment on CNN with lots and lots of people, and CNN was so focused on how it directly impacted their bottom line that they had to shut it down for anyone getting attention for it that wasn’t CNN directly.