Yesterday the Cleveland Plain Dealer/Northeast Ohio Media Group removed a video they had previously published online. The video showed the paper’s 40+ minute joint editorial board interview with Kasich, FitzGerald and Green Party Candidate Anita Rios. In the video, we got to see FitzGerald fired-up and on message while Kasich slumped in his chair, refused to acknowledge the other candidates and ignored repeated attempts by PD staff to answer even basic questions about his policies and programs.
We felt the video was important and so, after they removed it, we posted a short clip of it online. Today we received an email from the PD/NEO Media Group threatening to sue us if we did not take down the video. In the letter, Chris Quinn, Vice President of Content, claims we “illegally copied” the video – which they had posted publicly online before abruptly removing it.
We believe the Plain Dealer and NEO Media Group, the PD’s non-union, online counterpart, have an obligation to the voters of Ohio to share the entire video interview, especially since they still chose to endorse John Kasich after his disrespectful performance during the interview. We implore them to restore the video.
We believe our posting of the video falls under the category of fair use, however we have temporarily removed the video while we discuss our options.
Here’s the letter we received this morning from Mr. Quinn.
You have posted on your web site our copyrighted video of an endorsement interview in the Ohio governor’s race. You have not asked for, and we have not granted, the rights to use our property, which was illegally copied from our website.
We insist you delete the material immediately. We have registered the copyright, which means your illegal use of it entitles us to statutory damages, which can be quite steep, and recovery of all fees we pay our attorneys as we compel you to adhere to the copyright law.
We protect our copyrighted material with great vigor. You have posted it illegally. We expect immediate action in removing the video from your site.
Vice President of Content
Northeast Ohio Media Group