Video showing Glenn Taylor pushing over a rock formation in Goblin Valley State Park has been restored on The Salt Lake Tribune’s YouTube channel.
YouTube removed the video Oct. 23 after David Hall, who shot the widely viewed footage and posted it to Facebook, filed a copyright claim.
Tribune digital director Kim McDaniel appealed the claim under YouTube’s policy, arguing The Tribune’s posting of the video falls under fair-use provisions of copyright law. The Tribune is a news organization, she argued, and Hall’s video was not simply part of our coverage of the incident. Rather, Hall’s creation of the video and posting of it on Facebook was integral to the story. Only after a Tribune reporter and others saw the video on the social media site did the story break and a criminal investigation of the incident begin.
As of Tuesday morning, that investigation is ongoing.
Under YouTube policy, Hall had 10 to 15 business days to respond to The Tribune’s appeal. McDaniel said YouTube requires responses in fair-use appeals to include legal filings and documentation beyond the initial complaint and rebuttal.
Hall either decided not to pursue the matter further or was unable to do so within the time period allowed by YouTube, so the video, which as of Tuesday morning had nearly 4.6 million views, was restored.
The Tribune and other news organizations nowadays face a growing challenge in deciding when it’s acceptable to post a video or photo that we view as integral to telling a story online.
We know that simply providing attribution isn’t always enough. We ask ourselves whether our inclusion of material meets fair-use criteria related to the nature and character of how we use it, the nature of the original work, the extent of the work’s use and whether we are somehow affecting its value.
We expect others to apply the same criteria in including work for which The Tribune holds copyrights.
McDaniel said that in the seven years The Tribune has been on YouTube, the news organization has uploaded 1,199 videos and has faced fewer than a dozen copyright claims.
She said previous claims all involved either background music played at an event we covered or Sundance Film Festival interviews featuring stars of films that studios subsequently purchased. Once we explained a song in question was playing during an event or that a Sundance interview had been arranged by festival staffers, those claims were dismissed.
We’re happy Hall’s video has been restored because again, we believe it’s an integral part of a story we know readers are interested in.
As always, we’ll continue to discuss and take seriously decisions about whether to include material in our reporting under copyright law’s fair-use provisions.
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