The Associated Press is evidently as good as its word when it comes to enforcing a clampdown on unauthorised use of its material - so much so that it recently ordered an affiliate radio station to remove embedded videos taken from its official YouTube channel.
According to Cnet, WTNQ-FM in Tennessee got a bit of a surprise when it received a letter from AP's regional radio representative in Chicago, which read: "I noticed you are posting our video content without a license and have to ask you to remove the AP video content from the site ASAP. If you would like to know more about our web services please contact me."
A "stunned" Frank Strovel, WTNQ's operations manager, rang the rep for an explanation. His version of the conversation is as follows:
I said, “How is it a violation of a license agreement if you are actively posting the video on YouTube - on a channel you specifically created to share content - with embed codes for people to post in their websites? Are you telling me that you put it there for people to use……but if they USE IT they’re violating your rights?”
The basic reply was, “Well, I’ll have to investigate that issue further but in the meantime you need to pull all of our videos off your site.”
Strovel pulled the videos on Tuesday this week and called the rep again on Wednesday in search of clarification. He said: "He still had no answer as to why they are posting content on YouTube for embedding when it's apparently a crime to do so.
"I still want an answer to my original question and so far they are baffled and cannot give me one. They actually seemed to act like they didn't even know they had a YouTube channel!"
AP's YouTube channel still has embed code available for its videos. This can, as Cnet notes, be turned off to prevent light-fingered affiliates disseminating the material. ®