Media site Mediaite has fired back at AOL reporter Jeff Bercovici about his article yesterday questioning whether Mediaite’s scraping of cable news videos is legal.In the original post on AOL’s Daily Finance, Mediaite editor Colby Hall declined to address Bercovici’s questions, saying: “Singling us out feels like another in a long line of repeated efforts rooted in some sort of vengeful disdain or general disapproval of Mediaite and Dan … Honestly, I’ve very little interest in assisting in this ongoing game.”
But Hall followed up with a post on Mediaite that calls out AOL for doing the same thing Mediaite does with video clips, only worse:
AOL engages in a far more egregious practice: running their own video advertisements in front of third-party video content; a big no-no in the world of Internet video aggregation. A high level source at one cable news network, whose videos AOL regularly uses, tells us that there is “no licensing agreement in place.”
Tim Armstrong‘s AOL is a corporate behemoth that regularly features video clips from television networks on a number of their sites. Maybe most relevant here is a blog called TV Replay, which basically features other networks’ video clips with little news nor analysis. More importantly, TV Replay runs video advertising that is served by the AOL advertising server in front of the third party content, something that Mediaite does not do. Running “pre-roll” in front of another network’s content runs far afoul of currently accepted practices (Mediaite serves a banner ad.) While it’s true that AOL’s video clips are often shorter than Mediaite’s curated video — although Mediaite’s are no longer than many of our competitors – the far more egregious sin appears to be the pre-roll….the dollars.
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