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Monday, July 29, 2013

Did Al Jazeera steal ‘Girls on Fox News’

By Albert N. Milliron

On June 1, 2013, the Arab network Al Jazeera program ‘Listening Post‘ featured viral video ‘The Girls on Fox News‘ by country music artist Austin Cunningham.  What happened after that is like someone borrowing your car and then registering the vehicle as their own.

Austin Cunningham was excited that his video was getting worldwide exposure but, when he went to his YouTube channel he noticed that he received a “false content ID” claim and a “Copyright strike” against him for using content that appeared on, you guessed it, Al Jazeera.  Cunningham further contends that YouTube allowed Al Jazeera to access his YouTube settings and monetize the video.

Cunningham, when speaking to Politisite, stated that he was careful to follow copyright laws and utilized Fox News footage under ‘Fair Use‘.  Fair use under copyright law is the doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders providing that the work is properly attributed to the copyright holder.

“So if anyone were to have a copyright issue with my song, it would be Fox News channel, not Al Jazeera” said Cunningham.

Cunningham has found himself in the middle of problems with YouTube policies that have been an issue for others for the last two years.  Artists who have a content ID or copyright strike against them didn’t have an adequate appeals process that is until last year.  In October 2012, the YouTube blog posted a story called, ‘Improving Content ID’ which outlined the appropriate procedures to appeal a content ID strike against a posted video on the YouTube platform.

But Cunningham wonders if this process is working. Austin told Politisite, he appealed to YouTube some two weeks ago along with an email to Al Jazeera for initiating the copyright infringement claim.  He related he hasn’t heard back from either.

Austin says, he doesn’t know why his video, 'Girls on Fox News' was singled out or the reasons Al Jazeera made this claim against him when he is the true author of the video.  “I wonder if some tech at Al Jazeera, contacted some tech at YouTube just made a poor decision”, “I certainly hope this is not standard practice on the internet”

Austin says, “I am just a musician trying to write songs for my fans”, “I am not an internet technological genius”, “I just want to entertain my fans.”

So until the Al Jazeera, YouTube problem is worked out, Austin Cunningham is currently entertaining those fans in Texas.

Austin Cunningham Tour Schedule 
Aug 1, 2013
Courtyard Theater
Plano, TX
Aug 16, 2013
Midland, TX

Aug 17, 2013
San Angelo, TX

Aug 20, 2013
6:00 PM
North Texas State Fair
Denton, TX
Aug 27, 2013
7:00 PM
Cadillac Pizza Pub
Mckinney, TX

Sep 20, 2013
8:00 PM
Back Forty Smokehouse
North Richland Hills, TX