Redlasso, a useful but controversial service that lets users grab video clips from television, has just established a Media Advisory Board to help manage relations with litigious content providers. The board includes former Viacom CFO Michael Dolan and former President of Paramount Station Group, Anthony Cassara. The additions come two weeks after the company added ex-CBS CEO Michael Jordan as a senior advisor.
Redlasso lets bloggers (and bloggers alone) clip portions of recorded television and embed it on their sites. The service is very convenient, as users can pull clips from hours of content across many popular television channels including CNN, Fox News, and ESPN.
Unfortunately, Redlasso hasn’t actually gotten the rights to any of this content. They claim that the clips embedded by bloggers fall under fair use, which is debatable. But they still have to answer for the thousands of television programs that are sitting on their servers for bloggers to browse through – something that is clearly a violation of copyright law.
Last month, Fox, CBS and NBC sent Redlasso a cease and desist notice demanding they remove copyrighted content from their site. The networks also claimed that Redlasso was trying to “falsely convey an affiliation between Redlasso and the Content Owners, when there is none”. In response, Redlasso declared that it would continue to make the site available while it “continues to work towards cooperative, mutually beneficial arrangements with those and other content providers” – essentially telling the networks to piss off.
Clearly Redlasso is looking to get their content deals hammered out (the site claims to have been talking to the networks for years). So will this growing team of ex-studio bigwigs help Redlasso with its legal troubles? Don’t count on it, especially given the fact that many of these networks are investing in sites like Hulu, which also allows bloggers to generate clips.