Fox Breathes New Life Into Redlasso

Redlasso, the troubled video startup that was effectively sued into oblivion last year by major networks including NBC, Fox, and CBS, is back from the dead. The site has just closed a deal with Fox, allowing it to offer embeddable video content to bloggers for the first time since last July.

Launched in late 2007, the startup helped bloggers find and embed video clips about recent news stories, offering footage from major news networks like CNN, Fox, and ESPN. Bloggers could watch entire programs, clipping only the portions that they wanted to include in their posts. The service proved to be very convenient and popular among bloggers, and was frequently used by major news sites like the Huffington Post.

But none of it was legal – Redlasso was recording and distributing this television content without permission from any of the content owners. The company was first sent Cease and Desist letters last May, which it largely ignored, instead choosing to establish a Media Advisory Board to ease negotiations with content owners. But apparently that wasn’t enough to appease the networks – Hulu backers Fox and NBC filed suit against Redlasso in July, and the site discontinued its popular service days later.

Since then, Redlasso has continued to offer a handful of B2B products, but its popular video sharing service has remained dormant. Today, the company has announced that it has closed a deal with Fox, granting Redlasso the rights to legally offer content from Fox’s local television newscasts, which will be available beginning in April. Redlasso will be pulling from Fox’s 27 regional stations located throughout the United States, and bloggers will be able to create clips as long as 10 minutes in length from any of the stations’ news programs.

This is clearly something of a trial run for Fox, as Redlasso won’t be able to offer any of the content from its national cable news networks. But it’s still a big win for Redlasso, indicating that the content owners haven’t forsaken the site completely.

Redlasso CEO Al McGowan says that the company has settled all pending lawsuits with the television networks, and is also looking to expand its content offerings to include both regional and national content from the other networks.