Does 3News Sell Videos Taken by Others?

Go to update and response from 3News

My last post was about the chandelier demolition rescue video that was recorded and posted on YouTube by a friend of mine. That video then turned up on 3News and was credited to ‘an amateur videographer’. He actually didn’t know anything about it being on 3News until I told him.

Just goes to show that if you post it online and make it public, I guess it becomes public property! I’m sure that’s not actually accurate officially. Surely there’s something about not downloading videos from YouTube for public broadcast? He’s not really fussed about it being aired on TV but it would have been nice for someone at 3News to at least post a comment on the video or something.

However, following the airing on TV, 3News have posted the video on their site. The clip says nothing about where the video was sourced from and actually has a link under the video to buy the video clip. Are 3News really downloading videos from YouTube and then offering them up for sale through their site? There really seems to be something fundamentally wrong about that.

I haven’t fully researched this. It’s possible that once you apply to buy the video clip, they actually respond with a ‘Sorry no, we didn’t mean to sell this one. Sorry.’ but on first appearances, that really doesn’t appear to be the case. I’d love to hear from anyone who’s had some experience with buying video clips off 3News.

I’ve commented on the video on the 3News site so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone responds. Other than that, does anyone else know or have any thoughts? Leave a comment.

Ironically, the next video on 3News is about how the traditional news media is using social media as a source of news updates. Ironically they then follow with their slogan ‘3News, see it first!’.

That aside, I’ve just seen a Trade Me Cool Auction for the very same chandelier that was plucked from the building. All proceeds are going to the earthquake charity (is there an official one?). You can see the auction here.

Update and Response from 3News

Following a comment I placed on the video on 3News, I’ve received an email response from James Murray, Chief Editor of I’m pretty satisfied with the response and he makes a valid point.

James tells me that 3News won’t actually sell this video clip. They sell others and use the same video player for all videos so while all videos may display the ‘buy clip’ button, not all videos will be sold.

James says that 3News tried to contact the creator of the video through YouTube but received no response. He also says:

Your friend should know that by placing his video on YouTube and allowing it to be embedded, he is allowing people to use that video on any website. They just have to use the embed code and it can be used. If he doesnt want that to happen he needs to tick a box that says something like “don’t allow this video to be embedded”, this makes it harder to use.

This is true (although the initial concern was more regarding the ability to purchase the video from 3News, which has now been cleared up). However, this obviously reflects on an issue with YouTube that I touched on in the comments of this blog post. uses a Creative Commons license that allows creators to add licenses to their content. These licenses vary but basically can allow a creator to give permission for their work to be used and distributed by others under specific conditions.

YouTube is crying out for this license facility. At the moment, policy seems to be pretty black or white. You can either give away your video to the world for them to do what they like with (Public) or lock down your video so that only a select few YouTube users can view it (Private).

In the meantime, there are a number of alternative video sharing sites that you can use with a Creative Commons license. This resource lists quite a few. The only issue then, of course, is that no one can compete with the exposure and sheer number of viewers that YouTube provides.

The moral of the story is that if you’re uploading videos to YouTube, you’re effectively giving up your ownership of that media.

  • The solution to this is that YouTube needs to get their act together and allow you to choose a Creative Commons license for each video that you upload. has been doing this for years. You can then specify specific licenses, for example: people can only use your video so long as they give credit to you plus they can’t change that video or use it to directly make money.