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What happens when your April Fool's day prank is taken seriously by a New York television news agency? Well, in an effort to avoid embarrassment, WPIX CW11, owned by Tribune Entertainment, apparently filed a DMCA complaint against the group, "Improv Everywhere" and claimed copyright infringement on their reporting and re-broadcasting of Improv Everywhere's April Fool's gag, that they thought was real. Once again, a news agency does absolutely no fact-checking, and when caught with their pants down tries to pretend the debacle never happened. Luckily someone other than YouTube is hosting the embarrassing video.
Improv Everywhere writes:
For April Fool's Day we posted a video of a fake mission where it appeared that we had lost our judgment and crashed a funeral. We fooled thousands of angry YouTube users into thinking it was real. The biggest fools of all were the CW 11 news team who reported on the funeral as if it actually happened. They didn't do one bit of research or fact checking, they simply broadcast a YouTube video and reported it as fact (a video from a prank group on April 1st!) I of course uploaded their story to my personal YouTube channel to show the world their lack of journalism skills.
Tonight I got a copyright notice from YouTube informing me that Tribune (the parent company of the CW 11) had filed a copyright claim against the video and that it had been removed. Clearly they want this embarrassment off of the Internets. What's more interesting is the fact that their original broadcast used our content without permission. They simply put "YOUTUBE" on the screen to indicate that?s where they found the video. So it's OK for them to air content that we shot and own, but it's not OK for me to upload their footage of the content they took from me? It's "fair use" for the news to take a video off of YouTube and broadcast it, but it's not "fair use" for a citizen to expose their poor reporting on his own content?
Here's the original premise:
For our latest mission, 30 Improv Everywhere agents found a random funeral in the obituary section of the newspaper and turned it into the best funeral ever. We picked a man who had very few surviving relatives and then showed up to his funeral to make it truly awesome. Enjoy the video first, and then continue reading for photos and our report.
UPDATE: This mission is fake. Everyone involved is an actor. Happy April Fool's Day 2009.
What's even more pathetic is how often this "news team" appears to get their content from YouTube in lieu of actually doing any journalism themselves.
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