I have a long standing campaign to get a news organisation to make a donation to a local children’s charity (rather than paying me) when using my content. So far this has proved unsuccessful with news orgs occasionally lifting my stuff (MyVillages) or coughing into their beard when a charity donation is mentioned (Islington Gazette) or indignation (BBC commissioned documentary maker). I know this isn’t straightforward, even within big organisations the budget may not be available or a charity donation may be nearly impossible to run through the accounts dept.
I had an amusing encounter with the Mailonline website the other day when they contacted me to ask to use a video from my YouTube channel. The video in question is a very crude but evocative piece of some traditional fisherman in Kerala India I shot on a basic digital camera back in 2006 and edited badly in Windows Moviemaker – it’s had over 19,000 views. The Mail had an excellent photo feature on similar Keralan fishermen diving for mussels. It wasn’t exactly what the Mail wanted, so they were trying to tease it out for nothing.
For me of course if someone isn’t paying for something, I would prefer the YouTube original to be embedded in their site, which can be done without asking then at least my viewers go up. The Mail did offer a link to the charity which is better than nothing, but that would be most useful in the context of a story about inner city life, not a lifestyle piece on Kerala.
I still scratch my head a little at why such a huge website can’t stump up £100, but maybe that’s why Mailonline is profitable…..
Dear William Perrin,
Do you own the video:
If so, I’d like to request permission to download it and play it on our website (www.mailonline.com) to go along with the story we’re running today.
We will of course credit your YouTube channel.
yes i shot the video and own it
before agreeing to it use could you let me know what context the video will be used in please (is it a travel or news feature?). I am very fond of the keralan fisherman
it can be used under licence in return for a £100 donation to this charity
if you breach these terms i shall come after you with my copyright lawyer
Thank you for getting back to me William,
Here is the link:
I can’t offer money but I could provide a link to the charity (we’re the biggest news website in the world) so that could be a benefit.
The footage I really would like is of the divers. But I’d like to show some flavour of the local area.
Would you say you have a video that would illustrate the story?
Subject: Re: kerala fishing video
thanks [x] – nice picture story
of course you can offer money, pull the other one – you paid for the pictures. I am asking for a tiny donation to a charity that helps kids in some of london’s toughest estates (and of which i was once a director) and you are the world’s biggest news website
if you don’t mind the odd profanity then on the whole ‘give me this for free’ thing check out
i you change your mind let me know
Of course, you’re right. Even though the video dept has no budget (unlike the vast picture department), money can be got for what is deemed must-have video.
If you can get me video of what’s happening in the pictures, then I’m sure I could get some money.
I appreciate you getting back to me, though.
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