Here’s What Happens When a News Magazine Uses Unauthorized YouTube Clips

By Chris Ariens 

DatelineTFMA YouTube content creator has produced a YouTube video (after the jump) taking aim at “Dateline NBC” for using his clips without proper attribution.

Last Friday, “Dateline” aired a story about a California man who was killed by an explosion that used a rat trap as its triggering mechanism. For demonstration purposes, “Dateline” producers used several rat trap videos from the YouTube creator TAOFLEDERMAUS. But not only did the show not contact him to request permission to use them, but, in what TAOFLEDERMAUS calls, “another dirty thing they did,” producers cropped out his watermarks.

“I’m a little disgusted with the producers of the show and NBC for their lack of professional courtesy,” the YouTuber says in his video.


A “Dateline” spokesperson says the clips fall under the fair use doctrine. “Some of the material was used as evidence at the trial that was the subject of the Dateline report,” spokesperson Monica Lee tells TVNewser. “The brief excerpts were a legally permissible fair use.”

But this bring up a larger question. How often do news broadcasts argue “fair use” when using originally-produced YouTube clips? And what happens when the video is used to demonstrate a heinous crime, as was the case here? As TAOFLEDERMAUS found out, commenters began accusing him of somehow being an accessory to the murder.

(h/t Consumerist)