Fox News, Rupert Murdoch… All Pirates

Fox News, a prominent media outlet owned by copyright evangelist Rupert Murdoch, is blatantly infringing on the rights of an individual photographer. The irony, or hypocrisy, is that Murdoch himself is going after Google, the BBC and many other companies that he believes are infringing on the rights of his news empire.

foxCopyright is a double edged sword, and those who sharpen one side often get cut by the other. Two weeks ago we reported that the gadget blog Gizmodo was going after bloggers who copied their work without permission, while they were ‘stealing’ from photographers themselves.

Now, one of the photographers has written in again, pointing us to a photo gallery of the Icelandic volcano eruption last month that was published on Fox News. Like Gizmodo, Fox News is also exploiting the work of Flickr user Orvatli without permission. This clearly violates his copyrights and Örvar is not pleased, to say the least.

“This was a once in a lifetime photo session for me and these big media companies are ruining the value of my images by publishing them. Each time the image gets published their value decreases,” Örvar told TorrentFreak. “Publishers generally want unique and unpublished images on their media so a rarely or unpublished image has higher value than those everybody has seen,” he added.

As with Gizmodo, Örvar sent an invoice to Fox News to get paid for his work. Although Gizmodo eventually paid half of his standard fee after he kept complaining, Fox News is not responding to his inquiries at all. Fox News is obviously not living up to its “Fair & Balanced” tagline.

Now, we probably wouldn’t have covered this issue if Fox News wasn’t owned by Rupert Murdoch. The multi-media tycoon is a known copyright evangelist who accuses Google and other search engines of copyright infringement for indexing the websites of his newspapers.

Murdoch’s News Corp. outfit also owns the film studio 20th Century Fox, an MPAA member that has launched several lawsuits against against torrent sites, including The Pirate Bay. It seems that Murdoch has a double standard when it comes to copyright infringement. Apparently it’s not that bad if he’s the one making money from it.

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