Cable News Network says it won't sue other cable nets for violating its exclusive six-hour
window Sunday to air a taped interview by suspected terrorist Osama bin
Middle East-based satellite news net Al Jazeera first obtained the tape and
was supposed to give it exclusively to CNN for six hours, as part of an
affiliate relationship the two hammered out last summer.
But other American networks ignored the arrangement and ran the video
NBC News, which runs NBC and MSNBC, decided there was important national
interest in the tape.
NBC released statement saying, 'Al Jazeera is the only broadcaster the
Taliban is permitting to go live and therefore we decided that the concept of
fair use applies here.'
Fair use generally applies to short segments of copyrighted work, rather than
the entire piece.
CNN execs quietly agreed, and said they won't pursue any legal recourse. But
sources say Al Jazeera brass isn't as understanding.
The net has reportedly been faxing letters reminding networks they are not
authorized to use its video without permission.
The CNN and Al Jazeera partnership provides exchanges of news and video.
CNN is using Al Jazeera's satellite uplinks, the only uplinks currently in
Taliban-controlled Afghanistan, and the Arab net's correspondents inside Taliban
lands have appeared on CNN.