Russell Pearce Recall Tussle: KPHO Rips Off Dennis Gilman

Channel 5 ganks footage from Gilman, presents it as its own...

The Gilman video KPHO swiped from...

My colleague, indie videographer Dennis Gilman, founder of the PearceWatch Facebook page, is passionate about the YouTube videos he creates. Though he has a day job, in his off hours, he is essentially the Michael Moore of Phoenix. He spends countless hours going to events, scoring his own footage, researching topics, and editing his own productions. And as you can judge by the end result, he takes great pride in his efforts.

For his work as a citizen journalist, he normally receives zero compensation. Occasionally, he sells stills as a freelancer to New Times, but that's about it. And yet, for my money, I'd put his news sense up against any TV reporter in the Valley, and many in the print realm as well.

Which makes KPHO's blatant ripoff of his video footage from the Republican Legislative District 19 meeting a couple of weeks back so egregious. Channel 5 did not ask for Gilman's permission, though that would have been easy enough, as producers there have his cell phone number. Plus his e-mail ain't hard to find.

Rather, KPHO just took it, and didn't bother to credit him, much less offer to pay him. Would Channel 5 have done this to another corporate news entity? Not likely.

"This is really more about corporate greed and unregulated power," Gilman offered. "The corporate media has done much more damage to Democracy than this little theft. They take what they want, when they want, with no shame or legal repercussions knowing there isn't a damn thing any one person can do about it."

Agreed. The report is also inherently dishonest, as Channel 5 presents the footage of LD19 third vice chair Pat Oldroyd and Jerry Lewis's campaign manager Anson Clarkson as its own. 

It's not, mainly because Gilman and I were the only news hounds in the room that day. If you watch both videos above, you'll see that the camera focuses and jerks in the exact same places. There's no doubt that the footage is his.

Also, the KPHO reporter flubs a detail. She says Clarkson (whom she fails to identify) spoke 30 seconds after Oldroyd. Actually, a handful of pro-Pearce folks spoke before he did. It's a minor point, but it's one she would've gotten right had she been there.

I have never understood why deep-pocket operations like a CBS news affiliate not only will not pay for freelanced video, they normally decline to give credit where credit is due. 

For my part, I always try to give credit where I can and link to other sources. I don't see this as a problem, though I know other news outlets want to "own" every story. I have seen so many TV news stations swipe stories from print media over the years, it's practically SOP. 

When it happens on something I've written, I'm usually just happy to see the story get wider play. But then, I am compensated for my time.

Gilman, however, is not. Which is why this sort of thing annoys me no end. Gilman even told me that if Channel 5's producers had asked to use the video, he would have let them, but he would have asked for a credit. And maybe that's why they never made the phone call. Because they wanted to mislead viewers into thinking it was their own.

This is plain evidence of the unbounded arrogance of the vaunted Fourth Estate, and its general incompetence and laziness. The corporate news often steals with impunity from indie journos instead of having its reporters do their own legwork and investigations.

At least Channel 12's Brahm Resnik had the courtesy recently to call Gilman and ask for permission to use some of the same footage. And he did credit Gilman for the footage.

Interestingly, back in 2009, Gilman posted a broadcast by CBS 5 reporter Morgan Loew to his own YouTube account, HumanLeague002. Gilman didn't try to make the report look like his own. He was praising Channel 5 and wanted people to see it.

He was contacted by a KPHO editor who told him the station was fine with him posting the video, they just wanted him to include a link to its site. Which Gilman did.

So why is a little reciprocity so difficult for the big boys over at CBS 5? Likely because they're loath to admit they were scooped by an indie. 

That's also why I doubt KPHO will correct the situation or do anything differently in the future. At least readers of this blog will know the score.

Note: I should also point out that KPHO is not the first outlet to "borrow" footage from Gilman without his permission. Fox News' Geraldo Rivera did likewise in a 2010 report on Sheriff Joe Arpaio, using video of an immigration rally Gilman had covered. But then, what do you expect from frickin' Fox News? Shame?

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41 comments
Michelle Donaldson
Michelle Donaldson

KPHO CBS 5 News deeply regrets failing in our obligation to contact Mr. Gilman or credit him for the video.  We had different staff members making assumptions that this had been done.  The result was that Mr. Gilman's efforts went unacknowledged and uncredited.  Mr. Gilman -- I am deeply sorry and appreciate the role you play as a citizen journalist.Michelle DonaldsonNews DirectorCBS 5 News

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

Kudos for the apology to Gilman, Michelle. I applaud your response.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Where is your apology Ste(ph)en?  Did you not jump to conclusions when writing this piece?  Couldn't this have been more fairly dealt with by calling the media organization and pointing out their error?  You needlessly damaged the reputation of the media organization and have the audacity to not print a redaction of your ASSumption?

You scream and kick when other's abuse their authority and power, yet ignore the responsibility to the public in the position of power and influence you currently posses.

Shame on you Ste(ph)en.  You are a hypocrite!

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Expected.  You can't hold yourself accountable?  Your credibility suffers because of it.

Oblivious Cortex
Oblivious Cortex

If that "apology" was indeed posted by the person whose name was used, then why did she not also apologize for the reporting errors that Lemons points out?  "We are sorry about not giving him credit for the video, but we have nothing to say about the mistakes that professional journalists should not have made."

StephenLemons
StephenLemons

What exactly would I retract? Donaldson admitted they erred by not contacting Gilman and asking for permission. And she admitted it because I pointed out the error. I'm happy she did so. End of story.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

You mean to tell me that Stephen Lemons jumped to conclusions and embellished the truth to create a story?  How could this NOT be a perfect example of the little guy being trounced on by big business!?!?!

Lemons, this is yet another example of the depth of your suck!

Guest
Guest

huh? yourproductsucks, yourcommentdontmakenosense

krazy bill
krazy bill

gonna watch yer 5 pm broadcast;  hope ya state this

Jason
Jason

Does Gilman copyright his videos? If so, he may (I would advise consultation with a lawyer) have a case for copyright infringement (see 17 USC 501 and 17 USC 506).

I think KPHO needs to stop trying to cover the Pearce recall. Apparently they're idiots and don't know how to get their own material (which is why I usually watch FOX10)

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

Yeah I had to eat a thousand dollars a few years back due to a 56.00 order I placed.  They charged my account in 56.00 increments sometimes 4 times a day.  I did call my "Bank", they proved ineffectual, when they did finally stop the charges.. it was a thousand dollars too late.  When I called them [the corporation] they told me to get a lawyer and call the cops if I want my money... needless to say I told them to go fuck their monkey assed selves ... I was eventually able to cost the Corporation 5x the amount but it took a while and I didn't get my money back.

Banphotoradar
Banphotoradar

Dennis Gilman is a pussy. He is more worried about getting youtube hits than he is about spreading the message about LD 19 and their sham candidate Olivia Cortes. He listed one of his two videos (part 1 and 2) as creative commons. I uploaded it to my youtube channel (titled it as a mirror and put a link to his channel) and asked his permission to upload the the part 2 video as it was listed as standard use.

The little fucker sent me an e-mail and went off on me. He said that he decided to title his video as common use for video makers-not takers. That there was a difference and he would have to change the setting. Of course, no where in his description box did he say that.

AN ACTIVIST HE IS NOT.

The last time I mirrored a video it got 170,000 hits. The time before the video got 75,000 hits. When the media (CNN, Fox, etc.) contact me I let them know I don't own the video and they  need to contact the owners and get their permission to use the video. I always make sure they know where the can find the video.

Anon
Anon

BPR, Sour grapes.

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

Stephen, Great reporting. Between you and Dennis Gilman covering stories for years that the local media failed to cover, the public would have no idea what was happening in Maricopa County and the state of Arizona, it's corruption and failed systems. A big thank you to you and Dennis Gilman who are the official documenters of the history of Arizona's corruption since Don Bolles. You are both very courageous and definitely our twin Michael Moore's in Arizona.

seeking the truth
seeking the truth

p.s. We also thank the Phoenix New Times who truly has dared to cover so much and give a platform to the great investigator reporters and videographers. Without the PNT the public would be kept in the dark. We come here to find the real news!

Bnbk
Bnbk

Way to go KPHO, nothing like living up to your own motto "Telling like it is". KPHO needs to show some class & give credit where credit is due.

Ellie
Ellie

It isn't that hard for Dennis to insert his own watermark in his videos so that when they are shown by media outlets he gets his credit regardless of whether the media outlet bothers to do the right thing and credit him directly.

Stacy
Stacy

I hate it when others take credit for one's work.  I know what that feels like, been done to me plenty of times.. bad part is that they do it for $$$ too. 

Follower_of_the_ONE
Follower_of_the_ONE

  I'm not sure if it applies, but some answers might surface... Shouldn't intellectual property rights apply to Videos?    Being a software developer for a number of years and owner of a couple products that's one of the areas I looked into .  Another thing I was quick to learn, the majority of pictures on the internet require a right of use, law suits are authorized.  Essential knowledge when dealing with Corporations and even more so when dealing with gov. agencies.    One method would be to imbed or watermark a logo into every frame and or/text denoting legal ownership.    About the first time one of the corporate news venues sucks on a very large law suit they may be more polite and at least ask.

GA
GA

Oh really? Denise Gilman is ALWAYS yanking videos from TV shows... check his channel. He calls it "fair use"... He's done it many times, and he knows it. Clean your nose Lemons, is dark brown from kissing Gilman's... Payback Denise!!!!!!! 

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

George, you know that's a farce. Knock it off.

AlGreen
AlGreen

Big Diff: They're making bags of cashola. Gilman's on his own. When Gilman posts something with their watermark, he's giving them free advertising. When they steal from him w/out giving him an ittsy bitsy credit, it's Grand Theft Auto = Big Guy stealin from little guy. Zero excuse 4 it.

Rose Valencia Sanchez
Rose Valencia Sanchez

Great article! Dennis is such a tireless advocate for so much here in  Arizona.....I am wondering why it's legal for them to rip him off and why he doesn't have anything he can do about it? Isn't that plagiarism or no? How does it work?

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

Rose, it's not legal, at all. But for Dennis, or anyone else to fight the corporate 'system' would take hundreds of thousands of dollars that most folks don't have. The corporations know that and if pressed may say, "Wups, gee we're sorry"... or they may say nothing at all. Money, It sings the song and they have the choir.

Oblivious Cortex
Oblivious Cortex

Where did you get your appraisal of hundreds of thousands of dollars?  Gilman apparently has enough balls to file a Small Claims Court claim for, say, $200.  KPHO will either settle or pay its lawyers more than that for the first hour of opposing it.  It's not a contract case, so Gilman doesn't have to pay their attorney fees even if he loses.  But if he wins, it will make a great video, not to mention New Times article.

Tommy Collins
Tommy Collins

It's simply a worst case estimate...  sorry if that offended you. I don't pretend to be a lawyer.. .

Shawna
Shawna

The only consolation is knowing that KPHO recognizes (but doesn't attempt to duplicate) good work.

Josh Barkley
Josh Barkley

Jerry Lewis is a plant..Bahaha..maybe a cactus?

Whereas Russell Pearce was duly elected by the voters of LD 18Whereas the Recall apparently was not part of the American right to participate because it has a Liberal biasWhereas Cortes has financed her own signs by mortgaging her future with the high odds of her getting elected.Whereas the Republican party is finally being held responsible for the destruction of our state and the out of control legislation being put forward by this Senate PresidentWhereas KPHO gives itself its own awards for investigative reportingWhereas the defeat of Russell Pearce is not only necessary for legislative ethics, but also as evidence that Arizona may still be sane.Furtrhermore,  we pray for rain, Gaurdisil and the Death Penalty.

Be it resolved that we,  'republican progressive union supporters" wholeheartedly support the removal of the Republican legislature that now resides in our capital, and further resolve to award Dennis Gilman credit and accolades for his footage and reporting in this historic recall election.

Rick
Rick

Why not have every person who reads this story call KPHO and get after them for stealing this video and claiming it as their own?  The KPHO number is 602-274-1951.  I am calling them right now.

Rick
Rick

The correct phone number for KPHO is 602-264-1000.  The phone number for them in the phone book is a fax machine.

Leonardclark
Leonardclark

What a bunch of crap that they would do this ! But..I am not surprised they (the corporate industry) rips off little people.Leonard Clark

ninelives.cassiecharityheart
ninelives.cassiecharityheart

Way to go Stephen!

Trouble
Trouble

I concur. I happen to know a similar sort of citizen who does the same kind of indie videography to try to expose corruption in his small town. He has been harrassed by the police, arrested under specious circumstances and tailed by 'the powers that be.' In return for his hard work, he has been slimed in the local newspapers and slandered online.The difference between him and Dennis is that Dennis is very fortunate that a newspaper outlet appreciates the hard and good work he does. The New Times has always appreciated solid investigative work no matter who was doing it. So, even if his work is stolen by the local TV stations, the New Times still gives him an outlet for exposing hipocracy and corruption.

My friend on the other hand, lives in a one newspaper town and the owners of the newspaper are in bed with all the legal and corporate entities and retail and wholesale businesses as well as having woo'd and won the backing of the various college presidents there.

The newspaper is also in private business as a major shareholder of a hotel and convention center. This is not a newspaper for brave people or investigative reporters. it's a mouthpiece for elected officials and CEOs.

Kudos to Dennis for doing the hard work and kudos to the New Times for recognizing and airing his work. Without the New Times, it would be business as usual no matter who was trying to get the truth out.

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