Associated Press apologizes to TN radio station over YouTube-videos

From the BNO Newsroom, by Joda Thongnopnua.

LaFollette, TENNESSEE (BNO NEWS) – The Associated Press apologized Thursday after it had sent a letter Monday to Tennessee radio station WTNQ-FM stating that they were violating the radio station’s license agreement.

The radio station is an AP radio affiliate, yet the AP demanded that they take any AP video content down from their website immediately. The AP said even though that they had a YouTube channel that actively encouraged embedding, that they were violating the terms that the radio station had set up with the AP. Frank Strovel III, who was negotiating with the AP, told BNO News that he wasn’t looking to ‘bring down’ the Associated Press or make himself a martyr. “In fact, I’m not exactly thrilled that it’s blown up the way it has.”

Thursday afternoon, the Associated Press’ radio station representative called Mr. Strovel to apologize saying that they regretted that their initial email sounded like a literal cease-and-desist. Frank said that he was mortified that the news had spread to big-name blogs and media pundits. He stated that “I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was just incredulous at their ‘logic’ of posting their videos on YouTube with embed codes and then slapping people on the wrist for doing just that.”

The AP released a statement on the matter: “There was a misunderstanding of YouTube usage when the Tennessee radio station was contacted by the Associated Press regarding the AP’s more extensive online video services. No cease and desist letter was drafted or sent by AP to the station at any time. The AP was trying to offer the station a superior service for their needs.”

Mr. Strovel said that AP’s legal department found that they were wrong, and that WTNQ-FM can embed their YouTube videos on their website. Mr. Strovel says “I’m hoping it will blow over now but I do want to have it out there that it was resolved and nobody’s suing anybody (never were) and we and the AP are good.”

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