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CNN nudges Fox to sue NBC station

CNN has offered to help pay legal fees - up to $50,000 - if Fox will sue
NBC-owned KXAS-TV Dallas, which used footage from Fox's local KDFW(TV) last week
of the police chase of a stolen, flaming 18-wheeler.

The offer was made by CNN Newsource President Susan Grant to Fox Station
Group head Mitch Stern.

The NBC station has admitted it used the footage -- taken from CNN's
Newsource feed without permission -- but contends it falls under copyright law's
'fair use' doctrine, given the importance of the footage to the story.

KXAS-TV, which says it gave both audio and visual credit to KDFW, is not a
subscriber to CNN's Newsource news feed service.

CNN has an additional gripe with the NBC station, contending that its own
network bug was covered when KXAS-TV used the footage, except when the cable
news network's familiar logo came up on one of those ever-present crawls at the
bottom of the screen.

Grant said the offer was made to the Fox station following discussion with
CNN attorneys, who 'advised us that this is the best way to protect our

'We're making this offer to uphold one of the earliest and most basic of our
tenets: don't use footage from another station without permission.'

Grant said she believed it was the first time Newsource had made such an

A lawsuit from Fox appears unlikely, although Fox says it's reviewing the CNN

While Fox and CNN compete aggressively on the cable news front, Fox has been
an active participant as a user and contributor to both CNN's Newsource and the
NNS news services.

NBC said of the possible challenge: 'If we have to defend our very limited
use of the video during an important news story we will do so on fair use grounds. Of course, fair use is a principle everyone in the industry well understands.'  - Dan Trigoboff