Redlasso, an Internet startup that collects hours of footage from selected television networks, said it will continue to allow bloggers to search, clip and embed the video on their own sites.
The company explained its plans Thursday in response to a May 19 cease-and-desist letter from Fox, NBC and CBS, adding that it will continue to try to strike deals with the networks.
The company is also bringing on former Westinghouse and CBS CEO Michael Jordan as a senior advisor, acting as a liaison between the company and the networks.
“Redlasso’s site is simply a tool that permits the blogging community to search blogger-selected content via keywords, enabling them to find and clip the limited-duration vignettes on which they wish to comment and play on their blogs,” the company said in a statement.
“Clip usage by bloggers is an exercise of First Amendment rights to provide social commentary on newsworthy events,” Redlasso added. “Other uses of the clips by bloggers are prohibited contractually by Redlasso.”
In a telephone interview Thursday, Redlasso chief operating officer Al McGowan said conversations with Jordan predated the cease-and-desist letter and his decision to join the company afterward only validated its intention to work with content owners.
“What we don’t want is to have a legal conversation with the networks,” McGowan said. “We want to have a business conversation. And we believe in our hearts that this is an elegant solution to the problem of untraceable clips on the Web.”
Redlasso intends to begin offering advertising with its clips and to share revenue with content owners and bloggers, but only once deals are in place.
Since launching in November 2007, Redlasso has proliferated in the blogging community, garnering 10 million video plays in April 2008. The company’s clips of broadcast and cable news programs are routinely found on such popular sites as The Huffington Post, Politico.com and PerezHilton.com.
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