RedLasso, the television clipping service, today responded to cease-and-desist letters sent by NBC, CBS and FOX last week, saying it would “continue to make its site available for use by bloggers providing social commentary on newsworthy events as it continues to work towards cooperative, mutually beneficial arrangements with those and other content providers.”
“We believe what we’re doing is legal otherwise we wouldn’t be doing it,” RedLasso COO Al McGowan told NewTeeVee. The company said in a release that, “Clip usage by bloggers is an exercise of first amendment rights to provide social commentary on newsworthy events.”
McGowan said RedLasso wasn’t completely surprised by the complaint, but that it continues to progress in its discussions with the networks over getting permission for the clips it provides to bloggers. “We believe what we’re doing is the right thing for the broadcasters, the bloggers, the consumers, and even the advertisers, believe it or not,” said McGowan.
RedLasso isn’t just standing firm; it’s added to its arsenal. Since the complaints were received, Michael Jordan, the former Westinghouse Corp. and CBS chief executive, who had formerly been in talks with the company, decided to join as a senior adviser. Jordan will be RedLasso’s chief liaison to the networks, the company said.
“He made the decision to join us after we received the cease-and-desists, and we think that makes a real statement about what we’re doing that a guy with that kind of integrity believes it’s a good solution for the broadcasters,” said McGowan.
Though it is in private beta, since RedLasso makes clips publicly embeddable by high-traffic bloggers like Perez Hilton, Hot Air and the Huffington Post, it has begun registering enormous traffic. It had 24 million unique visits and 10 million video plays in April.
McGowan confirmed that RedLasso is trying to raise $15 million in funding to add to the more than $9.4 million it has already brought in. He said the round had not closed yet but he expected it to, despite the networks’ complaints.