I have been filming protests for 25 years and sold my footage to dozens of TV channels, blockbuster movie makers and documentaries. Most researchers are respectful and we can negotiate a suitable fee based on broadcast regions, number of transmissions and lenght of time for the licence.
But too many times I have researchers from TV channels trying to get my footage for free. Why?
Does the TV channel staff ask their coffee suppliers to give them free coffee beans? Does their inhouse cafe negotiate free food to feed the video editors and journalists?
I would say the answer is no so why do they think it is Ok for TV people to expect me to give them my work for free?
This week a Polish reporter from a morning TV show “Good Morning TVN Poland” wanted to use my exclusive footage of the controverdsial Mark Lynas putting a cream pie into the face of another author.
She offered me a 'on screen credit', then eventually offered my a measely £100. A quick search found that in 2015, TVN Poland announced their sale of a 52.7% for €584 million. So a Billion pound company won't pay for footage from independent film makers. If I went to their archive and asked for udse of their footage for free, I would be laughed at.
I said no of course and hope the message gets through that we expect to be paid for our work. Perhaps I should have my own cream pies ready for the next one to ask me?
Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org