When major news outlets like CNN have issues dealing with copyright rules on media, hilarity ensues – at least for other journalists.
Oh, CNN…never change.
The father of the 24-hour news cycle has decided to shoot itself in the foot again, as it tries to report about President Barack Obama’s “retaliation” against Russia for a possible cyberattack against the DNC (see The Podesta Emails released by Wikileaks), and an attempted smack at President-elect Donald Trump.
But one thing the “legendary” network has decided it’s completely okay to take graphics from a video games, without just credit. But not just any video game…one of the top selling video games of the last year.
Yes, it appears Jeff Zucker’s crew is using a screengrab from Fallout 4 to explain hacking to the masses (again, without credit). Perhaps he believed it was okay to take from a computer game, instead of The Matrix or USA Network’s Mr. Robot or the old Robert Redford flick Sneakers. The rather sad part is the fact The Matrix trilogy was produced BY Time Warner, which owns Ted Turner’s baby in Atlanta.
The credit for this discovery goes to someone on Reddit, which was quickly gobbled up by gaming media at BGR.com and PC Gamer. The gamers then explained to the non-gamers just how ridiculous it was for CNN to use Fallout 4 hacking as an example of “real” hacking.
“It’s performed like a word puzzle, where the player has to find a specific word in a huge mess of letters and random characters,” BGR’s Mike Wehner wrote, (http://bgr.com/2017/01/02/cnn-hacking-fallout-screenshot/) while probably laughing into his keyboard. “It’s simple but fun, but it has absolutely nothing in common with actual hacking, which is what makes it perfect for mainstream news viewers.”
PC Gamer’s Shaun Prescott was even more amused.
“It’d be pretty hard for the Russians to hack America using the computers in Fallout 4. For one, the computers in Fallout 4 are not connected to the internet: in Bethesda’s alternative history, America never makes it that far into the future. Another obstacle stopping Russia from hacking America via the computers in Fallout 4 is that, no matter how you approach it, it’d simply be impossible.”
Amazing, isn’t it?
It’s also possible CNN could face legal action for their error, because media organizations do have to provide credit whenever they use copyrighted information from a game or movie or another outlet. CNN didn’t, so now Bethesda has every right to sue CNN for its error (whether intentional or not).
Bethesda has been emailed on the image, but has yet to comment. CNN is being quiet, as well.
This entire situation will do nothing but hurt CNN’s already sullied reputation. It was roundly criticized last year for lying in a chyron claiming the detestable Richard Spencer asked if “Jews were people,” when he was really speaking about media members. The network was also panned for spending weeks upon weeks purporting various theories about what happened to Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 in 2014. CNN will stay almost a joke, unless they decide to put Jake Tapper on air for 24 hours (or just clone him, and have the clones be on for at least ten hours).
But then it’s also possible the Fallout 4 error won’t hurt CNN at all. Consumers could still gobble up information from CNN, because excellent journalists do call the network “home.” It’s also possible non-gamers will just shrug their shoulders at the sin, because it’s “just a video game,” and the idea the only people who care about video games still live in their parents’ basement. Fallout 4 is very popular, but there’s no guarantee it will cause any major financial straits for CNN or Time Warner.
There’s no doubt an apology needs to happen. Whether it will, is anyone’s guess.