Storm video shooter sues the CBC, CNN for copyright infringement reports that if you were in Western New York last November, or if you knew anyone in Western New York last November, you probably made a point of seeing Alfonzo Cutaia’s incredible time-lapse video, “Buffalo Lake Effect.”

Looking south from his office in the Guaranty Building in downtown Buffalo, Cutaia had captured perfectly the mechanics of the historic storm. You can see the cold air moving over Lake Erie as it literally vacuums up the surface water to dump up to 8 feet of snow on the Southtowns.

People linked to the YouTube version of the video on Twitter and Facebook, and within hours after Cutaia uploaded it, he says, he was receiving requests from media companies to share it with their audiences. Local TV stations, weather stations and national broadcasters asked to broadcast the half-minute clip.

One company that didn’t get permission, according to Cutaia, was the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., which he discovered was showing his video online – but with the CBC logo on it. He says it was an illegal copy of his monetized YouTube video – the one that brought him some advertising revenue and that other companies embedded on their sites so he would be credited.

Cutaia notified CBC and then decided to take the matter a step further.


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