Redlasso rejects b'casters over video clips

Ex-CBS chief Michael Jordan joins as senior adviser

By Alex Woodson

Video site RedLasso has refused to suspend its operations after receiving a cease-and-desist order from CBS, NBC and Fox.

Responding to last week's order from the networks to stop hosting unlicensed clips of their content, RedLasso instead suggested a deal could be reached. To that end, RedLasso has recruited former CBS Corp. CEO Michael Jordan to join the company as a senior adviser.

RedLasso is an online broadcast content tools site that allows bloggers to edit content and make clips. The platform has been used on MySpace, Huffington Post, Perez Hilton and AOLFanhouse.

In a statement that was to be delivered to the legal counsel of the networks Thursday, RedLasso said it "will continue to make its site available for use by bloggers providing social commentary on newsworthy events as it continues to work toward cooperative, mutually beneficial arrangements with those and other content providers."

The networks, along with TV station owner Allbritton Communications Co., said the company has done "serious and irreparable harm" to their businesses and that it has broken state and federal laws. There was no immediate network response to RedLasso's offer for a deal.

RedLasso COO Al McGowan said the site is open to working with content providers.

"We would very much like the networks to join us in our goal to monetize the value created by the online blogging community and to work with us to structure a deal to capture an acceptable share of it," McGowan said.

McGowan said that Redlasso had been talking to the broadcasters for two years and that talks continued up to the cease and desist letter. He said the two sides, though, hadn't been in contact since the letter was sent.

The exact nature of these talks remains unclear. The broadcasters' cease and desist said that Redlasso had attempted to "falsely convey an affiliation between Redlasso and the content owners, when there is none."

The letter concludes that the video site had "confused the public" about a relationship between Redlasso and the content owners.

McGowan could not say why the letter was now sent to Redlasso. He would only say that he was "disappointed" that his company got it.

The networks had no immediate comment on the new developments.

The hiring of Jordan could give RedLasso the right executive to secure an agreement with the broadcasters. Jordan is best known for transforming CBS in the wake of its acquisition by Westinghouse Electric in 1995.

RedLasso launched in November. In April, it said had it 24 million unique visits and 10 million video plays.