Fullerton Blogger Gets $1,000 Bandwidth Bill, Sends Tab to Linkers

Fullertonstories.com gets original $50,000 bandwidth bill for Kelly Thomas video reduced to $1,000

Local news blogging is not all fun and games. Sometimes it gets downright serious. Like when FullertonStories.com covered the release of the Kelly Thomas video.

The highly anticipated city surveillance video was released last month, ten months after the incident happened and just days before the local city council elections. FullertonStories.com was the first website to post the video.

Because they were the first to get the video onto the web, and because the video quickly went viral, many of those who linked to the video used the FullertonsStories.com source.

But instead of using one of the standard video hosts, FullertonStories.com used the BrightCove video platform (brightcove.com). In an email to Carlos Miller at PINAC Davis Barber at FullertonStories said he chose BrightCove in part because of its "ability to add third-party advertising to generate revenue."

The problem is that the revenue Barber generated did not nearly cover the expense of using BrightCove. When the 34-minute video got more than 100,000 views, BrightCove wanted to charge FullertonStories $50,000 in bandwidth fees for overages on the news website's plan.

Barber was able to talk BrightCove down to a more manageable $1,000 but is now asking people who linked to his video by copying his embed code -- the HTML code behind the web page, which can easily be viewed on any web page by right-clicking and selecting "view source" -- to reimburse him. 

One of the people he is asking for reimbursement from is PINAC. Carlos Miller, from PINAC, has posted the story here.


Here Mr. Barber inquires as to the legal precident of his complaint:


UPDATE: 6/18 01:30

The following includes comments from Davis Barber and the email he sent to Carlos Miller.

  • Look at this.
     ·  ·  ·  · See Friendship
      • Ricky Stauffer I asked Davis about this a few days ago on Facebook. Haven't heard back.
        June 17 at 7:55pm · "}">
      • Joel Beers obviously, we need A LAW that settles this!!!!!
        June 17 at 8:00pm · "}"> · 1
      • Joel Beers but it seems that Davis could easily have made it it unshareable, or at least harder to share, no?
        June 17 at 8:00pm · "}">
      • Ricky Stauffer Yeah. I don't get it.
        June 17 at 8:04pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber Yeah, that's true. Here's the email I sent to the guy in Florida. It's pretty much explains the situation in regards to their discussion.
        June 17 at 10:44pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber Whoops, here
        June 17 at 10:44pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber the email - my fat fingers are getting sloppy.... What it doesn't explain is why Mark couldn't take the minutes to call and get a more compete story. Pretty damn lazy, Mark. I thought you'd had more integrity than that.
        June 17 at 10:46pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber Here it is: Hello everyone on Pixiq -

        Good to know the interest runs high on my situation. A lot of you have shared your opinions and I appreciate that. Included in those opinions are some assumptions that aren’t quite right. If you ha...See More
        June 17 at 10:46pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber Also, FWIW, I copied the original letter to Gustavo at the Weekly. I talked to him on the phone previously to tell him what was up and that I'd keep him posted on what happens.
        June 17 at 10:54pm · "}">
      • Joel Beers you would have received payment for all the hits if you would have posted on youtube?
        June 17 at 11:09pm · "}">
      • Joel Beers I gotta get on you tube...
        June 17 at 11:10pm · "}">
      • Davis Barber yes. If you sign up for their 'advertiser partnership,' or whatever they call it, they'll pay you a certain amount for a certain number of views on up. I don't recall how much it is, but some people make a living creating vids for YouTube. That's one reason why so many are so, well, what they are... :)
        June 17 at 11:20pm · "}">
        Mark Stouffer I was out, Davis. Had to leave the office. Are you saying there is something wrong with the story?
        June 18 at 12:12am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer It is not entirely easy to make it unsharable Joel Beers. If you right-click and select "view source" on any web page you can see the code that contains the video. You can just do a search for the word "embed" and copy that tag it you can then past it into your page. There are some tools that prevent this but that is not what most people use.
        June 18 at 12:16am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer But since you are questioning my integrity, Davis, I must remind you that you invited Alex Stouffer to use your video on The Fullertonian. Do you remember that? I hope you can understand why we did not use your video.
        June 18 at 12:26am · "}">
      • Davis Barber Mark, I wasn't questioning your integrity. And yes, I did offer it to Alex, willingly and freely. I thought making a kind gesture was a good thing. Is it not?
        June 18 at 12:40am · "}">
      • Davis Barber 
        Oh, just saw the top post from you. Something wrong with the story? A few things, none entirely major. FIrst, the third graph quotes me, but we never talked. It was a quote taken from my email to Carlos Miller, and you should have present...See More
        June 18 at 12:47am · "}">
      • Davis Barber These little inaccuracies add up to a lot of bad information. But really, Mark, what is most annoying is that all of these could have been made clear had you simply called to verify it. having to "leave the office" is a poor excuse. We hold stories for hours, days and weeks until we can get both sides or any verification. That ultimately goes to your credibility, Mark, and yes, I that includes your integrity.
        June 18 at 12:50am · "}">
      • Davis Barber You and Alex have a good thing going, and I have been supportive of you. I've also been very frank and honest with you, always. I think professional courtesy should always be extended to others in your field, and especially to those with less experience, like the Fullertonian, who are trying to make a go of it. Have I not helped you guys with advice and shared ideas numerous times? I have.
        June 18 at 12:53am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer I don't think we ever would have included the fact that third party advertising was not in play in that video as part of the article. I do not see that as an inaccuracy.
        June 18 at 12:56am · "}">
      • Davis Barber What you wrote is "The problem is that the revenue Barber generated did not nearly cover the expense of using BrightCove." That is inaccurate. We did not generate any revenue from the video, nor did we try to.
        June 18 at 12:58am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer Then it did not cover the $50,000?
        June 18 at 12:59am · "}">
      • Davis Barber 
        Hell no. The initial overages were billed at $5 per GB. ON the basic plan I was on it would have been fine. But I didn't think to turn off the Share button, so it got shared. Of course I should have done that. Brightcove, to their credi...See More
        June 18 at 1:03am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer I don't see how that adds up to "a lot of bad information". I do see the table of views that Carlos said he received from you. I know that you and Carlos were discussing weather your emails constituted a request or not. The article states that you sent him a list of bandwidth consumed. Did you not send that table to him?
        June 18 at 1:05am · "}">
      • Davis Barber 
        I then spent a could of days figuring out how, or what, I could to pay off what I owed. The options weren't pretty, so I sent a letter to them explaining the situation, that it was a fluke, really, that there were so many hits on it. It w...See More
        June 18 at 1:06am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer Well I am glad you talked them down from $50,000. That would have been really bad.
        June 18 at 1:08am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer And I am including your response email into the article now that I have it.
        June 18 at 1:09am · "}">
      • Davis Barber 
        Yes, I did send him that chart, as well as another pie chart of the same data, and screen grabs from OCWeekly and his site. The bad information I refer to is 1: the incorrect statement that we profited, 2: that we billed him at all (it wa...See More
        June 18 at 1:10am · "}">
      • Davis Barber SO yeah, it all adds up to what I would call a lot of bad information. Really, this would have been better discussed on the phone, don't you agree? :). And yes, I'm glad you're glad we got it down from $50,000. That would have sucked. I'd be praying my kids were really smart and could get scholarships for college, or I'd be moving into my car.
        June 18 at 1:12am · "}">
      • Davis Barber I appreciate that you will add that information, thanks.
        June 18 at 1:13am · "}">
      • Davis Barber 
        One reason I get so uppity about this stuff is that we are seeing substantial damage being inflicted to a lot of people in town these days. As journalists, or even just as human beings, it's discouraging to see things like the Slidebar laws...See More
        June 18 at 1:17am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer ‎"Have I not helped you guys with advice and shared ideas numerous times?"
        As competing blogs in a small town we all try to help each other. I think our reporting on this was pretty even handed.
        June 18 at 1:19am · "}">
      • Davis Barber Mark, it's up to honest people to report honest things about what honestly happens, good and bad. If we, the publishers in town don;'t try our hardest to do that, where does that leave us?> With nothing. Like it or not, everyone gets their information from the media, except those few that take the time to go to the source and ask. Most don't, and then they slam those who try to report all sides.
        June 18 at 1:20am · "}"> · 1
      • Davis Barber How can your reporting on anything ne even handed if you don't contact the key player?
        June 18 at 1:20am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer ‎"is that we are seeing substantial damage being inflicted to a lot of people in town these days."
        This is very true. That is a whole other story. I will be calling about that too.
        June 18 at 1:22am · "}">
      • Davis Barber oh, one other inaccuracy: the video that drew 10 TB of traffic was only 8:56. ONe of the things we learn in J school and in the journalism world is "if you can't get the small stuff right, how can you get the big stuff right?" That's why we always, always ask how a person spells their name.
        June 18 at 1:24am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer OC Weekly reported "Slidebar now admits making call" or something. Pretty slanted, from what I recall. Hmmm... They are not based in Fullerton.
        June 18 at 1:25am · "}">
      • Davis Barber Sounds good, let's talk. Are you around Monday? I'll be having a fresh lobotomy in the morning and wonder all over again why I do this or care...
        June 18 at 1:25am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer Ours was, "$4 Million Lawsuit Alleges Slidebar Made False Claims in Kelly Thomas Police Call". I liked that.
        June 18 at 1:25am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer Yes. Monday.
        June 18 at 1:26am · "}">
      • Davis Barber Yes, you guys handled the headline much better than most.
        June 18 at 1:26am · "}">
        Mark Stouffer And we linked to your site in the article.
        June 18 at 1:27am · "}">
      • Davis Barber thank you!
        June 18 at 1:28am · "}">
      • Davis Barber We link to you guys whenever you have something we don't. Like the shootout at the jewelry store a cupola months back. We couldn't get to it and I was glad we had you to send people to.
        June 18 at 1:29am ·  · 1
      • Joel Beers I like the word cupola.
        June 18 at 3:08am · "}"> · 2


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