Whenever EurekAlert! polls its journalist-members, the feedback has been unanimous: the presence of multimedia is extremely important in their decision-making process to cover a news release. While most PIO-members submit original images to accompany their news releases, incomplete or inaccurate licenses and credits and web-sourced images can wreak havoc for EurekAlert! staff and busy journalists alike, resulting in posting delays and can be damaging to the organization’s media relations reputation.
As a news release distribution platform, all multimedia content submitted and distributed via EurekAlert! must be cleared for re-use by third parties, including news outlets and social media platforms.
To avoid confusion and inadvertent copyright infringement, the new platform integrates more comprehensive multimedia licensing and usage guidelines, which we talked about in this 2019 blogpost.
Both EurekAlert! and our journalist-members have experienced a sharp increase of copyright infringement claims related to multimedia submissions in recent years. These claims cost EurekAlert! staff and journalist-members time and money to respond to. Baking commonly used multimedia licenses into the content submission form helps prevent these incidents while protecting content creators.
We have also updated our editorial guidelines to no longer accept multimedia obtained from paid or free stock agencies – this is to eliminate any ambiguity and potential copyright violations resulting from using stock providers as a source of content.
Here’s a summary of what PIO-members will encounter when uploading multimedia to the platform:
Choosing a Multimedia License Type
The form asks PIOs to select the license that applies to each piece of multimedia from a preset list. Depending on the license chosen, the restrictions section automatically populates with the standard permission and restrictions language or must be filled in by the PIO.
The eligible license types and required info for each are:
Original content: multimedia created by, or on the behalf of, the submitting organization that is cleared for media distribution. PIOs must enter the content’s credit and usage restrictions.
Licensed content: multimedia owned by a third party and licensed for media distribution by the submitting organization. PIOs must enter the content’s credit and usage restrictions.
Public domain: multimedia not subject to copyright protection, such as that produced by U.S. government agencies, as well as (but not limited to) classic works of art and images produced in 1925 or earlier. PIOs must enter the credit information for the content. The form auto-fills the restrictions section with “none.”
Creative Commons: multimedia licensed under one of the seven Creative Commons licenses: CC0, CC BY, CC BY-SA, CC BY-ND, CC BY-NC, CC BY-NC-SA, and CC BY-NC-ND. PIOs must enter the credit information for the content. The form auto-fills the restrictions with the terms of the specific Creative Commons license chosen and a link to the license on the Creative Commons website.
In all cases, PIOs must also confirm acceptance of two standard warranty disclaimers in order to submit multimedia content:
I certify that I have obtained in writing the necessary rights and permission to provide this Multimedia Content for display on the EurekAlert! Website, and to allow the re-use of this Multimedia Content in news coverage and on social media according to the license and restriction I have selected. I shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless EurekAlert!, its parent corporation AAAS, and its and their officers, directors, employees, and agents, from and against any claims, obligations, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable legal and professional fees) arising out of any legal action taken against any of the EurekAlert!/AAAS identified above claiming actual or alleged infringement of copyright or any other proprietary or intellectual property rights of any natural or legal person.
I certify that I have obtained in writing the necessary rights and permissions for using the image or likeness of any individual depicted in this Multimedia Content for display on the EurekAlert! Website, and to allow the re-use of such image and likeness as part of the Multimedia Content in news coverage and on social media according to the restriction I have selected. Specifically, I have secured the right to use each such individual’s name, portrait(s), picture(s), photograph(s), likeness, and biographical data and to use such content as part of the Multimedia Content. No such individual will receive any compensation or receipt of consideration for any such use when provided to EurekAlert! as part of the Multimedia Content. I shall indemnify, defend, and hold harmless EurekAlert!, its parent corporation AAAS, and its and their officers, directors, employees, and agents, from and against any claims, obligations, losses, damages, costs, liabilities and expenses (including reasonable legal and professional fees) arising out of any legal action taken against any of the EurekAlert!/AAAS identified above claiming violation of any such individual’s rights of publicity or rights of privacy.
Multimedia Release: A New Way to Tell Your Story
In response to journalist and PIO feedback, we’ve introduced a new content type: Multimedia Release, which replaces the old “standalone multimedia gallery” option by allowing up to seven pieces of multimedia to be displayed along with a brief narrative. This format is especially useful when the multimedia is the main focus of your outreach. Note that, similar to a News Release, a Multimedia Release submission must include enough information for EurekAlert! staff to determine its eligibility against our Editorial Guidelines.
In addition to showing in their respective news feeds on EurekAlert!, multimedia accompanying regular News Releases and in Multimedia Releases pool into the multimedia gallery. PIOs can designate the primary multimedia and preferred order of display if there are several multimedia items within a release.
Images, videos, and audio clips are accepted and cannot exceed 100 MB file size. Supported file formats are:
- Images: JPG, JPEG, JPE, GIF, PNG
- Videos: MOV, WMV, AVI, MP4, MPEG
- Audio: MP3, WAV
PIOs must supply a few pieces of required information for each item of multimedia uploaded to EurekAlert!:
- Title – a brief “headline” that describes the multimedia (avoid words like “Figure” or “Photo” here).
- Caption – a description of the contents shown in the multimedia.
- License – the type of license governing how a piece of multimedia may be reused by third-party outlets, selected from a list of options.
- Restriction – instructions and/or restrictions related to how the multimedia can be reused (e.g. “With credit to the original source” or “For news media use only”, etc.); this section is auto-filled for public domain and Creative Commons licenses.
- Credit – the name of the original source, creator, and/or copyright owner.
Optionally, PIOs may also specify whether a video file is broadcast quality and include a text copy of the script.
Have you had success using the new Multimedia Release format to secure media coverage or social media attention? What challenges do you face in gathering multimedia to accompany news releases? Share your experience on the EurekAlert! PIO Forum. (Not yet a PIO Forum member? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive an invite).