It’s always a good idea to think twice before you post to Facebook, and it’s even more important to consider the consequences of what you do publish. A man named Kali Kanongataa learned that the hard way this week when he was ordered to pay $120,000 in fees after losing a court case against media outlets for rebroadcasting a Facebook Live video of his son’s birth.
Kanongataa broadcast his wife’s birth on Facebook Live in May 2016. He claimed he intended to share it only with friends and family, and didn’t realize the video was public until after he’d been broadcasting for half an hour. However, after he discovered it, he allowed the stream to remain available for anyone to see. Several news organizations picked it up, and Kanongataa sued them last fall for broadcasting the footage. However, the outlets argued that Kanongataa’s video was newsworthy enough to be broadcast without copyright, and the court evidently agreed, tossing the case and ordering him to pay $120,000 in attorney’s fees.
“Where pictures or videotapes themselves are the focus of a major news story, news reporters may make brief use of selected footage to explain to the public what the story is about,” a motion filed by ABC’s lawyers said.
It’s a fitting reminder: be careful what you post on Facebook. And if you do mess up, it might pay to just accept responsibility and move on.