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  1. Media Law
October 13, 2023

Publishers pay out thousands to owner of Croydon bus-stop arrest video

The video's owner remains in dispute with The Voice.

By Dominic Ponsford

News organisations have together paid out thousands after being billed retrospectively for unauthorised usage of a video taken from social media of a woman being arrested over bus fare evasion in Croydon.

But The Voice newspaper currently remains in dispute over its use of the video without credit to its owner, a man called Clement Benjamin.

The incident from July first emerged on social media in August after being shared by Saskia Cole on Twitter. Benjamin’s video showed a woman being detained by several police in front of her distraught infant son over a supposedly unpaid £1.75 bus fare.


Various news organisations used the video crediting Saskia Cole and Twitter, but apparently without checking if she owned the video. Press Gazette understands the video was shot by a man called Clement Benjamin who has been charging news organisations £300 per photo and £600 per video for each unauthorised use of the video.

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Benjamin, 53, told the Mirror that the woman was manhandled by police until they checked her Oyster card and found that she had in fact paid her bus fare.

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He remains in dispute with one news organisation who used the video, The Voice, and has sent it a statutory demand for payment of £425. He has been in correspondence with The Voice over use of the video, and stills from it, since August and apparently an initial offer to pay his invoice was subsequently retracted.

The demand letter notes that The Voice used his video, taken on 21 July, on its Youtube channel without permission.

In a letter to The Voice, Benjamin said: “You will be aware of the huge public interest in the story published by The Voice and many others in Britain and abroad who used my video and pictures taken from it of a police incident at a Croydon bus stop on Friday, July 21, 2023. My video and stories about its shocking content went viral.

“Following the use by news organisations, including yours, of content legally owned by me I invoiced them and sought my moral right to be credited by name on the videos and pictures used. All but The Voice have paid up and complied.”

The Voice is a newspaper and media brand aimed at Britons of African-Caribbean descent.

Benjamin noted in his letter to The Voice that he himself is a “Black elder in your community”.

Press Gazette understands that Sky News, the Evening Standard, LBC, the i, Mail publisher Associated Newspapers and ITV News have all made payments to Benjamin.

A freelance photographer who alerted Press Gazette to this story, but who asked not to be named, said: “At first all the organisations bar Sky News tried to use what they claimed was a ‘fair dealing’ loophole in the 1988 Copyright, Designs and Patent Act. But this relates to the lifting of text for news reporting purposes and specifically excludes photographs from the law’s exemption.

“What is more, user-generated content providers have a moral right in law to be credited with their name on their pictures used by news media organisations. None of them bothered to find out the video belonged to Clement, sought his permission to use pictures from it or credited him once they did. He specifically did not put the video on social media.”

Press Gazette has contacted The Voice for comment.

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Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
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