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BBC calls out ‘Son of God’ network for using unauthorized footage used in a debate trailer

According to BBC correspondent Howard Johnson, SMNI did not contact them or their rights team to request permission to use the footage.


The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of London has chastised Sonshine Media Network International (SMNI), a network owned by FBI suspect Pastor Apollo Quiboloy, for using its footage without permission or proper credit on SMNI’s trailer for the network’s recent presidential debate.

On Wednesday (Feb 16), BBC Philippines correspondent Howard Johnson shared a video of SMNI’s trailer containing news footage from the highly contested Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea on Twitter.

The network used the footage without permission and without crediting BBC.

The trailer was used by SMNI at the presidential debate attended by Ernesto Abella, Leody de Guzman, Norberto Gonzales, and Ferdinand Marcos Jr. the day before at the Okada Manila hotel in Paraaque City.

China’s aggressions in the Philippine Sea were among the topics discussed at the event.

Panatag, also known as Scarborough Shoal, is located 220 kilometers west of Zambales province in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone. It has, however, been under the control of China since 2012.

Johnson is said to have traveled to Scarborough in 2021 with BBC producer Virma Simonette Rivera and fishermen from Pangasinan province to document the struggles of Filipino fishermen in their traditional fishing grounds. At the time, the video was shot there.

“May malakas na paninindigan sa tama. Hindi magtataksil sa bayan at hindi tayo ipagpapalit sa kahit na ano man. Hindi magnanakaw,” the SMNI presidential debate trailer read.

([SMNI] has a strong stand on what’s right. We will not betray the people. And we will not be exchanged for anything. Honest and not a thief.)

However, “neither the BBC News team in Manila nor London was approached for permission to use the footage,” Johnson said in a statement.

He also stated that the Scarborough Shoal footage, which will be aired on BBC World News in July 2021, is not available on the Getty website, a third-party site where news organizations can purchase BBC footage.

According to the BBC’s terms of service, “To use any of the following things: Whole shows, clips, photos, content from, our logo and other branding, you need to get permission.”

According to the Philippine Press Institute’s Code of Ethics, journalists must use fair and honest methods to obtain news, photographs, and/or documents.

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