As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fun With Copyright Laws

OK, this one is hilarious.

So John McCain's writers came up with a decent line for last week's Republican debate, basically calling Hillary Clinton a dirty hippie, and the crowd ate it up. Deciding to press their luck, McCain turned the debate clip into a TV ad, using 19 seconds of footage from the debate (and a really bad 60s knock-off music cue).

One thing though. Fox News would like a word...

Fox News Channel confirms that it has ordered the campaign of Senator John McCain to cancel its new ad featuring a clip of him at last Sunday’s debate, which was sponsored by Fox News. The news network prohibits candidates from using debate clips in their political advertisements [...]

...the spot prominently features the Fox News logo in the corner of the screen. Of course, campaigns use debate clips from time to time to the anger of the networks, and they do not tend to mind the extra publicity these clips bring to their ads. But Fox News officials say they are taking this matter seriously.

Based on what I know about these matters (and I've dealt with a fair bit of this), Fox probably has a case that McCain can't use their logos and footage in a commercial spot promoting his campaign. Their lawyers certainly think so. Normally, the networks don't mind the free publicity. But most networks aren't run by Rudy Giuliani's former media consultant.

It's entirely possible, of course, that Fox News tried to call the campaign HQ to tell them not to run the ad, but McCain didn't have the cash to keep the phones running. And he'll probably need to pass the hat for the $500 needed to pay an editor to blur out the logos.

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