Who thought that the presidential campaigns would have anything
to do with copyright issues? If you said yes, you'd be in a small group. However, as we pointed out last week, Fox News has been sending
cease-and-desist letters to Republican candidates for using snippets of the Republican presidential candidate debates in their ads and on their websites. Other networks have agreed to allow the content to be used freely, but not News Corp.-owned Fox. We figured that most candidates would back down rather than getting tangled in a legal battle, but that might not be the case. Against Monopoly
points out that Mitt Romney's campaign sent Fox News a letter describing the campaign's use of the material as clearly falling under "fair use"
. Fox News has shot back that it does not
, but so far that seems to be as far as things have gone. Where it will get interesting is whether either side is willing to file an actual lawsuit (News Corp. being much more likely to actually file, but the Romney campaign could
always try to get a declaratory judgment). Considering how little attention gets paid to copyright issues during presidential election cycles, this may be about as close as it gets.