NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Using Monty Python Video Without Authorization In Campaign Commercial

from the double-standards dept

Politicians almost always push for stronger copyright laws or copyright law enforcement -- and yet, time and time and time again we see that when it comes to their own use, they often violate copyright law themselves. I tend to give them the benefit of the doubt: most people who don't pay attention closely simply buy the industry's line about copyright: that it's property and that it's important to keep the industry functioning. Neither is true, of course, but if you don't think about it or pay attention to how copyright really works, you can see how people would believe that.

So here we are again, with yet another politician -- this time US Attorney and current New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie -- caught red handed making use of content he most likely had no permission to use. In this case, he used clips from old Monty Python skits in his television commercials (which were also placed online). The chaps who make up Monty Python insist that Christie had no permission to do so and they don't like it (they're considering suing). Now, I tend to think that using a clip in such a manner should be perfectly legal, but given that it is not, it does look pretty bad for a long-term lawyer, current US Attorney and now candidate for governor to be caught flat-out ignoring copyright law.

One could hope that this would be a "teachable moment" to a politician, letting him know that copyright is an issue that isn't quite as clear cut as many politicians make it out to be. And yet, somehow, I doubt that will happen. It's not yet clear if Christie has much of a record on copyright issues (I can't find much), but somehow I doubt he'll suddenly become a fair use crusader.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:55am

    Simple really

    GOP candidates are hated and thus disallowed from using copyrighted material made by more liberal minded artists; especially those who catch them using said material. Even if this was fair use or a case of royalties; everytime you see a situation like this; the artist or creator wants to "punish" the hated conservative.

     

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  2.  
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    Another AC, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 6:27am

    Teachable moment?

    Unfortunately, he will just say "Sorry, my bad" and settle if they try to sue. Then everything will go on in the copyright world as usual.

     

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  3.  
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    Another Anonymous Coward, but not a troll, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 6:28am

    Oh, I know the answer to this one....... BOOT TO THE HEAD!

     

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  4.  
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    Free Capitalist (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Re: Simple really

    I almost agree with you after the last U.S. presidential election, and it is quite absurd considering the best ideal an artist could strive for is reaching the masses with truth. If I were an artist, I wouldn't want my work associated with any brand of politics.

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 6:49am

    Re:

    That's the Frantics!

     

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  6.  
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    Marcel de Jong (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:01am

    Re:

    More like the fish slapping dance.

     

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  7.  
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    Someantimalwareguy, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re:

    More like the fish slapping dance... ...while on the way to the ministry of funny walks...

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 7:15am

    Re: Teachable moment?

    That would assume that they accept said settlement. Of course, they could refuse and push the suit. You don't just settle if they try to sue, you have to entice them to agree.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:21am

    Why do I get the impression that the NJ Gubernatorial Candidate is like Rowan Atkinson's (Mr. Bean) character in "Rat Race"?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8GgmoVVW054

     

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  10.  
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    RD, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Oh if only

    "One could hope that this would be a "teachable moment" to a politician, letting him know that copyright is an issue that isn't quite as clear cut as many politicians make it out to be."

    Mike, what planet are you living on? If only the above were true, then people might actually, you know, LEARN something, and the law might apply equally to all!

    Sadly, we live on no such planet. We live on a planet of ever-increasing "haves" and "have nots", where the rich and powerful live by different rules than 99% of the rest of the entire PLANET. This will never come to anything, because its not some kid in his basement file sharing, its a rich politician and so he gets to skate.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:03am

    So now the race is between the crooked guy that wants to stay in office and continue doing terrible at being governor and the guy who used a Monty Python clip without complete permission...hmm, tough decision

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:04am

    So now the race is between the crooked guy that wants to stay in office and continue doing terrible at being governor and the guy who used a Monty Python clip without complete permission...hmm, tough decision

     

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  13.  
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    Jersey Guy, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:12am

    Pretty funny that they selected to campaign in Camden - maybe they were checking out how many millions of dollars are sent to Camden that are wasted and gobbled up by the political bosses. Yep - a vote for Corzine is a vote for business as usual in NJ where the middle class continues to pay higher and higher taxes, but the lower class continues to see worse and worse services as the politically connected line their pockets. Goodbye Jon. You failed as governor.

     

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  14.  
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    Mechwarrior, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 9:45am

    You politics fanboys need to find a different outlet than a technology & law site.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re:

    Crooked? Christie's the one who's crooked. Every time his mouth moves, he lies. He lied in his political ads (rebutted with facts by his competition), he lied while attorney general, and he's lying to the public about lowering taxes and raising spending, because you simply can't do both. Corzine's a boob, but he's not crooked. I (and many others from NJ) don't like Corzine, but Christie is even worse, which is why he'll lose tomorrow.

     

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  16.  
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    Smalltownhell, Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:44pm

    I think some aspects of what's called, I believe, the moral right of the artist are relevant in cases like this: having one's work placed in a context for which it was not designed or one not favoured by the artist. An extreme example might be a far-right political group making a campaign video using Black Flag's 'White Minority', a song spoofing racism as it was sung by a Puerto Rican in a leftwing group. The new context would make the song appear racist, something presumably abhorrent to the original makers. A silly, extreme example I know, but I think it's one of the few aspects of Copyright law I can in some ways understand, as there should be some system in place for people to obtain permission to use the work of another.

     

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  17.  
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    Money Mike (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, you anonymous cowards are both correct (whoops, almost said "right") and that's why you need to vote for Chris Daggett instead.


    Corzine might not be the best Governor for us, but Christie is definitely not the answer. That would be moving in the wrong direction.

     

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  18.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Nov 2nd, 2009 @ 5:38pm

    Re:

    "I think some aspects of what's called, I believe, the moral right of the artist..."

    That's a euroweenie idea, you socialist.

     

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  19.  
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    Jersey Guy, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Mike, you may be correct about Chris Dagget, he may be the better candidate, but with no chance to win, he can't make any changes for the better.

    "Anonymous Coward(s)", Corzine is as crooked as any politician can get. He must really lay awake at night and think about better ways to screw the working class and put more money in his (and friends) pocket. Between scandals with ex gfs (who happen to work for the union he conducted negotiations with), paying people off, forcing tax hikes on the state, privatizing the turnpike for bigger profits, etc, etc, etc...how can you not know he's dirty?

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    Jersey Guy, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Mike, you may be correct about Chris Dagget, he may be the better candidate, but with no chance to win, he can't make any changes for the better.

    "Anonymous Coward(s)", Corzine is as crooked as any politician can get. He must really lay awake at night and think about better ways to screw the working class and put more money in his (and friends) pocket. Between scandals with ex gfs (who happen to work for the union he conducted negotiations with), paying people off, forcing tax hikes on the state, privatizing the turnpike for bigger profits, etc, etc, etc...how can you not know he's dirty?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Jersey Guy, Nov 3rd, 2009 @ 12:45pm

    Mike, you may be correct about Chris Dagget, he may be the better candidate, but with no chance to win, he can't make any changes for the better.

    "Anonymous Coward(s)", Corzine is as crooked as any politician can get. He must really lay awake at night and think about better ways to screw the working class and put more money in his (and friends) pocket. Between scandals with ex gfs (who happen to work for the union he conducted negotiations with), paying people off, forcing tax hikes on the state, privatizing the turnpike for bigger profits, etc, etc, etc...how can you not know he's dirty?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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