Is It Copyright Infringement For A Political Campaign To Use A Snippet Of A News Broadcast In An Ad?
from the fair-use? dept
Reader Video Savant alerts us to the fact that CBS Interactive is the latest entity to ding the McCain campaign for copyright violations. In this case, CBS has sent a takedown notice to YouTube concerning one of McCain’s latest commercials. The commercial uses a brief clip of CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. CBS explains that it does not endorse a candidate for president, and it’s inappropriate for either campaign to use a clip containing Couric. You can certainly understand why CBS (or any news station) wouldn’t want to appear to have endorsed a candidate if they have not — but it’s difficult to see how those viewing the clip would assume that Couric was actually endorsing the campaign (or the ad, which appears to be almost entirely misleading — isn’t presidential politics great?).
So, the question, then, is whether or not this is fair use, and whether CBS is correct in having the ad taken down. It’s a very short clip of Couric (about 5 seconds), and it seems quite likely that this would be found to be fair use. According to the article, it looks like CBS just sent the takedown to YouTube, while the ad remains on McCain’s site. It would be interesting to see if CBS tries to take it down from McCain’s site or other sites that are hosting the ad as well. While I think the ad is incredibly disingenuous (and, honestly, a totally stupid issue — what happened to debating on the important issues?), it’s difficult to see how this is copyright infringement.