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.

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Comments on “NJ Gubernatorial Candidate Using Monty Python Video Without Authorization In Campaign Commercial”

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21 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

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.

RD says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

Jersey Guy says:

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.

Smalltownhell says:

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.

Jersey Guy says:

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?

Jersey Guy says:

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?

Jersey Guy says:

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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