Canadian PM Copies Campaign Commercial, Doesn't License Hockey Clips

from the didn't-he-want-stricter-copyright-laws? dept

While the latest attempt at putting forth new copyright laws in Canada didn’t survive, I always find it amusing when politicians pushing for stricter copyright laws get caught breaking copyright law. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was already being talked about after it came to light that he appeared to have done a pretty close copy of a campaign ad from US Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty. You can see both ads below:

However, as Rob Hyndman alerts us, now some have discovered that Harper did not properly license the video clips he used of a hockey match between Canada and the Soviet Union in 1972.

Horst Ficel, a partner in the firm, says that Hockey Canada granted the players the rights to all the marketing of the series in the mid-1990s. Today, a committee with player representatives decides who can license the footage.

Ficel is busy fielding requests for permission to use the clips to mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of the historic series.

But decidedly not among those requesting permission was the Conservative Party of Canada, Ficel said..

“It’s definitely not approved by me. It’s not approved by the committee.”

He says the committee is careful to avoid anything that might be considered political.

Now, personally, I think this should be “fair use,” but Canada (notoriously) has no fair use. It does have a more limited concept of “fair dealing,” but (and I’m certainly not an expert in Canadian copyright law), it’s not clear if political commercials are covered by Canada’s fair dealing provisions. The fair dealing provisions focus on “research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting,” and I don’t see how political ads match any of those.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Canadian PM Copies Campaign Commercial, Doesn't License Hockey Clips”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
techie42 (profile) says:

Re: the point...

Well as a Canadian I think there are several points

1) Our Northern Replubican gets his marching orders from the USA. As Haroper himself said “I don’t care what goes into the new law as long as it makes the American’s happy”

2) He takes American plotitions so serious he copys their play book.

3) He wants stricker laws but, yet he canm’t obay the laws we already have.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: the point...

Good on you sir. I can’t believe he’s still sitting.

There is no Democracy.. only the republic, for which it stands. The people are dragged into war as the Germans were in WWII. Told the transfer of their assets to soverign entities are for their own good, herded and corralled to work for promissory notes and not one voice of descent is ever recorded in err. Then the Internet happened, and everything changed… for a while…

JustMe (profile) says:

Not necessarily a copy of Pawlenty

So much as a collection of random images suggesting ‘Canadian-ness’ and reminiscent of a junior high school art project. Neither commercial gives me insight in to the candidate or their views, other than the fact that they have poor decision making skills for choosing such an overused and underinformative format. It doesn’t even give me any reason to remember their names, which is why I had to scroll up twice to get the names while writing this brief response. So there, candidates, your very expensive commercial wasn’t even able to keep your names in my head for a minute.

Also, I wonder if any of the other images used in Harper’s video were properly licensed.

Darryl says:

Political Ads? not commercials but political.

First, political compains are not really ‘commercials’, allthough often they look like them, and often take the same time slots on your TV.

They are not ads, but they are a method of information delivery, often it is about how good your guy is, or how bad the other guy is.

Or what you are going to do if you are elected, or what the other guy will do if he is elected.

In particular, they are trying to EDUCATE people about what they can offer, or what will happen if they are not elected (and the other guy gets in).

So for ‘fair use’ and ‘fair dealing’ they meet virtually ALL the necessary boxes.

research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting

Research – yes, so people can find out what that person stands for

Yes, they can do that privately

Yes, it is for criticism (of the other guy)

Review, yes that too


News Reporting – yes, it has that as well.

So a political campain is not a ‘add campain’ therefore it would and does certainly fall under ‘fair use’ or ‘fair dealings’

“but (and I’m certainly not an expert in (Canadian – ANY)copyright law),”

Yes, Mike copyright law is not your strong suit.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.

Are you completely off your rocker?

1. Research means BY the individual putting out the content. Your content can be research work. It does NOT mean that your video can be USED for others in terms of research. Besides which, political propaganda as research material is….specious to put it mildly.

2. Private study, see above. The content would be the result of private study, not the use of that content.

3. Criticism is where you’re closest…but still wrong. Fair use stipulates that you’re critiquing the work you’d be otherwise infringing upon. Unless this politician was criticizing the NHL, then this fails the test. Doing so in Canada would be a bold move, to say the least.

4. Review…uh what? What is a campaign commercial reviewing? In the same sense as a book/movie review? Nothing, that’s what.

5. And if you REALLY think a campaign advertisement is “news reporting”, then I suggest you find the nearest hammer and bash yourself in the head with it in the hopes of getting some of those misfiring synapses properly lined up, because that’s grade A monkey retardism right there, my friend….

darryl says:

Re: Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.

is that the BEST you can do ??

I thought you were one of Mikes “TOP” attack dogs.

you can always tell when you are Mike gets desperate as Mike starts to create poor ‘articles’ such as this one.

As if ANYONE apart from Mike gives a shit if he uses a few seconds of a game on a promotion.

If it was from anyone else, that Mikie ‘liked’ he would be defending them to the hilt with ‘fair use’ and how terrible copyright laws are.

Unless it suits him to state otherwise.

Very two faced.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.

“If it was from anyone else, that Mikie ‘liked’ he would be defending them to the hilt with ‘fair use’ and how terrible copyright laws are.”

As per usual, dumbass, you’ve completely missed the point of the article. Try to take your head out of your ass long enough to witness:

Mike isn’t criticizing the guy’s use of the video. Rather, he’s criticizing the guy for insisting on more stringent copyright law EVEN THOUGH he doesn’t mind infringing himself. It’s hypocrisy.

Sort of like if you requested someone type with proper grammar, you insignificant twat….

RD says:

Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.


Ok now I am convinced you write these things only as a form of sarcastic commentary. Because that posting is the biggest steaming load of twisted justification bullshit I’ve seen in a while. You have to be an artificial astroturf copyright absolutist or something.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.

Ok now I am convinced you write these things only as a form of sarcastic commentary.

I am still not convinced. I used a robot journalism software package and it came up with a better, more coherent comment than Darryl did. Thus, I believe Darryl is nothing more than a bunch of cats pushing keys on a computer.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...