LawFuel.com – It is common practise for politicians to appropriate popular musical and other work for their campaigns, rather like corporations, but it appears that Mitt Romney has hit a problem with an attack ad featured a dummied-up look at the President singing a song that has been all over YouTube.
The LA Times reports further on music used by candidates and created by songwriters and performers they don’t support:
” See, for example, Survivor telling Republican Newt Gingrich to stop using “Eye of the Tiger” in his presidential campaign stops, or Jackson Browne suing Republican Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for using “Running on Empty” during his 2008 bid for the presidency.
“But there’s a difference between co-opting a song to rouse the faithful or appropriating a melody for a campaign video and creating an attack ad that shows a snippet of an opposing candidate singing. That seems like fair game, especially when the singer is the president of the United States, and the warbling in question had been all over YouTube already.
“BMG Rights Management, however, disagrees.
“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign recently released an ad on YouTube, “Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” that accuses President Obama of steering dollars from the 2009 economic stimulus law to his political patrons. The ad featured a clip of Obama singing one (count ’em, one) line from Al Green’s 1972 classic “Let’s Stay Together” at a fundraiser at New York City’s Apollo Theater.
It was a pointed bit of commentary, the sort of use of copyrighted material that federal law protects. In fact, I’d argue that it clearly passes three of the four tests of fair use, including this all-important one: The ad did not diminish the market for Green’s original composition in any way.
Nevertheless, BMG Rights Management claimed that its copyrights related to the song had been violated, and YouTube took it down.”
Mitt Romney faces some problems with the copyright violation. Interesting to see how he handles that issue.