Buckeye State Blog proprietor David Potts successfully petitioned YouTube to pull the Republican Senate Campaign Committee's ad against Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher. The ad lifted footage from a video interview BSB posted at the start or primary season, pulling a couple of quotes about Fisher's job at the Department of Development. Congrats to David for getting the attention of Politico and for the general awesomeness of the play.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
This story is fun -- because damn -- but it's also important. Interviews like that at BSB and the interviews Jeff Coryell used to do at Ohio Daily offer an important service. A candidate relating to a nonprofessional citizen journalist tends to be different -- more relaxed, informal, unscripted. We will get less of that if candidates fear it will be plundered for an unflattering moment taken out of context. Way back when Meet the Bloggers was happening, this was an ongoing concern. We had Emily's List (well, their consultants, anyway) lift some photos of Capri Cafaro for attack mailers and Zack Space's opponent using quotes from his MTB interview in radio ads.
How far citizen journalists can push this remains to be seen. The decision to pull the ad based on the intellectual property objection is YouTube's. The ad remains (as of tonight) in the NRSC front page and is probably on their anti-Fisher attack site which I have no desire to visit. If challenged in court, they can claim fair use which works some time, but would take serious lawyering to beat. Some newspapers assert their copyright over editorial endorsements such that you have to run the entire piece, but newspapers have phalanxes of lawyers to assert those rights.
The great hope is that the embarrassment of being publicly outed for copyright infringement and especially getting dinked by YouTube will deter this kind of nonsense to some degree.
Finally, an irony worth noting. This is the interview that essentially tore Buckeye State apart when it happened. Tonight it has gotten the blog national notice.