Friday, January 29, 2010

Anti-Nelson video: Show me the plaintiffs!

Political uses of copyrighted material are becoming more and more common. Some are fair uses; some aren't. Check out this new video from a conservative group called "American Future Fund," which mocks Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) for his efforts to justify the so-called "Cornhusker kickback" offered to secure his support for health care legislation:

I count at least 15 copyrighted works incorporated into the video -- and at least 15 potential plaintiffs. Interestingly, one of the specific issues raised by this issue -- the reference to the MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign -- has already been litigated, and resulted in a finding of fair use. MasterCard International, Inc. v. Nader 2000 Primary Committee, Inc., 70 USPQ2d 1046 (S.D.N.Y. 2004).


  1. Yikes, the gratuitous use of copyrighted material almost seems designed to bait the rightsholders of these clips. It's also a pretty poorly produced ad. Looks more like a Web 2.0 final exam question than an effective piece of propaganda.

    Isn't this the second time in the last few months that somebody's used that Austin Powers clip in a political ad? I can't remember whether I read about it here or elsewhere, though.

  2. I can see going after them for the movie clips and music, but I fail to see how parodying a mastercard commerical is up for attack. I'm glad to see that charge didn't stick.


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