Obama reelection advertisement yanked over possible copyright issue


Recently, a super PAC that supports President Barack Obama’s reelection bid had to pull an advertisement that featured footage from the 2002 Olympics Games in Salt Lake City. The reason? The International Olympic Committee claimed use of the footage constituted copyright infringement.

Some people in Naples might have heard of the super PAC, called Priorities USA. It had to remove the advertisement from its YouTube page and has said it will not air it on network television.

The ad showed Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney, welcoming the Olympics teams from India, China and Burma. The advertisement was designed to imply that those were the countries to which Romney had helped companies outsource jobs when he worked at Bain Capital.

Copyrighted Olympics footage might actually turn out to be an issue in this election. Romney has used his role in getting the troubled Salt Lake City Olympics back on track in his campaign, so it’s not at all conceivable that he would want to use some Olympics imagery in a future advertisement. His campaign has not substantively commented on whether it ever planned to do so.

We hope this post has not given you the impression that we are in favor of or against either candidate. Rather, we wanted to write about it because it shows just how strong copyright protection can be and how grave the consequences are even if you are only accused of copyright infringement.

Source: Yahoo News, “Olympic ad by pro-Obama super PAC removed over copyright issues,” Chris Moody, July 26, 2012