Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Obama Campaign is Going [Al] Green (But Not Romney) [Updated]

    Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller reported today that YouTube used a copyright claim from BMG to remove a Mitt Romney campaign web ad:
Mitt Romney’s new web video, featuring audio of President Obama singing a few lines from Al Green’s, “Let’s Stay Together,” has been pulled down from YouTube via a copyright claim of BMG Rights Management.
According to a release, the video, titled, “Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” used news reports to demonstrate that “[i]nstead of working to restore [our] economic security, President Obama is too busy rewarding his biggest donors.”
The ad, which someone has re-uploaded here (and YouTube has apparently not noticed yet) is only 35 seconds long, yet BMG had it pulled.  Matt Lewis closed his piece by asking, "What is more, one wonders if an Obama ad featuring Al Green’s song would have also been pulled down?"  Well, wonder no more.  The same video of the president singing is posted on the Obama campaign's Tumbler site.  (Note the "Donate" button close by.)  Can any lawyers or someone in the advertising industry explain this?  Is BMG just playing favorites?  Could the Obama campaign be paying royalties?  Inquiring minds...

UPDATE:  Since the Obama campaign is selling a President-Obama-Sings-Al-Green ringtone, perhaps the simple explanation is that they've licensed it from BMG.

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