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Romney Invokes Fair Use In Dispute With NBC Over Campaign Ad

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the folsom-v-marsh dept.

Advertising 242

An anonymous reader writes "Mitt Romney's campaign is airing an ad that is basically 30 seconds lifted from an NBC News broadcast and NBC is trying to stop them from using the ad. I found it interesting that the Romney campaign is invoking fair use to defend the ad. Romney adviser Eric Fehrnstrom said 'we believe it falls within fair use. We didn't take the entire broadcast; we just took the first 30 seconds.'"

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242 comments

Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (5, Insightful)

killfixx (148785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859361)

This is great!

Big Media Outlet: Waaah, we're the only ones allowed to exploit fair use, not other people...

Tom Brokaw was, "extremely uncomfortable with the extended use of my personal image in this political ad. I do not want my role as a journalist compromised for political gain by any campaign."

This is more of the same, "Infringe on someone else's freedom to protect mine? Sounds good! Infringe on my freedom to protect someone else's? Hell no!"

Bullshit...

The funny thing is, we'll be seeing more and more of this type of hypocrisy as copyright becomes more powerful and media becomes easier to catalog for the average person.

Information needs to be free to prevent tyrants and dictators from using our ignorance against us. /paranoia :) Cheers!

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859391)

That's all well and good and it's not to say that I don't agree but talking about it here on Slashdot isn't enough. You need to boycott the sponsors of this program and let them and the network know why. Maybe that will change their tune. We can work this out to stop the absurdity of it all by voting with our dollars.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (2)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859827)

The sponsors of a newscast long ago are to be punished now for funding what actually was legitimate news?

If you feel that some kind of action involving sponsors is appropriate, you might have better luck telling them you use and like their product but would rather see them switch to other networks because (and tell them why in reasonable terms).
Punishing them when they did nothing wrong and couldn't see what NBC (under a different ownership mix no less) might do later just isn't reasonable. If you think there's a problem with NBC, tell the network, your local affiliate (who in some cases might consider a switch or at least feedback to the network), and maybe the FCC. Whether it be over this, not liking the Comcast merger, or not liking Fear Factor and Biggest Loser over sci-fi, perhaps the vote that matters is the one you make with the remote control. Then perhaps you could tell sponsors why you won't see their ads on NBC. Tell Romney to advertise elsewhere?

Also consider contacting sponsors, affiliates, networks, and others and telling them what you like when they do something right. Maybe then they'll do more of it.
If you see something you like, tell your friends. Reward positive behavior

Consider encouraging the FCC to ban paid political ads, instead having stations free to choose how much time they provide in the form of public affairs programming (which they must do in a balanced way). Clearly matters have gone from bad to worse as far as controlling corporate campaign contributions goes. At this point, focusing on how the money can be spent may be more productive in fighting corruptive influence.

It is ironic that with the huge windfalls broadcasters have received from political ads over the years, they quibble over something so small. As for Tom Brokaw, put a Anonymous-type mask on him? (that would be a fun to see on youtube)

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (4, Interesting)

Vylen (800165) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859403)

This is more of the same, "Infringe on someone else's freedom to protect mine? Sounds good! Infringe on my freedom to protect someone else's? Hell no!"

Are all freedoms equal? Do my freedoms hold more weight over yours?

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (5, Funny)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859675)

No, but mine do!

Re: Are all freedoms equal? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859809)

Freedoms come in levels.
Your innate Right to exist is of a higher level than someone else's assumed freedom to kill you, morally-speaking at least.
That being said, if they have a gun and you don't; then you are really trusting this other person's moral compass and/or incentives.
The key being that example is a direct dispute between an innate Right versus an assumed Freedom;

Innate Rights are something which no legitimate government may strip from you; in very rare circumstances Freedoms must be curtailed to protect other's Innate Rights, but these are limited in scope (i.e. you aren't allowed to experiment with radioactive isotopes in your basement or aren't supposed to yell fire in a crowded theater) by definition.

Classical liberal economists (Suggested reading being Locke, Hobbes, etc.) would argue that your freedoms extend to a certain social contract into which governance and the governed enter and wherein specific rights and/or freedoms must be protected by government - namely security, labor opportunity, and a certain amount of self governance & expression. Going even further, FDR and other 'New Deal'-era politicians wanted to re-define these contracts to include an assurance of economic opportunity - so that High School graduates could go get a job and live well enough to raise a family, College Grads would be hired into the workplace in an equivalently skilled position, and total overall productive work would continue to grow; manufacturing, innovation, resource development and nation-building. For a look at how exactly this didn't work out and some of the numbers proving it, with sources, I recommend Jacob S. Hacker & Paul Pierson's - Winner Take All Politics - How Washington Made the Rich Richer and Turned its Back on the Middle Class.

Back to your question though,

Freedoms and Rights shouldn't get confused, especially in the case of corporate entities who are virtually infinitely wealthy when those corporations claim their Assumed Freedom to limit that which is actually the Innate Right of a real person and therefore precluded from their ability to limit.

My fear is this will only worsen as technology continues to outpace the judiciary.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859815)

Are all freedoms equal? Do my freedoms hold more weight over yours?

If you're comparing apples to apples, then no (bank balances being equal :P). However, some of your freedoms can be overridden by others'. Take cartoons of Mohammed for example: one's freedom of religion is obviously trumped by another person's freedom of expression.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860059)

I would strongly argue that cartoons of Mohammed to not impinge anybody's freedom of religion.

Freedom of religion doesn't force the world to conform to your views, it only allows you to have them.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (4, Insightful)

pclminion (145572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860229)

Do our freedoms hold more weight than corporations' freedoms? Yes. The answer clearly is yes. Corporations and government are both servants of the people. You know, people -- individual specimens of Homo sapiens who exist on this planet. The only beings which actually exist. Those people.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (1)

niftydude (1745144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860509)

But, but, corporations ARE people now...

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (4, Insightful)

introcept (1381101) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860479)

Are all freedoms equal? Do my freedoms hold more weight over yours?

That depends, are you rich?

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (4, Insightful)

Stumbles (602007) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859429)

You missed the whole point. Copyright owners want to do away with fair use. That should be obvious with their, to use your term; hypocrisy.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (5, Interesting)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859579)

Even more hypocritical is the fact that NBC keeps running the ad and getting paid for it.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (4, Informative)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859649)

Networks are not allowed to censor the content of any political ad.

For reference: upcoming abortion video to play during Super Bowl.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860039)

Anyone else thinking... Oh so exploitable?

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859627)

Not in this case, this isn't about big media trying to make money. It's about NBC News trying to distance itself from a shitty ad by the Mitt Romney campaign.

OTOH, the SOB i really feel sorry for is Romney. I mean, in under 30 seconds, a quick recap of a bad day he had in the 90's bites him in the ass in ways I couldn't imagine.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859889)

And if ACTA, SOPA, etc. are passed, then Mitt Romney's campain website, and anything else, can be shut down!

Yes, I am not an American.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (5, Funny)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859955)

Tom Brokaw: "I do not want my role as a journalist compromised..". How cute. He thinks he's a journalist.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860381)

When he goes out in the field to gather facts and build a story, yes, he's a journalist. When he's on TV repeating back what the teleprompter says, he's just a talking head.

This isn't like music. Musicians can (through ASCAP, etc) ask that their music not be used for certain things, like for politicians' bump music or in their ads. Just like they can ask Weird Al to not use their music (not lyrics, obviously) in his parodies.

Re:Fair use? "Not comfortable with..." (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860485)

This is more of the same, "Infringe on someone else's freedom to protect mine? Sounds good! Infringe on my freedom to protect someone else's? Hell no!"

The cynic in me is saying that a lot of these allegedly inalienable, fundamental rights are only the compromises of various groups trying to take away each other's rights. Group A wants to censor group B and C, B wants to censor C and D, C wants to censor all of them and D wants to censor A and B. That they come together to make something like "freedom of speech" is just a mutual defense treaty against being censored themselves, not because they're fundamentally for it. That you have something like "due process", well that's not because the criminals deserve it or because you want to make it difficult to put them in jail. It's because you could be wrongly suspected to be a criminal, and you'd like your chance to prove it before you're dangling from a rope by a lynch mob like in the wild west.

You see it every time it's talk of singling out exceptions, these rights are for everyone except the people at Gitmo because the US population don't feel "this could be me". It's easy to support regimes of slavery and apartheid when you look at your skin and realize it's white, because those rules will never apply to you. There's a whole lot of people that will fight for their rights, it's pretty damn few who'd really like to fight for other people's rights. There's a poem by Arnulf Øverland here in Norway "Dare not to sleep" that's become rather popular. The most known lines are translated to English are:

Do not sit safely in your home
and say: It is sad, poor them!
You must not endure so incredibly well
the injustice that does not affect yourself!

That was written in 1937 so you can guess what it's about, I guess this post has already Godwin'd itself.

First (-1, Offtopic)

Fysx (1992304) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859363)

Post! :D

Re:First (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859397)

Precisely. Except it's not.

Do What I Say (1)

neoform (551705) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859389)

This doesn't stop them from passing laws that would make their own actions illegal...

Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDING (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859521)

This doesn't stop them from passing laws that would make their own actions illegal...

That totally ignores the fact that when we were backing down politicians from SOPA it's mostly Republicans that responded.

Hollywood and the MPAA has a FAR greater influence over the Democrats than they do Republicans (though yes, there are also some Republicans who are bought with MPAA money too). The difference is that thanks to the Tea Party, Republicans are actually starting to be afraid of the voters. The Democrats are only afraid of Hollywood...

Vote for the future you prefer, those afraid of you or Hollywood. Over the next few years the direction you choose will be crucial.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (3, Interesting)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859795)

Bullshit. If you think Republicans will raise a finger to defend your rights, then I have to wonder what rock you've been living under for the past few decades.

Neither party cares much about copyright, because outside of Slashdot, not many people care. On literally every other issue, it's the Democrats who have tried (meekly) to defend individual rights.

You're right about one thing. Our direction over the next few years is hugely important. If you want more corporate money in politics, more rights for corporate persons, fewer civil liberties, war with Iran, the privatization of Social Security, the elimination of Medicare, and even lower taxes on the top 1%, then vote Republican.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860007)

You're right about one thing. Our direction over the next few years is hugely important. If you want more corporate money in politics, more rights for corporate persons, fewer civil liberties, war with Iran, the privatization of Social Security, the elimination of Medicare, and even lower taxes on the top 1%, then vote Republican.

I'm sorry, but everyone of those things you've mentioned has been supported by our current president and most of the Dems in Congress in one form or another. The difference between the parties are really just a matter of degrees of support for the same goals, rather than fundamental differences based on ideological principles. Save for the same old social wedge issues like abortion, gay rights, prayer in school, etc. there is no difference between the parties now.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (4, Insightful)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860367)

Keep this in mind - the right wing and the left wing are attached to the same vulture.

George Wallace had it right decades ago when he said there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties (though he was a real asshole, too).

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860445)

Thats why he mentioned the tea party. You know those disruptive fellows senior republicans flat out said to the media they needed to co-opt and control?

Most have been voting the way they were elected to, and for. It's been disruptive to both sides getting their garbage done.

You can think they're racist all you want, but you'd be wrong. They also have more in common with the occupy movement than anyone will admit.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859831)

Well, you know, if the democrats are out for your digital rights and the republicans are out for your reproductive rights, at the end of the day, you just have to keep one thing in mind..

You can't pirate a baby.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (4, Interesting)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859875)

Maybe that's because they were largely for it? You can't change your mind to against unless you were for it. I don't have numbers, but here's a picture with a source attached. It doesn't look all that clear to me.

What is clear is that Democrats are typically not on the censorship bandwagon that Republicans have to be to establish their evangelical bona fides and get the Good Christian vote. So Hollywood supports Demorats, California Republicans (and CA has a lot of Congress people), and people like Reagan and Arnie who have been part of the entertainment industry. That's the only reason Hollywood supports one side, and if that side fights back the support dries up.

Republicans did not flip due to support, they flipped because someone got it through their heads that they were passing a law that would really piss off a lot of their voters. Not the ones who contribute this time, but people who would go register to vote in order to save their WikiPedia so they could copy and paste college assignments.

http://s3.amazonaws.com/propublica/assets/images/sopa-opera-count.png [amazonaws.com]

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859989)

I don't have numbers

Sure you do, but you're pretending not to because if you acknowledge the real numbers, you'll be admitting that you know you're lying.

Most of SOPA's legislative supporters are Democrats. Most of those opposed to it are Republicans.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (4, Informative)

wurp (51446) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860093)

I do have numbers; they were easy to get. Support was evenly mixed.

The original sponsor was R. There were 32 cosponsors (including the original sponsor), 16 D and 16 R.

It is true that more republicans withdrew support than dems: 6 R withdrew vs 2 D.

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-3261 [govtrack.us]

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859891)

Oh please, Republicans love Hollywood money as much Dems do, though you're right that historically Hollywood gives more to the Dems. Mostly because Hollywood doesn't want future repeat of McCarthyism, or Republican "Family Values" type legislation forced down its throat. But when it comes to legislation that benefits the **AA's, the Republicans have been right there supporting it, though you'll be hard pressed to know exactly who because almost every DCMA type legislation from the late 70's to now gets passed by a "voice vote" or "unanimous consent" in the applicable House of Congress. Both parties have been very careful not get pro-corporate IP issues used against them in elections. Until now.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859967)

historically Hollywood gives more to the Dems. Mostly because Hollywood doesn't want future repeat of McCarthyism,

Which is funny because while McCarthy was a Republican, the people who committed the actual abuses (as opposed to just demagoguing about them) were Democrats. The House UnAmerican Activities Committee was established and controlled by Democrats.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860065)

*Poof* there goes one of my points. I blame the the Communists. Thanks for the correction.

Re:Don't you get it? Republicans only ones DEFENDI (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859979)

The reason Republicans were the ones who backed down the most from SOPA is because they were the ones most supporting it in the first place.

Re:Do What I Say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859533)

I was unaware of Romney trying to pass a law like this. Perhaps you have an example? Actually Romney is part of the GOP which is the party that stopped SOPA in the House while the DNC tried to continue passing it in the Senate. So you can't even claim his party was part of the problem.

Oh you were just running off making baseless accusations without a shred of evidence to back up your claim. I think MSNBC may have a job for you.

Re:Do What I Say (3, Informative)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859731)

No. Romney is part of the GOP that sponsored the bill to begin with.

Facts are sometimes inconvenient when you have a clear political bias.

Re:Do What I Say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860431)

Yep, and you will continue to bash the party that stopped SOPA and you will also support the party that is still trying to figure out how to pass it. Guess your political bias is more important than issues are to you.

Anyone have a link to the video? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859425)

Please post a link to the video. Thanks.

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (0)

lennier1 (264730) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859441)

+1

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859447)

Please post a link to the video. Thanks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_cuNkI7pzLM

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (4, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859551)

Those with Flash disabled wanting to download with the Firefox DownloadHelper extension to watch the mp4 in VLC may prefer this format of the URL:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cuNkI7pzLM [youtube.com]

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859661)

"Those with Flash disabled"

can go back to hiding under their rock and hug their principals

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (1)

ub3r n3u7r4l1st (1388939) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859709)

And my computer is remaining safe.

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (1)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859825)

Those past high school age may want to cling to their principles instead.

Re:Anyone have a link to the video? (1)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860469)

Last time I had a principal ("principal is your pal") was 45 years ago and they are all probably dead by now.
I have, however, kept my principles.

All or Nothing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859427)

Its all or nothing assholes! Thanks for ruining the world!

Not unexpected (4, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859457)

Re:Not unexpected (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859485)

Aren't networks required to run poli ads?

Re:Not unexpected (4, Informative)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859565)

They're required to give equal access to polis. Doesn't mean any ads they run are for free. Parties are supposed to buy airtime just like everybody else.

Re:Not unexpected (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859571)

They can't refuse to run ads from a politician, but they can certainly refuse to run an arbitrary ad if they had issues with it. Otherwise anyone could run for a political office and run 30 seconds of goatse if they felt so inclined.

Re:Not unexpected (1)

ExploHD (888637) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859689)

anyone could run for a political office and run 30 seconds of goatse if they felt so inclined.

So which /. troll will be running for office?

Re:Not unexpected (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859717)

just make the add 30 secs, add a caption "This is the world you live in!" and a shrieking sound that goes on/off(to get average sound levels "acceptable").

actually, by now you could put a black box on the middle. people would still know what it is, the one's who don't would know soon enough - they would ask someone what's in there..

Re:Not unexpected (4, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859583)

Yes, if a broadcast network accepts advertising, they're required to sell slots to federal candidates at the lowest rate they offer to any other advertiser, and screen then based only on across-the-board neutral conditions (things like volume of the ad, presence of skimpy clothing, etc., if they apply the same rules to all ads).

Re:Not unexpected (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859719)

They can't apply a blanket "we won't air it if we're in a copyright dispute over the content" rule?

Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news media (5, Insightful)

VinylRecords (1292374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859489)

I support fair use and I love that people don't need to wade through paperwork or legalize to use something in academia, analysis, or news reporting.

Fair use is supposed to cover things like media criticism, allowing the entertainment media to show clips of television shows or films and offer constructive commentary or feedback. "Two thumbs up for Tropic Thunder" or whatever. Movie and film reviews are not always protected under fair use though and there are many times that YouTube channels with film reviews are axed. The way to get around that is usually to only use clips from the freely released movie trailers. Big media love to use clips themselves but they'll hound sites or video sharing services that allow for clips coinciding with negative reviews.

Fair use is also to cover academia, using clips for education purposes. Showing someone how a movie scene is made or why this film's scene is iconic or so on. My professors didn't need to obtain a license from whatever studio to show a hundred of us Goodfellas and The Godfather in college.

Fair use is even for news reporting, if a story needs to have a clip that might be copyrighted, and it benefits the public and actively augments the news story, then invoking fair use to use a clip with copyright might be appropriate.

But claiming 'fair use' for a political advertisement? I don't think so. There is nothing academic going on here. There is nothing being analyzed for the sake of teaching. And there is no objective news reporting occurring here. This is simply a politician taking a reporter out of context to create an artificial soundbite to further his political career. It's pathetic. It is not fair use to use a news report in a political advertisement.

That being said the news media should not be surprised. Between the shows like 'Crossfire' or the O'Reilly Factor where nothing is objective at all, and newspapers endorsing presidential candidates, the news media has been directly involving themselves in politics for years by getting involved with ideological arguments and directly supporting candidates. Now the candidates have figured out that they can just bypass the media and use the reporters words, even out of context, to help them campaign.

I just can't wait until a reporter deliberately says "I support what X candidate is doing" because he has an under the table deal to be featured in a campaign. It would be easy. Get on TV, say you "want this candidate's ideas to become realized in America", and then wait until that clip is featured all over in a major campaign because of fair use. Most of these "journalists" and "reporters" care more about fame than objectivity so they'd likely welcome the attention.

This is not fair use but the media is so worthless and corrupt that it's almost impossible to care when a politician fucks them over. The media has been screwing America for the last decade with no sign of slowing down. Now if you'll excuse me I need to watch the fifth season of The Wire.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859541)

Someone with a nick of 'VinylRecords' asserts an overly narrow definition of fair use. I am shocked.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859741)

Be glad he admits at all. Most bastards in the record industry don't seem to think it exists at all.

Fuck 'em all, I say. I hope pirating puts the entire entertainment industry out of business. Then maybe, once the ground is scorched, we can have a rational discussion.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860079)

yeah, damn him for pointing out most, if not all, of the ways fair use currently applies to modern copyright.
oh, he didn't mention time/format-shifting or other such usages, which we could lump together as 'personal'.
education, critique, journalism, personal...what else is he missing that makes his definition of fair use narrow?

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (2)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859581)

The ad in question is a 27-second (unedited) clip of Tom Brokaw reporting that Newt Gingrich was found guilty of ethics violations. I don't know how you could say that's out of context.

Uh... (3, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860267)

Because it's not included in a news program aired at 6:30 PM over a decade ago?

If Romney wants to say that Gingrich was found guilty of ethics violations, then Romney can get in front of a camera and say it.

He can't steal footage of Brokaw saying it and use that.

The only reason he's using the footage of Brokaw is to imply an endorsement from Brokaw. That's not legitimate. He can convey the facts without using the likeness of someone else who doesn't want to be used in that manner.

Correct... Romney campaign is wrong on many levels (4, Interesting)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859601)

First off, "I only used X seconds" is almost never a complete argument for fair use. How much is too much? Sampling a fraction of a second of music for a new song is enough to cause a lawsuit in some cases; likewise, having a few seconds of music in the background of your unrelated YouTube clip can get it pulled. A few seconds of a copyright work in a movie can lead to a 6 figure settlement (12 Monkeys). There is a concept of the "heart of the work" in copyright law (e.g., publishing a book review of Ford's memoirs that included only a page or two of quotation was not fair use, because those pages were the most interesting part). In the case of the broadcast clip, it'd be quite easy to argue that the lead story is the heart of the work.

Second, fair use for what purpose? It's not current news, it's not parody, the work is not transformative. Maybe you could argue it was "educational," but that's a stretch, and usually only applies in an actual educational context, not in a political ad during campaign season.

Other factors... did they take only what was necessary? In this case, no... why do all the other campaign ads only need to use excerpts of broadcasts, rather than the whole thing? And, aside from copyright, Brokaw may have an argument based on personality rights, although I don't know how being a newscaster would affect that argument.

It find it ironic that despite all the Congressional rhetoric surrounding piracy and copyright infringement, these campaign folks (who are of course being advised by lawyers) simply rip off 30 seconds of copyrighted work and then cry "fair use."

Note that personally I believe this kind of use should be allowed, but from what I see of how current copyright law is actually applied in practice, it is not allowed.

why did they do it? (5, Interesting)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859853)

It seems obvious to me. They didn't have to use NBC's content to make their point, and Mitt Romney can certainly afford to license this or similar content that would make the same point. They WANT to be sued. That makes controversy you can't get any other way and makes BIG MEDIAâ the enemy of the Romney campaign.

That's red meat to the Republican base. Also, later when negative stories about Romney inevitably hit the press, the campaign will have poisoned the well.

Re:Correct... Romney campaign is wrong on many lev (1)

suomynonAyletamitlU (1618513) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860215)

It find it ironic that despite all the Congressional rhetoric surrounding piracy and copyright infringement, these campaign folks (who are of course being advised by lawyers) simply rip off 30 seconds of copyrighted work and then cry "fair use."

That's not ironic. It's basically the entire point.

The people being elected to congress are not prepared to pass legislation that has actual consequences. They think they're doing the boring job of maintaining the country [wikia.com] , which is why hardly anyone takes it seriously. They think it's okay to be selfish and accomplish nothing. They think that peace and prosperity will never end--or worse, they think that you have to have to be superstitious and cowardly, maintaining the previous order at any cost. The proper way to go about it would be to take it seriously, take it slow, and not do anything drastic just because of momentary industry pressure.

Only people in the tech industry see now (by which I mean plus or minus a decade) as being a crossroads, where legislation can make things better, can keep things the same, or can utterly decimate technological and cultural innovation. Congress sees it as kids playing, and like a lot of bad parents, they equate "kids playing" with "slacking off" rather than growth and development.

Re:Correct... Romney campaign is wrong on many lev (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860409)

I thought there was some SCOTUS guidelines for time for free use? Like at least 10 seconds, in a particular case? And it is for news and education, and critique and review. What next, the DNC suing the RNC (and vice versa) for using video clips from past ads, sponsored and recorded political speeches, etc. to paint the others' candidate into a bad spot, for violating "fair use"?

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859605)

Are you kidding? Political speech is at the *core* of First Amendment protections. If Fair Use should cover *anything*, it's political speech. Mitt Romney's a douchebag, but he's a douchebag who's right on this one (just like McCain was, in 2008).

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859625)

But claiming 'fair use' for a political advertisement? I don't think so. There is nothing academic going on here. There is nothing being analyzed for the sake of teaching. And there is no objective news reporting occurring here. This is simply a politician taking a reporter out of context to create an artificial soundbite to further his political career. It's pathetic.

He's using a clip to support an argument. That is fair use.

It is not fair use to use a news report in a political advertisement.

That's insane. Political advertisements are an important part of of the election process. More importantly, news reports should not be allowed to be copyrighted in the first place. They're reporting on facts, facts can't be copyrighted, and this whole thing about "the way in which we compile the facts can be copyrighted" is bullshit that we need to get rid of.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860027)

The clip IS the argument, so what is it supporting?

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859641)

reread the copyright act

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes
The nature of the copyrighted work
The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole
The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

while they may have an argument about the use creating a false impression that NBC the company endorses Romney that is NOT a copyright issue.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (5, Informative)

swalve (1980968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859653)

Although I agree with most of your points, in this case I have to disagree. Fair use comprises these four standards:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

1- The ad is not using Brokaw's reputation to sell a candidate, rather (pun intended) it is just repeating some factual reporting he did about another candidate. And I'm pretty sure campaigns are NFP organizations. Nor does the use as far as I can tell change the tone or character of the original work.

2- The nature is news reporting, not some kind of creative work whose value might be diminished by others copying it.

3- This they might be in trouble for, as I doubt the 30 seconds versus a 30 minute program metric will apply. More likely, it will be how much of the story about Gingrich they played. If that was the whole piece, could be problematic. If it is the first 30 seconds of a 6 minute piece, it's probably OK.

4- Same as #2. Brokaw and NBC aren't diminished by simply repeating what they said on a newscast from 15 years ago. It's not like they are selling "Best of the Nighly News" DVD box sets.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859887)

"1- The ad is not using Brokaw's reputation to sell a candidate, rather (pun intended) it is just repeating some factual reporting he did about another candidate. And I'm pretty sure campaigns are NFP organizations. Nor does the use as far as I can tell change the tone or character of the original work. "

Its most certainly using Brokaw's reputation to sell. If reputation didn't matter they could use a clip of any Joe Smo. Also attacking a competing product is selling your product. If Coke put out and anti Pepsi add, and never said coke, and ripped of someone else's material, they would be sued, just like the Super PAC will get sued.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860401)

Its most certainly using Brokaw's reputation to sell. If reputation didn't matter they could use a clip of any Joe Smo. Also attacking a competing product is selling your product. If Coke put out and anti Pepsi add, and never said coke, and ripped of someone else's material, they would be sued, just like the Super PAC will get sued.

There is no selling. Romney's name is never mentioned until the mandated bit at the end. NBC and Brokaw have no commercial interest in the quoted material. It seems to me that fair use is corrupted by the concept that a report that is used in a context that the creator didn't intend represents a violation.

There's no context cutting here. No expansion upon the message. This is simply a "Hey, remember this..." ad.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859951)

His defense claims fair use. But what about Brokaw's right to protect his public image? Especially since he has gone out of his way to remain neutral in politics?

NBC might be unable to pull the ad due to equal airtime requirements, or may be enjoying payment as long as other networks are doing the same. But Romney's defense don't cover the whole scenario, which may get this taken down everywhere, not just at NBC.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

Motard (1553251) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860437)

If Brokaw has a problem with the words he recited willingly and publicly, isn't that his problem?

Isn't putting putting the public record on display fair use?

If Brokaw has a problem with what he reported to us back in the day, he should apologize to us now.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860025)

Here is the definition of fair use from the Copyright Act of 1976:

the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include: 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; 2. the nature of the copyrighted work; 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

Well, it seems to me that it would be an easy argument to make that a political ad is for "nonprofit educational purposes". It, also, seems to me that this ad would be unlikely to negatively effect the potential market or value of this copyrighted work. I do not see how you can say that this does not fall under fair use from that definition. No where does the statute say that educational use only counts formal education.

Re:Not 'fair use' but no sympathy for the news med (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860481)

Most of these "journalists" and "reporters" care more about fame than objectivity so they'd likely welcome the attention.

Personally, I'd go a lot farther: few if any "journalists" or "reporters" give a damn about objectivity or make the slightest attempt to be neutral. Almost all of them think they have a God Given Right to slant the news to fit whatever adjenda tehy happen to have at the moment. In fact, I'd bet that over 90% of them would be surprised to find out that there was a time when they were expected to stick to the truth in reporting and keep their personal opinions for the Editorial Page.

Here is the link to the video (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859493)

If the entirety of the ad is the broadcast .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859495)

then it isn't fair use, it's blatant copying. If the Romney campaign want's to license it, that's another matter.

lol (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859497)

Bought and paid for by the banks thinks he has rights when he didn't play ball with hollywood and the media mafia.

That's not how it works man.

The truth about Romney (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859517)

He is a complete Moron.

Not fair-use (1)

CodeReign (2426810) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859523)

I'd like to point out that this isn't fair use. Fair use is taking some-else's content and using it with your own in some manor that isn't primarily based on the taken content. While fair use is quite often arbitrarily diminished by major producers this isn't the case here.

  Here you have a guy taking a copyrighted work and reproducing it for personal gain with almost no modification.

NBC only goes after the little people, like Romney (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859591)

after all, he stole someone else's copyrighted material, and used it without permission for his own personal benefit. he should be in jail in accordance with the damage he has done to the owners of the copyright.

it is too bad SOPA didn't pass, he could be branded a terrorist.

Re:Not fair-use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859621)

Hey, it was modified!

He put a big black stripe with some illegible writing in it for part of the clip and it didn't have any of those extremely annoying multi-line, multi-color useless "messages" scrolling along the bottom. That second aspect makes it a vast improvement over the original and changed every frame.

Re:Not fair-use (1)

jordanjay29 (1298951) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860049)

Yeah, and a judge is going to believe that qualifies as transformative...probably not, unless he was blinded or bribed.

Nope; look at the legal definition. (4, Informative)

cduffy (652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860119)

The character of the use (as in the distinction between unmodified copying and preparation of derived works) is one of the factors which a judge weighs in determining whether something is fair use, but it's not the only one -- and by no means whatsoever are derived works guaranteed to be fair use. It's a fuzzy line, not a solid definition with clear boundaries.

Completely unmodified reuse, but of a short clip only, with zero diminution in commercial value, for educational purposes only, of a work of historic nature (yes, "nature of the copied work" is one of the factors)? Certainly, a reasonable judge could find it to be fair use.

This Is Not New (5, Informative)

guttentag (313541) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859549)

NBC News apparently makes a practice of this, particularly when it comes to presidential elections:

I'm sure there are many more, but I didn't want to spend my entire Sunday listing them. The point is: they've been doing this for many, many years.

Re:This Is Not New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859587)

At least they're consistent.

Re:This Is Not New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859699)

Time for an Abuse of Copyright Rights law!

I just used... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38859637)

...the first thirty seconds of the movie "Star Wars" to promote my non-profit website. I totally support the Romney campaign in their...wait...there's a bunch of people with letters on the back of their windbreakers kicking my door in...help!

Wha (1)

headhot (137860) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859761)

So if I had a 30s add for my product, I could use video or music I want and call it fair use since its only 30s?

Re:Wha (1)

b4dc0d3r (1268512) | more than 2 years ago | (#38859999)

Sure you could. And expect a lawsuit. Most likely, 30s will cover enough of the song that you could just copy, paste, and have almost the whole thing. And 30 seconds of a 4.5 minute song is a much larger percentage of a 22.5 minute broadcast (if it was the 30-minute nightly news).

http://thelister.blogspot.com/2011/07/average-pop-song-length-by-decade.html [blogspot.com]

No commercial would just use music without asking, it's just not worth the legal trouble, which is guaranteed. I assume you are bring facetious, but just in case someone reads and think, yeah, why not? I thought I should reply.

NBC doesnt care that much (1)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860123)

They are still airing the ad...

Pot Meet Kettle (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860125)

What's funny about this is when a campaign add becomes news for some reason the networks will show it on their news segment. Seems like turnabout is fair play.

Inevitable (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860137)

Maybe Brokaw can invoke droit morale.

How long before Romney invokes droit du seigneur? Maybe it's allowed in Utah.

My advice ... (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860143)

... to NBC: Sue 'em

... to Romney: Counter sue 'em

This is America, in case you don't know.

Fantastic News!!!! (1)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860201)

From now on, all my mp3's will only have 99% of the song. Sure, I may miss the end of the song now and again for certain ballads I enjoy, but I can always claim that I never lifted ALL of the song. Just a part of it.

Fair use text in full (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38860285)

Fair use text in full

18 USC 107

http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=17&sec=107

Section 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use

            Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair
        use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in
        copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that
        section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting,
        teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use),
        scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In
        determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case
        is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include -
                (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether
            such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit
            educational purposes;
                (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
                (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in
            relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
                (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or
            value of the copyrighted work.
        The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding
        of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the
        above factors.

It's Not Stealing! (2)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 2 years ago | (#38860373)

If you have 200 million dollars!
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