Canadian PM Copies Campaign Commercial, Doesn't License Hockey Clips

from the didn't-he-want-stricter-copyright-laws? dept

While the latest attempt at putting forth new copyright laws in Canada didn't survive, I always find it amusing when politicians pushing for stricter copyright laws get caught breaking copyright law. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was already being talked about after it came to light that he appeared to have done a pretty close copy of a campaign ad from US Presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty. You can see both ads below:


However, as Rob Hyndman alerts us, now some have discovered that Harper did not properly license the video clips he used of a hockey match between Canada and the Soviet Union in 1972.
Horst Ficel, a partner in the firm, says that Hockey Canada granted the players the rights to all the marketing of the series in the mid-1990s. Today, a committee with player representatives decides who can license the footage.

Ficel is busy fielding requests for permission to use the clips to mark the upcoming 40th anniversary of the historic series.

But decidedly not among those requesting permission was the Conservative Party of Canada, Ficel said..

"It's definitely not approved by me. It's not approved by the committee."

He says the committee is careful to avoid anything that might be considered political.
Now, personally, I think this should be "fair use," but Canada (notoriously) has no fair use. It does have a more limited concept of "fair dealing," but (and I'm certainly not an expert in Canadian copyright law), it's not clear if political commercials are covered by Canada's fair dealing provisions. The fair dealing provisions focus on "research, private study, criticism, review, or news reporting," and I don't see how political ads match any of those.
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Filed Under: canada, commercial, stephen harper, tim pawlenty


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  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), 19 Apr 2011 @ 7:14am

    Re: Political Ads? not commercials but political.

    Are you completely off your rocker?

    1. Research means BY the individual putting out the content. Your content can be research work. It does NOT mean that your video can be USED for others in terms of research. Besides which, political propaganda as research material is....specious to put it mildly.

    2. Private study, see above. The content would be the result of private study, not the use of that content.

    3. Criticism is where you're closest...but still wrong. Fair use stipulates that you're critiquing the work you'd be otherwise infringing upon. Unless this politician was criticizing the NHL, then this fails the test. Doing so in Canada would be a bold move, to say the least.

    4. Review...uh what? What is a campaign commercial reviewing? In the same sense as a book/movie review? Nothing, that's what.

    5. And if you REALLY think a campaign advertisement is "news reporting", then I suggest you find the nearest hammer and bash yourself in the head with it in the hopes of getting some of those misfiring synapses properly lined up, because that's grade A monkey retardism right there, my friend....

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