Copyright Infringement

Found this little tidbit that I thought some folks might be interested in.

(h/t to Mike at Keystone Progressive)

For Immediate Release Contact: Lisa Cohen, 310.395.2544
August 26, 2008



San Francisco, CA – In a cease and desist letter filed with the right wing group broadcasting an anti-Obama ad in Michigan and Ohio that features Weather Underground founder William Ayers, the non-profit Free History Project, the organization that produced 2004 documentary film The Weather Underground, is demanding that all broadcasts of the ad be stopped for violating copyright laws. The cease and desist letter, which was sent to the conservative entity responsible for the attack ads, the American Issues Project, is attached below.

On Monday evening, John Keker, an attorney representing the Free History Project, which produced and directed the 2004 Oscar-nominated documentary The Weather Underground, informed the conservative organization, the American Issues Project, that its attack ad targeting Senator Barack Obama, which is currently being broadcast on television stations in Michigan and Ohio, uses unauthorized, copyright protected material.

Stating that the American Issues Project has “willfully violated the Free History Project’s intellectual property rights,” the cease and desist letter demanded that the right wing organization, “immediately remove the advertisement from any television, cable network, or other media outlet where it is currently running” and “remove the ad from the American Issues Project’s web site.” Mr. Keker will formally notify television stations in Michigan and Ohio that the American Issues Project’s attack ad is in violation of copyright law.

The Weather Underground tells the story of a group of young women and men – including the founder of the Weather Underground, William Ayers — who tried to overthrow the United States government during the late 1960’s and 70’s. The anti-Obama ad aired by the American Issues Project uses footage of William Ayers from the documentary without permission from the Free History Project, and, in doing so, is “directly infringing on the Free History Project’s copyright in the film.”

Sam Green, the Director of the Weather Underground and an officer and director of the Free History Project, said, “We were shocked and dismayed to see that material from our film was taken and used in this manner. Our goal in making The Weather Underground was to produce an even-handed and fair account of a turbulent period in American history. We would never authorize anyone to make use of the film for the purposes of divisive partisan politics.”

The cease and desist letter demanded that the American Issues Project, “immediately remove the advertisement from any television, cable network, or other media outlet where it is currently running” and “remove the ad from the American Issues Project’s web site.”

The Free History Project is a 501 (c) (3), film production, distribution and educational outreach organization. Its mission is to advance knowledge of media, history and humanities based-subjects, through independent documentary film and education.

Looks like someone got into trouble.

UPDATE:  It never stops with the McCain/Palin campaign.  They just steal, steal and keep stealing.

Here’s the latest

3 replies on “Copyright Infringement”

This is wonderful news.

Funny how the Republicans are trying to tie Obama to a group that wanted to overthrow the government, when Bush and company were the ones that trampled the Constitution and conducted themselves – on a broad range of issues – like a fascist regime with no thought of what was legal or ethical. How ironic.

Kudos to Free History Project.

All of McCain’s ads are ludicrous but to link Obama to a subversive group from about 40 years ago when he was 8 years old shows you just how desperate and afraid the Republicans are.

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