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Could 527 groups legally play ads with Rev. Wright's sermons in them?

So I've been thinking about the 527 situation. First of all, I don't think it's that big of a deal, because everyone will have already seen the clips of Rev. Wright's sermons, due to news organizations playing them 24/7. Therefore, I'm not sure it will be that big of an issue in the fall. Everyone will have already made up their minds on this issue by then.

However, I have a question. Wouldn't the 527 groups have to get permission from the church in order to play the clips in their ads anyway? If that's the case, then obviously that's some good news for Obama supporters.

I'm also wondering if the 527 groups could just get them from ABC. Is ABC in a position to grant them the rights? If they are, one would hope that ABC wouldn't allow it, as I'd think it'd be a huge conflict of interest for a news organization to grant rights for propaganda hit ads.

Anyway, this also leads to the question, why did the church allow ABC to air these clips? Unless I'm not understanding the law, I presume that the church granted ABC the rights to air the clips.

If that's the case, then one has to wonder why they were so stupid. It'd actually lend credence to the fact that these type of clips really aren't the norm from Wright. That they're so few and far between, that the church didn't even remember that a few of his sermons might have contained inflammatory remarks.

Obama's people should push these points out more forcefully.

Originally posted to LizzyPop on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tips/recs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, ronnied

    If anyone knows the answers to these questions (particularly the legal aspects), I'd really appreciate it.

  •  Lettum come. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Nothing you can do about it.

    Some Dem 527s with Hagee ads, I suppose.

    Cross that bridge when we come to it.

    It rubs the loofah on its skin or else it gets the falafel again.

    by Fishgrease on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:23:29 AM PDT

  •  maybe 527's (0+ / 0-)

    can run Hagee video's and some of McCain other religious hate-preachers.

  •  Don't underestimate the 527s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Thinking that well-funded 527 groups running these clips in the general over and over will be "no big deal" is naive.

    Everyone said the swiftboat stuff was lies (which it was) and how could anyone believe it and it was not a big deal.

    But it was.

    How Obama can diffuse this is beyond my pay grade.

    •  I didn't say no big deal... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      MoDem, jhutson

      ...I said not that big of a deal.

      The difference is, those Swift Boat ads were the first time a lot of Americans got that "information".

      This is being played out 8 months before the election. As I said, people will have already made their minds up about this issue.

      •  Low-information voters (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        won't notice until they see something with an emotionally-wrenching gut-punch. The kind of thing 527s specialize in.

        That's why Obama needs to hit this, again and again and again. So that when the 527s gear up, what they have to say won't be news to anyone.

        jaiapprovedthis - what I lack in classiness I make up for in being right.

        by Jaiwithani on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 02:39:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And, why (0+ / 0-)

          He should decline federal funding.

          He will clearly have more money than he will get with federal funding.  He cannot coordinate his campaign with 527s, so he may need the money for them.

          Eight months out and we get this story.  The media will be tired of it and if the 527s  hit it in the fall, it will flop.

          Obama is not going to get the votes of people who watch Faux News and think they are seeing the news.  

          Wer kämpft, kann verlieren. Wer nicht kämpft, hat schon verloren. Bertolt Brecht

          by MoDem on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:33:14 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I think (0+ / 0-)

    They will use the clips from the Media coverage and give credit for the media so they don't have to ask permission from the church.

  •  legality (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LizzyPop, snackdoodle, KyleDS

    I think that the news can play the sermons because it's newsworthy, but since the church is selling DVDs of them, there might be copyright restrictions on using them for ads.  They couldn't get the footage from the news, because the news doesn't own the copyright and I think use of that footage would only be allowed for purposes of commentary (like when news stories are done about news stories).

    But, if someway they work their way around this issue, I really feel by the GE the campaign will have figured out an effective way to defuse it.  I'm certainly not going to worry about it now.  It would actually be a pretty weak attack ad, especally since the church is actually welcoming and is part of the United Church of Christ -- really peace-loving, harmless and . . . mostly white.  Throw a few of them in an ad talking about hope, and no one will care about Rev. Wright.

  •  I say let em run them. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badlands, Wit Whither Wilt

    If they really feel like attacking a Christian church, all of it's parishioners and energizing the African American electorate in a way this country has never before witnessed... Let em.

    I don't think this is an issue they can win on, even the republicans in my area that I've spoken to think this whole manufactured scandal is distasteful and stupid.

    The most common thing I've heard is it's best for republicans if this just goes away, because they're worried if it's still around close to the elections, it's going to anger and therefor drastically improve the African American turnout for Democrats in November and their party will be slaughtered because of it... So it seems that the common wisdom about the repub party might be true, they honestly do seem to count on low voter turnout to win elections and the thought of an energized, angry Democratic base seems to scare the living hell out of them.

    They're really hoping Senator Clinton wins the nomination, because they think she'll be easiest to attack and beat; and an Obama nomination seems to scare them. I had a few tell me that it isn't fair against Obama, because they can't attack him without everyone saying they're a party of racist bigots.

    (Granted I do live in Northern Michigan, where being a racist bigot is not typically seen as a social plus, even among the republicans... So I don't know how repubs are reacting to this in places where it is socially acceptable to be a racist bigot. Might be a totally different ballgame in other parts of the country.)  

    So I really don't know that this is nearly as big of a deal as people think it is... It might even end up to be a bonus. At least the repubs I know seem to think it is and anything that has the repubs soiling their britches is a good thing in my book.

    I wasn't all that hip to Senator Obama at first, but the longer this thing goes on, I'm seeing more and more reasons why he should be our next Democratic nominee and our next President.

    "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

    by MichiganGirl on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:55:44 AM PDT

  •  the thing about a damging ad is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you only have to play it a few times. I live in a big market, but i never saw any swiftboat ads. I doubt most did, but after playing a few times, it becomes a news story on it's own, and that's how most people are introduced to the content. And, as a news topic, it immediately has more credibility to the average person.   it might be too hard to play this line of attack in 8 months, but we're in good shape if they're not coming up with anything new.

  •  For one ad against Obama 10 on McCain (0+ / 0-)

    Lets go back Nixon tapes...

    "The Conservatives definition of torture: Anything that provides death or false information from its captive." Me 2007

    by army193 on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 01:59:06 AM PDT

  •  I am not a lawyer, but (0+ / 0-)

    As someone noted, it's fair use for news organizations to use short clips of the sermons. It might be fair use for a 527, but I seriously doubt it. A 527 could without question just quote the words, read by a narrator and/or shown in big block letters.

    Only a small fraction of the population watches televison news, and the news is going to stop running these clips in the next day or so and will probably never show them again, so heavily run 527 ads could definitely have an impact much greater than the news coverage. Heck, people emailing them around will probably reach more people than the news.

    •  Fair use is fair use, regardless of who uses it. (0+ / 0-)


      "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

      by burrow owl on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:55:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  (the one caveat is that using it for commercial (0+ / 0-)

        purposes, to make money, is generally verboten for fair use.)

        "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

        by burrow owl on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:56:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  not really that simple (0+ / 0-)

        The fair use clause allows for using excerpts of copyrighted materials "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research...".

        Non-commercial intent, by itself, is not enough; e.g., you can have a web site that generates no revenue and is not in any intended to generate revenue, but that doesn't give you the right to use copyrighted images or other media (unless you were engaged in one of the protected uses enumerated above).

        I don't know if political advertisements qualify as fair use or not. I don't know if the matter has ever been tested in court.

  •  If they can use it they will, don't know (0+ / 0-)

    the laws. It depends on the copyright but with music you generally must get permission to use it and pay royalties and you'd think these would be protected the same way. But is a 527 considered a commercial purpose or noncommercial? Sometimes the wording on copyright varies for noncommercial.

    But it's funny to hear "hit ads". Didn't they already have those running on this over and over? I know they called it news but I haven't seen news done that way.

    For instance they covered the embarrassing news of Orrin Hatch writing about Hillary's campaigning on claiming credit for SCHIP when she had no role and he named those that did and how they had to fight the Clinton administration to get it signed,
    They added that past and current lawmakers and staff including Dems have been silently fuming since they they had to fight to over Clinton's objections with enough details to make it sound very bad.
    OK, that's news. But I never heard or read it without also hearing a quote from some guy in the White House then that said she really did want it. Secretly.

    So they at least offered another source that helped some to believe maybe she wasn't lying. If she gets asked questions she can quote that source. "As X said I did a lot behind the scenes" or whatever.

    I never saw another side to this. Just the clips of this raging, America hating, white and Jew bigoted swearing scary black guy and give a detailed list of his links to Obama.

    OK, that's news except they don't include disclaimers-how many sermons they went through to find the excerpts or that some or most of the sermons didn't have this tone. They didn't include quotes or a panelist that knew Wright or went to that church, they didn't suggest there was another side to the preacher of church, though many of those people exist.
    When Obama came on he had no other source to refer back to, couldn't say "As X said the sermons I've heard are about the gospel" or whatever.

    Like 527s didn't provide another side. When swift boaters attacked saying dishonorable things they didn't include someone who served with him and said honorable things. Attack ads don't do that. The news would.

    When attack ads were played in NY just before 2000 primary claiming he voted against breast cancer research they didn't include the disclaimer that the research was an add on to a very bad bill. Attack ads don't do that. The news would.

    The bad news about Schip and Clinton without the other view presented would at worst make people think she was lying.
    The news about Wright and Obama made it look like he was a secret hater of America and all white people and Jews.
    Having an attack ad as news just ads to the power and saves a lot of money.

  •  What will be very interesting to watch ... (0+ / 0-)

    is the dueling arguments. The ones about the Church vs. the ones about Obama supposedly being a Muslim. I mean if he's been a Christian for so many years, how can he also be a Muslim?

    Honestly, I don't think there is any reason to believe that any of the 527 ads the Republicans throw out Obama are going to have a large impact. People have become very wary of these tactics and Obama is getting better and better at debunking the lies.

    There's a diary on the recommended list, The Return of Obama, that goes a long way in showing how open and honest Obama is. I dare say anyone would be hard pressed to find something that's going to stick. He has learned fast to deflect these lies with the truth, and as more and more people get to know the quality of the man, the more they will be less likely to believe the lies.

    These people behind these hate and smear campaigns have never come up against somebody like Obama. It'll be interesting to watch them try to smear him, but I don't believe they will ultimately succeed.

  •  Becareful about these ads (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AppleP, LizzyPop

    Hillary "Lucky to be a" Clinton - 2008

    by soros on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 04:17:48 AM PDT

  •  Even if the videos do not get direct play... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WAKEUPAMERICA 527 ads (let's assume there is some copyright protection, but I doubt that now that they've appeared in so many newscasts)...even if that's the case, all the GOP has to do is show a black screen with audio playing (and I'm certain they can use that) of the preacher's diatribe, with a simple white font word scroll "informing" people of who this preacher is and his intimate role in the life of Barack Obama.

    But this won't be the only 527 attack on Obama and our party.  The companion ad will be all about Rezko and that same day purchase of adjoining properties by Obama and his top fundraiser -- a deal which Americans beyond Daily Kos will find inconceivable as a coincidence.

    (BTW, knowing how attracted they are to comments such as those above, let me say a quick hello to the Daily Kosobama Concern Troll Squad. I've missed you overnight.)

  •  Love him or hate him... (0+ / 0-)

    Michael Savage is currently suing a Muslim group for using clips of his shows to demonstrate he is irrational towards Muslims (what else is new?). Latest Drudge Report speculation is that the case will be thrown out, but soprano hasn't sung yet. So, we will soon have some guidance whether public figures' words/images(?) can be used for non-flattering portrayl without their consent. At least, I think this is what the lawsuit is over.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:03:24 AM PDT

    •  That's a worthless suit. (0+ / 0-)

      The complaint was so ridiculous, I'm actually skeptical that it was actually filed.  The lawsuit isn't really about anything other than Savage trying to get props from people that hate CAIR.

      "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

      by burrow owl on Sun Mar 16, 2008 at 05:58:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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