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Fox News, no doubt acting on the behalf of the Roy Blunt Campaign has sued Robin Carnahan and her campaign for an ad her campaign has up that uses footage from a Fox interview where Chris Wallace interviewed Roy Blunt in 2006.  

In the ad, Wallace addresses Blunt and says, "You just said a moment ago that you have to show that you’re the party of reform but some question whether you are the man to do that. In 2002, you tried to insert language into the Homeland Security Act to help Phillip Morris tobacco [company] while you were dating that company’s lobbyist. And your campaign committee’s paid $485,000 to a firm linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff."

The ad has been posted here before, however the Carnahan campaign has temporarily taken down the ad, no doubt while their lawyers look at it, and Fox had youtube take down any other uploads of the ad citing copyright infringement so it's hard to track down to embed.  

Here is a link of the ad in question.  Better take it out quickly before fox finds it and has it taken down as well -  

Reddbierd uploaded a youtube vid!  check it out while it lasts on Youtube -

I certainly know why Blunt and Fox would want that ad down. However I don't know why it wouldn't fall under "fair use" protection.  

The Hollywood Reporter(?) has more -

Fox News claims that the "verbatim reproduction" of the interview without consent "(1) allows Defendant to profit commercially without paying the traditional price; (2) causes substantial harm to the value of the FNS Interview, and (3) was based upon the unique expressive content of the FNS Interview."

The cable news network says that by using the interview, "Defendant harmed the value of the original work by compromising its apparent objectivity."

The Carnahan campaign wasn't immediately available to offer a response, but we're betting it will try to assert a "fair use" defense. Showcasing media interviews in campaign commercials is common and has been assumed to be appropriately in-bounds.

The subject of "fair use" has been a hot topic in Fox News circles in the past year. In an interview last November, Murdoch claimed that courts would eventually bar "fair use" as a legal doctrine, but the network has used it on a couple of occasions to defend itself in lawsuits against alleged misappropriation of the copyright of others.

Furthermore the suit claims that the ad falsely implies that Fox News endorsed Carnahan.  

(from Talking Points Memo)

"FNC is a news organization that has not endorsed a candidate in the 2010 Missouri senatorial race. The value of its news reporting is based in part upon the public's faith in the accuracy and integrity of those reports," the suit says. "The Carnahan Ad is designed to make it appear as if Wallace - a trusted journalist - is instead speaking as a campaign operative."

I hope Carnahan fights this and puts the ad back up, because the lawsuit seems pretty baseless from this layman's point of view, no different that any other campaign ad that uses media footage in it.  

You can read the full lawsuit over here (embed wouldn't work)-

[Updated to add embed of ad in question above and to add the third party ad below]

Originally posted to Jonze on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 11:47 AM PDT.

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