Monday, November 02, 2009

Monty Python in New Jersey Race

US Politics and Monty Python have collided in the real world.

New Jersey gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie copied Python's "Deja Vu" sketch for a web ad without permission. Python caught it and threatened to sue for copyright infringement--a case they would win easily since there's no real "fair use" defense for such wholesale lifting.

Terry Jones is quoted in the report above and seems to know more about arcana of US politics than I would have expected. .

Republicans often make light of Democrats for having so many "Hollywood" types among their ranks. Then they rip off writers, performers, and musicians without payment or permission when they need some creativity in their campaigns. It's become a common theme:
And there are more, including the grandaddy of all of them, Springsteen versus Ronald Reagan over Born to Run. [I recalled this a bit differently, but I bow to Wikipedia.]

Playing songs is one thing, but ripping off a forty seconds of video comedy is even more clearcut. As a lawyer, Christie should be more careful about theft.

Update: The web ad was pulled, then hours later the Christie campaign paid for rights to use the footage. Hilarious.

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