A web video using President Obama’s singing skills against him has been pulled from YouTube for copyright infringement.
“Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs” used a clip of Obama singing Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” at a fundraiser to suggest that the president loves his donors so much, he funneled billions of dollars in stimulus money into their pockets. (Obama campaign spokeswoman Lis Smith called that a “warmed over and false line of attack that has already been debunked.”)
If you haven’t seen the video yet, you can’t — it’s no longer on YouTube. It’s been replaced by this message: “This video is no longer available due to a coyright claim by BMG_Rights_Management.”
Bertelsmann Music Group. was until recently one of the biggest music publishers in the world; the company left that business in 2008 and now focuses on representing artists as BMG Rights Management.
Romney’s campaign plans to fight the decision. “Our use was 100 percent proper, under fair use, and we plan to defend ourselves,” a spokesperson said. Other videos featuring the same clip of Obama remain on YouTube. (It’s not clear why the company has not challenged those videos.)
Romney’s team can file a counter-notification with YouTube under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, which would require BMG to get a court order to keep the video offline. But that process takes at least ten days.
”Political Payoffs” was a response to an Obama ad using a clip of the Republican singing “America the Beautiful.” But the president can rest easy — that song is in the public domain.