October 2008


I never thought I’d have a video of Colin Powell on my blog, but these are strange times. This is a remarkable statement by Colin Powell. His endorsement isn’t shocking given his statements over the last few months, but his frankness and honesty are stunning. I was really moved watching this.



Among other things, the McCain campaign seems to be drifting into the unsavory ranks of alleged copyright infringers and digital pirates against whom the senator no doubt has voted time and again on the senate floor.

Wired magazine is running an article today that the McCain campaign has complained to YouTube executives that the company is way too stringent with regard to the company’s take-down policy for content that a copyright holder claims violates their copyright.

Evidently, the McCain campaign has seen several of its ads removed from YouTube after copyright holders complained that the content contained material that was copyrighted and not cleared to be used by the campaign. McCain says the ads are protected under the Fair Use doctrine. Fair what? Poppycock, McCain! The ads may or may not be protected under fair use, but the point is that your campaign doesn’t seem to realize that there may be legal issues at stake when you use content that isn’t original. Says the Wired article:

The letter is notable both because YouTube and online video generally have become prime platforms for communicating political messages during the 2008 presidential campaign, and because this is one of the rare instances when a member of Congress is speaking out in favor of fair-use rights, after experiencing for themselves the onerous burden put on citizens using media to express ideas.

Snicker. Who the hell is running this ridiculous, Orwellian mockery of a campaign? This isn’t the first episode of McCain’s campaign misappropriating content, and even people, in their advertising. Remember the whole Paris Hilton fiasco?

The McCain campaign, and John McCain himself, seem to have completely lost their way. I truly hope that John McCain can return to congress when this is all over and rediscover some of the good qualities he once possessed. Given his recent copyright travails, maybe he can now take up the mantle of fair use and end the strangle hold copyright holders have on creative expression once and for all.