Does Labour's attack ad break the law?

Welsh Labour took to the blogs yesterday to promote their internet-only party political broadcast attack on the Tories. Huw Lewis, Leighton Andrews and Rob Newman all proudly linked to the ad, though it still wasn't enough to rouse Carl Sargeant from a four month blogging exile.

The video itself is pretty naff: a collage of Tory scare stories from another era flanked by those famous images of John Redwood failing to sing the national anthem. But who owns them? The Redwood footage looks like it's been lifted from another YouTube video, possibly the one you can see HERE. But who really owns that? Not the Labour party, I imagine.

Of course, people rip and burn on the internet all the time. But then, we aren't the party of government: representatives who are elected to make laws, not break them.

Perhaps Labour actually secured the copyright owner's permission to distribute. If not, they are contravening section 17 of the Copyright Act 1988 and there's a case to answer.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 12:52 pm,


At 2:40 pm, Blogger Matt said...

Apparently they have paid for the footage. "It wasn't as cheap as you'd think," I was told when I suggested the new medium was influenced less by a desire to exploit new technological avenues and more by the fact they haven't got two coins to rub together.

At 4:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If they have paid for the footage then they really are thick. The frightening thing about it all is that they all probably thought it was rather clever.Perhaps they should look at the recent poll regarding the voting intentioons of the 16-19 age group. About 29% were definitely not going to vote and of the rest Labour had lost them because of Iraq. What ever happens the Labour party in Wales is in long term decline until it starts to develop positive policies which are designed for thre 21st century.

At 5:17 pm, Blogger Normal Mouth said...

Here's a radical suggestion Mr Blamerbell - why don't you research the issue before publishing a story on it?

I have heard tell that the main political parties have these things called "press officers" whose job it is to answer queries from journalists. They could tell you whether copyright has been infringed.

You're a citizen journalist. Act like one.

At 5:40 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

normal mouth:


Introducing the concept of a BLOG.

And I am not a citizen journalist, I'm a blogger.

This is not the Western Mail and it's not BBC online. Neither are they paying me.

I begin with a question, not a statement: Does it break the law? I then explain how it could be that if Labour don't own the footage there may be a case to answer.

Nothing libellous said, just a simple hypothesis.

I notice that none of your plethora of blogs have been updated in the last decade or so. If you want to be a citizen journalist then go and do it. I'll just keep on blogging.

At 5:57 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares about copyright. The whole video is poorly edited and a complete waste of time because it will mean very little to the audience that normally accesses Youtube. The only good thing is that it can't be used on TV because of the rule that you can't use moving images of your political opponents.

At 8:12 pm, Anonymous seren said...

Normal Mouth sounds a bit of a Labour press officer to me. A rattled one at that. Perhaps the negative reaction to their "clever" targetting of the yoof vote with a shoddily made and badly executed vid has upset them.

By the way, Alun Davies's blog is wishing us Merry Xmas... shall we send out the search parties?

At 10:07 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Dearest readers,

I have deleted a comment for only the third time and I am loathe to put moderation on.

I welcome expression and debate and your comments really make this place come alive. But if you would like to be insulting, please do so on your own blogs.


At 10:56 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't worry Blamerbells if they did insult you it really shows that the little boys in the suits now realise that they have dropped a clanger with their rather childish video. Perhaps they are worried that once it is all over for NuLabour they might have to find a real job and who will employ these sad creatures of the night.

At 11:16 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...


There's only one thing I hate more than a wishy washy Liberal....and that's NuLabour/Tory....except Glyn Davies of course!

At 5:13 pm, Blogger Machiavelli's Understudy said...

To what extent does 'fair dealing' give protection to the creators of this sort of thing?

Also, given that YouTube isn't covered by British (or even European) copyright law and directives, I would suggest that the publication is perhaps protected by the much stronger notion of 'fair use' in the US, where the video has been published and distributed.


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