Thursday, April 18, 2013

London radio station's yanked CPC/Trudeau parody ad is back online -- without CPC logos

On Thursday morning a London radio station, FM96 (which may or may not have London's best rock) uploaded a humorous video parody of the Conservative Party of Canada's anti-Justin Trudeau attack ads. Essentially, the "Conservatives" warned electing Trudeau meant "four years of your wife wanting to sleep with the Prime Minister." Better, therefore, to stick with Stephen Harper.

A humorous parody of over the top attack ads, to be sure, and one that was widely shared on social media during the day. Until late afternoon, when the video was suddenly pulled from YouTube. Clicking play left one with the error message: "Removed by user."

So, why was the ad removed? Did the morning shock jocks have second thoughts in the bright light of late afternoon? Were they pressured or threatened into taking it down? Several tweets to @FM96Rocks asking why the video was taken down went unanswered, although the dead video link remained online on the station's blog:

Then, Thursday night, Peter Mansbridge played a clip of the "briefly online" parody ad on the At Issue segment of CBC's The National, and all and sundry found it amusing. And suddenly, a tweet from @FM96Rocks referenced the CBC appearance and included a new link to the video, not mentioning its temporary removal.

And here it is, online once more:

Except, not quite. The eagle-eyed among you who watched the first parody video that was uploaded will note several edits were made to the new version. For example, the original contained a Conservative logo and authorization text, like that seen in the image below. This is missing from the new version.

Also missing is a line saying the ad was authorized by "Conservative nerds for Stephen Harper" or something along those lines.

So, why the edits? Did the Conservative Party claim copyright and raise the specter of legal action for using their logo and authorization text? I have e-mailed a query on that topic to Conservative Party director of Communications Fred Delorey:

Hello Fred, 
On Thursday morning, a London radio station aired a parody of the Conservative Party's recent Justin Trudeau-related ad campaign. Late Thursday afternoon, that video was "removed by user" from YouTube. Thursday night, it was reuploaded by the radio station, but edited to, among other things, remove a Conservative logo and authorization text. 
Can you confirm if the Conservative Party contacted the radio station about this ad and, if so, if the party requested or required the video to be removed and/or edits made? 
Jeff Jedras 
I will report on any response I receive from Fred. I will note, though, that a copyright claim by the CPC would be ironic, given that their attack ads used footage without the permission of those that created it. Something which seemed not to bother the Conservatives.

Speaking of which, some of the footage they used was shot at a fundraiser for the Canadian Liver Foundation, a fine group which could use your support, so consider making a donation today.

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