Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Intellectual Property, Entertainment, and Campaign Politics

At Politico, Molly Ball reports:

Charlie Crist isn’t the first or the last politician to use a pop song in a campaign ad without the artist’s OK, but now he owns a certain distinction: he is the most humiliated.

As if the former Florida governor needed more humbling after his last election, he appeared Tuesday on YouTube for the world to see, his permanently tanned skin glowing as radiantly as ever, intoning the words with a politician’s practiced seriousness: “I sincerely apologize to David Byrne.”

Crist then pauses, casts his eyes downward and bites his lip slightly before finishing the sentence: “… for using his famous song and his unique voice in my campaign advertisement without his permission.”

The video was posted as a condition of an undisclosed settlement reached between Crist and Byrne, lead singer of the band Talking Heads. At issue was Crist’s use of the 1985 hit “Road to Nowhere” — without the band’s permission — as the soundtrack for an ad produced by his 2010 Senate campaign.

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