A campaign video for Republican John Dennis, challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in California’s 8th District, has been removed from YouTube.com.
The ad, which depicted Pelosi as the Wicked Witch of the West, went “viral” after being linked by the Drudge Report, and had gotten more than 600,000 page views. The video was removed after complaints of copyright infringement from EMI Publishing, which holds rights to the musical “The Wizard of Oz.”
One legal source familiar with the case said the copyright-infringement claim was “sub-frivolous,” as the video was protected under the “fair use” doctrine.
The online ad was directed by Ladd Ehlinger Jr. (“Lights! Camera! Politics!” The American Spectator, Aug. 16) whose quirky campaign videos have made Internet stars of candidates like Alabama’s Dale Peterson. Ehlinger said his research indicates EMI’s corporate officers are major contributors to Democratic Party campaigns, and he suspects politics motivated the copyright-infringement claim.
“That ad was nothing more than a Saturday Night Live skit, a form of political satire,” Ehlinger said. “If EMI had a problem, they could’ve called first.”