Obama and Romney sparred in television ads featuring each other singing songs (Romney singing “America the Beautiful” to the backdrop of closed factories, Obama singing “Let’s Stay Together” as damning headlines float by), but Romney’s was taken down by a DMCA request in spite of its obvious fair usage of the song in question. Full story at Ars Technica:

The Romney ad seems like as clear-cut a case of fair use as can be imagined. Obama’s singing is a core part of the ad’s message, and copyright law explicitly mentions commentary and criticism as justifications for fair use. And it’s hard to imagine the ad harming the market for Al Green CDs or iTunes tracks.

Yet the “notice and takedown” process established by the DMCA and apparently utilized by BMG in this case doesn’t give the Romney campaign much recourse. It can file a counter notice stating that it believes its clip to be fair use, but YouTube is required to wait a minimum of 10 days before putting the video back up. In a campaign where the news cycle is measured in hours, 10 days is an eternity.

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