ABC Sports Says Pawlenty Ad Violated Copyright
ABC Sports is considering serving Tim Pawlenty a cease-and-desist letter for his latest campaign ad, reports the Des Moines Register
The 3-second TV spot uses footage from the historic “Miracle on Ice”—the hockey game in which the U.S. team defeated the supposedly unbeatable Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics.
Louise Argianas, director of rights and clearances for ABC Sports told the Des Moines Register that ABC sports retains the exclusive rights to the footage Pawlenty used.
“And they used our announcer’s voice, which they are not allowed to do, either,” she said, referring to play-by-play announcer Al Michaels. “Which I’m going to have to call his agent about.”
Arginians told the Des Moines Register that she initially intended to have a lawyer send the cease-and-desist letter on Friday, but officials at ESPN, which oversees ABC Sports, backed away from that statement, saying their undecided about whether to send such a letter after a large conversation took place.
Alex Conant, spokesman for Pawlenty, defended the use of the footage as a reveres piece of sports history.
“The campaign’s ‘Miracle on Ice’ advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance, and we believe fully complies with the ‘fair use’ doctrine,” Conant said. “We respect ABC’s concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry.”
The remainder of the ad features Pawlenty, who played high school hockey and still dabbles on amateur teams, in an ice arena in his hometown of South St. Paul. He talks about the country’s need for a leader with a proven record.