Media & Communications Law

News Outlets Involved in Copyright Suits Against US Senate Hopefuls

In Missouri, the Fox News network is suing Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan for using its campaign footage in a political advertisement, saying the use of the footage makes it appear as though the network was endorsing her.

In Nevada, the Las Vegas Review-Journal is involved in litigation against Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle. The suit alleges Angle used its articles on her campaign website without the newspaper’s permission.

Fox News and chief political correspondent Chris Wallace filed suit against the Carnahan campaign Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Missouri, according to the Hollywood Reporter. The network, is seeking an injunction against further use of the ad by the campaign and unspecified monetary damages. The ad has already been removed from both Carnahan’s website and YouTube, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Earlier this week, the Associated Press reported that the Angle campaign had been sued by Righthaven, a Las Vegas-based copyright firm that protects stories published by the Review-Journal. The suit claims that the campaign reprinted two of the newspaper’s articles on its website without its permission.

Stephen Bates, a journalism professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said such litigation could lead to strained relations between the media and the politicians whose campaigns they cover. “It just makes things incredibly awkward,” he said.

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