And now for something completely different.
Chris Christie, the former Bush-appointed US attorney challenging New Jersey Democratic Governor John Corzine in today’s election, doesn’t seem to know much about copyright law, say members of the British comedy troupe Monty Python.
Two former Pythons say Christie blatantly violated copyright law when he used clips from a Monty Python sketch in one of his recent campaign ads. The ad features a TV presenter talking about deja vu.
“Now Christie faces an even more formidable opponent” than Corzine, quipped Kent Jones on The Rachel Maddow Show Monday night: “The Ministry of Silly Walks.”
And the British comedy troupe isn’t about to miss an opportunity to inject itself into bitter partisan American politics, either.
“It is totally outrageous that a former US attorney knows so little about the law that he thinks he can rip off people,” said Python member Terry Jones. “On the other hand, another of Bush’s legal appointees was Alberto Gonzales, and he didn’t seem to know that much about the law either.”
“He’s clearly made a terrible mistake,” said Michael Palin. “It was the endorsement of Sarah Palin he was after — not that of Michael Palin.”
Martin Lewis at the Huffington Post reports:
Having been exposed for their copyright theft and facing a possible lawsuit from Monty Python, the Christie campaign moved into damage control mode at high speed on Sunday night to try and limit the political fallout from their illicit action. Within an hour of the story appearing, the Christie commercial using pirated footage of a Monty Python skit was scrubbed from the campaign’s website and their separate campaign site on YouTube.
Monty Python captured the video before it was removed. The Christie campaign should now be expecting the Spanish Inquisition…
As Jason Springer reports at the Blue Jersey blog, this may not be the only incident of copyright law violation by the Christie campaign. Springer points to a recent ad that features footage with a watermark from Pond5, a company that sells stock video footage. The watermark suggests the Christie campaign used free samples from the company, and did not license the footage, Springer says.
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Nov. 2, 2009.