Yesterday, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) finally released a statement laying out his positions on technology policy. Under a header describing himself as a champion of “fair and open world trade,” McCain promises to “protect the creative industries from piracy“:
John McCain Will Protect The Creative Industries From Piracy. The entertainment industry is both a vital sector of the domestic economy and among the largest U.S. exporters. While the Internet has provided tremendous opportunity for the creators of copyrighted works, including music and movies, to distribute their works around the world at low cost, it has also given rise to a global epidemic of piracy. John McCain supports efforts to crack down on piracy, both on the Internet and off.
As Richard Koman at ZDNet points out, McCain’s stated desire to protect “the creators of copyrighted works” is at odds with the fact that multiple artists have accused his campaign of copyright infringement.
Just yesterday, the Los Angeles Times reported that singer Jackson Browne is suing the McCain campaign and the Ohio Republican Party for copyright infringement because his song “Running on Empty” was used in an ad by the state party, which Browne’s lawyers say “McCain and his campaign were well aware of.” Browne isn’t alone in complaining about McCain:
— Earlier this week, the McCain campaign re-cut a web ad after comedian Mike Myers’ publicist complained about the use of footage of Myers and fellow Saturday Night Live alum Dana Carvey’s Wayne’s World characters.
— Last month, the McCain campaign had to pull and re-cut a web ad after Frankie Valli’s record label, the Warner Music Group asserted its copyright claims over the use of the song “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You.”
— Earlier this year, the copyright owners for the “Rocky” theme song “telephoned the McCain campaign to politely complain it was being used without permission.”
Ironically, McCain has joked on the campaign trail that he has refrained from using music by his beloved ABBA because of “licensing and other concerns.” “If you’re not careful you can alienate some Swedes,” said McCain.