The Romney campaign on Monday released an ad accusing President Obama of worrying more about rewarding his crony pals than helping the American people. And much like a recent anti-Romney ad featuring the former Massachusetts governor singing "America the Beautiful," the anti-Obama ad was set to the audio of the president singing Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."
However, in less than 24 hours of the ad's release, YouTube has taken it down over a copyright claim from BMG Rights Management, an international group of "music companies focused on the management of music rights," according to the company's website.
A screenshot from the pulled ad.
"BMG covers the entire range of rights administration, development, exploitation worldwide and funding of new master recordings, placing the needs of songwriters and artists at the core of its business model," the site adds.
If you try to watch Romney's anti-Obama ad, all you get is the following message: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by BMG_Rights_Management." And although the video still turns up on YouTube's search, it is nowhere to be found:
Titled “Political Payoffs and Middle Class Layoffs,” the pulled ad featured audio of the president singing while Romney’s campaign message splashed across the screen.
"Right now, there are 23 million Americans struggling for work, unemployment is stuck at 8.2 percent,” the ad claims. “So who is President Obama helping? His friends.”
While the president can be heard singing, these headlines flash across the screen:
- “Obama’s Big Money Raisers Get Key Posts, Access, Stimulus Dollars” (National Public Radio)
- “Democratic Donors Rewarded with W.H. Perks” (Washington Times)
- “White House Opens Doors to Big Donors, and Lobbyists Slip In” (New York Times)
Who is Obama helping, the ad asks, answering: “Lots of love for the donor class, what about the middle class?”
Final thought: Apparently, BMG has an issue with someone using audio of another person imitating Al Green. No matter. You can still get your hands on the exact same audio for free on the president's reelection website (we know, we've already downloaded it and swooned, like, 14 times):
By the way, here’s the original video of President Obama's rendition of the R&B classic:
UPDATE: According to a Romney campaign spokesman, "Our use was 100 percent proper, under fair use, and we plan to defend ourselves."
UPDATE II: You can view the pulled ad here