The Canadian Press reports that there is speculation that the latest round of Conservative attack ads may violate someone's copyright. The ads, which show brief clips from a Liberal debate last year, apparently were filmed by a consortium of broadcasters who say that they did not provide the Conservatives with permission to use the clips. If permission was not obtained, the party might seek to rely on the fair dealing user right, arguing that the brief clip is being used for criticism purposes. While that is a plausible argument, the incident highlights yet again why Canada needs fair use. Regardless of your political persuasion, everyone – whether political party, conventional media, or blogger – ought to have the right to comment in creative ways about their political views and leaders without the need to seek permission from a broadcast consortium.
Update: Bob Tarantino assesses the state of the law and concludes that relying on fair dealing "doesn't look good for the Conservatives."