Did Christie Campaign Violate Copyright Law, Steal Stock Video?

The Christie campaign has apparently been caught in another copyright violation issue, in addition to their run-in with Monty Python. This time, it involves the apparent unlicensed pilfering of copyrighted stock footage — complete with the anti-piracy watermarks.

As the Blue Jersey site discovered, a new Christie Web video featured stock footage that still had watermarks in them from Pond5, a stock footage licensing company, suggesting that the campaign had not paid to use the footage and was instead using the samples. The watermarks were in some instances covered up with on-screen text, but were still visible to the discerning eye.

The video has since been taken down, but here are some still shots:

(Click images to enlarge.)

“Thanks for bringing this to our attention,” Pond5 CEO Tom Bennett told us. “It does appear that the Christie campaign has used stock footage from Pond5 without licensing it, in violation of both our license agreement and copyright law. We have brought this to our legal counsel and will be determining a course of action soon.”

Bennett also informed us that to his knowledge, the company has not had any contact with the Christie campaign at this time. The Christie campaign has not returned our requests for comment.

Late Update: The video has now been restored on Christie’s YouTube page — apparently in a rush, as it was done with watermarks and all. Bennett told us that at 3:43 p.m. ET, someone associated with the Christie campaign bought permissions for all the relevant videos. “So it looks like they’re doing damage control,” Bennett said.

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