Pressure Group Censors Anti-Gore Ad on YouTube

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2008—A new anti-Gore ad produced by the Competitive Enterprise Institute has been censored by the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. The association claims copyright infringement over seven seconds of footage in the ad—footage which was taken from a documentary that the Association itself posted on YouTube. A “takedown” notice by the association led to the ad being yanked off YouTube over the weekend. CEI has since put the ad on its own website.

CEI’s public service ad on the importance of affordable energy was unveiled on March 11. The ad documents the hypocrisy of jet-setting global warming alarmists who advise others to reduce their energy use and points out the vital need for more energy in the developing world. The ad, which aired in a dozen cities in the last two weeks, comes just before Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection launches a $100 million ad campaign for his global warming proposals. Electric co-ops receive massive government subsidies, and the association’s move appears motivated by global warming politics.

“NRECA’s claim of copyright infringement is without merit,” said Competitive Enterprise Institute General Counsel Sam Kazman. “Our use of this miniscule amount of material – from a film which NRECA itself posted on YouTube and distributes freely –meets every criterion of Fair Use. It seems the association’s real goal is not to protect its copyright, but to protect its politically correct image on global warming.”

James V. DeLong, noted intellectual property scholar and Vice President of the Convergence Law Institute, stated of NRECA: “They’re trying to suppress important political speech, which lies at the core of Fair Use.”

The suppressed ad, “Gore’s Light Bulbs,” is again available online.