Joshua Kaufman is head of Venable’s Copyright and Licensing Group and co-chair of Venable’s Art Law Group. He counsels and litigates in copyright, e-commerce, licensing, art, intellectual property, software, on-line issues, trademark, anti-counterfeiting, Rights of Publicity, entertainment, media, and literary law. He advises his clients in structuring and negotiating transactions in which they exploit and protect their intellectual property rights or in acquiring them from others. A former computer consultant and writer, he was one of the nation’s first computer and cyber attorneys.

No CopyrightsWhat do the campaigns of Sarah Palin, John McCain, Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Newt Gingrich, Rand Paul, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Mike Huckabee, Barack Obama, and Mitt Romney all have in common? They have all faced claims of copyright infringement for their use of music or other works of art.

Candidates—and outside groups supporting or opposing them—often do not pay much attention to the copyright laws that apply to their activities, and sometimes use other people’s copyrighted works without obtaining the necessary licenses. For example, candidates use popular songs at rallies and campaign events and in YouTube videos and other online advertisements, without getting the required consent or license from the musician, songwriter, or performing rights societies. And sometimes they will use photographs or artwork and incorporate them into TV ads, digital ads, mailers, and emails, without obtaining, or making sure their contractors have obtained, the necessary permissions, consents, or licenses from the artists whose work they are using.Continue Reading Copyright Tips for Political Campaigns and Their Consultants