Spaulding alleges Holperin unlawfully used footage of an interview with Kim Simac, one of the Republican challengers to Holperin's incumbency. We took a gander at that interview here. Its nature likely precludes a fair use/parody defense, as the original is already sort of a parody.
I haven't seen — nor heard — the Holperin ad in question but I don't believe there's anything particularly actionable about one candidate for public office using another candidate for public office's own words in support of the former candidate's criticisms of the latter.
In this case, however, it's a third party's material that's allegedly been hijacked. But given the nature and brevity of political ads generally, it's unlikely there would be much to Watchmen Broadcasting's complaint.
All publishers assume the risk, so to speak, of fair use by others.
Holperin was the object of a frivolous lawsuit once before.
Incidentally and on the other hand, one practice which may well be actionable is that of bloggers who capture video segments produced by commercial teevee stations, edit the segments into shorter clips, upload the clips to their own YouTube accounts, and then hotlink to the YouTube account at their blogs. That's out-and-out theft, in my view.
If I was the teevee station I'd go after 'em for sure.
The other prospective legal action issues from David VanderLeest, the Republican challenging Democratic incumbent Senator Dave Hansen. Its text is available here. VanderLeest's counsel is making some nebulous claims against a blogger who has been riding VanderLeest pretty hard.
Use of and transmittal in any form of other than public information will be met with an immediate response in the form of a cause of action if grounded on a solid legal foundation.Well, anybody can say that. The solid legal foundation is the tricky part.
Personally I'm unconvinced of the utility of digging so deeply into VanderLeest's obviously troubled personal relationships, in particular where it involves his children, because he probably doesn't stand a chance against Hansen anyway, his campaign having raised all of $2K.
But I still find it remarkable that Governor Scott Walker, who labored to keep the white supremacist David Duke off the Republican ballot in 1992, would appear by his continuing silence on the matter to be untroubled by VanderLeest's presence on the Republican ballot Tuesday.
Furthermore, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald "is focused on looming recall elections for nine State senators," one of which involves VanderLeest.
VanderLeest, at minimum, is a troubling dude. Fitz has got to be conflicted over aiding and welcoming him into the WISGOP caucus.
On the other hand, they've already got Sen. Glenn Grothman and they made him the second-in-command of that august upper chamber.
So you never know with this gang.