Reposted from the Albuquerque Journal. Thursday, July 31
By Michael Coleman, Albuquerque Journal Washington Bureau
Allen Weh’s U.S. Senate campaign on Thursday agreed to remove a YouTube video from his campaign website after the Marine Corps expressed concerns about copyright infringements.
The New Mexico Democratic Party called attention to the ad this week, accusing Weh – a retired U.S. Marine colonel and Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Mexico – of inappropriately using Marine video footage and failing to include any disclaimers stating that use of the imagery did not constitute an endorsement from the Marine Corps.
Marine Corps officials told the Journal Thursday that the ad, which aired online but not on television, was inappropriate and that Weh’s campaign agreed to remove it.
“Marine Corps Recruiting Command officials called Allen Weh’s campaign headquarters today and expressed concern with regard to their use of Marine recruitment advertising footage in their political campaign ad,” Marine Maj. John Larson said in an email to the Journal. “The…campaign manager, Mr. Diego Espinosa, was courteous, understanding and said the ad would be removed from their website as soon as possible. We greatly appreciate their understanding and swift action.”
The Weh ad touted his and his family’s extensive military service, including his service in Vietnam, Somalia and Iraq. But some of the footage used was identical to that in a Marine recruiting ad titled “For Us All” and the ad contained no disclaimers of Marine Corps endorsements.
Department of Defense policy states: “Images, pictures, and other media depicting DoD personnel carrying out their official duties may be used by non-Federal entities in communication venues which are solely informational in nature, such as newspapers, news magazines, or other media that focus on reporting social or industry news, and are not directly or indirectly associated with a marketing, advertising, or a self-promoting activity.”
Weh campaign spokeswoman Paige McKenzie told the Journal Wednesday that the footage was “public domain,” an assertion that Caldwell acknowledged earlier in the week could be questionable.
“While respectful in intent and patriotic in nature, we should not have our work products included in political campaigns — whether it’s a legally defensible position or not,” Caldwell wrote to the Journal in an email Wednesday.