Tim Pawlenty is getting a very special reaction to his new TV ad, in which he calls on Iowa voters to “prove the experts wrong” and give his struggling campaign an underdog’s victory: A cease-and-desist letter from ABC Sports. They’re going after him for unauthorized use of sports footage from the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” U.S. hockey team.
“It’s a violation of our copyright and exclusive proprietary rights,” said Louise Argianas, director of rights and clearances for ABC Sports, the Des Moines Register reports.
“And they used our announcer’s voice which they are not allowed to do either,” Argianas added “Which I’m going to have to call his agent about.”
“Out here, you’re tested,” Pawlenty said in the ad, with video clips of that famous hockey game. “You face an opponent experts say can’t be beat. You fight, you bleed, you prevail. Our country’s down but we’re not out.”
It should be noted that Tim Pawlenty was not a member of the U.S. hockey team at the 1980 Winter Olympics. However, he did play hockey for his high school’s junior varsity team.
Late UpdateI: When asked for comment, Pawlenty spokesman Alex Conant sent TPM this statement:
“All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign’s lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions. The campaign’s ‘Miracle on Ice’ advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the “fair use” doctrine. We respect ABC’s concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry.”