YouTube has restored a Mitt Romney ad that features President Obama singing from the Al Green song “Let’s Stay Together,” which was pulled earlier this week at the recommendation of the rights holder BMG Rights Management.
Also restored was an AP report from January featuring Obama singing a few bars of the song.
The Romney campaign argued that its use of the clip was “100% proper” and fair use, and YouTube apparently agrees.
YouTube issued this statement explaining why it restored the video: “When we’re notified that a particular video uploaded to our site infringes another’s copyright, we remove the material in accordance with the law. We have a counter notification process in place if a user believes a content owner has misidentified their video, and we reinstate content if a user prevails in that process. We also reinstate videos in cases where we are confident that the material is not infringing, or where there is abuse of our copyright tools.”
Digital rights orgs had protested the takedown as an abuse of copyright law, but some entertainment attorneys who specialize in such campaign music cases have argued that the Romney campaign would have a tough time proving that it was in the right. So the next chapter could be a lawsuit filed on behalf of BMG, if they want to press things that far.
BMG Rights Management represents one of the co-writers of the song, Al Jackson Jr., according to the Los Angeles Times.
The restored ad is below: