SOPA Sponsor Lamar Smith’s Campaign Website Violated Copyright Laws

Oh well this is certainly ripe: Texas Republican Rep. Lamar Smith, the Hollywood-campaign-donation-loving sponsor of the decrepit Stop Online Piracy Act, apparently improperly used a copyright-protected photo on his recent campaign’s web page, according to Vice.

Reports Vice‘s Jamie Lee Curtis Taete:

I decided to check that everything on Lamar’s official campaign website was copyright-cleared and on the level. Lamar is using several stock images on his site, two of which I tracked back to the same photographic agency. I contacted the agency to make sure he was paying to use them, but was told that it’s very difficult for them to actually check to see if someone has permission to use their images. (Great news, copyright violators!)

But then Taete tracked down DJ Schulte, the photographer who took the woody landscape shot used as the background shot on Smith’s homepage and SURPRISE!…

I contacted DJ, to find out if Lamar had asked permission to use the image and he told me that he had no record of Lamar, or anyone from his organization, requesting permission to use it: “I switched my images from traditional copyright protection to be protected under the Creative Commons license a few years ago, which simply states that they can use my images as long as they attribute the image to me and do not use it for commercial purposes.

“I do not see anywhere on the screen capture that you have provided that the image was attributed to the source (me). So my conclusion would be that Lamar Smith’s organization did improperly use my image. So according to the SOPA bill, should it pass, maybe I could petition the court to take action against”

Keep in mind kids, this is the same Lamar Smith who thinks you’re ignorant and not significant if you oppose his legislation. Judge him accordingly.

Pics via Vice & DJ Schulte’s Flickr)