Sunday 11 April 2010 | Labour feed

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General Election 2010: Labour's Ashes to Ashes advert causes more embarrassment

A much-derided Labour election campaign poster based on the Ashes to Ashes television programme is threatening to bring fresh embarrassment for the party after it was claimed the image breaches copyright.

 
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The Labour poster campaign depicting Conservative leader David Cameron as TV detective Gene Hunt in BBC's 80's drama Ashes to Ashes
The Labour poster campaign depicting Conservative leader David Cameron as TV detective Gene Hunt in BBC's 80's drama Ashes to Ashes Photo: PA
The latest Labour poster campaign depicting Conservative leader David Cameron as TV detective Gene Hunt in BBC's 80's drama Ashes to Ashes
The response to Labour's new poster

The advertisement, which compares David Cameron with 1980s policeman Gene Hunt, was immediately seized upon by the Conservatives who were so pleased with its content that they reproduced the image with a new slogan.

However, now Kudos Productions, which makes Ashes to Ashes for the BBC, says it has written to both parties to complain about the picture being used.

The Labour election poster superimposed Mr Cameron on a picture of the politically incorrect DCI Hunt perched on the bonnett of his Audi. Text alongside implored voters: "Don't let him take Britain back to the Eighties". The Tories countered with one of the policeman's own catchphrases: "Fire up the Quattro. It's time for change".

But neither party had gained permission to use the Ashes to Ashes picture in their campaign material.

In a statement, Kudos said: "Kudos own the copyright to the image from Ashes to Ashes and as both Kudos and the BBC are non-partisan and do not endorse any political party, Kudos lawyers have written to both parties to request they cease the use of the image for their own promotion."

Struan Robertson, legal director at Pinsent Masons, said: "If they didn't have permission then it's copyright infringement. It could also be a derogatory treatment of the work."

"We are not aware of a letter from Kudos," a Labour spokesman said. "However, we only bought the digital posters for a set period and that period has now passed."

The accusation of copyright infringement comes after the Government rushed through the Digital Economy Bill as part of the Parliamentary 'washup' period before the election. The Bill aims to protect intellectual property from internet pirates.

Introducing the Bill in the Lords last year, Lord Mandelson said: "It has to make a compelling case, an educative one, to an internet-literate generation that protecting the creativity it enjoys means rewarding creativity, and that means protecting copyright."

 
 
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