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Illustration by Anthony Jenkins (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)
Illustration by Anthony Jenkins (Anthony Jenkins/The Globe and Mail)

Tories thumb nose at CBC demand they pull clip from ads Add to ...

Stephen Harper's Conservatives are not known for their love of the public broadcaster. So it should come as no surprise they will not comply with demands by the CBC to remove its footage from new Tory attack ads.

"We have received the CBC's request and disagree with their interpretation," Tory strategists say in a toughly-worded memo to supporters.

The Conservatives argue the use of the footage falls under the fair-dealing provisions in copyright law, according to the memo, which was circulated Wednesday morning.

"The American public affairs channel C-SPAN allowed fair use of a similar clip of Michael Ignatieff in a 2009 Conservative Party campaign," the Tories say. "It determined that the clip at issue was freely available and in use, as is the CBC's material."

Six new television ads were released Monday. Four of them attack the Liberal Leader; one is aimed at NDP chief Jack Layton and the other is a positive ad featuring Mr. Harper hard at work on the economic recovery.

The CBC says the Conservatives did not ask permission to use the CBC footage.

"The journalistic integrity of CBC-Radio-Canada - of the national public broadcaster - and its political neutrality require that our material not be used in partisan advertising,'' Marco Dube, a CBC spokesman, told The Canadian Press on Tuesday.

That argument was quickly dismissed. "There was no economic loss to the broadcaster," the Tories say. "We take the position today that C-SPAN took in 2009: our ads fall within the fair dealing provisions in copyright law."

The Conservatives are now preparing a formal response to the "CBC's interpretation."

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