About Politics and Copyright Theft Featured

Just because you’re running for office, it doesn’t mean you can appropriate photos and video that don’t belong to you.

Big Idea

  • The Elect Phil Goode Committee decided to use a photo from CopperState News
  • The Committee did not ask for permission prior to misappropriating it
  • The photo appeared on Phil’s website
  • Read more…

Theft is theft.

Many years ago, when Paul Gosar was mounting his campaign against Ann Kirkpatrick, and I was running PrescotteNews, I was appalled to see a video interview I had created with Gosar allegedly misappropriated by the Kirkpatrick campaign. 

It was a very good video, taken on the night Gosar won the primary. I was appreciative that he would take the time to talk with me, so, when I saw that the Kirkpatrick campaign had taken it and manipulated it in a hit piece advertisement against Gosar, I was furious and mortified. 

For the record, I don’t sell my content to the opposition, even if it’s a candidate or cause I agree with. 

I obtained a copyright attorney, and we went back and forth with the Kirkpatrick campaign. When time ran out for the election, I decided on another plan of action. 

For many years after that, I included the following copyright statement on all videos: 

© 20** by eNewsAZ. All Rights Reserved. Any unauthorized use, reproduction or distribution is absolutely prohibited and will be considered a copyright infringement.

This includes you, Ann Kirkpatrick.

Now I’m at CopperState News, and we publish a LOT of photos and video. I frequently have people come to me and ask if they can use my photos. I am usually very generous about these requests, and simply ask for a credit and a link. 

But, it is important to me that they ask first. Get permission before using my intellectual property. 

Our copyright notice, on the bottom of every page, clearly reads: 

I really didn’t think that this would happen to me here in Prescott, Arizona, with local politicians, many of whom I consider to be friends. But, a photo has allegedly been used by the Phil Goode campaign, without my permission. Nobody called and asked if they could use it. There is no credit on the photo, either to me or CopperState News. Not even a link to the article they presumably lifted it from.

It may not seem like a very big deal to you, but in my world, that’s considered theft. Just because it’s on the Internet does not mean it’s free. I would presume that someone who wants to be Mayor of Prescott would understand that.

Here is the photo on his website: https://philgoode4mayor.com


Here’s the photo (#23) from my website: https://copperstate.news/prescott-news/item/1023-2021-rodeo-parade-biggest-photo-gallery-in-town#gallerya261ba965e-23 

On one of Phil’s marketing pieces, he criticizes his opponent, Mayor Greg Mengarelli, for hiring, “…a professional marketing team to craft his campaign messages.” He states that the Elect Phil Goode Committee, “Relies on citizen volunteers who, like Phil, genuinely care about Prescott’s future.”

Of course, the reason you hire professional marketing teams is so you can have professional results, and mistakes like this are, hopefully, not made. But, when you take the cheap way out, frequently you land in trouble. If you really hope to represent the City of Prescott, wouldn’t you want to run your campaign the right way?

Now, I don’t live within the city limits of Prescott, so I can’t vote. Before this, I didn’t have a pony in the race. But, I can assure you, if I could vote, I personally would carefully consider a candidate’s integrity and leadership if I knew they publicly went around appropriating things that didn’t belong to them, just to benefit their campaign. 


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Last modified on Thursday, 08 July 2021 16:47
Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Editor and Publisher of CopperState News. In her past life, she was the founder of a successful local news media publication in the Prescott area. She started CopperState News with the idea that local news deserves a statewide platform.

Besides prowling around for community news - especially good news! - Lynne and her husband Lewis enjoy their eight children and six grandchildren (although more are always welcome!). Lynne is connected non-stop to her camera and loves creating unique gifts with her Cricut!

One of her favorite sayings is, "It's not about me!"


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