News YUSU Elections 2018

"Rip-off" poster added to Facebook group as campaigning continues

Controversy has arisen amongst candidates after Democracy and Services candidate David Sharp posted a campaign poster on his Facebook page which is identical to those distributed by candidate Lewis Bretts.

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Controversy has arisen amongst candidates after Democracy and Services candidate David Sharp posted a campaign poster on his Facebook page which is identical to those distributed by candidate Lewis Bretts.

The main campaign poster used by Democracy and Services candidate Bretts has been reproduced on the Facebook page of Sharp, with the name and image changed. The low-quality version which appeared on Sharp's personal page at 18:16 this evening carries the same "Use US" slogan which is common throughout Bretts campaigning. The design is identical on both posters, although the fonts used for the names are different, with Bretts entire poster being in the same font.

The poster was released by Bretts immediately after midday today, when campaigning officially opened. Sharp has not used this poster in any of his campaigning to date, and it appears it was first released this evening. Sharp has also posted the image to his official campaign group, "David Sharp for Democracy and Services".

It is unclear whether reproducing a version of another candidates campaigning is a breach of election rules, and Returning Officer Tom Scott says he will not comment unless an official complaint is made.

Commenting on the reproduction, Bretts said "It seems pretty unoriginal to copy someone else's election material, but there's no harm done at the end of the day" He also added that "clearly all of the effort we put into the design was worthwhile."

Official campaigner Tom Flynn, who designed the poster, took a different view, stating that "I'm pretty angry that the image that I created has been stolen, particularly because the reason I spent so much time creating it is because I believe Lewis Bretts is the best candidate."

In response to Bretts comments Sharp admitted that "one person on my campaign team made it, obviously it's quite a good poster and I saw no harm in posting it to my group." Sharp added that he apologised to Bretts for "any offence caused", and that he would "happily remove it he wants."

Original campaign poster designed by Tom Flynn
Original campaign poster designed by Tom Flynn


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4 Comment

Ben McCluskey Posted on Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

The picture has now been removed from Sharpy's Facebook group - http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/group.php?gid=54666431655&ref=mf

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Rebecca Posted on Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

Hey, sorry guys i made the post as a joke! it wasnt made to cause offence! just some light banter.... and i had no idea that it might be a breach of election rules.

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Richard Mitchell Posted on Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

I think the main reason for any complaint would be that it was potentially misleading. Using the same style could have implied that Sharp and Bretts were running together or in peoples' short memories, even be the same person.

Copyright law enthusiasts, read on:
Having been published on the internet means that the original is a copyright image and the rights of reproduction can only be granted by the creator (under the DCMA) and are granted to Facebook on upload for them to display it (with certain conditions). However, other copying may be permitted if it is a parody which differs sufficiently from the original - but only a judge can decide if that is the case.

It's pretty much a moot point now anyway.

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Chris Northwood Posted on Wednesday 21 Aug 2019

The DMCA is American copyright law, even though Facebook's hosted in America, the content was originally created in the UK so who knows what that means.

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