Over
the last few weeks the publicity for Tourism Australia’s “bloody”
television ad campaign has kept it top of mind for those who need it
least, Australians. The story of the advert being banned from every
valuable English speaking market has kept it in the newspapers of
Sydney and Perth, but not in Montreal or Salt Lake City.

So when my production company, Downwind Media, made a parody of the TVC
last week, I thought that a small satirical film circulating on the
Internet would be the least of their problems. As it turns out, with a
bit of pressure, it may be the only problem they can fix … sort of.

In
order to hamper the “bloody” spoof from circulating, lawyers for
Tourism Australia (TA) threatened legal action over the use of the
music used in the parody, and demanded the parody be removed from
Downwind Media’s website.
TA’s correspondence suggested that Downwind used the same song as their
original. While the song sounds similar (with intent), it is not the
same track. We commissioned a Sydney producer to create a sound-alike
with the intention of parody. The tune and tempo are indeed different.
When we pointed this out to TA, they claimed that the offending tune
still infringed on their copyright regardless of the musical
differences.

As per Tourism Australia’s request, the offending
film has been removed from the site, but has been replaced with four
additional alternatives with a variety of soundtracks. With this, I’m
sure we will satisfy Tourism Australia’s request, and without a doubt
certainly not infringe on their copyright.

In the first 48 hours
of being posted on the video site YouTube.com the “bloody” spoof
received over 35,000 hits, and countless others have had it sent it
virally through e-mail.

Perhaps Tourism Australia should take a leaf out Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali’s books when he spoke about The Ronnie Johns Half Hour‘s
High Five A Muslim Day event: “Such understanding and good humour,
introduced through satire, is very beneficial for Australian society.”

CRIKEY: Advertising industry publication Adnews also heard
from Tourism Australia’s lawyers after posting a link to the spoof ad
on Friday. We contacted Tourism Australia for a comment this
morning, but we haven’t heard back.

Peter Fray

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