By John Turney
They are as stated by the UCSF archive website: "The University of California, San Francisco Tobacco Industry Documents Multimedia Collection contains audiotapes and videotapes related to the advertising, manufacturing, marketing, sales, and scientific research of tobacco products as well as materials gathered and produced by tobacco control advocates. The UCSF Tobacco Industry Videos Collection includes some of the videos from the larger Multimedia Collection.
As a result of the Minnesota lawsuit, the major tobacco companies and the industry trade associations agreed to place millions of pages of paper documents and audiovisual materials in the Minnesota Tobacco Documents Depository.
The University of California, San Francisco houses digital versions of the paper documents in the Industry Documents Library (IDL) and has acquired a portion of the audiovisual materials, some of which you see here.
Today, Philip Morris filed a copyright claim on those videos and not being an attorney I have no idea as to the legal details, but I have filed a response claiming they should stay based on fair use (for criticism and education) and that they are meant for the public to see as they had to be coughed up as part of a court settlement.
Though they certainly have the power to do this, all I can say is that it seems kind of typical. Those old commercials can never be shown, it is illegal to show them on TV as advertisements, why the copyright claim? I think it is because they don't want ANYONE to see them as they were part of the media blitz they used to hook kids (and adults) into smoking.
So, while this gets worked out, and I am confident I will lose, take one last look at the original post linked above and see this nostalgia.
I am fairly libertarian and am not an anti-smoking zealot. People are free to make their own choices and they certainly do. However, I think as part of free speech media should be able to show and comment on commercials of the era that used football players as pitchmen. It is part of our esoteric football beat here at PFJ since the commercials are 55-60 years old the copyright claim is not because of some higher ethical issue of intellectual rights. It's part of a cover-up in that Philip Morris does not want younger people to see what their previous practices are since, as we all know, they've cleaned up their act. (eye roll).
People seeing those videos, as part of a lost lawsuit, is more important in this case than P-M's copyright claim since there is no harm in showing them, other than embarrassment to the Marlboro brand. That's my First Amendment-protected opinion.