Tim Pawlenty will not have to stop airing his latest TV ad in Iowa, featuring video from arguably the most memorable moment during the 1980 Olympics- the USA men's hockey team defeating the Soviets.
The ad called, "The American Comeback" started airing Wednesday in Iowa. A day later reports surfaced saying ESPN and ABC were planning to send the Pawlenty campaign a cease and desist order to stop running the ad, arguing "it's a violation of our copyright and exclusive propriety rights."
The beginning of the ad cuts between Pawlenty speaking and video from the hockey game using the hockey announcer, Al Michael's voice saying the famous line, "Do you believe in miracles?"
The latest statement from ESPN indicated it has no intention of forcing Pawlenty's campaign to pull the ad.
"Neither ABC nor ESPN has asked the Pawlenty campaign to remove any footage from their video, although neither ABC nor ESPN licensed the video to them or authorized its use," the company said in a statement.
Pawlenty's spokesman, Alex Conant, says the campaign believes the footage complies with the "fair use" doctrine.
"All of our campaign television advertising is carefully reviewed by the campaign's lawyers to ensure compliance with the copyright laws, the federal election laws, and other legal provisions," Conant said in an e-mail. "The campaign's ‘Miracle on Ice' advertisement was carefully reviewed for legal compliance and we believe fully complies with the ‘fair use' doctrine. We respect ABC's concern and look forward to responding to their inquiry."
Pawlenty, an avid hockey player often makes references to his love for the sport on the campaign trail. He even compares his toughness as a candidate to the number of hockey fights he's been in while on the ice. This afternoon, Pawlenty's campaign is hosting a "Pucks and Pizza" event at the Metro Ice Sports complex in Urbandale, Iowa, where he'll play in a hockey scrimmage.