This has to rate as the absolute dumbest political move of this year's Indiana campaign cycle.
Remember those images of public schools which Jill Long Thompson's campaign used in a campaign TV ad that criticized Jim Schellinger for making "millions lobbying to raise property taxes to pay for schools he designed?"
When Schellinger complained that the images of the schools shown in the original TV ad were actually projects performed by another architectural firm which supported Thompson's candidacy, the Thompson campaign corrected the mistake and began using images of schools which CSO Architects had designed. Now, CSO's attorneys have served a cease and desist letter to Thompson's campaign to stop using images of its projects. The letters reads, in part:
Please be advised that Barrett & McNagny LLP represents Schenkel &
Shultz, Inc.(hereinafter referred to as “Schenkel & Shultz”). It has
recently come to our client's attention that the Jill Long Thompson campaign is
using images of Schenkel & Shultz projects in its TV ads without
authorization from Schenkel & Shultz. The projects included in the TV ads
are the Wayne Township Schools, Ben Davis High School and a Decatur Township
School projects. The Jill Long Thompson campaign does not have authorization to
use these images. Schenkel & Shultz is the architect of record for these
projects and is owner of the images which the Jill Long Thompson campaign has
used in its TV ads.
I'm a lawyer, but someone is going to have to help me out here.
If I take a picture of Ben Davis High School, then I have to get permission from CSO to use that image in campaign material for illustrative purposes because it happened to be the architectural firm which designed this publicly-owned school?
I think not. Maybe I should ask the school for permission to use an image of the school (although I doubt I'm legally required to do so), but I'll be damned if CSO owns the image of any public school it happened to design at taxpayers' expense. Even if CSO's position is legally correct for the sake of argument, it is an outrageous position for Schellinger to have to defend publicly. Good luck explaining this one, Jim. A big hat tip to Taking Down Words.