Saturday, July 7, 2012

A Word of Explanation

The Vancouver Province has pulled from its website the animation (shown below) created by its editorial cartoonist, Dan Murphy, that satirizes Enbridge's massive ad campaign in support of its Northern Gateway pipeline.

In the original ad, Enbridge claims that the pipeline is "a path to our future," while families and fish frolic in sylvan settings to placid music. In the parody, a fictional official comments with increasing distress as the ad is repeatedly interrupted with giant oil splotches.

Wayne Moriarty, The Province's Editor-in-Chief, says the animation was removed at the request of Enbridge "because it contains copyrighted material." He admits that use of the material might be protected under fair use laws, but says the newspaper chose not to pursue the matter. He points out that The Province has run editorials critical of the pipeline, and insists that the decision to pull the satire has nothing to do with the $5 million campaign, which is running in his paper and The Vancouver Sun (both of which are owned by The Pacific Newspaper Group), among many other media outlets.

Moriarty denies a rumour that Murphy has been fired because of the cartoon. Murphy was not available for comment.

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