On 25th May, David Coburn, now UKIP’s London-based MEP for Scotland, tweeted this:
Nate Beeler was not aware of this:
— Nate Beeler (@natebeeler) May 28, 2014
The editing of Nate Beeler’s cartoon was done skilfully and with thorough attention to detail.
- The cartoon has been cropped to remove the Columbus Dispatch credit from the upper right-hand side
- This had the effect of also removing the words FISCAL CLIFF FIX from the upper left-hand side
- A photo of Nigel Farage has been pasted into the drivers’ seat to cover the original drawing of Uncle Sam
- The word “Congress” has been removed from one of the men in suits
- The tiny cartoon version of President Obama has been edited to remove the distinctive “Obama ear”, leaving only a man who could be anyone of that shade of brown
- In the bottom left-hand corner, a party political logo has been stripped in: two words VOTE JOIN in white with the purple & yellow Ukip logo in the middle.
I wondered – did David Coburn – or whoever was responsible for creating this – have permission from Nate Beeler and from the Columbus Dispatch (he is their editorial cartoonist) to do this to their cartoon?
When I emailed Cagle Cartoons, I got a reply back within a few hours, which was quite clear. No one had been in touch with them from Ukip to buy the right to use this cartoon. Furthermore, they said, it was against their policy and against the policy of the cartoonists they syndicate “to change their work in any way whatsoever”.
They allow “editors, publishers, bloggers” to run their content on their web sites or in their publications for a fee and “they are not permitted to alter the work in any way”.
They asked me who they should get in touch with about this. I passed on David Coburn’s and Patrick O’Flynn’s contact details, as well as the main Ukip address.
Patrick O’Flynn was the Daily Express’s chief political commentator before he was appointed Ukip’s director of communications in January this year.
As for David Coburn, who unquestionably distributed this edited cartoon:
Scotland’s first UKIP MEP had stints as an art dealer and City trader before entering politics.
David Coburn, 55, is the Glasgow-born owner of a freight company, who previously stood as a UKIP candidate for the London Assembly.
After high school in Glasgow, Mr Coburn studied law at the University of Leeds – a course he admits to failing. [Trader via Martin Frost]
Yes, it appears that David Coburn’s knowledge of copyright law and the principle of crediting the original artist (the media-credit info is provided) is as extensive as his knowledge of UK election regulations or EU laws.