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MasterCard sues Nader campaign for copyright violation in advertisement

Green Party presidential nominee Ralph Nader '55, the last University alumnus left in this year's race, ran into some trouble with MasterCard International, Inc., this summer.

But it was not a typical credit problem.


MasterCard sued Nader's presidential campaign in August, saying that a Nader campaign advertisement — meant to parody MasterCard's highly successful "Priceless" campaign — violated the company's copyright and trademark.

The Nader commercial accuses Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore of being beholden to private and corporate political contributions and of keeping Nader out of the presidential debates.

An announcer reads the text of the ad: "Grilled tenderloin for fund-raiser: $1,000 a plate. Campaign ads filled with half-truths: $10 million. Promises to special interest groups: over $10 billion. Finding out the truth: priceless. There are some things money can't buy. Without Ralph Nader in the presidential debates, the truth will come in last."

A Nader campaign spokesman said yesterday that the suit was "stuck in federal court" in New York and that the campaign has pulled the advertisement off the air, but declined to comment further. MasterCard did not return phone calls yesterday afternoon.

Nader's campaign has faltered some since the Democrats held their convention in Los Angeles last month.

An NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll of 2,017 registered voters released Monday had Gore in the lead at 45 percent, Bush at 42 percent, Nader at four percent and Reform Party nominee Patrick Buchanan at one percent. The poll had a two percent margin of error.