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Oscarson campaign billboard taken down after apparent copyright claim

Campaign signs are popping up all over town ahead of the general election next month and there is no other place where they’re more visible than Highway 160.

That’s where state Assembly District 36 candidates, incumbent James Oscarson and opponent, brothel owner Dennis Hof, have been plastering billboards campaign advertising to wage a visual war against one another.

One such billboard that Oscarson put up on Highway 160 just past the Highway 372 intersection called Hof a “pimp” and used an image of Hof with a pair of legs kicked up and various woman strewn throughout.

Just days after the billboard went up, it was taken down sometime Wednesday morning.

Hof claims it is because the image with his likeness included was a photograph taken by David Paul Morris, a photographer who shot the photo for Bloomberg News, which Getty Images owns the distribution rights to and is copyrighted.

“I’m very close with Bloomberg News, they did an hour-and-a-half on me a year ago,” Hof said. “It’s a copyrighted image owned by Bloomberg News, distributed by Getty Images. They are up in arms.

“What’s going to happen is, they’re going after Oscarson.”

Hof questioned the decision of Oscarson’s camp to post the billboard in the first place.

“If you can make these kinds of decisions on a billboard, how can you make good decisions in Carson City?” he asked.

Oscarson said during a phone call Wednesday morning the billboard had been taken down. However, he claimed he would call back later in the afternoon to further discuss the matter, as he was in between meetings. The return phone call was never received.

Oscarson spokesperson Laura Billman did respond via email Thursday morning as she was unavailable by phone and gave a brief statement, which didn’t address the question of the billboard’s sudden removal.

“Dennis Hof is trying to hide his distasteful images from Pahrump voters by changing the subject,” Billman said in the email. “But what he’s not going to be able to hide from is his desire to have 18-year-olds working in his brothels, his auctioning off a young girl’s virginity or his countless other disturbing images.”

Attempts to reach the photographer and Getty Images were unsuccessful by press time Thursday afternoon.

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Follow @mickakers on Twitter.

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