Fox “Will Respond” to Romney Campaign’s Use of Debate Footage

An unlikely showdown could be developing between Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News and a leading Republican presidential contender.

Last week, Fox sent out letters to the campaigns of each of the leading Republican presidential candidates, ordering them to stop using footage from Fox presidential debates in their campaign ads and on their web sites.

Today, Talking Points Memo reported that Mitt Romney’s campaign has decided to defy the order—and has sent a letter to FNC lawyers, explaining as much. TPM suggests that Mr. Romney may be seeking to curry favor with conservative bloggers, many of whom oppose Fox on the issue.

How will Fox respond to Mr. Romney’s defiance?

"The Romney campaign using footage as part of the ‘Mitt TV’ section of their website goes well beyond a ‘Fair Use’ exception to U.S. Copyright Law," Chris Silvestri, FNC’s vice president of legal and business affairs, told The Observer, "and we will respond accordingly."

Will the Romney campaign live to regret alienating Fox? Guess we’ll find out.