Home » post » No, Mr. Mayor. You may not copyright city council meeting videos.

Our mission

Free Government Information (FGI) is a place for initiating dialogue and building consensus among the various players (libraries, government agencies, non-profit organizations, researchers, journalists, etc.) who have a stake in the preservation of and perpetual free access to government information. FGI promotes free government information through collaboration, education, advocacy and research.

No, Mr. Mayor. You may not copyright city council meeting videos.

Judge Rules That Inglewood, California Cannot Copyright Public Videos Slashdot (August 24, 2015).

Recently a judge ruled in California that the city of Inglewood cannot hold copyrights of videos of public city council meetings which they published on their YouTube account and thus cannot sue individuals for copyright infringement for using them. In several YouTube videos, Joseph Teixeira, a resident of Inglewood, California, criticized the mayor, James Butts. Under the account name Dehol Truth, Teixeira took city council meetings posted on their YouTube account and edited them to make pointed criticisms about the mayor.

CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

1 Comment

  1. Interesting. I contacted Georgia Harper (UT Austin and expert on copyright) about whether Arizona state documents were protected by copyright. Her response was that under the current system, the works are necessarily protected by copyright the moment the expression is fixed in a medium. Federal publications are not protected by they are placed in the public domain explicitly in 17 USC, but that does not apply to states.

    Public records face another consideration, though. Even though protected by copyright (in theory), they are covered by public records laws and the greater good of the public’s right to know may serve as a legitimate fair use argument.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.