In an email (27 Feb 2007) to Brian Lamb of C-SPAN, Carl Malamud proposes to purchase from the C-Span store its entire inventory of 6,251 videos of congressional hearings “for the purpose of ripping and posting on the Internet in a nonproprietary format for reuse by anybody.” Malamud says:
Holding congressional hearings hostage is not in keeping with your charter, and it is not in keeping with the spirit of that grand bargain you made with the American people. Please re-release this material back into the public domain where it came from so that it will continue to make our public civic life richer.
Malamud was instrumental in getting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to make its data available through the EDGAR database.
- Internet Watchdog Picks A ‘Fair Use’ Fight With C-Span by Andrew Noyes, National Journal’s Technology Daily, March 2, 2007 PM edition [subscription required]
William Patry, a senior copyright counsel for Google, said on his blog that “the very transparency in government C-Span purports to seek is antithetical to claims of ownership in the events as recorded.”
Stanford University law professor Lawrence Lessig said … that as more takedown notices are ordered for video remixes of political events, an advocate is needed “to take the lead to assure that the Web can be used for politics (without the mess of copyright).”
An Internet-led reform effort called The Open House Project also has taken an interest in the C-Span debate.
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