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March 02, 2007



I thought there was already a clear ruling that all information produced by the US federal government was public domain by default?


It's not the information itself that C-Span is claiming to own: it's the specific video recorded by C-Span's cameras. And archived in C-Span's archives, even if taken by Congress's cameras.

Besides, in 1996 Congress passed and Clinton signed the Electronic Freedom of Information Act. Yet in 1998:

However, according to the policy analysis group, none of the 136 government Web sites affected by the act were in full compliance with the rules, such as establishing an organized site with a search engine for documents and supplying electronic forms, dubbed FOIAs, that journalists or citizens can use to request hard-to-find or previously sealed government documents.

Patent office slammed for not posting data
A private citizen is preparing to publish a stack of patent and trademark information on the Net because he says the government is dragging its heels.
By Courtney Macavinta,
Staff Writer,
C|Net News.com,
Published: May 5, 1998, 3:20 PM PDT

Just because it's the law doesn't mean that it's followed, unless somebody brings attention to it.


Paul DiPerna


This is a great post.

I've been following your blog for some time now, and just wanted to say I enjoy your selection of topics and your writings. I've learned a lot.

- Paul


Great post.

This seems unreal. People get important information by reading, listening and watching media. How can you have a free society if you need to ask permission to use footage of a public event because the videotape is owned by a company? I mean, how can real debate happen if you can't use footage?

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