by Mike Masnick
Fri, Feb 18th 2011 1:08pm
Danny Mittleman point us to the news that a school district in Evanston, Illinois, made a copyright claim in order to have a video of the public school board meeting pulled from YouTube. A parent of a student at the school had obtained the official video of the meeting, and had posted a controversial clip (involving an argument involving race) to YouTube. An official from the school, however, filed a takedown notice with YouTube claiming copyright, and YouTube (of course) complied. To be fair, the official who issued the takedown now seems at least somewhat apologetic about it, and said she really thought that the school district had a "proprietary right" to the film. The article also, properly, notes that while the federal government is barred from copyrighting its own works, it's not definitive if that applies to local governments. Many assume that such works shouldn't be covered by copyright, following the lead of the federal government, but we've seen cases where state or city governments have argued otherwise. Either way, the whole thing is pretty ridiculous. This was a public school board meeting, and someone could have just as easily filmed the same info with a cameraphone. Taking down the video doesn't seem to serve any legitimate purpose.
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