Georgia Court Streams Ridiculous 'Kraken' Lawsuit Hearing On YouTube; Then Tells People They Can't Repost Recordings

from the not-how-it-works dept

We have lots of concerns about court transparency, and how more transparent court systems would be nice. One of the more interesting consequences of the pandemic, in which many court hearings are now done virtually, is that courts have been much more open to allowing more realtime access to these court hearings. In one of the more high profile (and more ridiculous, if that's possible) lawsuits challenging the election results -- the so-called "Kraken" lawsuit in Georgia -- there was a hearing earlier today. The court announced that the audio would stream on YouTube:

That says that the audio will be streamed on YouTube and provides you with a link. However, beneath it, it says the following:

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is participating in an audio pilot program permitting a limited number of district courts to livestream audio of certain civil proceedings with the consent of the parties. Under the pilot program, audio of qualifying civil proceedings will be livestreamed on the court’s YouTube channel.

Audio recordings will not be available for playback on YouTube after proceedings have ended. Audio, in full or in part, from any proceeding may not be recorded, broadcast, posted or reproduced in any form.

And, uh, what? I kind of understand (if seriously disagree with) rules in courts saying that people in the courtroom are not allowed to record, but cannot fathom any possible way in which the court can say that audio that they've streamed out on the open web cannot be recorded or used in any form.

And already there seems to be some crackdown on those who did make use of the recordings. Reuters legal reporter Jan Wolfe was told to delete her tweets with the recording of Judge Timothy Bratten shutting down the lawsuit:

And, if you go to the original YouTube video where the court hearing was officially streamed, you now see this:

This seems absolutely ridiculous. I also cannot conceive of any possible basis for which the courts can force someone, especially a reporter, to not record or republish using the publicly available audio stream. And it's not that difficult to find the audio stream reposted elsewhere.

As reporter Brad Heath notes, this seems both short-sighted and beyond the authority of the courts:

I'd go beyond short-sighted. It's ridiculous. And demanding people take down such things seems to raise serious 1st Amendment issues.

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Filed Under: 1st amendment, audio streaming, courts, free speech, georgia, prior restraint, recordings, sidney powell, transparency


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  • icon
    Celyxise (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:02am

    Wouldn't this audio be automatically in the public domain?

    Quick someone remix it into a song.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    agro23 (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:12am

    perhaps some people could do a dramatic reading of the transcript

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      Only if they read it in Teletubby voices.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Mort Chewary, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:42am

      ZOMBO! 3 comments total in near 6 years, 30 and 38 month GAPS!

      agro23 or Ryan (first two): 3 (<1), Jan 30th, 2015 https://www.techdirt.com/user/agro23

      Poops, I mean pops, no I mean POOPS out a one-liner in dull Masnick piece before any regulars did.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      K`Tetch (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 3:16pm

      Re:

      Send me the transcript, I'll do dramatic readings, in a whole array of voices, with each one recorded in front of a different Georgia courthouse.

      ...mainly in Trump country.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        wereisjessicahyde (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 3:37pm

        Re: Re:

        Get Sirs Patrick Stewart and David Attenborough to join you and I'm in. Oh and possibly Joe Pasquale (playing Powell obviously)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 3:40pm

        Real Animals Fake Paws

        If you use John Oliver's Real Animals Fake Paws footage (I know it's not SCOTUS. Wing it.) That would tip it into the must-watch threshold.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          K`Tetch (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 8:42pm

          Re: Real Animals Fake Paws

          I could do both. Putting the paws footage over me afterwards is a fairly quick and easy thing.
          Just haven't come across the transcript myself (and don't feel like typing it out)

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:21am

    They apparently have not yet learned that once something is posted to the internet, it is forever on the internet and there is nothing you can do about it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Mort Chewary, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:47am

      Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

      They apparently have not yet learned that once something is posted to the internet, it is forever on the internet and there is nothing you can do about it.

      You don't read of major matters like all the EVIDENCE of election fraud, say for on-topic ref, because WHY? -- A) It's being/been suppressed. B) You read only snowflake-safe sources like Techdirt. C) The biggest reason: You don't want to hear it, anyway! It'd upset all your notions.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Mort Chewary, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        Apparently blocked thrice after this session made two comments without problem, but minor change and Resend got it in!

        That's the Memory Hole in operation, right there.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2020 @ 7:44am

          Re: Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

          You really need to be taking your anti-psychotic meds, buddy.

          All this time and you still don't get it that Techdirt users actively are aware you're trolling every single story and are using the flag button to mark you as spam the moment you comment.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        AC Unknown (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 12:06pm

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        Really? Then why did Republicans, including Trump's own attorney general, say that there wasn't any evidence of fraud? Why are Trump's cases getting thrown out of court, which includes by judges his administration appointed?

        Something tells me you're just swimming in the fetid filth of conspiracy.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 12:42pm

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        You don't read of major matters like all the EVIDENCE of election fraud,

        What evidence, as none has been produced in court.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 1:03pm

          'It's in this box?. 'Can I see it?' 'No. My box.'

          Ah, but you see it's super-duper extra special secret evidence, the kinda that magically evaporates any time someone tries to check it's validity, the fact that it keeps disappearing is just proof of how special and real the evidence is, and/or proof that every judge that's been involved has special evidence destroying magic powers.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 6:04pm

          Re: Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

          None of it has even been loosely "produced" to the public by any means.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 1:23pm

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        You don't read of major matters like all the EVIDENCE of election fraud, say for on-topic ref, because WHY?

        Ooooh! I know! I know!

        Because there isn't any.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 8 Dec 2020 @ 5:53am

          Re: Election Fraud

          I think I know what happened - someone dressed up as Bigfoot when they went to vote this year.

          Photo gets snapped, everyone knows Bigfoot isn't registered to vote, hence "massive" election fraud, now with photographic evidence!

          It might be difficult for Rudy to get his hands on that photo from a hospital bed though.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        bhull242 (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 7:08pm

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        Well, if they were presented in a court of law, where all filings are of public record, media censorship wouldn’t matter. What, do you think we can’t be bothered to read the court filings? Think again. None of the relevant court cases are under seal, so it’s not being suppressed. Again, if there was any truth to the allegations of fraud or electoral manipulations, we would have seen some evidence in the court filings or heard about it from the Trump DOJ. And yet we have seen nothing. Or do you think that Trump-appointed judges and William Barr have an anti-Trump bias?

        So no, we’re not being deliberately blind to the evidence, nor is it being suppressed. Your side refuses to present any where it actually matters: to investigators or in a court of law. The only reason I can think of for this is that to present any remotely persuasive evidence of fraud would mean perjury or lying to federal officers, both of which are crimes and violate legal ethics.

        Maybe you’re projecting here with C, and the idea that Biden could possibly beat Trump in a fair election would upset all your notions? Perhaps you’re the one who should recheck their biases.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 9:47pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Or do you think that Trump-appointed judges and William Barr have an anti-Trump bias?

          It's pretty funny that despite stuffing the government and law enforcement with the BEST PEOPLE, even Trump's own people can't put forward evidence that favors Trump's lunacy. And it has to be left to fringe nutjobs like blue to argue his case, poorly at that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        wereisjessicahyde (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 3:14pm

        Re: Re: Actually, the Memory Hole is already implemented.

        You mean all the "evidence" in the 50 court cases that have all been thrown out?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:44am

    If you don't want it up, don't put it up

    Streaming court proceedings only to take them down immediately afterwards, and prohibit people from reposting them... that's almost impressive really, it takes some real stretching to shoot yourself in the back like that but they somehow managed it.

    If you're not allowed to repost the stream or clips of it then that makes commentary, criticism and/or reporting effectively useless, since you have nothing to point back to beyond 'I'm pretty sure they said X', which doesn't hold up very well(just ask Trump's lawyers), and with those out of the way you're essentially streaming the proceedings simply on a whim, without that actually doing much good.

    Either put the stream up and let people copy and repost it, or stick with the default and don't, don't try to straddle the line and end up with the worst of both options.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 3:59pm

      Re: If you don't want it up, don't put it up

      it takes some real stretching to shoot yourself in the back like that

      Naw, it was in the foot (it not being fatal, y'know). Much easier. Imo, this synergizes on the worst of both options, and makes it even worse: Public Domain. 1A prior restraint. All of that, introduced by trying to have it both ways.

      While I sympathize with the court not wanting to provide incentive for prosecutors (or defense attorneys) to turn the court into a performance for the public, I can't see how disallowing essentially any direct quoting from the stream advances that goal. I mean, the court transcript is (theoretically) available, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ian W (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 4:35am

      Re: If you don't want it up, don't put it up

      If memory serves, this is the same state that had to have the Supreme Court explain to them you cannot copyright "the law"...
      Supreme Court Says Georgia's 'Official Code' Is Public Domain -- Including Annotations

      Maybe now that the Supreme Court has explained to them how state published books and copyright work, Georgia can petition them explain how broadcasting and the internet works too!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bobob, 7 Dec 2020 @ 11:47am

    I guess we'll see how well that ban on posting recordings works. If the courts are lucky, at best, most everyone will just ignore them and post anyway while only a handfull will think telling the court to fuck off is worth the effort to type "fuck off."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 12:27pm

    looks at this & the post about PACER

    It seems they don't mind limiting public access soemtimes...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    BentFranklin (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 1:44pm

    I fail to understand the distinction between my brain's memory and my disk's storage. It seems like if they could get away with it they'd like to also erase my brain's memory.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Stan (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 1:45pm

    Outlawed?

    When recording federal court audio streams is outlawed, only outlaws will have recordings of federal court audio streams.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Norahc (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 1:47pm

    Anyone want to bet that they took down the video until they can figure out how to "Pacer" it and charge viewers for each frame viewed?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Dec 2020 @ 3:26pm

    Maybe they WANTED the Kraken lawsuit Streisanded?

    Streisand is now a verb.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Dec 2020 @ 7:52pm

    And court precedent, from the Volokh Conspiracy

    "where the government has made certain information publicly available, it is highly anomalous to sanction persons other than the source of its release." Florida Star v. B.J.F. (1989). In such a circumstance, "it is most appropriate to assume that the government had, but failed to utilize, far more limited means of guarding against dissemination than the extreme step of punishing truthful speech."

    So... can't reproduce the courtroom stream? Really?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul, 8 Dec 2020 @ 4:08am

    Official or not

    I honestly believe the court over reacted innocently. All hearings are transcribed and there can only be 1 “official” transcription. The court reporter is employed to provide this. The over reaction was most likely a poor attempt to preserve this archaic system.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    restless94110 (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 10:14am

    Ridiculous

    So let me see if I understand:

    A judge does not consider the facts in the case at all and instead reads his ruling from a piece of paper written before he read the suit and that means the case brought before the judge who had already made up his mind the week before is "ridiculous?"

    And that is your idea of justice?

    Now that is truly the definition of ridiculous

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 11:26am

      Re: Ridiculous

      A judge does not consider the facts in the case at all and instead reads his ruling from a piece of paper written before he read the suit and that means the case brought before the judge who had already made up his mind the week before is "ridiculous?"

      What in the crap are you talking about?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 1:46pm

        'The Dear Leader is Never wrong!'

        I believe that's the current go-to excuse for why 'election fraud' cases are being thrown/laughed out left and right these days, that the judges are simply refusing to look at the very real super-duper extra secret evidence and are going into them already having made up their minds, since that's a lot easier for Trump's cult to swallow than judges tossing their cases because they're nothing more than paranoid conspiracy-theory laden garbage backed up by lies, baseless speculation and/or wild-ass assertions.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 8 Dec 2020 @ 10:49pm

      Re: Ridiculous

      Did you pay attention to the ruling?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      bhull242 (profile), 19 Dec 2020 @ 11:35am

      Re: Ridiculous

      A judge does not consider the facts in the case at all

      On a motion to dismiss, the judge only takes well-pleaded facts as true to see if there is an actual case/controversy between the plaintiff(s) and the defendant(s) that can be legally remedied by the court and that is within the court’s jurisdiction. If the alleged facts are insufficient even if true to maintain a plausible case, then the case gets dismissed without further evaluation of the factuality of the evidence. If the provided evidence do not support the claims being made, then the case may be dismissed. If the law does not support the requested remedy for the given facts, the case may be dismissed.

      Furthermore, the more extraordinary the claims being made or the wilder the remedies being sought, the harder it is for the case to survive past dismissal.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Dec 2020 @ 8:38pm

    Who the fuck do you think you are? bitch!.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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