CSPAN gets a privileged perch in the pusillanimous proceedings of our parliament, pointing its probing photographic proboscides and pimping for pay. And it piggishly refuses to share, even though it’s really not doing anything creative or even risking much or any financial capital in its efforts (pace my previous argument on innovation and derivative works). Tech Daily Dose reports on the controversy (via Insty), and quotes blogging worthies (I added handy links):
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 the debate raises larger questions for U.S. politics. Lessig wrote on his blog 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. “This is a discussion that needs to be had,” wrote Nancy Scola, one of the bloggers leading the project. “Confusion over copyright sows fear, and fear creates a chilling effect.”
C-SPAN has nothing more than a pure gummint concession. What Congress has given it, it should probably consider — assuming adequate and fair recompense for investments made and risks taken — taking away, either by opening the concession (now more valuable to the taxpayers, as this debate demonstrates) or narrowing the copyright protection of those who have it.
UPDATE: Don’t underestimate the power of this blog.