Republican Study Committee backtracks on accusations that Rep. Pelosi violated copyright law on her blog
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) recently launched a blog called "The Gavel," which features a large number of YouTube clips of House proceedings. Earlier today, the Republican Study Committee issued a press release accusing Pelosi of violating C-SPAN's copyright by displaying those clips on her blog. But the Speaker won this battle.
"Though we applaud the Speaker's effort to adapt to new technology, the blog violated copyright and trademark law on the very first day," the RSC press release stated. "As of noon today, the Speaker had posted at least 16 videos that are copyrighted C-SPAN material from the House floor. The RSC spoke with C-SPAN today, who confirmed that these videos violate C-SPAN copyright/trademark of the House proceedings."
The problem? C-SPAN doesn't claim a copyright to any footage of House proceedings because the cameras used are owned by Congress and not C-SPAN.
"That's in the public domain, it's owned by the American people," Jennifer Moire, a spokesperson for the channel told the Associated Press.
The RSC retracted the release, which also accused Pelosi of "pirating C-SPAN footage for partisan purposes," just two hours after issuing it, explaining that they were "given contradictory information."
YOU CAN READ THE FULL AP REPORT HERE
A copy of the press release is below:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 15, 2007
Speaker Pelosi's New Blog Violates C-SPAN Copyright/Trademark of House Proceedings
Will the Speaker bring the gavel down on "the Gavel Blog?"
As you may have heard, Speaker Nancy Pelosi launched a new blog entitled "The Gavel." Though we applaud the Speaker's effort to adapt to new technology, the blog violated copyright and trademark law on the very first day.
Not once, not twice, but 16 times?
As of noon today, the Speaker had posted at least 16 videos that are copyrighted C-SPAN material from the House floor. The RSC spoke with C-SPAN today, who confirmed that these videos violate C-SPAN copyright/trademark of the House proceedings.
Using C-Span for partisan purposes?
In addition to using pirated material, Speaker Pelosi also has used the pirated C-SPAN footage for partisan purposes. The collection of C-SPAN footage used in her "first official blog" is an example and the other pirated C-SPAN trademarked material shows Democrat after Democrat offering their views of the non-binding Democrat resolution on the reinforcement and realignment of American troops in Iraq.
So, what does Speaker Pelosi believe the role of C-SPAN is?
"One of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's first decisions was to deny a request by C-SPAN to be permitted to cover the House floor proceedings with its own cameras. Last month, Pelosi sent a letter to C-SPAN Chairman and CEO Brian Lamb saying she believed "the dignity and decorum" of the House "are best preserved by maintaining the current system of televised proceedings."
(CQ Weekly, January 15, 2007, Page 169)
Is the dignity and decorum of the House preserved by pirating copyrighted C-SPAN material for political purposes?
If not, will the Speaker bring the gavel down on "the Gavel Blog?"
Republican Study Committee