Library produced video on local cable public access channel

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  • Hello,

    The library I work for tapes and edits and makes available to public access cable the local government meetings of the city and county supervisory boards. We do have a copyright notice on the footage as it is aired. Another party touting itself as a "news" site on the World Wide Web has taken to appropriating the library produced tapings of the board meeting from the airing on the local cable channel and is using it without attribution or permission.

    We've asked the website owner to desist in using our video, but he claims that any work produced by a government funded organization is in the public domain. I don't believe this is correct. We are not funded, except peripherally, by the federal government of the US. I can't find anything in the Georgia Code that says work produced by persons employed by a state or locally funded institution necessarily belongs in the public domain.

    Any thoughts?
  • You're absolutely right, romesteve. Copyright in state and local government publications varies state by state. For example, Alaska law is mute on the subject, and several Alaskan agencies assert copyright in their publications.

    Even federally funded work is not necessarily in the public domain. Works created by federal agencies directly are in the public domain, but other materials, such as those created by contractors or jointly with others, vary.

    I should add that I'm not familiar with Georgia law, so I don't know what it has to say (or not) on copyright.

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