[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

SCVNews.com | State Assembly Rejects Transparency, Votes to Allow Govt. to Copyright Public Records | 06-02-2016
Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
May 30
2013 - Powerhouse Fire breaks out in San Francisquito Canyon; will destroy 30 homes & 28 outbuildings [story]

(CN) — The California Assembly on Thursday voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill giving the state a copyright claim on public records, overriding vigorous opposition from California newspapers and Internet businesses.

In the legislative body dominated by Democrats, AB 2880 passed by 58-1 despite warnings about the bill’s over-reach and damage to the public’s right to read and share the wealth of information generated by California agencies and local governments, including maps, reports and even videotaped hearings.

Democrats to a member voted in favor.

A lone Republican voted against the measure which would allow California and local county governments to claim a copyright in any work created at taxpayer expense, casting a shadow of litigation over public discourse.

The bill was opposed by the California Newspaper Publishers Association, representing most newspapers in the state, as well as the Internet Association representing web giants such as Facebook, Uber, Twitter, Amazon, E-Bay, Snapchat, Google and Yahoo.

Born from a recent dispute between an ex-concessionaire and the federal government over Yosemite National Park trademarks, the bill’s author on Thursday convinced the Assembly that California should drastically extend its law and claim ownership of all intellectual property created by public employees.

“What this bill does is protect any trademarks and patents and asks the state for those intellectual property items that it has to catalogue and manage those in the best interest of the public,” Assemblyman Mark Stone, D-Monterrey Bay said while presenting the bill for a vote.

With just three minutes of floor discussion, the bill was passed and moved on to the California Senate for a committee assignment that will be announced Friday.

Assemblyman Travis Allen was on the only voice against the bill. A Republican from Huntington Beach south of Los Angeles, Allen argued that federal agencies are barred from copyrighting public works for good reason, urging his colleagues to vote against the bill.

“This presents a serious issue and would grant state government the power to suppress dissemination of government-funded works,” Allen said.

He argued that a series of amendments added to the bill earlier this week do not sufficiently safeguard against state agencies choosing to deny the fair use of public information.

Jim Ewert, general counsel for the California publishers association, said he wasn’t surprised that the bill passed but shocked by the lopsided vote. He echoed Allen’s concerns that exemptions, meant to protect requests under the California Public Records Act, don’t go far enough.

In a letter sent on Thursday, the CNPA, Internet Association and the California Chamber of Commerce opposed the bill’s author, Assembly Member Mark Stone, a Democrat from Monterey Bay along California’s central coast.

“The California Public Records Act expressly states that it does not limit any copyright protections,” says the letter, rendering the law powerless to override copyright claims by government agencies. “Citizens should not have to beg a state agency for access to government information.”

A day earlier, Peter Scheer, executive director for the First Amendment Coalition in California, described the bill as “a remedy in search of a problem,” and the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation has also criticized the bill’s creation of a weapon that local bureaucrats can use to suppress speech.

The proposal was introduced by the Assembly Judiciary Committee in February and cleared two Assembly committees unanimously ahead of Thursday’s floor vote. The bill has been amended twice, with the most recent changes published Wednesday.

Ewert says the publishers association will continue to lobby against the bill as it circulates through the Senate and that he is open to meeting again with Stone regarding possible changes.

In the build-up to the vote, Scheer with the First Amendment Coalition, said the law was certain to be abused by government officials. “I’m sure it’s going to be done with the best intentions initially,” he said, “but I’m also sure it will be abused once a journalist asks for something potentially embarrassing or newsworthy.”

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.


  1. Tina Fender Tina Fender says:

    This is disgusting!

  2. luis madar says:

    Right now these internet purveyors and newspapers have too broad an interpretation of “the public’s right to know” which extends to extreme violations of our personal privacy, so we DO need to stop and think and carefully evaluate how much and when to release info just because it’s considered “public.” “Public” often has too broad an interpretation stemming from the pre-internet days when a REAL reporter with credentials had to go in person to a county or any government office to look up records: now it’s all on the internet and often sold.

    With the exception of the U.S. other countries incl. Europe require a person’s permission to disseminate private data not the other way around — why do you think the U.S. accounts for more than half the world’s ID theft victims? Government does NOTHING to stop sleazy peddlers from putting your DOB, SS#, address/ phone/ relatives, financials from your divorce — do you know ANYONE can access that in CA? — online and then DUH we have to pay co’s like LifeLock to monitor theft after the fact and the FBI if it’s major…

    On the OTHER HAND public meetings and things that are truly “public” SHOULD be allowed to be disseminatred on the internet and in print and media with certain safeguards.

    • Vince kilbride says:

      Really some of us are proud of what we have done for others or are trying to do in the interest of others. We have seen injustice that creates injustice and greed corruption wrongful persicution and incrimination. The first Amendment is probably the most Inportant to everyone.

    • SCVNews.com says:

      Luis – you’re conflating various federal laws with state & federal copyright statutes. This is about copyright law. It is not about privacy laws, or espionage laws, or any other law that bars the release of certain kinds of information in certain situations. This is about copyright law. This is about the state telling cities and counties they can use copyright law to stop the press from publishing official government documents showing malfeasance in office. For example.

      • luis madar says:

        If you own the copyright to something you can dictate how it’s used or not so they are intertwined. But this case is really about the “press” or “media” to be able to publish what they want ostensibly for the public good but as THEY decide that to be — it can often be and is used for example, to embarrass someone for personal reasons, it can be sensationalized; the National Enquirer and some blogger with no ethical standards at all except getting a moment of fame has the same “rights,” there is no licensing body for “journalists” like for lawyers or many professions, anything goes and anyone self-qualifies.
        As for the example you use, copyrighting a document does not stop a reporter or any individual present at a hearing from writing and publishing their NOTES, RIGHT? THEY have a copyright to that.
        — I see no reason at all that ANYONE calling themselves a reporter or any “media outlet” can take and print any document they want, that is a self-serving argument.

        • SCVNews.com says:

          (1) We run a historic archive (scvhistory.com), which is a research library. A large part of the research library is official government documents. If the government decides it can restrict those documents and keep them out of the library, it inhibits people who are trying to do current and future research. (2) The federal government has no copyright protection, but for the sake of argument, imagine having no Pentagon Papers, no Tower Commission report, no 9/11 Commission report, no Abu Ghraib documents. Now imagine the equivalent at the state level. Sometimes the original documents are what the public needs to see. If the government tosses out the First Amendment (or Article 2 of the state Constitution) and denies the public the right to disseminate whatever documents the government feels like withholding, it is one giant step toward communism.

          • luis madar says:

            As for throwing in the communism issue: my parents emigrated from a communist country in the late 60’s as dissidents genuinely fearing for their lives, so I know all about what went on in those days from them, research and going back myself in the late 80’s and since..
            there is NO comparison any more than Trump can be compared to Hitler! The closest might actually be places like Kenya, Turkey, Mexico (other than N. Korea or China) — where journalists are imprisoned or even killed for their speech, whether by government, Mafia, cartels, etc.

            My parents left their families and affluent home because if you criticized “the Party” or powers that be you were severely punished…even when I went back as a college student, as the son of dissidents I was tailed by a none too cleverly disguised spy, but I was on a special honorary student visa so they had to admit me…

            Wherever there is internet (even China increasingly) more or less freely accessed AND our First Amendment rights upheld by the courts, that is extremely unlikely — however this freedom is being abused by internet purveyors of information AND “the media,” they can’t claim they’re always “saving us from evil.” sometimes they do more harm than good.
            Honestly I’d have to know more real examples about cases that have arisen WRT this specific bill to have a definitive opinion, I’m just saying I don’t assume that anyone calling themselves “a journalist” has a right to get and publish anything they want.

  3. jim says:

    Most people who don’t read these bills won’t realize how just how much this can limit ANYONE from publishing/providing access to files, letters, video and audio recordings, and even public statements made by public officials. The People’s right to know what their elected officials are doing is already limited in many ways.

    Since no examples have been published so far, I’ll throw a quick one in with a link so folks can read about a recent event in SoCal that will be repeated thousands of times in the future if the State Senate and Governor approve and sign AB 2880.

    “Copy Wrong: City of Inglewood” can be found at:


    You might want to read the rest of the stories to get an idea of just how bad things are behind the closed doors of goverment.

  4. luis madar says:

    Wanted to add above but can’t edit: while I fully understand the argument from both sides and that politicians are notoriously “shady” and probably some would abuse power even more with no “sunshine” from media and general public who take an interest: the “media” is now equally self-serving and is a non-exclusive club where anyone qualifies to self-join, and there is no accountability for what THEY write.
    My belief is there should be a more nuanced discussion and limits on both sides. AND yes, this is part of the mentality that “once something is public record it can be disclosed and disseminated however embarrassing or invasive of privacy,” even though I understand this states it applies specifically to IP’s written or produced by public employees at taxpayer expense.

Leave a Comment

SCV NewsBreak
Related Content
Monday, May 29, 2017
June 1: Knight Town Hall Meeting to be Held at Canyon H.S.
Congressman Steve Knight will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on June 1 at Canyon High School.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Suspected Arson Fire Burns House, Barn in Agua Dulce
Multiple structures and surrounding grass in Agua Dulce burned early Monday morning in what investigators believe to be an arson incident.
Monday, May 29, 2017
Saugus High Seniors Win First Rod Bennett Scholarships
Saugus High School graduating seniors James Klipfel and Diego Rumer received the first two Rod Bennett Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund awards at the school's 2017 senior honors ceremony on Tuesday night, May 16.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
2013 - Powerhouse Fire breaks out in San Francisquito Canyon; will destroy 30 homes & 28 outbuildings [story]
Skip Spiro's 10-piece Jazz/Blues Project will play a special concert in tribute to Dirk Fischer, the legendary College of the Canyons music department chief and jazz composer-arranger, at Vincenzo's in Newhall on Wednesday, July 26 starting at 7 p.m.
July 26: Skip Spiro Jazz-Blues Big Band Honors Dirk Fischer
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, a suspected arson fire left a house and barn in Agua Dulce burned on Monday morning. Plus, veterans were honored at the annual Memorial Day Celebration at Eternal Valley Memorial Park and Mortuary. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, May 29, 2017
After five months of communication in a program designed to encourage elementary-age school children to read and write, a group of students and their Los Angeles Sheriff's Department correspondents finally met in person at George Washington Carver Elementary School on Friday, May 26.
Read on! Elementary Students Meet Their LASD e-Pals
Congressman Steve Knight will be holding a Town Hall Meeting on June 1 at Canyon High School.
June 1: Knight Town Hall Meeting to be Held at Canyon H.S.
Entertainment and attractions continue to be added to the 2017 Touch-A-Truck event benefiting the SCV Senior Center, scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at Central Park in Santa Clarita.
June 17: Activities, Entertainment Added to Touch-a-Truck Event
The Master’s University baseball team finally met a team that could outscore it and when No. 2 seed Faulkner broke out the bats in a 13-5 victory, the Mustangs watched the end of a 10-game winning streak and fell into the losers’ bracket at the 2017 Avista-NAIA World Series.
Eagles Take Flight 13-5 Over TMU Mustangs
Multiple structures and surrounding grass in Agua Dulce burned early Monday morning in what investigators believe to be an arson incident.
Suspected Arson Fire Burns House, Barn in Agua Dulce
Carousel Ranch held its 9th annual “How the West Was Won” Shoot Friday, May 19 at Moore N’ Moore Sporting Clays to benefit the kids at Carousel Ranch, raising more than $30,000.
‘How the West Was Won’ Carousel Ranch Event Raises $32K
Upcoming arts and cultural events in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of May 29-June 1.
May 29-June 1: Santa Clarita Arts Upcoming Events
The Lancaster JetHawks scored three runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to come from behind and knock off the Inland Empire 66ers, 7-6, on Sunday afternoon at The Hangar.
JetHawks Win Sunday in Wild Walk-off Rally
Saugus High School graduating seniors James Klipfel and Diego Rumer received the first two Rod Bennett Memorial Scholarship Trust Fund awards at the school's 2017 senior honors ceremony on Tuesday night, May 16.
Saugus High Seniors Win First Rod Bennett Scholarships
1987 - Director John Landis acquitted of charges in deaths of Vic Morrow and two child actors on Valencia set of "Twilight Zone: The Movie" [story]
1888 - Olympian Jim Thorpe, "America's greatest athlete," born in Indian Territory (probably near Prague, Okla.); later in life, appeared in many B-Westerns shot in Placerita Canyon [story]
Brendan Rodgers blasted two home runs and the JetHawks used a six-run sixth inning to pull away from the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino, 8-1, on Friday night at The Hangar.
Rodgers Powers JetHawks Over 66ers 8-1 Friday Night
Hamlet Marte hit two of Lancaster’s four home runs to help the JetHawks knock off the Inland Empire 66ers of San Bernardino, 9-5, on Saturday night at The Hangar.
Marte Hits 2 Homers, JetHawks Beat 66ers Again
1971 - Community preview night (pre-grand opening), Magic Mountain [story]
West Ranch High School dedicated their new Wall of Honor on Friday, which was produced by four West Ranch High School ASB students.
West Ranch High School Unveils Wall of Honor
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, the SCV Senior Center honored those who gave their life in service. Plus, SCVi students are building a "tiny house" for a homeless veteran. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, May 26, 2017
Fourth and fifth graders at Santa Clarita Valley International School are asking for the community’s assistance over Memorial Day weekend with fundraising for a “tiny house” they are building for a homeless veteran.
SCVi Students Raising Funds for Tiny House for Homeless Vet
Plambeck's objective, plain and simple, has always been about stopping development by any means possible. Her strategy involves multiple delay tactics, the worst being groundless litigation.
Chicken Little, Part 2 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
The city of Santa Clarita’s Thursdays@Newhall series, presented by Galpin Subaru, roars into June with a unique lineup of events including a classic Volkswagen car show, James Bond-themed SENSES Block Party and monthly variety show. Old Town Newhall is the hot spot on Thursday nights so grab your friends and family and come down for some fun.
Thursdays@Newhall June Lineup: Classic Volkswagen, James Bond, more
A feeling of delightful gratification for a mentor typically comes about when seeing a mentee develop and realize success. Their reward is in victories the students achieve, which are often seen as a measure of the instructor’s own success, positive influence and guidance. Such is the story of Dr. Luis S. Garcia and the Education Based Incarceration program.
Inmate Earns Doctoral Degree While in L.A. County Jail System
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, Santa Clarita Valley Committee on Aging leadership convened at the future location of the new Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center and announced that only $2.3 million additional fundraising dollars needed to be raised before construction could begin on the Center.
New SCV Senior Center Waits on $2.3 Mil.
Peter Lambert tossed eight strong innings, but the San Jose Giants came from behind to knock off the JetHawks, 4-2, in the rubber game of the series on Thursday night at The Hangar.
San Jose Giants Beat JetHawks 4-2 Thursday
Ninety percent of people who suffer out-of-hospital cardiac arrests die. It takes 10 minutes or less to learn how to keep a cardiac arrest victim alive until paramedics arrive. The County of Los Angeles Emergency Medical Services Agency, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and the American Heart Association are once again coordinating free hands-only CPR training on Sidewalk CPR Day, June 1, at over 50 sites across Los Angeles County to help improve cardiac survivability.
June 1: L.A. County Coordinates Sidewalk CPR Day
When Jeanny Olivares, 22, crosses the stage on Friday, June 2, for College of the Canyons’ Commencement, she will be receiving two associate degrees in marketing and accounting, which she earned in a year-and-a-half’s time.
COC Grad Earns Two Degrees While Facing Adversity
1907 - John Wayne born in Iowa; got start in movies filmed in Placerita Canyon [watch one]
The CLWA-NCWD merger is not a takeover, as Plambeck repeatedly insists. It is the product of months of discussion between two willing parties, which could be terminated at any time by either party or both parties.
Chicken Little, Part 1 | Commentary by Dan Masnada
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, deputies and volunteers trained for an active shooter situation at The Masters University Thursday morning. Plus, a girl is fighting for her life, leaving her family asking the community for blood donations to help her survive. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Thursday, May 25, 2017
Dr. Steven J. Golightly, Director of the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department (CSSD), was recognized on May 22 for his Department’s innovative efforts to improve child support services for L.A. County residents and his zeal for developing future leaders for government service to the public.
County Child Support Services Director Receives Excellence in Government Award
Motown in Town is back on Sunday, June 25 from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Valencia.
June 25: Motown in Town 2 at the Hyatt
Hot on the heels of the original Silicon Valley and the more recently named Silicon Beach, the current buzz is all about the Silicon Suburb or Santa Clarita Valley.
Business Incubator Tenant Selected for Festival of Creativity in Cannes
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bill (SB 792), a measure to establish an oversight commission for Los Angeles County Measure B trauma funding has cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for a vote.
Oversight of LA County Trauma Care Dollars Given Green Light
Princess Cruises has debuted its 2018-2019 Exotics program which will take guests to culturally rich and iconic cruise destinations around the globe.
Princess Cruises Debuts 2018-2019 Exotics Sailings
Senator Scott Wilk, R- Antelope Valley, announces that Senate Bills 634 (SB 634), a measure which would create a new water district in the Santa Clarita Valley, cleared the Senate Appropriations Committee and is headed to the Senate floor for consideration.
SCV Water Agency Merger Bill Clears Senate Panel