header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
44°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 19
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
Acton hotel fire


(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.

9 Comments

  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:

    https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/03/foilies-2016-recognizing-worst-government-responses-public-records-requests/#copywrong

    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
LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES
Monday, Oct 18, 2021
LASD, Local Officials Unveil New SCV Sheriff’s Station
The new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, located at 26201 Golden Valley Road, was unveiled Monday.
Monday, Oct 18, 2021
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports 175th Death; SCV Cases Total 36,756
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Monday announced an additional death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths since the onset of the pandemic to 175, spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.
Monday, Oct 18, 2021
MB2 Entertainment Bringing Fun Back to Former Mountasia Property
Each time the MB2 Entertainment owners — who happen to be not only business leaders but also two longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents — drove past the Mountasia Family Fun Center, they felt a pull to revitalize the SCV staple.
Keep Up With Our Facebook

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1945 - Acton Hotel, est. 1890, burns down; arson is suspected [story]
Acton hotel fire
Thirty-five percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence.
Zonta Club SCV Speaks Out Against Gender-Based Violence
The County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, is excited to announce that a series of Learn to Swim Scholarships will be made available for the Learn to Swim Program at Castaic Aquatic Center this upcoming Winter and Spring Season
L.A. County Opens Winter, Spring Scholarship Swim Programs at Castaic Aquatic Center
The new Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, located at 26201 Golden Valley Road, was unveiled Monday.
LASD, Local Officials Unveil New SCV Sheriff’s Station
Officials from Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital on Monday announced an additional death, bringing the total number of COVID-19 deaths since the onset of the pandemic to 175, spokesman Patrick Moody confirmed.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: Henry Mayo Reports 175th Death; SCV Cases Total 36,756
The Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard is holding the 9th Annual Pride of the Vikings Field Tournament at the Valencia High School Stadium, Saturday, Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m.
Pride of the Vikings Field Tournament Returns to Valencia High School
The city of Santa Clarita’s Film Office released the five productions currently filming in the Santa Clarita Valley for the week of Monday, Oct. 18 - Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021:
Filming in SCV This Week Includes Three TV Shows, One Commercial, One Feature
Each time the MB2 Entertainment owners — who happen to be not only business leaders but also two longtime Santa Clarita Valley residents — drove past the Mountasia Family Fun Center, they felt a pull to revitalize the SCV staple.
MB2 Entertainment Bringing Fun Back to Former Mountasia Property
A 67-yard touchdown from Saugus Centurions (7-1, 3-0) quarterback Brady Welch to running back Jacob Faraldo blew the gates open in the 42-7 win against the Golden Valley Grizzlies (3-4, 1-2) on Friday.
Cents Trounce Grizzlies 42-7
The Hart Indians (2-6, 1-2) completed the comeback over Valencia (3-4, 1-2) scoring 14 unanswered points in the final two minutes of regulation and overtime for the 27-21 win.
Hart Stuns Valencia in OT 27-21
Amy Green was a young woman when she fell into a cycle of abuse that began with a relationship with the wrong man and led her to an addiction to heroin.
Purple Palooza 5K Walk Brings Awareness to Domestic Violence
SACRAMENTO – Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. In fact, the chance of a teen being involved in a crash is highest during their first two years of driving.
CHP’s ‘Start Smart’ Course Encourages Safe Driving Practices For Teens
1876 - Southern Pacific begins subdividing town of Newhall (original location at Bouquet Junction) [story]
Campton store
1837 - Trapper Peter LaBeck killed by grizzly bear at El Tejon [story]
Peter LaBeck
1853 - Sarah Gifford, community leader and wife of Newhall's first railroad station agent, born in England [story]
Sarah Gifford
The Saugus-based Camp Scott was placed on a short list of potential future sites for the county’s violent youth and young adult offenders, officials said Friday.
Camp Scott Placed on Short List for Future Juvenile, Young Adult Offenders
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Friday confirmed 24 new deaths and 1,229 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 36,615 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Friday COVID-19 Roundup: FDA Announces Recommendation for Johnson & Johnson Booster Dose; SCV Cases Total 36,615
The Santa Clarita City Council unanimously approved a resolution Tuesday calling for more local control over zoning laws and land use.
City Approves Resolution Asking for More Local Land Use Zoning Control
After Colleen Shaffer was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1999, she decided she wanted to help others who were on the same uncertain journey she was on — so she hosted a tea party in her backyard where supporters showed up for her and on behalf of cancer patients.
Circle of Hope Hosts 17th Annual Tea Party Fundraiser to Support Cancer Patients
Women and men gathered on top of Old Town Newhall’s parking structure Thursday for an evening of drinks and recognition of local leaders in the film industry as part of Zonta’s women’s film festival, Lunafest.
Zonta’s Lunafest Empowers Women Through Filmmaking
On Oct. 15, Princess Cruises marked the return to service of the cruise line’s third ship in the U.S. – Emerald Princess – departing from the Port of Los Angeles on a 15-day Panama Canal cruise to Ft. Lauderdale.
Emerald Princess Debuts as Fifth Princess Ship to Return to Cruise Vacation Service
Two out of five league games have been completed as the Foothill League inches closer to the CIF playoffs. The Saugus Centurions and the West Ranch Wildcats remain the only unbeaten teams, setting up for a showdown in the coming weeks, which may decide the Foothill League champion.
Week Nine Football Preview
Foothill League girls golfers tested their skills Wednesday at The Oaks Club at Valencia, which is considered one of the longer courses in the league, and the West Ranch Wildcats still prevailed, pulling some of their best numbers from the entire season.
West Ranch Girls Golf Wins Fifth League Match in a Row
In a red carpet event held at the Laemmle Theatres in Newhall, Square Zero Films filmmakers and NAACP Santa Clarita members celebrated the world premiere of the sports documentary “SCRUM.”
NAACP Santa Clarita, Square Zero Films Celebrate World Premiere of ‘SCRUM’
SCVNews.com
%d bloggers like this: