[Politech] Ethan Ackerman on DoD censoring video and copyright [ip]

From: Declan McCullagh (declan@private)
Date: Tue Sep 07 2004 - 09:59:09 PDT

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: [Politech]  Pentagon censors  video [ip] - forgets their 
own rules in doing so.
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2004 21:49:58 -0400
From: Ethan Ackerman <eackerma@private>
Reply-To: <eackerma@private>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@private>

Greetings Declan,
for Politech, if you wish.

Defense Federal Acquisition Regulations (DFARS) govern DoD contracting, and
generally require that all contractors either transfer copyright in their
works or grant the govt. an expansive license in the works that includes
rights to redistribute or re-use.

(Software is one of several exceptions, which is why those few people who
actually read clickwrap license sometimes see language about
'notwithstanding DFARS regulation xxx.yy para. zz'...)

So what it sounds like is the Army attorney hasn't thought yet of its own
acquisitions regulations, is seizing on a convenient obfuscating
opportunity, or this is an example of govt. admitting it didn't follow its
own procurement rules...

(good DFARS licensing explanation, if only the links would work, at:
http://www.dtic.mil/cendi/publications/04-8copyright.html#43 )

DOJ's previous advice on how copyright law is generally NOT a reason to deny
a FOIA request:


-----Original Message-----
From: politech-bounces@private
[mailto:politech-bounces@private]On Behalf Of Declan McCullagh
Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 2004 8:00 PM
To: politech@private
Subject: [Politech] Whoops! Pentagon censors "right to know" video [ip]

"We knew it would be embarrassing," said Suzanne Council of the Army
Office of the Chief Attorney, which gave advice to censor the scenes
because of copyright concerns.

The Army lawyer, Council, said her law staff recently asked the
organizations again for their permission and were denied. "We couldn't
get approval; we did our darnedest," she said.

Legal experts challenged the Pentagon's refusal to release the entire
video, arguing it was improper under the Freedom of Information Act -
the subject of the videotape itself - for the government to withhold
records because they include copyrighted material.

The video lists reasons for withholding government documents under
U.S. law but does not mention copyright. It cites seven categories of
information that can be withheld, including classified documents and
"trade secrets and commercial and financial information given by
companies in their bids for contracts."

----- End forwarded message -----
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