Just who owns the video of presidential debates? Up until this point, the TV networks that broadcast the events held the copyright to that footage and could post it online, monetize it in whatever way they wanted, and restrict usage by other folks. But Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig, a proponent of Creative Commons “copyleft” systems, started an online petition sent to the political parties asking them to demand that TV networks allow citizens to share that video, remix it, and view it online — as long as they give credit to the original source. So far, MSNBC has decided to restrict usage, while CNN says it will open up usage. Some people believe the American people deserve to have the right to comment on the debate and remix it at their whim, while others believe the networks have the right to restrict the video to their own websites. What do you think? Should the political parties demand free usage of the video before making agreements with networks? How far should open usage go in presidential debates, stump speeches and other political speech? Share your thoughts in the comments below and I’ll run the best ones in the next Your Take Roundup.
Should online video of presidential debates be free for public use and remix?
By Mark Glaser
May 7, 2007
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