Legislative audio, visual recordings spark First Amendment debate

An interesting piece from Talk Business, The Tolbert Report, Blue Hog Report and The City Wire discusses various First Amendment issues with a new policy taken up by the Legislature to limit the use of audio and visual recordings.

If you’ll recall, live streaming committee meetings caused a big controversy in the House with several representatives worried that only streaming certain rooms (and thus meetings) would provide an unbalanced view. The solution: Stream them all.

However, a new policy covers their butts by making it illegal (with possible criminal charges in the future) to use audio and visual content for commercial, and more importantly, partisan campaigning purposes.

“Website content shall not be used for any political, partisan, campaign or commercial purpose. ‘Commercial purpose’ in the context of this policy document shall mean a purpose that is intended to result in a profit or other tangible benefit.”

“Political, partisan, campaign…” Sort of comes with the territory, doesn’t it guys?

On the other hand, commendations to those publicly speaking against the policy due to First Amendment concerns.

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2 Responses to Legislative audio, visual recordings spark First Amendment debate

  1. James says:

    It sounds like those politicians don’t want their own words being used against them when it comes time for re-election. I personally think everything they do, excepting matters of security, should be open for anyone to use, whether it’s in a campaign against them or samples for the latest top 40 hit. We pay them, so how do they justify telling us we can’t benefit from their work?

  2. Admin says:

    I completely 100 percent agree. As taxpayers we have a right to know everything they do in the line of their public service within the government (with the exception of national security matters, as you pointed out).

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