Remember that 4th of July post about the US Marine Corps Band’s dubious (albeit inadvertent) chilling of access to public domain material with scary-sounding—and entirely made-up—restrictions? Well as it turns out, the Band isn’t the only piece of the federal government trying to illicitly tack on fake, copyright-esque limits onto public domain works.
Imagine you’re in charge of promoting your community’s 4th of July parade this weekend, and are making a video to spread the word. Naturally you’re looking for patriotic music. You know that Stars and Stripes Forever is old enough to be in the public domain, so all you need is a performance of the song also in the public domain. Fortunately, you’re pretty sure recordings produced by US government bands are in the public domain. But when you visit the US Marine Band’s website, you read otherwise.
Last week, Public Knowledge’s Senior Staff Attorney Jodie Griffin testified before the Senate Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet in Washington. In a hearing entitled “Preserving Public Safety and Network Reliability in the IP Transition,” Jodie drove home the necessity of the fundamental values of the phone network carrying over to new technologies, as the IP transition moves forwards and underlying technologies continue to evolve in new and exciting directions.
On June 5, as part of the Reset the Net campaign, major online companies including Reddit, Google, Yahoo, Twitter, and more implemented that same encryption standard on their websites – Public Knowledge among them. This campaign is in response to the one-year anniversary of the first publication of Edward Snowden’s discoveries about U.S. surveillance.