Maine lawmakers consider copyrighting public meeting audio
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A little-known group of legislators in Maine is fearful of political groups twisting statements that lawmakers and the public make in committee hearings.
The lawmakers have spent the last year mulling what to do with mounting requests for audio recordings of such hearings. Republican Sen. Garrett Mason says it's not appropriate for members of the public to have their testimony recorded forever.
A Legislative Council committee is currently considering adding a copyright or disclaimer to the recordings to keep them from being used out of context. But critics called the idea self-serving and unprecedented.
In states like Wisconsin and Maine, public affairs broadcasters that stream legislative proceedings have prohibited the use of their material for commercial or political purposes.
C-SPAN once declined to sue over its footage used in Canadian political ads.