The story is a bit old in that the initial ruling was made in August. It involves a lawsuit filed by the city of Inglewood against Joseph Teixeira alleging copyright infringement. Teixeira used snippets from videos of the city council meetings to show the corruption in the city. The city sued claiming the city council meeting videos were copyright protected. A federal judge did not agree.
Last Thursday the same judge awarded Teixeira $117,000 in legal fees despite the fact he had a pro bono attorney. The general thought on this by those watching the case was that the judge was likely sending a message to Inglewood and any other jurisdiction that thinks it can stop citizen activists from spilling the beans about what is going on in local government.
This sounds similar to what some of our local officials have tried to do to citizen activists. It was Joe Brady who included this in a cc to me when I requested his Form 700 for the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees, a form he tried to keep from being given to me. It was nothing but a veiled threat and form of intimidation. And a false one at that in that I had to threaten an FPPC complaint because the college refused to give me the form.
I have been advised legally that if anything is EVER altered by the recipient of this document relative to this document or any information contained therein, that the appropriate legal measures will be immediately initated [sic]. The intent of the Form 700 is to be transparent (we are more than glad to cooperate as an elected official).
Other local officials have tried various means of trying to prevent citizens from photographing or videotaping official meetings, etc. Somehow they think the public does not have the right to access of those things paid for by the public.