City Can’t Use Copyright To Censor Critical Videos–Inglewood v. Teixeira

25 08 2015

Joseph Teixeira lives in Inglewood, California, and he’s not a fan of Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts, Jr. (In a sign of remarkable judicial restraint, the judge doesn’t crack a single “butt” joke or pun). Teixeira blogs his objections about the Inglewood City Council and Mayor Butts at and posts YouTube videos under the pseudonym “Dehol Trouth” (although Seymour Butts seems like it would have been an appropriate pseudonym too). At issue are 6 videos posted by Teixeira, where he used portions of videos of Inglewood City Council meetings to prepare his own videos criticizing the mayor and the city council. In my world, gripe videos are a known hazard of having a glamorous political job. To Inglewood, it’s an egregious copyright violation.

Are the City Council Videos Copyrightable?

17 USC 105 says that materials prepared by the federal government aren’t copyrightable, but nothing in the Copyright Act otherwise prohibits other government actors from claiming copyright protection for the works they prepare.


Case citation: City of Inglewood v. Teixeira, CV–15–01815–MWF (C.D. Cal. August 20, 2015)

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