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Inglewood

These Are The Videos Inglewood’s Mayor is Suing to Suppress

12:00 PM PDT on August 3, 2015

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    Inglewood Mayor James T. Butts is clearly not familiar with "The Streisand Effect," but he's about to be. The Streisand effect is when an attempt to hide or censor a piece of information has the exact opposite effect, and instead results in publicizing the information online far more than it ever would have been if the attempt to shut it down had not been made. It's named after Barbra Streisand's ill-fated attempt to suppress aerial photographer of her coastal mansion in Malibu.

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    Back to Mayor Butts, who has convinced the city of Inglewood to file a Federal lawsuit against city resident Joseph Teixeira for refusing to take down videos that criticize Butts and the city government. An original takedown notice was served in November, but the video's creator has so far refused to remove his work from YouTube.

    As of today, the eight videos, which are often inflammatory and use slow motion video combined with generic suspenseful music, have less than 5,000 total views. It seems unlikely that many of Inglewood's residents have ever seen the videos or have even heard of them, but that could be about to change as major news outlets pick up the lawsuit story.

    All of the videos combine clips from publically-available YouTube videos of city council meetings along with Teixeira's voiceover comments, along with references to news articles and other media. The last video 10 months ago, as their creator awaits the status of the lawsuit.

    The L.A. Times reports today that:

    The city is seeking unspecified "actual damages stemming from the defendant's unauthorized exploitation of the city's copyrighted videos," according to the nine-page complaint filed by Inglewood's attorney, JoAnna M. Esty, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

    Such lawsuits are rare because under California public records law governments generally cannot claim ownership of public documents. Even if Inglewood could copyright its meeting videos, fair-use law grants broad rights to use copyrighted material without permission, said Eugene Volokh, a law professor at UCLA Law School.

    Below are some more examples of the videos that Butts and the city of Inglewood want removed. You can see all the videos here.

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