Public Facility, Official Proceeding. Who Should Profit?

 People vs. Simpson haiku I wrote twenty years ago today:

TV copyright.

Does someone own the signal?

The court should profit.


The trial judge, Lance Ito, after hearing that CNN is selling a video package of the preliminary hearing, asked court staff to explore ways the court could reap some of the profit broadcasters were making covering the trial.

This was an idea taken up by Los Angeles County officials who formed a task force to look into ways that the county could reap some of the revenue or find a way to generate revenue from the media coverage of  the Simpson case. Their reasoning was that given that the media had free access to public facilities, was using electricity free of charge, and their overwhelming presence was costing the county a great deal of money in security services, and not just when court was in session. Because the criminal courts supervising judge had arranged for the media to set up a large area in the courthouse as their operations center. The county very much wanted to find some way to recoup some of that expense.

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