Thursday, September 02, 2004

Pentagon censors video on openness

Pentagon edits open-records tape
Historic clips blocked, raising fears of censorship
Houston Chronicle

The training video, The People's Right to Know , included historic clips copyrighted by organizations that would not give permission to release them. Among the footage:

•The 1996 Olympics.
•The exploration of Titanic wreckage in 1986.
•Hank Aaron hitting his 714th home run in 1974.

The Pentagon censored some footage in public versions of a Humphrey Bogart-themed videotape that cost $70,500 to produce and was intended to teach government employees to respond to citizens' requests for information.

Parts of the training video, The People's Right to Know, were blacked out and replaced with the message, "copyrighted material removed for public viewing." Defense Department officials said they did so because they worried the government did not have legal rights to some historical footage that was included.

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