by: Jodie Fleischer Updated:
Critics are questioning a local politician who now says he owns the copyright to a video that was produced with $10,000 of taxpayer money.
"It's paid for with taxpayer
Channel 2 Action News investigative reporter Jodie Fleischer obtained a copy of an invoice showing Georgia's Department of Education paid $10,000 to Georgia Public Broadcasting for the video's production.
During the credits of the 15-minute video, a copyright in the name of
"If it's in the public domain and the public paid for it and it's for the public, why have any copyright on it?" Fleischer asked Cardoza.
"That's just not right," said William Perry of the watchdog group Common Cause Georgia, adding that if the public paid for the video, the copyright should belong to the public as well.
"I think as soon as somebody goes on and views it and sees a copyright, they're not going to feel like they can use it," Perry said. "They're going to have to seek permission in order to do that, so it's probably a deterrent."
There is a link for the video on Georgia Public Broadcasting's education site. But when you click the link,
Members of the the public can access the video on YouTube, and with a direct video link on Georgia Public Broadcasting's website, but only if they know to search for it.
When Fleischer first inquired about the video's ownership with Georgia's Department of Education, the video was missing from its website altogether. It has since been added as a recommended part of the Constitution Day curriculum.
"We spent money, and he spent time and the development of it," said
Loudermilk said because he and his children were not paid for their time writing and casting the video, they legally hold the copyright, not the Department of Education. He said they are going to use the copyright to protect the video.
"We didn't want anyone to go in there and try to change what was in it, and also wanted to make sure no one went out and used it for profit," Loudermilk said. "We want this available, we want it out there."
Loudermilk added that his family and non-profit have never charged anyone to use the video and will continue to allow access to the video for educational purposes.
"I think it's ridiculous that someone's trying to make a political issue out of something that doesn't exist," he said.