Carl Malamud has eloquently challenged C-SPAN president Brian Lamb to put its footage of Congressional hearings back into the public domain. His open letter concludes as follows:
Mr. Lamb, C-SPAN has been a pioneer in promoting a more open government. You created a grand bargain with the Cable Industry and the U.S. Congress. When I created the first radio station on the Internet and was asked why I did so as a non-profit instead of going for the gold like many of my colleagues, my reply has always been that I was inspired by your example.
Your grand bargain has served the American people and the C-SPAN organization well. Holding congressional hearings hostage is not in keeping with your charter, and it is not in keeping with the spirit of that grand bargain you made with the American people. Please re-release this material back into the public domain where it came from so that it will continue to make our public civic life richer.
Why should American taxpayers be forced to pay twice in order to monitor what goes on in the halls of Congress? By what right does C-SPAN put these archival materials behind a paywall? I join with Carl in saying: "Mr. Lamb, tear down this wall!"
Peter Saint-Andre > Journal