BP's Tatics in Cape Vincent Ny

Thursday, February 26, 2015

NYS Committee on Open Government Department of State responds to my inquiry concerning the video taping of public meetings

I recently requested an opinion from the NYS Committee on Open Government (Coog)
Department of State concerning an issue that came up concerning posting videos of public meetings on the Internet. Below is a copy of my email exchange between me and the Coog.


NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
One Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue, Suite 650
Albany, NY 12231

Mr. Freeman,
I have an issue concerning videotaping public meetings.
I posted two video clips from a Town of Alexandria town board meeting on the Internet.
One of a private citizen addressing the public, and a response to him from the executive director of the local land trust.
The resident has asked me to remove the videos from my website implying that I have done something wrong. He took issue with the the segments I chose to post and the titles of my videos etc...  In support of his request that I remove the videos he cited the opinion of “a client of his who is a lawyer.”
I have spoken to you in the past about these same issues when I was living in Cape Vincent,NY , and normally I would not be seeking your comments on this same issue,  however  I took this person’s comments to me regarding the opinion of “a client of his who is a lawyer.”  as a veiled  threat.  
So the question is, is it legal to record private citizens speaking at public meetings ,and then posting segments of the meeting on the Internet ?

Kathryn Muschell
Wellesley Island, Ny

NYS Committee on Open Government (Coog) Response to my inquiry

Dear Ms. Muschell:

It has been held that anyone may record an open meeting, so long as the use of the recording device is not obtrusive or disruptive.  Once the recording is made, you may do with it as you see fit.  Attached is an opinion that refers to two judicial decisions that deal directly with the issue that you raised. In both decisions, it was held that if a person speaks during an open meeting and is recorded, again, a person who records or gains access to a recording prepared by a government agency is unrestricted in relation to the use or distribution of the recording.  Please feel free to share the opinion, again, as you see fit!

A second copy will be sent separately.

I hope that I have been of assistance.


Screen shot of original emails below

The document below was sent to me via email  by the NYS Committee on Open Government

Department of State in  response to my inquiry

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's time that children learn to play by the rules and that there are consequences to their behavior.