Can The President Be Copyrighted?

The extent to which copyright law plays a role in the increasingly divisive debate over politics and the media which reports on politics is exemplified by a new documentary focusing on the Iraq invasion. Filmmaker Robert Greenwald wanted to use a clip of President Bush ham-handedly defending the invasion on NBC’s Meet the Press, but his request was denied by NBC, which owns the content that goes out over its affiliate stations. But if networks can truly withhold such content from public use, the public persona of a president who chooses to hold very few public press conferences, and who speaks mainly in controlled (and copyrighted) settings is in serious danger of manipulation by the handful of companies that control Big Media.