September 18, 2008

Faxon Track Opponent Cries Foul



A resident who opposes the mayor's plans for a track at Faxon Field has been ordered to remove videos on the issue from his personal Web site.

Quincy Access Television, the public-access cable group that produced the videos and ordered their removal, is claiming copyright infringement. The group's bylaws prohibit reproduction of videos that were filmed by the group's staff or with its equipment, as the videos in question were.

But Chris Chetwynd, the founder of the Parents for Pageant group, which opposes Mayor Thomas Koch's track plans, is arguing that politics were also at work. City Solicitor James Timmins, who is working on the track issue for the mayor, is on the cable group's board of directors.

Chetwynd's Web site promotes a track at Pageant Field, the location favored by former Mayor William Phelan, whom he supported in the November election. The videos are of school committee meetings in which the track was debated.

Chetwynd said he did not know he was violating any rules or laws when he taped the broadcasts, then downloaded them onto his Web site via YouTube. He said other groups have done similarly.

"I just think it's unfair for the city to try to silence that in such a technical way as copyright infringement," he said. "Give us the opportunity to at least spread information about the track so people can make their own decisions."

Timmins rebutted Chetwynd's statements.

He said Quincy Access Television staff members had not told him about Chetwynd's Web postings, but if they had, "I would have told them that he's got to remove them."

"That's kind of a uniformly applied regulation," he said of the bylaw against reproducing broadcasts.

Timmins cited several other cases of groups not being allowed to post the cable group's shows or being ordered to remove them. One of those cases occurred during the mayoral race: The Patriot Ledger wanted to post debate footage on its Web site.

Jennifer Mann may be reached at [email protected]

Originally published by By JENNIFER MANN, The Patriot Ledger.

(c) 2008 Patriot Ledger, The; Quincy, Mass.. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.