Yesterday, I reported on a lawsuit filed by the family of the SeaWorld trainer who was tragically killed during a show. The family does not want video taken of the incident released to the public, but Florida’s open records law would seem to require that they be made available.
Today, Dan Solove blogs about the case over on Concurring Opinions. He seems to think the family has a good case. I’m not sure that I understand how the family even has standing to assert informational privacy claims over someone who is dead and who died publicly, but I think that SeaWorld has a good case to block dissemination. Keep in mind that the video in question is the property of SeaWorld and was taken by their own surveillance cameras. The video was reportedly provided to the state as materials to assist in their investigation (just as a news organization might cooperate by providing tape to investigators), so it’s not the same thing as autopsy photos where the photos (records) were created by the state itself. If news tapes provided to assist the state are generally exempt from the obligation to make copies under public records law, I would think the SeaWorld tape should be treated similarly. But then, I am not a lawyer. Dan is. Go read his analysis, here.