Questions Raised About WA Free Beacon’s Use of Hillary Tapes
The documents in question are in the linked article.
Documents obtained by Business Insider on Friday raise several questions about inconsistencies in claims that The Washington Free Beacon has made about being barred from accessing special collections in the University of Arkansas library after publishing stories critical of Hillary Clinton.
The Free Beacon, a conservative news site, used tapes from the library’s archives to publish a pair of stories about Clinton. Both of those stories were written by Free Beacon reporter Alana Goodman. One of the stories, published June 15, featured tapes of Clinton, a former lawyer, describing her 1975 defense of a man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl. On June 17, University of Arkansas Dean of Libraries Carolyn Henderson Allen sent a letter to Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti informing him the site’s “research privileges” at the school’s library would be “suspended” because the Free Beacon published the tapes without requesting permission from the university as required of library patrons.
Allen accused the Free Beacon of engaging in an “ongoing violation of the intellectual property rights of the University of Arkansas” by publishing the tapes without authorization. On June 19, the Free Beacon responded with a letter to Allen from Kurt Wimmer, an attorney representing the site. Allen countered that the library was “illegally prohibit(ing) the Free Beacon from accessing public records solely because you disagree with the material that the Free Beacon published.” In his letter, Wimmer said the Clinton tapes were provided to the site “without any condition.”
“Your staff provided the recordings to the Free Beacon without any condition, apprised the Free Beacon of no ‘policies’ limiting their dissemination, and required no agreement to be signed prior to receiving them. You now assert that the Free Beacon violated the ‘policies of Special Collections,’ yet you fail to quote or cite these ‘policies,’ or explain how they bind my client,” Wimmer wrote. “You mention a ‘permission to publish form,’ but the Free Beacon never signed this form, nor has it ever agreed to sign it. Your staff unconditionally provided the audio recordings to the Free Beacon and the Free Beacon did not agree to any restrictions on their use. Therefore, the Free Beacon was free to publish this information, and continues to be free to do so.”
However, documents provided to Business Insider by the University of Arkansas indicate there were several conditions surrounding the release of tapes from the library to the Free Beacon. The library said they were able to provide information about the Free Beacon’s research because the site waived privacy rights.