After the Marines Corps refused to release Beyoncé’s vocal tracks from a nationally televised performance, I filed a request for the processing notes. What I found: B truly is a law unto herself.
The request asked for the processing notes regarding the alleged exempt status of Beyoncé’s back up tracks, which were reportedly recorded by the US Marine Corps Marching band and played during the presidential inauguration.
From the correspondence chain below, the reason seems legitimate: the recording was actually made by Beyoncé’s people - not the Marine Corps band - and since she was not remunerated for her performance it would not be a work for hire (pretty much every FOIA lawyer I spoke to sided with her here).
But even though the Marine Corps released Beyoncé’s name in their initial response, and even though Beyoncé performed for a national television audience, releasing her name in response to this second request was considered an undue privacy violation, and so throughout the response, she’s simply marked as the fitting (b)(6):
So with that, I admit defeat: the Freedom of Information Act Does Not Apply to Beyoncé.
Image by Tony Duran via Wikimedia Commons and is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0