SCOTUS to Consider if State Legal Texts May Be Copyrighted in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org
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SCOTUS to Consider if State Legal Texts May Be Copyrighted in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org

“Amici Curiae supporting Public.Resource.Org fear that if the Supreme Court sides with the State of Georgia, those unwilling or unable to purchase a subscription may be denied access to the state’s own explanation and analysis of the law in which the state’s citizens are expected to abide.” That an open government is inseparable from a free society is one of the basic tenets supporting American democracy. If people are to be ruled by laws, they have a fundamental right to access those laws. To that end, in 17 U.S.C. § 105 , the U.S. Copyright Office makes clear that binding and official government edicts may not be copyrighted. But are there limits to that access, or are there certain situations in which government edicts may, in fact, fall under the scope of copyright protection? The U.S. Supreme Court hopefully will provide some clarity on this issue when it hears the case Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc . in the upcoming term. The Bait is Set The dispute began when the State of Georgia (specifically, the Georgia Code Revision Commission, an arm of the General Assembly) contracted with the LexisNexis Group, a private company, to produce and publish an […]

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