Report: “U.S. Court Ruling Sparks Debate Over Access to Laws in the Digital Space”
It seems like a given that the public should have easy access to any laws that govern it. But as digital technology has redefined what constitutes access and ease, the idea has become increasingly complicated.
This debate was at the center of a recent court ruling that questioned whether technical standards created by private entities and incorporated into law can be copyrighted. The answer, as passed down by a U.S. District Court, was indeed they can, and anyone who subsequently posts them online is committing a copyright violation.
This ruling was issued Thursday, Feb. 2 by U.S. District Court Judge Tanya S. Chutkan of Washington, D.C., in a lawsuit brought against Public.Resource.Org, a site dedicated to the promotion of free municipal, state and federal legal codes. The plaintiffs in the case were a group of standard development organizations responsible for underwriting technical standards about building safety, product specifications and other consumer interests.
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See Also: “Public.Resource.org Files Countersuit as “Georgia’s Legal Battle with Public Records Advocate Deepens” (September 16, 2015)
See Also: “State Of Georgia Sues Carl Malamud For Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State’s Own Laws” (July 24, 2015)
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.