January 25, 2022

Report: 11th Circuit Court of Appeals Rules State of Georgia Cannot Copyright State Code Annotations

UPDATED October 23, 2018 Appeals Court Tells Georgia: State Code Can’t be Copyrighted (via EFF)

From Law360:

 The Eleventh Circuit ruled Friday that the state of Georgia cannot claim copyright ownership over annotations made to its official legal code, ruling that people should have “unfettered access to the legal edicts that govern their lives.”


The ruling is the second big appellate win this year for Public.Resource and founder Carl Malamud. In July, the group won a major ruling at the D.C. Circuit in a similar challenge to copyrights covering federal regulations that are created by private industry groups. That case is now being retried at a district court.

Direct to Complete Article (subs only)

Read the Complete Court Opinion (via CourtListener)
58 pages; PDF.

See Also: In-Depth Analysis: “Appeals Court Says Of Course Georgia’s Laws (Including Annotations) are Not Protected By Copyright And Free To Share” (via TechDirt)


Center For Democracy & Technology: “Paywall to Georgia’s State Legal Code a Broad Misapplication of Copyright Protections” (May 25, 2017)

Direct to Full Text of Amicus Brief (29 pages; PDF)

See Also: Library Copyright Alliance Joins Amicus Brief: Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.

See Also: Report: “U.S. Court Ruling Sparks Debate Over Access to Laws in the Digital Space” (Feb. 16, 2017)

See Also: Techdirt: “State Of Georgia Sues Carl Malamud For Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State’s Own Laws” (July 24, 2015)

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.