Monday, 5 May 2008

Oregon claims the Oregon Revised Statutes are copyrighted

Lawyers for the state of Oregon are accusing online legal publisher Justia of copyright infringement for publishing the Oregon state code on the Justia website. Oregon's Legislative Counsel Committee sent Justia cease-and-desist letter accusing them of copyright infringement. The Justia website makes laws, regulations and legal decisions freely available online. Oregon does not claim a copyright in the "text of the law itself," but rather in "the arrangement and subject-matter compilation" of the law, Legislative Counsel Dexter Johnson says in an April 7 letter to Tim Stanley, chief executive officer of The letter advised Justia that it may link to the law on the state's own Web site, or it must pay for a license to publish it.
Sam Bayard of the Citizen Media Law Project blogs that "it looks extremely suspect (for Oregon) to claim (intellectual property) rights in the overall organizational structure and the numbering for each statutory section."
Hat tip: Valerie Weis

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