Congress agrees: the law can't be copyrighted

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "On Tuesday, the House Judiciary Committee held a 3-hour hearing on revisions to the U.S. Copyright Act. I was surprised and gratified by the number of Members of Congress who stood up and forcefully endorsed the principle that the law belongs to the people. It was a bipartisan show of force and gave me real hope."

The OpenGov Foundation put together a number of key quotes from the hearing or you can watch the whole hearing on C-SPAN. There is also a nice YouTube Playlist that has most of the segments relating to the "edicts of government" topic.

In addition to the question of the right of citizens to read the law and speak the law, the hearing featured a spirited discussion of the question of the broadcast right (featuring EFF Pioneer Award winner Jamie Love) and the topic of file sharing, which featured the eminent expert David Nimmer (author of the treatise "Nimmer on Copyright") and Professor Lunney of Tulane University.

In my testimony, I asked the Committee to consider an Edicts of Government Amendment, which would codify long-standing Copyright Office Policy that says the laws by which we live may not be subject to copyright restrictions, be they court opinions, regulations, statutes, or the public safety laws on which our modern society depends.

US Reps: Congress Must Address Copyright-Restricted Laws, Legal Codes & Standards (Thanks, Carl!)