Oregon once again claims that law is copyrighted

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,

Boing Boing readers may remember a year ago when the great State of Oregon asserted copyright over the Oregon Revised Statutes, sending take-down notices prohibiting reuse by Justia and Public.Resource.Org. In a shining example of democracy, the legislature held hearings, heard us out, and unanimously waived copyright on the laws. The results of opening up the law were pretty spectacularly demonstrated when a 2nd-year law student, Robb Shecter, created the beautiful OregonLaws.Org (compare to the official site for a night and day look).

Well, those copyright assertions are back, this time by the Attorney General, who asserted ownership over the (for real!) Attorney General's Public Record and Public Meeting Manual. I spent last week in Oregon meeting with law school faculty and giving lectures at 3 universities on the topic of who owns the law.

The results have been compiled into a formal pleading which we are submitting to the Attorney General for his consideration. He seems like a good guy, and we've asked him to issue an official Attorney General Opinion on when the state may assert copyright, covering not only his Public Meeting manual, but also the Secretary of State's Administrative Rules, the Fire Marshall's Fire Code, and the Building Codes. We have quite a few of those documents already on line, so there is an actual issue on the table and we're hoping he'll do the research and make a ruling.

The Oregon Question

(Thanks, Carl!)