The United States Law Week

No Copyright for Annotated Laws in Georgia: Appeals Court (1)

Oct. 19, 2018, 6:17 PMUpdated: Oct. 19, 2018, 9:13 PM

The state of Georgia can’t claim copyright to the notes, commentary, and other research references that appear as annotations to its state laws, a federal appeals court said.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Oct. 19 sided with Public.Resource.Org. Inc., a nonprofit that distributes public domain information. The state sued Public Resource after it published the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA).

The decision, which applied a 130-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling, clarifies who qualifies as an author who can create a copyrightable work. It also implicates concerns about public access to legal information.

Both sides agreed...

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