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Professor Posts "Illegal Copy" of Guide To Oregon Public Record Laws 318

Posted by timothy
from the hey-man-I-paid-for-that dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Copyright law has previously been used by some states to try to prevent people from passing around copies of their own government's laws. But in a new level of meta-absurdity, the attorney general of Oregon is claiming copyright over a state-produced guide to using public-records laws. That isn't sitting well with one frequent user of the laws, who has posted a copy of the guide to his website and is daring the AG to respond. The AG, who previously pledged to improve responses to public-records requests, has not responded yet." The challenger here is University of Oregon Professor Bill Harbaugh.
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Professor Posts "Illegal Copy" of Guide to Oregon Public Record Laws

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  • by afidel (530433) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @03:52PM (#29445131)
    How can the law which every citizen expected to comply with be allowed to exist under Copyright? How can keeping us from copying the law possibly be an advancement of the sciences and useful arts? Once it becomes law it is no longer a creative work and is now a fact, a fact which is by its very nature that which least deserves to be kept from the public.
    • by Pinckney (1098477) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @03:54PM (#29445165)
      Note that Oregon isn't AFAIK claiming copyright over their laws. The text in question is not the laws, but rather a book to explain the law. However, they can be understood without it.
      • Does not fly (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mollog (841386)
        Nope, not buying it. Especially if it pertains to public policy. Any legal description, guide, index, or other derivative document of law should, by its implied use, be public domain.
        • Re:Does not fly (Score:5, Insightful)

          by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:29PM (#29445695)

          Nope, not buying it. Especially if it pertains to public policy. Any legal description, guide, index, or other derivative document of law should, by its implied use, be public domain.

          You are welcome to lobby Congress to incorporate that radical provision into copyright law, but I don't think its going to fly. If you restrict it to those when "created by a public entity", you might have a tiny bit better luck, as without that your proposal would deny copyright to privately written legal texts, etc. (Anyhow, rather than exceptions to copyright to the work based on its "implied use", why wouldn't you just create an exception to the exclusive rights of copyright based on the actual use as, essentially, an extension to the existing Fair Use rule? That seems to me to be more sensible.)

          But, at any rate, that's not the law as it stands, so even granting (for the sake of argument only) that your proposal ought to be the law, it isn't the law, and so isn't a convincing argument for why this work would be outside the scope of copyright under the law today.

          • Re:Does not fly (Score:4, Informative)

            by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@yBLUEahoo.com minus berry> on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:51PM (#29446059) Homepage Journal

            It's the law for federal documents. None of them are copyrightable.
            I would be surprised in this would actually hold up in court, or even go to court becasue what started this and the fact that the assistant is involved in a case the AG is trying to cover up. If they take this to court, not only are they likely to lose* but facts about the other case will come out.

            *based on other city agency tnhat ahve to give out public information.
            check out Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR)6

            http://www.cendi.gov/publications/04-8copyright.html [cendi.gov]

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by DragonWriter (970822)

              It's the law for federal documents. None of them are copyrightable.

              But not because the logic you posited in GGP regarding "implied use" is incorporated law, but because federal government works themselves are expressly and specifically excluded from copyright.

      • by samcan (1349105) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:00PM (#29445261)

        U.S. government works are automatically public domain. Shouldn't state government materials be the same way?

        The latest absurdity to come out of my home state. (The first was yesterday [slashdot.org].) And I thought Kroger was a good guy, for a Democrat.

        • U.S. government works are automatically public domain. Shouldn't state government materials be the same way?

          Maybe they should be. You are free to lobby your state government to create a law dedicating every state-created work which would be subject to copyright to the public domain.

          Personally, I think copyright protection can often be useful to states, though I'd like to see states recognize that, given the fact they aren't private entities competing for profit that benefit by imposing costs on other entiti

        • U.S. government works are automatically public domain. Shouldn't state government materials be the same way?

          I certainly think so. However, keep in mind that nothing happens without some lobbyist pushing for it. There are entire companies of lawyers who do nothing but write and update "model" codes and "modernized" statutes and push them on state legislatures. The original product is copyrighted under federal law, so when it is adopted by the state, can the state "steal" that copyright? Well, so-called so

        • by painandgreed (692585) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:53PM (#29446939)

          And I thought Kroger was a good guy, for a Democrat.

          There are no good guys in politics. They merely use those labels to cut down the number of people yelling at them by half.

          • There are no good guys in politics. They merely use those labels [Democrat, Republican] to cut down the number of people yelling at them by half.

            Now I clearly see the benefit of a two-party system. If you had, say, six parties, the politicians would have five sixths of the electorate yelling at them instead of only one half.

        • by Clandestine_Blaze (1019274) * on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @05:59PM (#29446999) Journal

          U.S. government works are automatically public domain. Shouldn't state government materials be the same way?

          I agree - anything I produce while on the clock at work enters a murky domain where the people paying me can claim that they are the new owners. Any work done on taxpayer funds should belong to the public. At any rate, Oregon is not gaining anything by copyrighting their "Guide to Oregon Public Record Laws".

      • by afidel (530433)
        This particular instance might not actually be the law but there are plenty of instances where standardized laws have been written by trade groups and then implemented by multiple states, if you look for a copy of the law it says see publication xyz which you can't find a copy of without spending $$$ for because it's under copyright. It's all the same mentality where the government thinks it's ok to keep things to themselves, it's absolutely not. If this was the work product of that agency then it was paid
      • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:06PM (#29445339) Journal

        Even if I bought your explanation, the book was produced by Oregon taxpayers so it the copyright holder is *them* not the AG who is just an employee of the taxpayer. QED the book should be freely-copyable by the people who paid the bill (Oregonians).

        • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @07:21PM (#29448017)

          Even if I bought your explanation, the book was produced by Oregon taxpayers so it the copyright holder is *them* not the AG who is just an employee of the taxpayer. QED the book should be freely-copyable by the people who paid the bill (Oregonians).

          That makes about as much sense as saying that if you own a share of Microsoft stock, Microsoft can't enforce its copyrights against you, since the employee (even if an executive) attempting to do so on behalf of the corporation is really just your employee.

          There is nothing saying that the people of the State of Oregon, through the mechanism they have elected for self-government, couldn't adopt a policy that directs that all state citizens are automatically granted royalty-free licenses to all state-owned copyrights for all purposes so long as they remain citizens of the State. But, as far as I can tell, they have not chosen to do so.

      • by QuantumRiff (120817) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:27PM (#29445661)

        Even more Ironic: Many of these came about due to complaints from the media, caused by one School district.

        A few years ago, the publicly elected board of a very small rural school district in southern Oregon decided to investigate some reports of fraud, embezzlement, unfair contract favoritism, and lots of other nasty allegations about some employees at the school. Not the teachers, but, if I remember right, the food service, facilities, etc. So the board hired someone they liked to investigate. (He happened to also be the school board's lawyer). So he did his investigation, and when they did the presentation to the board, they kicked everyone out of the room, chatted for a few minutes, and let everyone back in.. then the board said "there was nothing in the report that showed any truth the rumors". So people asked to see the damn report. And the board claimed it was Attorney client privilege under state of Oregon law, which is not available under the open records laws.

        Basically, the Gist of why every newspaper and TV channel (and a bunch of citizens) were filing objections, was the district was arguing that even if they pay a lawyer to do anything for the district (even write a book report) that could be considered client-attorney privilege, if the board decides.

        Well, that and the people were pissed that the Small school district, that had huge money problems, had a roof collapse in a school they couldn't afford to fix, etc.. spent huge amounts of money, appealing rulings too keep secret a report paid for with tax payer dollars, about how tax payer dollars were potentially being abused. (I don't miss living in the small towns)
        http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A126655.htm [state.or.us]

      • by poetmatt (793785)

        Per the article considering their rationale for charging for it is that "only a truly elite group of people want, and to "cover costs of publishing", it's noted that PACER is supposed to be free as well, which is also law documentation.

        So considering that the book charges for nothing, it's noted that it would be a legitimate government cost to ask the government to fund cost of any copies of the book requested and to provide it freely as they would any other book upon which is the basis of law.

        Or they could

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by ZekoMal (1404259)
      This is part of the massive conspiracy to eventually make all citizens criminals by default. To alleviate the problem, all citizens will have to go to some form of re-education at a young age to receive a certificate that deems them non-criminals. Or something. Really, I think it's just a way for them to say we're all law-breakers, then not let us see what law it is. Our Kangaroo Courts will throw more people into jail faster if you remove the "why" part of "Guilty!".
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bennomatic (691188)
        I read that book. Something about a new testimony or something. What I learned is that we're all sinners.
      • by ZackSchil (560462)

        You just described the basis for nearly every major religion.

    • The question here is not whether he can post the laws themselves; that has already been tried and failed. He is posting a copyrighted guide to the laws.
      • I know, don't reply to yourself, but I screwed up. I meant to say that copyrighting the laws has been tried and failed.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        He is posting a copyrighted guide to the laws.

        Which was paid for by the taxpayers. Why is it copyrightable again?

      • by Hadlock (143607)

        Who wrote the guide (i.e. who paid for it to be written), and who owns the copyright?

    • First of all, I have an issue with the government copyrighting anything. If the government created it, it is public domain, right?

      If there is some issue of value of a property, then the government needs to sell the property to a private party. But the concept of the government blocking access to legal documents such as text of laws, records and minutes of meetings, etc., blows my mind. That AG needs to be sued.
      • by sdpuppy (898535)
        Exactly.

        If I write software to solve a problem in my company, it belongs to my company, I can't go out and copyright it.

        The only reason for a copyright would be to prevent someone else to take it and claim it as their own works, and to prevent anyone from preventing free distribution of this document.

        So besides jumping up and down pointing a finger and crying plagiarism, what else is to prevent a scoundrel from doing this?

    • by Shagg (99693) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @03:58PM (#29445223)

      I thought the government wasn't allowed to hold a copyright. Content that is created by the government (IE, with public funding) is automatically public domain. That's spelled out in copyright law, isn't it?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        I know it is spelled out for the Fed, but I'm not sure it is so for the States. Each State is a semi-independant entity, and copyright law may have left that in the hands of each state. This attitude is common in the Constitution.

        Any experts out there that can clarify?

        • by Shagg (99693)

          You're probably right. I think it'd Fed only.

          IMO, it should apply to states as well though.

    • by sukotto (122876) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:23PM (#29445605)

      There's precedent for this. Gilmore v. Ashcroft ( http://cryptome.org/freetotravel.htm [cryptome.org] ) shows that the government doesn't even have to let you read the law.
      Copying is a subset of reading. So if they can stop you from reading the law, they can certainly stop you from copying the law.

    • by erroneus (253617)

      This is so very true. In this case, it is merely the interpretation and application of the law that is "creative."

  • Shoot him. (Score:2, Insightful)

    Huh. That subject line just popped-up automatically in Firefox. That's kinda scary. ----- Anyway normally I'd say "fire the employee" but since there's no way for the citizens to fire Oregon's General Attorney, the only other option is to exercise the Founders' Constitutionally protected right to revolt. (amendment two)

    As the founder of the Democractic Party observed: "When the people fear government, there is tyranny. When the government functionaries fear the people, then there is liberty." - Thom

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by JoshuaZ (1134087)

      Huh. That subject line just popped-up automatically in Firefox. That's kinda scary. ----- Anyway normally I'd say "fire the employee" but since there's no way for the citizens to fire Oregon's General Attorney, the only other option is to exercise the Founders' Constitutionally protected right to revolt. (amendment two)

      The attorney general of Oregon is an elected position. So he can be voted out of office at the next election. Even if the position were not elected but appointed one could vote out of office the governor who appointed him. Also, the second amendment never gives you any Constitutionally protected right to revolt. It gives a right to keep arms.

      • by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

        Also, the second amendment never gives you any Constitutionally protected right to revolt. It gives a right to keep arms.

        And when they put that in the Bill of Rights, the country had just fought a revolutionary war for their independance from England, with an army made up of regular joe citizens.

        I'll tell you one thing they were NOT thinking about when they put that in, and that's hunting. Care to guess what their reasoning may have been for making that provision manditory for the ratification of the Constitution, so soon after overthrowing an oppressive government?

        If you guess the ultimate right of the citizenry to overthro

      • Re:Shoot him. (Score:5, Informative)

        by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:35PM (#29445811) Journal

        Well it's standard legal procedure when reviewing laws to go back and discover the "original intent" of the men who authored the law. Let's see what the authors behind the Second Amendment said about it - "On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." (Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, June 12, 1823)

        .

        "The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed..... for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive. " ---Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution (Philadelphia 1787).

        During the Massachusetts ratifying convention William Symmes warned that the new government at some point "shall be too firmly fixed in the saddle to be overthrown by anything but a general insurrection."

        "O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone...Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation...inflicted by those who had no power at all?" and "nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined." - Patrick Henry

        "When the resolution of enslaving America was formed in Great Britain, the British Parliament was advised by an artful man, who was governor of Pennsylvania, to disarm the people; that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them." - George Mason

        "And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms....The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants" - future founder of the Democratic Party, Thomas Jefferson in a letter to William S. Smith in 1787

        And last but certainly not least:

        "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people," from the Constitution itself -AND- "Whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness" from the 1776 Declaration of Independence

        Aside -

        I'm sorry if these pro-liberty, pro-revolutionary viewpoints are inconvenient for your pro-big-government view. I don't mean offense. I mean to educate.

      • by Psyborgue (699890)

        Also, the second amendment never gives you any Constitutionally protected right to revolt. It gives a right to keep arms.

        Not explicitly but it's implicit if you consider what else the founders wrote and the context in which the 2nd amendment was written. The purpose is for defense of the individual. That includes defense from an oppressive state.

      • by Psyborgue (699890)
        Context: "That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it," And in that point in time "abolish" meant war against the current government. Clearly the founding fathers gave us guns for more than just protection from fellow citizens.
        • by JoshuaZ (1134087)
          The Constitution does not give any right to break the system. That there may be an overarching philosophical right to do so if certain problems arise is a different claim. The Founders thought that there were circumstances where revolt was the only reasonable course of action. They didn't give a Constitutional protection to revolt for fairly obvious reasons.
          • by Psyborgue (699890)

            They didn't give a Constitutional protection to revolt for fairly obvious reasons.

            Among which is that it really doesn't need to be stated. What they did do is make sure it was possible.

      • P.S.

        Yes I agree voting Oregon's General Attorney* is probably the best course to follow. The problem is that people so rarely get voted-out, its essentially a powerless threat. "Please drop this nonsense or we'll vote you out of office mister!" See? It just doesn't work. He won't get voted out and neither will most of the other bums. It's an ineffectual threat.

        *
        * I'm English, not French. The adjective goes in *front* of the noun, not behind it.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Bigjeff5 (1143585)

          That's funny, because the term originated in England, not France. Y'all only have yourselves to blame for a brief, shamefull period of wanting to be just like the French.

          We Americans generally put the adjective first also, but we frankly don't care all that much one way or another. Besides, the plural of Attorney General, Attorneys General, is just fun to say.

  • Instead of paying $25, which helps to recoup the costs of making a book that's almost exclusively used by law firms, or possibly directly challenging the validity of the copyright in court, he takes the passive-aggressive route and posts copyrighted material on the internet for free.

    Whether he happens to be right or wrong, there's no way he's going to win.

    • by NotBornYesterday (1093817) * on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:09PM (#29445373) Journal

      passive-aggressive

      Or you could call it civil disobedience. He is deliberately calling out the AG so he can hopefully win without the trouble, time, and expense of a court fight.

      • by Psyborgue (699890)

        passive-aggressive

        Or you could call it civil disobedience. He is deliberately calling out the AG so he can hopefully win without the trouble, time, and expense of a court fight.

        Yup. I think people should join in. 10 people doing it is a lot stronger than one. I've already mirrored a copy [michaelcra...tfolio.com]. If you have web space, why not join in.

        • "And if 10, 10 people, marched into the Oregon AG's office, sang a bar of 'Alice's Restaurant' and walked out, well, they might think it was a movement."
    • by digitalunity (19107) <digitalunity@yah ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:14PM (#29445433) Homepage

      Actually, yeah he stands a good chance of winning. The AG would have to be insane to put this in front of a judge, as he would likely be dismissed quickly.

    • by iamhigh (1252742)
      First, we are talking about a book produced by the state to help lawyers understand the enigmatic laws of the state. That is sad enough. Now I don't like passive-aggressive actions, but the only other options are to pay for something that should be unnecessary and public domain, or to try to follow the laws and get it changed through direct challenge of these laws that are apparently so difficult to understand, therefore requiring you to purchase this book anyways.
    • by Uberbah (647458)

      Oh, we got it straight, alright: you're a tool.

    • He can't challenge the validity in court unless he is harmed by the law - he has to have standing to sue. If he gets sued now, he can bring up the issues.
    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:44PM (#29445929)

      Instead of paying $25, which helps to recoup the costs of making a book that's almost exclusively used by law firms, or possibly directly challenging the validity of the copyright in court, he takes the passive-aggressive route and posts copyrighted material on the internet for free.

      Usually, you don't have standing to challenge a claim of copyright in court unless (these are illustrative rather than exhaustive):
      (1) You are the actual creator of the work, and the claim of copyright is itself therefore an actionable violation of your rights, or
      (2) The purported copyright holder is suing you for violating the copyright, and you are interposing the invalidity of the copyright as a reason you shouldn't be held liable.

      "Someone else made a bogus claim of a legal right" is not, generally, itself a cause of action on which you can prevail in court. If it were, the courts would be even more clogged than they are now.

      What you call the "passive-aggressive" route -- violating a right that someone claims they have and challenging them to enforce it -- is a common way of challenging a legal claim, since it puts the person making the claim in the position of publicly backing down or filing a suit in which you can challenge the validity of the claim.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      um, if he goes to court, he is in all likelihood going to win.
      This is why the AG has said he's not going to pursue.

    • Oh, I think he will win. If by nothing else than by being left alone.

      In my experience, people who try to 'bully' you with a threat of litigation, are usually talking out of their ass, and they know it. They also are operating under the assumption that since they are only saying it to you, that nobody else will hear what a raving jackass they are in their demands...

      Exhibit A:

      Caton Commercial [demystify.info] tried to claim that the public records from the COURTHOUSE were libelous, and were going to sue for criminal dama

  • Of course... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Stenchwarrior (1335051) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @03:59PM (#29445239)
    ..he doesn't want people to know how to use the laws. They wouldn't need to pay a lawyer if such information was made public, right?
  • They are not trying to "Hide" this information from people, they are trying to get them to pay for it. The third page lists that additional copies may be purchased from the Publishers.

    That being said, still pretty bad in my books. I mean the cost should only offset the price of production, and letting it loose on the internet shouldn't cost them money.

    This is obviously a profitable document.

    • by afidel (530433)
      The Supreme Court ruled that poll taxes were illegal because it disenfranchised the poor, I see applying Copyright to laws or legal publications of the state to be the exact same thing.
  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:00PM (#29445251) Homepage Journal
    First your state develops that absurd vehicle mileage tax system that was discussed yesterday and now your attorney general is trying to copyright a guide to your lawbooks? I thought we Californians were supposed to have the worst vehicle (overbearing emission standards) and copyright (Hollywood's home) laws on the books.

    Stop making us look bad by making yourselves look worse. Give us back our position as Number 1 state in "Most Legislation Founded on Dumbfuckery!" Sheesh....
    • by geekoid (135745)

      "First your state develops that absurd vehicle mileage tax system that was discussed yesterday"

      Wrong. A guy from district 3 is looking at alternative to a gas tax to help recoup loss from improved gas mileage. NO one has develod, implemented or OK'd any such system.

      "now your attorney general is trying to copyright a guide to your lawbooks? I"

      The Attorney is covering up information from a case.

      That's 2 people in Oregon,. so don't go on like the whole state is doing this.

      CA emission laws are a good thing.

      The

  • 1. Claiming authorship. Not being done here.

    2. Claiming sale rights. Again, no sales are being done.

    3. Claiming Control rights. In order to enforce this, the controlling party must first specify that they do not want that information released to the public. This has NOT been done and the DA does not have the authority to do this. Only the party that has created them has the authority to do that. The legislative body is the only party that has legal right to object, and only as a whole. I.E. I

    • by gurps_npc (621217)
      Whoops, I misunderstood the article. Please ignore my stupidity. I did not realize that the state was claiming copyright.
    • by geekoid (135745)

      RTFA - There is sone trying to sel it ni the AGs office.

      You don't have to sell something for it to be copywritten.

      Free software is still copywritten.

  • I'm mirroring it right now. Should be done in an hour or so (slow upload).
  • by syntap (242090) on Wednesday September 16, 2009 @04:17PM (#29445515)

    I assume this professor is a state employee of Oregon as an employee of the University of Oregon... I wonder if he puts his job in danger by opposing his employer like that.

    Don't get me wrong, I fully support what he is doing. My question is will the retaliation come in an unexpected direction, a firing based on behavior of a state employee or violation of oath to uphold state laws or something as opposed to any anticipated legal action over the posting itself?

    • by profplump (309017)

      You can't get fired from the state. At best you can get put into a job with no responsibilities. But you'd have to burn down the building before they'd even consider firing you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Tenure will give him some protection. But his university has a history of retaliating against whistleblowers [dailyemerald.com]. Considering that he has been using the public-records laws to ask hard questions about administrators [blogspot.com], I'd say yeah, he's putting himself on the line to do this.
  • Government documents (from any government) may be copyrighted, but they must come with a standard license allowing it's citizens to use the documents however they want.

  • per http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap1.html [copyright.gov]:
    Â 105. Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works
    Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

    that says it all. Govt work is free as in beer.
  • Maybe it can be argued that the state of Oregon owns the copyright to the book, and the citizens of Oregon own Oregon, therefor the citizens of Oregon own the copyright to the book? That argument would be valid, but maybe not sound.
  • Oregon publishes a paper copy of all the Oregon statutes. All police officers, lawyers, and judges have it as a reference. I wanted one to keep in my car, so I could immediately look up any infractions they accused me of committing. Guess what? It is not available to the general public. I asked my lawyer, the DMV, and the Ombudsman in Salem; nobody could tell me where to obtain a printed copy of the oregon statutes! Fortunately, these ARE available online (and in law libraries), but I still think they shoul
  • You can't copyright public material and legal documents, otherwise it wouldn't be public.
     

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