Now, the State of Georgia wants to go to the Supreme Court to argue for its right to charge the people of Georgia to know which laws they are supposed to be following. There’s a lot at stake: Malamud has been threatened by Idaho, Oregon, Mississippi, and the District of Columbia for posting state laws and is being sued by six plaintiffs in DC for posting public safety laws, and has received a dozen more takedowns from Standards Development Organizations whose standards have been incorporated into state law.
Malamud and his counsel (Elizabeth Rader and Tom Goldstein and Eric Citron of Goldstein & Russell),are responding to Georgia’s petition and they are seeking amici: if you are a law student or practicioner they would like you to sign onto this amicus brief prepared by Jeff Pearlman by filling in this form….”
“Last week, Malamud and EFF his lawyers, Alston & Bird and Elizabeth Rader scored a massive victory in this fight: the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit struck down the state of Georgia’s bid to suppress the publication of its laws, upholding Malamud’s right to publish them. The appeals court’s decision was unequivocal in its support for the position that the law is free for all to read and write — and that Georgia’s bid to make its laws pay-to-read was unconstitutional and illegitimate….”
“For the past 25 years or so, Carl Malamud’s lonely mission has been to seize on the internet’s potential for spreading information — public information that people have a right to see, hear, and read….
Indeed, Malamud has had remarkable success and true impact. If you have accessed EDGAR, the free Securities and Exchange Commission database of corporate information, you owe a debt to Malamud. Same with the database of patents, or the opinions of the US Court of Appeals. Without Malamud, the contents of the Federal Register might still cost $1,700 instead of nothing. If you have listened to a podcast, note that it was Carl Malamud who pioneered the idea of radio-like content on internet audio — in 1993. And so on. As much as any human being on the planet, this unassuming-looking proprietor of a one-man nonprofit — a bald, diminutive, bespectacled 57-year-old — has understood and exploited the net (and the power of the printed word, as well) for disseminating information for the public good….”
“I am writing in the matter of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). Despite a crystal-clear unanimous decision from United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit on October 19, 2018, holding that people have the absolute right to speak and read Georgia’s official laws, I have been been unable to purchase a current copy of the OCGA….”
“When we last checked in with Carl Malamud and his Public.Resource.Org, they were celebrating ahuge victory in Georgia, where the 11th Circuit had ruled that of course Malamud was not infringing on anyone’s copyrights in posting the “Official Code of Georgia Annotated” (OCGA) because therecould be no copyright in the law. As we explained at length inprevious posts, Georgia has a somewhat bizarre system in which theonlyofficial version of their law is the “officially” annotated version, in which the annotations (with citations to caselaw and further explanations) are written by a private company, LexisNexis, which then transfers the copyright (should one exist) on those annotations to the state.
Malamud, of course, has spent years, trying to make it easier for people to access the law — and that means all of the law, not just some of it. So when he posted a much more accessible version of the OCGA, the state sued him for copyright infringement. While the lower court ruled that the OCGA could have copyright, that the State of Georgia could hold it and that Malamud’s work was not fair use, the 11th Circuit tossed that out entirely, saying that since the OCGA was clearly the only official version of the law, there could be no valid copyright in it.
It was a pretty thorough and complete win. And, if the state of Georgia were mature and reasonable, you’d think that they’d (perhaps grudgingly) admit that anyone should have access to its laws and move on. But, this is the state of Georgia we’re talking about. And, it appears that the state has decided that rather than taking the high road, it’s going to act like a petty asshole.
Last week Malamud sent a letter describing how the state is now trying to block him from purchasing a copy of the OCGA. He’s not looking for a discount or any special deal. He wants to buy the OCGA just like anyone else can. And the state is refusing to sell it to him, knowing that he’s going to digitize it, put it online and (gasp) make it easier for the residents of Georgia to read their own damn laws….”
“Today, we are presented with the question of whether the annotations contained in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA), authored by the Georgia General Assembly and made an inextricable part of the official codification of Georgia’s laws, may be copyrighted by the State of Georgia. Answering this question means confronting profound and difficult issues about the nature of law in our society and the rights of citizens to have unfettered access to the legal edicts that govern their lives. After a thorough review of the law, and an examination of the annotations, we conclude that no valid copyright interest can be asserted in any part of the OCGA….”
“Emory College of Arts and Sciences has launched a $1.2 million effort that positions it to be a national leader in the future of scholarly publishing. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation is funding the multiyear initiative to support long-form, open-access publications in the humanities in partnership with university presses.
The idea to explore new models for humanities publishing was born out of a working group of faculty and administrators headed by Michael A. Elliott, interim Emory College dean and Asa Griggs Candler Professor of English.
‘Emory is a good place for this because we have faculty that are adventurous in their disciplinary interests and already thinking of addressing multiple audiences,’ Elliott says. ‘It will be rigorous scholarship, available to everyone.’
At the helm is Sarah McKee, most recently managing editor of the New Georgia Encyclopedia. She arrived this month as the Fox Center’s senior associate director of publishing, tasked with rolling out ventures that publish humanities monographs as digital publications.
The project will run through 2020 and calls for Emory to share the cost and benefit of publishing new long-form works.”
“Gvernment officials have threatened “rogue archivist” Carl Malamud with legal action many times for his efforts to make public government documents widely available for free, but the state of Georgia has set a new standard for fighting this ridiculous battle: It’s suing Malamud for infringing its copyright of state laws by — horrors — publishing them online.
The state’s lawsuit, filed last week in Atlanta federal court, accuses Malamud of piracy — and worse, of “a form of ‘terrorism.'” His offense: Through his website, public.resource.org, he provides members of the public access to a searchable and downloadable scan of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated — that is, the entire body of state law. The state wants a court order forcing Malamud to stop….”
“The primary responsibility of this position is to take the lead in building a scholarly communications program at GCSU by educating and informing the community about issues related to scholarly communication. Reporting to the Associate Director for Instruction & Research Services, this position develops services and programs designed to provide outreach to administrators, faculty, staff, and students on issues related to intellectual property and advocates for the broad sharing and preservation of the scholarly record created at Georgia College….”