Story Archive

Who Owns the Law?

Carl Malamud is a “pirate” and a “terrorist,” says the state of Georgia. It’s suing him in federal court for copyright infringement. The text Malamud made freely available online: the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. Georgia concedes that statutes passed by its legislature “are and should be free to the public.” What the state says Malamud illegally copied are the annotations, which LexisNexis prepares on a government contract, according to the lawsuit. Malamud says the annotations are “official” too, since people need them to understand the law. If LexisNexis can’t recoup the costs of writing the official annotations by selling the code, the state warns, the taxpayers will have to pay. (AC/Los Angeles Times) ...And if the taxpayers can’t get what they need to understand the law, they may have to pay a lot more.
Original Publication Date: 02 August 2015
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 22.

Is There a Problem on This Page? Let Me Know using the Help button lower right, and thanks.

I believe humanity is held back by the lack of thinking. I provoke thought with examples of what happens when we don’t think, and when we do. This is True is my primary method: stories like this come out every week by email, and basic subscriptions are free. Click here for a subscribe form.

Search for: