D.C. Circuit Reverses Lower Court re: Copyright in Laws and Codes | Cyberlaw Clinic
ab1630's bookmarks 2018-07-19
"We previously reported about the Clinic’s amicus advocacy in a pair of cases concerning copyrights in legal standards and model codes incorporated into law. We are pleased to report that the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit issued a ruling yesterday in favor of Public.Resource.Org, the organization that we supported (on behalf of two different groups of amici) in the district and circuit courts. By way of background, private standards development organizations (or “SDOs”) promulgate model codes and standards to address the needs of technical fields — for example, model building codes or electrical codes. Those codes may be adopted or incorporated into law by legislative bodies, often at the local level. Some SDOs maintain that they have copyright interests in the codes they create and that such interests persist beyond the point when those codes become law. This can lead to some troubling outcomes for litigants, journalists, researchers, and other members of the general public who seek to use and rely on the text of binding law...."