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Old 09-04-2008, 03:12 PM   #1
godel10
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A question:Is it true that USA copyright laws forbid to download the laws to your PC?

Today I have found this interesting link
http://www.pressdemocrat.com/article...ment_at_a_time

There it is claimed that it is forbidden (in California), due to copyright reasons, to distribute laws code. Can anyone confirm this information?
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:17 PM   #2
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Other states have tried to claim the same thing in the past, and it was shot down. California (for whatever reason) may think it's a good idea, but I doubt it'll hold up.

I don't know about the states, but this is actually written in to copyright law at the federal level:

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.

Last edited by Shaggy; 09-04-2008 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 09-04-2008, 03:21 PM   #3
Nate the great
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The state of California does claim copyright on its legal code, yes. But if an infringement case ever goes before a judge it will be laughed out of court.

Plus, there is an activist pushing the issue, so in the not too distant future CA will abandon that ludicrous idea (just like Oregon dropped its claim of copyright).

Interesting side note.
There is a legal principle in the USA: "ignorance of the law is no excuse" becuase the law is not kept hidden. It is a public document; if you didn't read it that's your problem. If CA can claim copyright, then it can deny anyone from distributing the law code. Ignorance would be a valid defense in court.
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