In the Summer 2008 issue of Dttp: Documents to the People, Kris Kasianovitz has a thoughtful overview of copyright of state and local documents and how that interacts with efforts to digitize such documents.
Why Care About Copyright? by Chris Kasianovitz. Dttp, v.36, no. 2, Summer 2008, p. 12
Gives a history of state/local copyright and argues that for history’s sake and on the principle of free access to government information, copyright law ought to be amended to give state and local gov’t documents the same public domain status as federal documents. We at FGI are in hearty agreement with that!
As far as I can tell, Kris’ article is not freely available on line, but some of the history she covers is also available on our government copyright page at http://freegovinfo.info/copyright.
The whole Summer 2008 Dttp is well worth the read. There is also a freely available web supplement that you should check out at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/index.php/DttP_Supplements_v36_n2 if for no other reason than that FGI’s own James Jacobs has an article on using del.icio.us for government documents.
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