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As a documents librarian, it’s always been a particular frustration to me that I could give access to the CA Codes to all who asked *except* for Title 24, the CA Building Standards Codes which are under copyright by and must be purchased from various organizations — for @ $890!
As noted here before, Oregon has been going through a challenge to its copyrighted statutes. The battle appears to be over now and the the statutes are free! mmmm… we love free government information!
On June 19th the Legislative Counsel held a hearing with activist Carl Malamud from Public.Resource.org and others to discuss the issue…. In the end the Legislative Counsel voted to not assert copyright over the Oregon Revised Statutes.
This is a great victory for openness and democracy.
Carl Malamud’s Oregon page is now updated with the testimony from last week’s hearing:
“Oregon’s Legislative Counsel Committee had a meeting this morning to discuss the copyright claim on the Oregon Revised Statutes. After taking legal counsel from Dexter Johnson, talking with Karl Olson, Carl Malamud, three Oregon citizens and myself, they unanimously voted to not to enforce any copyright claims on the Oregon Revised Statutes. This great!!!”
And, I just read this on BoingBoing:
“Rogue archivist Carl Malamud sez,
“Justia and Public.Resource.Org were invited, along with Karl Olson our counsel, to testify before the Oregon Legislative Counsel Committee. We were joined by a public panel of wikipedians and open source advocates.”
“The process was incredibly well organized. There was a comprehensive briefing packet prepared for the committee, the members asked lots of intelligent questions, and then Dexter Johnson the Legislative Counsel recommended to the committee that they waive assertion of copyright on their statutes. The Majority Leader placed the motion, the President of the Senate called the vote, and the vote was unanimous. This was democracy in action and was great to watch.”
[cross posted on Legal Research Plus]
For those of you following the question regarding the copyright of Oregon’s Revised Statutes, you might want to visit: public.resource.org/oregon.
The State of Oregon has scheduled a hearing for June 19, 2008 to “consider its copyright policy in light of technological developments and the Internet.”
Also, if you want to listen to the hearing on Thursday, June 19th, there is a Real Video feed available .