Oregon: “Our laws are copyrighted.”

I’m really getting a kick out of Oregon’s insistence that their laws are copyrighted, and to reproduce them you’ve got to pay a licensing fee. (Texas tried to pull the same thing a few years ago.) If Virginia tried that, you’d better believe I’d have a mirror of the state code set up before the sun set.

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

3 replies on “Oregon: “Our laws are copyrighted.””

  1. Hmmm, licensing fee… does that man that poor people can use ignorance of the laws and get away with it now? That would seem to be fair. Sorry your honor, I could not afford the licensing fee to learn all the laws, so I had no idea it was against the law to ……….

  2. So wait, if the government if of the people, and their salaries are paid for by public funds, then therefore, the laws could be seens as a work-for-hire owned by the general public. (suggested by my friend Tiffany Bridge

    I can’t wait for them to try this in a court.

    “I’m sorry your honor, I couldn’t provide a copy of the law because that would require a licensing fee to be paid by the court, and since I am not an officer of the court as the defendant, I cannot reference any laws in my defense.”


  3. Heh. Tried and failed, I’m sure. I’m sure that Westlaw and Lexis are mixed up somewhere in all this.

    (But if stuff like this gets you worked up (and it should), go drop a few dollars in Public.Resource.Org‘s hat. They are doing amazing work on things like this.)

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