Can the Law Be Copyrighted?


In California, the law is copyrighted. Meaning copying and distribution are limited. Openness crusader Carl Malamud is displeased by this. So he's trying to get sued.

On Labor Day, he posted the entire 38-volume California Code of Regulations, which includes all of the state's regulations from health care and insurance to motor vehicles and investment.

To purchase a digital copy of the California code costs $1,556, or $2,315 for a printed version. The state generates about $880,000 annually by selling its laws, according to the California Office of Administrative Law.

Listen to a pretty good, anecdote-packed Google talk by Malamud, who forced the SEC to put their corporate filings online in 1994, here.

Via Tim Kirk