State Secrets


The state of Georgia has sued Carl Malamud, owner of, for publishing the annotated state code online. The state contends its legal code is copyrighted.

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  1. Currently you can access the information through legal publisher Lexis Nexis, either by paying $378 for a printed copy…

    So we can assume Lexis Nexis is behind this. We can also assume the government knows it can’t possibly win this on its merits, so they’re probably going with process as punishment.

  2. If ignorance of the law is no excuse for violating it, then copyrighting the law must be forbidden.

  3. This is the first time I’ve seen the current Georgia flag.

    So they got rid of the old design incorporating the Confederate Battle Flag, only to replace it with a near copy of the original Stars and Bars? And they got away with this?

    1. Most people only recognize the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia as “the Confederate flag,” even though it isn’t. It’s all about perception, not reality.

      1. Most of the southern states have a flags incorporating confederate symbols. The Tennessee flag is an adaptation of colors and stars of the Southern Cross. Florida has a merged the Southern Cross with the Blood Stained Banner.

        Both the 2nd and 3rd national flags of the Confederacy incorporated the battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia.

    2. Yankees are morons.

  4. Georgia’s code wasn’t already online?

    The whole purpose of writing down a legal code is so it can be published as widely as possible and people can read it and know what the law is. Hammurabi figured that out over 3,700 years ago.

  5. The state contends its legal code is copyrighted.

    Wrong, wrong, wrong.

    The code is freely available. The annotated code–that is, the code plus additional research and citations, compiled into a specific form–is copyrighted. The annotated code represents the additional work of another party (typically West or Lexis), and that additional work is subject to copyright. Mr. Malamud is entirely free to take the code as passed by the legislature–for free–do his own independent research, compile it however he likes, and have his own annotated code (to which he’d own the copyright) to do with as he pleases.

    C’mon, Reason, I know you have legal analysts on staff. Use them.

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