You can’t make this stuff up. The State of Oregon Legislative Counsel Committee sent a cease and desist letter to Justia a couple weeks ago claiming that a copy of the Oregon Revised Statutes that Justia had published online infringed on the State of Oregon’s copyright to the statutes. While Oregon conceded that the text of the law itself, it did assert that “the leadlines and numbering for each statutory section” were protected. This is a no-win situation. If the government doesn’t act like a business, people complain. When the government acts like a business, people complain.
Some legal experts see this as a copyright issue. Me? I see this as a tax issue. If the state collected a 10 cent royalty every time someone cited an Oregon law, just think what it will do for the Oregon budget. Cha-ching! Personally, I’m waiting for a YouTube video showing someone reading the Oregon Revised Statutes with leadlines and numbering. 🙂