That an open government is inseparable from a free society is one of the basic tenets supporting American democracy. If people are to be ruled by laws, they have a fundamental right to access those laws. To that end, in 17 U.S.C. § 105 , the U.S. Copyright Office makes clear that binding and official government edicts may not be copyrighted by the United States government. However, the Supreme Court has not addressed the issue as it pertains to state governments since a series of cases in the late 1800s.
But are there limits to that access, or are there certain situations in which government edicts may, in fact, fall under the scope of copyright protection? The U.S. Supreme Court hopefully will provide some clarity on this issue when it hears the case Georgia, et al. v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc . in the upcoming term.
Kristin Lamb focuses on assisting clients in protecting their intellectual property rights in the areas of patents, trademarks, and copyrights, advising on strategies for pursuing protection, filing domestic and foreign applications, and prosecuting applications to allowance. In addition, she guides clients in intellectual property litigation, as well as IP licensing.