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Tags copyright issues , copyright laws , Georgia cases , Georgia issues , supreme court decisions

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Old 3rd May 2020, 03:13 PM   #41
theprestige
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
Nope. You are.



Even the state doesn't own the copyright. This is public information as it was created by the State. And both the State and L N knew it was. This was an attempt to privatize what is inherently in the Public Domain.
Read the article. The information was created by L-N under contract.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 03:14 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Read the article. The work was produced by L-N under contract.
I read the article. The annotations were made by judges and legislators. Inherently public information. The State simply had no right to allow this information to be copyrightable. And L N I'm sure thought they could get away with it.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 06:46 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
The annotations were made probably for free by third parties to the State. The State shouldn't have the right to sell the copyright of something that was originally public domain.
Your second sentence doesn't follow from the first. If it was made by third parties for free, then it wasn't originally in the public domain, it was originally copyrighted by those third parties. Copyright ownership is automatic. If those owners then agree to transfer copyright ownership to some other party, they are allowed to do so. The claim to public domain is actually stronger if they were paid by the state to make the annotations.

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Once it enters the public domain it should permanently be part of the public domain.
I agree with that, but it's not clear to me yet that it was originally in the public domain.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 06:51 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I read the article. The annotations were made by judges and legislators. Inherently public information.
The work product of judges and legislators as judges and legislators is inherently non-copyrightable, nobody (including the dissent) is arguing otherwise. But that doesn't mean judges and legislators can't produce copyrighted work. If they right a novel, for example, they can certainly copyright that. And it's not obvious to me exactly what capacity they are working in when they make these annotations. They aren't really acting as judges or legislators. It's related to their work as such, but there's enough of a separation there that I don't think the answer is obvious. Certainly not obvious enough for me to conclude that the dissent (which isn't split along standard political faults) is acting badly.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 07:45 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
The work product of judges and legislators as judges and legislators is inherently non-copyrightable, nobody (including the dissent) is arguing otherwise. But that doesn't mean judges and legislators can't produce copyrighted work. If they right a novel, for example, they can certainly copyright that. And it's not obvious to me exactly what capacity they are working in when they make these annotations. They aren't really acting as judges or legislators. It's related to their work as such, but there's enough of a separation there that I don't think the answer is obvious. Certainly not obvious enough for me to conclude that the dissent (which isn't split along standard political faults) is acting badly.
I'm always troubled by the expansion of copyrights, patents and trademarks. We've expanded these rights to obscene levels. I also don't care very much for the privatisation of every single piece of property.

Certainly, people should be paid for their private work. But I don't see how comments about the law made by public employees qualify. It should be noted that it was the State of Georgia and not specific legislators that agreed to this.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 07:49 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Your second sentence doesn't follow from the first. If it was made by third parties for free, then it wasn't originally in the public domain, it was originally copyrighted by those third parties. Copyright ownership is automatic. If those owners then agree to transfer copyright ownership to some other party, they are allowed to do so. The claim to public domain is actually stronger if they were paid by the state to make the annotations.
If this is the case then I am even more against it. Are you saying that if I write something, you copy it down, then you own the rights to my words?

**** that.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:01 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I'm always troubled by the expansion of copyrights, patents and trademarks. We've expanded these rights to obscene levels. I also don't care very much for the privatisation of every single piece of property.
I agree. But this is primarily a legislative issue. The constitution authorizes copyright, and the legislature has broad powers to specify its rules. That's where most of the problem comes from, and the court's ability to correct badly made copyright law is limited.

I'm not versed enough in the intricacies of this case to know if they made the right call. How the court split suggests to me that it's not a simple matter, so even though I might like the policy outcome here (the annotations get made public domain), I'm not ready to conclude the dissent is actually wrong, let alone so wrong as to be blameworthy.

<tangent>
The copyright ruling of the court that I'm unhappy with is how they handled extensions of copyright. Specifically, the fact that extensions could be applied retroactively is, I think, unjustified. There's an inherent tension between freedom of speech and copyright. Since the constitution specifically authorizes copyrights, sometime the first amendment must give way to copyrights, but the first amendment still limits copyrights (for example, fair use). Since the constitution doesn't specify a time frame for copyrights, it's true that Congress can specify it at will, and even has the power to extend it. But the justification for copyright is detailed in the constitution: to promote creation. If a content is already created, extending its copyright term cannot promote its creation. And the ability of congress to continually extend copyright can make it unlimited in duration, when it explicitly must be limited. I think the court should have said that if Congress extends copyright, that cannot extend work that is already created. In other words, the copyright duration of a work should only be as long as what the law specified at the time of its creation.
</tangent>

Quote:
Certainly, people should be paid for their private work. But I don't see how comments about the law made by public employees qualify.
Were they acting as public employees at the time? That's the part that's unclear to me.

Quote:
It should be noted that it was the State of Georgia and not specific legislators that agreed to this.
If they did the work knowing what the terms were and not as part of their public job, then they did agree to this.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:09 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
If this is the case then I am even more against it. Are you saying that if I write something, you copy it down, then you own the rights to my words?

**** that.
No. I'm saying if you write something, and you assign the copyright to me, then I own the copyright. If they were paid by the state to write it down, then it may not be copyrighted to begin with, in which case no copyright can be transferred.

And BTW, I've had to assign copyright to others for stuff I wrote before. It's standard practice in academic journals, for example. You have to sign a form transferring copyright to the journal in order to get it published. But if you're working as a government employee to produce the article, you actually can't sign the form assigning copyright because you don't own copyright to begin with. But the journals still assume copyright in such cases, and this ruling might throw that arrangement into chaos. That might interfere with government researchers getting work published.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:25 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post

Were they acting as public employees at the time? That's the part that's unclear to me.


If they did the work knowing what the terms were and not as part of their public job, then they did agree to this.
These were annotations made by public employees regarding the laws of Georgia. The State of Georgia transferred the copyrights to their comments to a private company. (Do I understand this correctly?) Unless these comments were made by private individuals and they sold the rights, then I don't see how this is right.

As for copyright absurdities, I point to the movie It's a Wonderful Life. Just one example of how lawyers and judges cheat the public.

https://youtu.be/AnUGXQwJMSM
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:41 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
These were annotations made by public employees regarding the laws of Georgia. The State of Georgia transferred the copyrights to their comments to a private company. (Do I understand this correctly?)
I don't know if you understand this correctly, because I don't understand it myself. They are public employees, but public employees can still act as private individuals. I don't fully understand the capacity in which they were acting.

Quote:
Unless these comments were made by private individuals and they sold the rights, then I don't see how this is right.
Rights can be transferred without selling.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 08:58 PM   #51
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
I don't know if you understand this correctly, because I don't understand it myself. They are public employees, but public employees can still act as private individuals. I don't fully understand the capacity in which they were acting.



Rights can be transferred without selling.
This is true. Another reason I don't like this.
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Old 3rd May 2020, 11:10 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Read the article. The work was produced by L-N under contract.
Under contract with the state. Paid for with state dollars. Therefore paid for by citizens of the state. Therefore belonging to the citizens of the state.
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Old 4th May 2020, 02:12 AM   #53
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Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
Under contract with the state. Paid for with state dollars. Therefore paid for by citizens of the state. Therefore belonging to the citizens of the state.
Apparently states can own copyrights to their work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyri..._United_States
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Old 4th May 2020, 02:50 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Apparently states can own copyrights to their work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyri..._United_States
Not in this case. Supreme Court just ruled that they can't. End of.
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Old 4th May 2020, 05:26 PM   #55
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Originally Posted by Roger Ramjets View Post
Not in this case. Supreme Court just ruled that they can't. End of.
fishbob's argument was far broader than the SC's ruling, which is why I pointed out that they can have copyrights and that his reasoning is in general wrong.
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Old 4th May 2020, 05:39 PM   #56
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
Apparently states can own copyrights to their work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyri..._United_States
I can see States owning copyrights. But not to laws, rules and/or regulations. Or at least not charging citizens for reproducing that information.
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Old 6th May 2020, 08:35 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
Under contract with the state. Paid for with state dollars. Therefore paid for by citizens of the state. Therefore belonging to the citizens of the state.
I'm not sure that follows.

A publisher can contract with an author to write a book. Pay an advance, require a promotional tour, specify a certain minimum length, etc. But even though the publisher contracted the book and paid the author to write it, the author still holds the copyright, unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity.

Was there such an agreement in this case? Apparently not, or it probably wouldn't have gone to the Supreme Court. Apparently the state of Georgia made no such agreement, but now wants to behave as if they had.
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Old 6th May 2020, 08:41 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by acbytesla View Post
I can see States owning copyrights. But not to laws, rules and/or regulations. Or at least not charging citizens for reproducing that information.
Part of the problem is that the material in question isn't actually laws, rules, or regulations.

If I sit down and write a four-volume set of notes, expressing my understanding of Georgia law, its interpretation and application, my work does not become public domain just because I'm writing about laws that are in the public domain. The right to copy my work remains mine and mine alone. If the state or the citizens of Georgia want to copy it, they must acknowledge my copyright and deal with me.

And this applies even if they contract me to write the work in the first place. Unless the contract provides for a transfer of copyright, the right to copy remains with me.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:29 PM   #59
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First of all, any person can look up any Georgia law (if they have the time and know how) by accessing them through the correct database at:

https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/general..._raffensperger

It is under "Important Links". The laws are all there, as far as I can tell and it redirecting you to L-N. However, the L-N site seems to not have the annotations available to the general public. IAAL and, as far as I know, this is very general practice across most if not all states. I can look up any law in my state for free through our Secretary of State's website and see the actual text, but annotations are not provided.

It makes sense to me. Annotations require extensive time and research of not only the legislative history, but decisions that are ongoing that could impact the interpretation of the law. Hell, the annotative updates that we received on our codes every year were, at times, HUGE.

IMHO, I believe that most states have easy on-line access to all state laws (probably available at most public libraries, too). Annotations are not a part of the law and should not be treated as a "public right" when it may take extensive time and effort to compile that information by an individual or group that expects compensation.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:33 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by Crawtator View Post
First of all, any person can look up any Georgia law (if they have the time and know how) by accessing them through the correct database at:

https://sos.ga.gov/index.php/general..._raffensperger

It is under "Important Links". The laws are all there, as far as I can tell and it redirecting you to L-N. However, the L-N site seems to not have the annotations available to the general public. IAAL and, as far as I know, this is very general practice across most if not all states. I can look up any law in my state for free through our Secretary of State's website and see the actual text, but annotations are not provided.

It makes sense to me. Annotations require extensive time and research of not only the legislative history, but decisions that are ongoing that could impact the interpretation of the law. Hell, the annotative updates that we received on our codes every year were, at times, HUGE.

IMHO, I believe that most states have easy on-line access to all state laws (probably available at most public libraries, too). Annotations are not a part of the law and should not be treated as a "public right" when it may take extensive time and effort to compile that information by an individual or group that expects compensation.
As far as i'm concerned, the deal breaker on Georgia's approach is:

"You can get an unofficial version of state law for free from LexisNexis' website, but LexisNexis' terms of service explicitly warned users that it might be inaccurate."

A free version should be accurate and official (whether with/without annotations). Don't palm the citizens off with unofficial/inaccurate freeware.
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Old 6th May 2020, 12:45 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
As far as i'm concerned, the deal breaker on Georgia's approach is:

"You can get an unofficial version of state law for free from LexisNexis' website, but LexisNexis' terms of service explicitly warned users that it might be inaccurate."

A free version should be accurate and official (whether with/without annotations). Don't palm the citizens off with unofficial/inaccurate freeware.
Um...did you actually look at the website I linked and follow the links? Because it actually reads:

"OFFICIAL CODE OF GEORGIA ANNOTATED
Copyright 2020 by The State of Georgia All rights reserved."

at the end of every codal provision. That seems like the state is endorsing that it is official. Take one entry for example:

https://advance.lexis.com/documentpa...3-98b1f6a83256

That is the law for statutory rape in Georgia, available for free to all, provided by L-N through contract services with the state. There are no annotations provided, which I suspect very strongly would be provided to L-N clients or on a pay-as-you-go basis.
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Old 6th May 2020, 01:23 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Giz View Post
The. Georgia should employ eminent domain and purchase the annotations from LN
Why they paid for them in work for hire already(see OP) why should Georgia have to pay for them twice?
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Old 6th May 2020, 11:29 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I'm not sure that follows.

A publisher can contract with an author to write a book. Pay an advance, require a promotional tour, specify a certain minimum length, etc. But even though the publisher contracted the book and paid the author to write it, the author still holds the copyright, unless there is a written agreement by which the author assigns the copyright to another person or entity.

Was there such an agreement in this case? Apparently not, or it probably wouldn't have gone to the Supreme Court. Apparently the state of Georgia made no such agreement, but now wants to behave as if they had.
A government entity is different.
In your analogy, the publisher is the citizenry, the state is the author.
But the state represents the citizenry, in essence speaks for the citizenry, and is therefore an arm of the citizenry. In your analogy, the state has contracted itself with its own money to work for itself.

You can't charge yourself for working for yourself to do your own work so you can sell it to yourself. Well you can, but shouldn't because that is some really stupid accounting BS that will not stand up to the tax auditors.
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Old 6th May 2020, 11:37 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Part of the problem is that the material in question isn't actually laws, rules, or regulations.

If I sit down and write a four-volume set of notes, expressing my understanding of Georgia law, its interpretation and application, my work does not become public domain just because I'm writing about laws that are in the public domain. The right to copy my work remains mine and mine alone. If the state or the citizens of Georgia want to copy it, they must acknowledge my copyright and deal with me.

And this applies even if they contract me to write the work in the first place. Unless the contract provides for a transfer of copyright, the right to copy remains with me.
If you do that on the state payroll, the work is not yours. If contracted and through some oversight in contracting language, the state forgot to mention that the results of your research belongs to the state, the courts will most likely tell you to take a hike. You have already been paid for your work.
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Old 7th May 2020, 02:47 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by fishbob View Post
If you do that on the state payroll, the work is not yours. If contracted and through some oversight in contracting language, the state forgot to mention that the results of your research belongs to the state, the courts will most likely tell you to take a hike. You have already been paid for your work.
You are breaking a fundamental conservative commandment "thou shall never prevent double billing"
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Old 8th May 2020, 04:31 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Part of the problem is that the material in question isn't actually laws, rules, or regulations.

If I sit down and write a four-volume set of notes, expressing my understanding of Georgia law, its interpretation and application, my work does not become public domain just because I'm writing about laws that are in the public domain. The right to copy my work remains mine and mine alone. If the state or the citizens of Georgia want to copy it, they must acknowledge my copyright and deal with me.

And this applies even if they contract me to write the work in the first place. Unless the contract provides for a transfer of copyright, the right to copy remains with me.
Except the comments/notes etc were made by government officials and may have an affect on how those laws and regulations are enforced.
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