April 18, 2008 4:55 AM

We're from the government, and we're here to...oh, screw it....

(thanks to Bob Chambers for this one....)

The State of Oregon is sending out cease and desist letters to sites like Justia and Public.Resource.Org that have been posting copies of Oregon laws, known as the Oregon Revised Statutes.

Well, isn't this special? It seems the state of Oregon is alleging copyright infringement against web sites with the temerity to post copies of Oregon laws...or. as the kids like to call them, the Oregon Revised Statutes. Uh, what?? So other web sites are making mirrors of the Oregon Revised Statutes. BFD...right? Hey, it's not like folks are selling bootleg copies of the Marilyn Monroe sex tape. Since when is disseminating information about Oregon law- or even the statutes themselves- capitalizing on privileged, protected information?

On the surface, this would seem to be a simple freedom of information issue, in part because it's not as if the Oregon Revised Statutes site is so technologically competent and/or advanced that creating a mirror of it would diminish the "right" of the authors to collect revenues that should rightfully be theirs. Besides, since when do government OWN laws? Governments create laws on behalf of the people who elect them to represent their interests. What I'm having trouble wrapping my pointy li'l haid around is the idea that creating a mirror of the Oregon Revised Statutes is an illegal infringement upon the rights of the authors to any revenues that might reasonably accrue from their work. These are legal statutes we're talking about here, NOT the next Great American Novel...unless you get a charge out of perusing statute law. (And if that's the case, might I suggest that you get out more. Perhaps you might think about getting laid while you're at it....). Jeebus Krispix, people...get a grip, willya??

I'm just ornery enough that I'd put up a mirror of the Oregon Revised Statutes myself, if I had the know-how. I've never had the honor of receiving a C & D letter before, and I think it would be rather amusing- a tale, Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing (apologies to Will Shakespeare).


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This page contains a single entry by Jack Cluth published on April 18, 2008 4:55 AM.

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