A narrowly divided US Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right to freely share the official law code of Georgia.
These annotations provide supplemental information about the law, including summaries of judicial opinions, information about legislative history, and citations to relevant law review articles.
These cases involved court reporters—writers who were chosen by the courts to keep records of court proceedings and publish them.
But the 19th-century Supreme Court nixed efforts to claim ownership of content that had originally been written by judges.
At the same time, the Supreme Court held that court reporters could claim copyright over annotations that they produced independently from their official duties.
The group was funded by the state of Georgia, and a majority of its members had to be Georgia legislators.
As a result, the Supreme Court held that any document produced by the Georgia legislature could not be protected by copyright. »