Judge: annotations to Georgia law are protected by copyright

March 28, 2017 - 4:53 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge has ruled that annotations to Georgia's legal code can be copyrighted and that a nonprofit organization's copying and distribution of them isn't protected by fair use laws.

Georgia in July 2015 sued Public.Resource.Org Inc. in federal court in Atlanta. The nonprofit is run by Carl Malamud, an Internet public domain advocate who argues for free access to legally obtained files.

The lawsuit said the nonprofit distributes and makes available online copies of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated. The state argued the annotations include analysis and guidance added by a third-party publisher and are protected by copyright.

Malamud argued that since the annotations are part of the official code, they cannot be considered separate from the law. He said in an email that he plans to appeal.

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