Articles Tagged with eff

blueprintLast week, Public.Resource.Org, through their counsel at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, filed an action for declaratory judgement against the Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association, Inc. [SMACNA]. In its complaint, Public.Resource.org asserts that since SMACNA’s copyrighted standards were explicitly incorporated into federal and state law, they have become part of the public domain and are no longer subject to copyright restrictions.

This saga began when Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org began buying copies of privately issued, copyrighted building codes and putting them up online. These codes were incorporated by law into federal and state statutes, so Carl believed that they should be publicly available – a  proposition we agreed with.

When Attributor, an agent for SMACNA, discovered the codes on Public.Resource.Org, they sent a DMCA takedown notice. Public.Resource.Org now seeks a declaratory judgment from the federal courts that it is not infringing. It asserts that since these standards were incorporated by reference into federal law, the manual is now “the law of the United States and compliance with the 1985 manual is mandatory,” and thus is part of federal law – which is not subject to copyright.

In October, we blogged about a lawsuit against the editors of tz info, the time zone database for Unix. The editors were sued by a company called Astrolabe, Inc., who claimed a copyright interest in data used to populate the database.

The lawsuit was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff this week. It turns out the EFF got involved. According to their statement,

“In January, EFF advised Astrolabe that Olson and Eggert would move for sanctions if Astrolabe did not withdraw its complaint. Today’s dismissal followed.”
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