Articles Tagged with public.resource.org

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.

2010 was a busy legal year, especially for free law advocates.  Here are some of Justia’s legal predictions for 2011:

  • Lawyers and legal professionals will continue to embrace free law as fast as our Law.gov movement friends can crank it out.  Free law will continue its dramatic growth, and Justia remains proud to support the efforts of Carl Malamud’s work at Public.Resource.Org, along with Google, Fastcase, LII and other friends.
  • SCOTUS will grant certiorari after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit renders a decision either affirming or denying a lower court ruling that California’s ban against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

2010 is almost gone–it’s been a very eventful year here at Justia. Indulge us while we review this year’s contributions to legal information on the internet. And, we are getting plans ready for 2011–if you have any ideas about things you’d like to see at Justia.com, please let us know in the comments!

Free Law!!

First of all– we have to talk about Law.gov. This movement really took off in 2010, and we are very proud to have been a part of the effort. There have been meetings and conferences across the United States, from which a Principles and Declaration was drafted. Google granted Public.Resource.Org $2M in furtherance of the law.gov effort, and most recently, the Report of Current Opinions was announced. RECOP will distribute current caselaw from the 50 states and the federal courts freely on the internet.

law.gov

Great news, friends! Starting in 2011, Public.Resource.Org will release a Report of Current Opinions (RECOP) on a weekly basis. The Report will include a FREE HTML feed of ALL slip and final opinions from the appellate courts of the 50 states and the federal government. The feed will be available for reuse under a CC CC-Zero license, and will include page numbers. For more details, read Carl Malamud’s announcement on O’Reilly Radar. This is one of the major projects that Public.Resource.Org has undertaken since being awarded the Google 10^100 Grant in September.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, but there’s still time to get terrific gifts for lawyers and clients.  Here are some of our favs:

    iPad

  • The Apple iPad —  It’s sleek, small, and über cool. It holds nifty free legal apps like Fastcase to find state and federal statutes and cases and Oyez’s PocketJustice that let’s lawyers listen to Supreme Court oral arguments.  When your attorney friend is done raging at opposing counsel’s latest outrageous offer to their client, the attorney can vent his or her anger by playing Angry Birds or Star Wars Falcon Gunner. Plus, it makes them (and everyone they meet) think that they’re a swell lawyer, right?
  • Adopt a Volume of the Federal Reporter — No, we’re not crazy (at least not all the time)!  For $1,200, you can actually make a tax-deductible donation to Public.Resource.Org to support scanning a volume or two of the first series of the Federal Reporter of the United States in the name of your favorite lawyer or law firm.  The donation is to help them “adopt” a volume of federal case law  from 1880 – 1924 that is now in the public domain.

Hi Friends,

Thanks Google for supporting free law … again 🙂 Last year Google Scholar gave the world free USA case law (with internal page numbers) and now Google has announced the first recipients of its Project 10^100 grants, including Public.Resource.Org.

To quote the Google announcement 🙂