From an EFF announcement this week:
Technical standards like fire and electrical codes developed by private organizations but incorporated into public law can be freely disseminated without any liability for copyright infringement, a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The judge ruled that posting the materials constituted fair use — so the nonprofit group doing the posting won’t be liable for copyright infringement. The American Bar Association Journal reports:
The decision is a victory for public-domain advocate Carl Malamud and the group that he founded, Public.Resource.org. The group posts legal materials on its websites, including the standards developed by the three organizations that sued… “It has been over 10 years since plaintiffs filed suit in this case,” said Malamud in a press release by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The U.S. Court of Appeals has found decisively in favor of the proposition that citizens must not be relegated to economy-class access to the law.”
In 2012 Carl Malamud answered questions from Slashdot readers.
And now, finally, from the EFF’s announcement:
Tuesday’s ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit upholds the idea that our laws belong to all of us, and we should be able to find, read, and share them free of registration requirements, fees, and other roadblocks… “In a nation governed by the rule of law, private parties have no business controlling who can read, share, and speak the rules to which we are all subject,” EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry said. “We are pleased that the Court of Appeals upheld what other U.S. courts, including the Supreme Court, have said for almost 200 years: No one should control access to the law.”
Or, as the EFF puts it on another page, “Copyright cannot trump the essential public interest…”
Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader schwit1 for sharing the news.