Monday, October 29, 2018

Statutory Annotations Are NOT Copyrightable

It has long been held that legislative enactments--statutes--are not protectable by copyright, although non-official statutory annotations created by non-government entities can be copyrightable. Now, the Eleventh Circuit's recent decision has determined that statutory annotations created by a legislature legislative committee is not copyrightable.

In the Eleventh Circuit's October 19, 2018 decision in the Code Revision Commission case, the court states that when the Georgia legislature creates official statutory annotations pursuant to "sovereign power on behalf of the people of Georgia," the annotations "are attributable to the constructive authorship of the People." 

"The resulting work is intrinsically public domain material, belonging to the People, and, as such, must be free for publication by all."

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