Skip to content

Next CopyTalk on Government Overreach

Cup of coffee with beans.
Please join us on June 2 for a free webinar on another form of copyright creep.

Please join us on June 2 for a free webinar on another form of copyright creep. This one on recent efforts to copyright state government works.  

Issues behind State governments copyrighting government works

The purpose of copyright is to provide incentives for creativity in exchange for a time limited government provided monopoly. When drafting the federal copyright law, Congress explicitly prohibited the federal government as well as employees of the federal government from having the authority to create a copyright in government created works. However, the federal law is silent on state government power to create, hold, and enforce copyrights. This has resulted in a patchwork of varying levels of state copyright laws across all fifty states.

Currently, California favors the approach where a vast majority of works created by the state and local government are by default in the public domain. An ongoing debate is happening now as to whether California should end the public domain status of most state and local government works. The state legislature is contemplating a bill (AB 2880) that would authorize copyright authority to all state agencies, local governments, and political subdivisions. In recent years entities of state government have attempted to rely on copyright as a means to suppress the dissemination of taxpayer-funded research and as a means to chill criticism but failed in the courts due to a lack of copyright authority. Ernesto Falcon, legislative counsel with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, will review the status of the legislation, the court decisions that lead to its creation, and the debate that now faces the California legislature.

Day/Time: Thursday, June 2 at 2pm Eastern/11am Pacific for our hour long free webinar.

Go to and sign in as a guest. You’re in.

This program is brought to you by OITP’s copyright education subcommittee.

The following two tabs change content below.

Carrie Russell

Carrie Russell is the director of the Program on Public Access to Information in the Washington Office. Her portfolio includes copyright, international copyright, accessibility, e-books, and other public policy issues. She has an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and an MA in media arts from the University of Arizona.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *