[Advocacy Advisors] A Proposed Amendment to the United States Copyright Act

Mathias Schindler mathias.schindler at wikimedia.de
Thu May 16 20:23:05 UTC 2013

FYI. (it is my opinion that WMF should support any effort promoting
such an amendment to the copyright act)



To promote access to justice, equal protection, innovation in the
legal marketplace, and to codify long-standing public policy, the
Copyright Act of the United States, 17 U.S.C., should be amended as

“Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative
rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar
official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public
policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or
local as well as to those of foreign governments.”

This language comes directly from Section 206.01, Compendium of Office
Practices II, U.S. Copyright Office (1984). It reflects clear and
established Supreme Court precedent on the matter in cases such as
Wheaton v. Peters, 33 U.S. (8 Pet.) 591 (1834) and Banks v.
Manchester, 128 U.S. 244 (1888). The law belongs to the people, who
should be free to read, know, and speak the laws by which they choose
to govern themselves.

Mathias Schindler
Wikimedia Deutschland e.V.
web: http://www.wikimedia.de
mail: mathias.schindler at wikimedia.de

Ceterum censeo opera officiales esse liberandam -

Wikimedia Deutschland - Gesellschaft zur Förderung Freien Wissens e.
V. Eingetragen im Vereinsregister des Amtsgerichts
Berlin-Charlottenburg unter der Nummer 23855 B. Als gemeinnützig
anerkannt durch das Finanzamt für Körperschaften I Berlin,
Steuernummer 27/681/51985.

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