Date: Tue Jun 27 2000 - 16:23:47 EDT
Good points. Of course, I don't have any of the answers. But I can raise
I think the "private" and monopolistic private sector (i.e. West Publishing
Co.) is breaking down, at least a bit. I read where West Group lost a major
copyright case a couple of years ago. They always say on their database, "no
copyright claimed on government works." Of course they can't claim a
copyright on public documents. Nobody can. And the court so ruled.
Now, every mom and pop company is downloading the West stuff as fast as a
cable modem will permit, and putting it on their own web sites, at
considerably less cost. See, for example www.itislaw.com. "National Law
Library." I subscribed to them some time ago, not because they are any good,
but to give West some competition. $49 a month for national cases and
Point is, a "private" company dealing in public documents has very little
control over its product, once it sells that product to a purchaser. The
purchaser now apparently has the right to copy all public documents and
disseminate them freely.
At least I think so. What's your take on that?
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