CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

Carl Malamud runsĀ the website public.resource.org, an otherwise boring website thatĀ serves the important function of "publishing and sharing public domainĀ materials."Ā Among theĀ public domain materials is the Georgia state law (or the Official Code of Georgia Annotated). The state of Georgia is notĀ cool with this.

The state isĀ suing Malamud for publishing the laws online, saying it infringes on the copyright of state laws, the Los Angeles TimesĀ reported last week. (A representative from theĀ Georgia State capitol told Fusion thatĀ the OCGA isn't in their system, meaning the code wouldn't be accessible otherwise.) Also, they called it "a form of terrorism," referencing a joking remark Malamud apparently made in a book he published 20Ā years ago.

Here's the money portion of the lawsuit:

Defendant has facilitated, enabled, encouraged and induced others to view, download, print, copy, and distribute the O.C.G.A copyrighted annotations without limitation, authorization, or appropriate compensation.

And here's the part where they accuse him of terrorism:

Defendantā€™s founder and president, Carl Malamud, has indicated that this type of strategy has been a successful form of ā€œterrorismā€ that he has employed in the past to force government entities to publish documents on Malamudā€™s terms. See Exhibit 2.

Consistent with its strategy of terrorism, Defendant freely admits to the copying and distribution of massive numbers of Plaintiffā€™s Copyrighted Annotations on at least its https://yeswescan.org website. See Exhibit 3.

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It kind of reads like a joke, considering these are public documents, not Ernest Hemingway's novels, and Michael Hiltzik (theĀ TimesĀ reporter) asserts it is, calling the case "threadbare."

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.