Georgia sues man for putting state laws online and calls it 'terrorism'

This image was removed due to legal reasons.

Carl Malamud runs the website, an otherwise boring website that serves the important function of "publishing and sharing public domain materials." Among the public domain materials is the Georgia state law (or the Official Code of Georgia Annotated). The state of Georgia is not cool with this.


The state is suing Malamud for publishing the laws online, saying it infringes on the copyright of state laws, the Los Angeles Times reported last week. (A representative from the Georgia State capitol told Fusion that 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 20 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:

Defendant’s founder and president, Carl Malamud, has indicated that this type of strategy has been a successful form of “terrorism” that he has employed in the past to force government entities to publish documents on Malamud’s terms. See Exhibit 2.

Consistent with its strategy of terrorism, Defendant freely admits to the copying and distribution of massive numbers of Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Annotations on at least its website. See Exhibit 3.

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

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

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