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Thread: Accused of 'Terrorism' For Putting Legal Materials Online

  1. #1

    Accused of 'Terrorism' For Putting Legal Materials Online

    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/0...terials-online

    Carl Malamud believes in open access to government records, and he has spent more than a decade putting them online. You might think states would welcome the help. From a report:

    But when Mr. Malamud's group posted the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the state sued for copyright infringement. Providing public access to the state's laws and related legal materials, Georgia's lawyers said, was part of a "strategy of terrorism." A federal appeals court ruled against the state, which has asked the Supreme Court to step in. On Friday, in an unusual move, Mr. Malamud's group, Public.Resource.Org, also urged the court to hear the dispute, saying that the question of who owns the law is an urgent one, as about 20 other states have claimed that parts of similar annotated codes are copyrighted.

    The issue, the group said, is whether citizens can have access to "the raw materials of our democracy." The case, Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, No. 18-1150, concerns the 54 volumes of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, which contain state statutes and related materials. The state, through a legal publisher, makes the statutes themselves available online, and it has said it does not object to Mr. Malamud doing the same thing. But people who want to see other materials in the books, the state says, must pay the publisher.
    This is a NY Times article, so expect bias.

    Here is the trouble tho. If you make Knowledge available to the public, then its Terrorism. Funny how the word Terrorism is so vaguely defined that anything can be Terrorism, right? Including spreading Knowledge? You know, something that should inheritly belong to humanity?
    1776 > 1984

    The FAILURE of the United States Government to operate and maintain an
    Honest Money System , which frees the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, is the single largest contributing factor to the World's current Economic Crisis.

    The Elimination of Privacy is the Architecture of Genocide

    Belief, Money, and Violence are the three ways all people are controlled

    Quote Originally Posted by Zippyjuan View Post
    Our central bank is not privately owned.



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  3. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/0...terials-online



    This is a NY Times article, so expect bias.

    Here is the trouble tho. If you make Knowledge available to the public, then its Terrorism. Funny how the word Terrorism is so vaguely defined that anything can be Terrorism, right? Including spreading Knowledge? You know, something that should inheritly belong to humanity?
    ter·ror·ist
    /ˈterərəst/
    noun
    a person who uses unlawful violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
    The war on words continue as they try to redefine the english language to censor speech

  4. #3
    Last edited by nikcers; 05-14-2019 at 08:35 AM.

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DamianTV View Post
    https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/0...terials-online



    This is a NY Times article, so expect bias.

    Here is the trouble tho. If you make Knowledge available to the public, then its Terrorism. Funny how the word Terrorism is so vaguely defined that anything can be Terrorism, right? Including spreading Knowledge? You know, something that should inheritly belong to humanity?
    The American precedent has always been, ignorance of the law is no excuse. This means you can't use the fact that you didn't know your actions were illegal as a defense at your trial.

    If the state of Georgia is dreaming up secret reasons to seize and incarcerate you, and persecuting people who try to tell you what can get you arrested, imprisoned, or even shot, who is the terrorist?
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    The American precedent has always been, ignorance of the law is no excuse. This means you can't use the fact that you didn't know your actions were illegal as a defense at your trial.

    If the state of Georgia is dreaming up secret reasons to seize and incarcerate you, and persecuting people who try to tell you what can get you arrested, imprisoned, or even shot, who is the terrorist?
    Absolutely. All public law is supposed to be by default available to to the public without restriction. This new move is due to lobbying from Lawyers and Attorneys who want to control the access to legal knowledge and dependency on their services. An industry market protection racket.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ATruepatriot View Post
    Absolutely. All public law is supposed to be by default available to to the public without restriction. This new move is due to lobbying from Lawyers and Attorneys who want to control the access to legal knowledge and dependency on their services. An industry market protection racket.
    Maybe. And maybe the state of Georgia just wants to be able to stick anyone in prison at any time.

    'We made breathing illegal. But don't worry. We won't enforce the law.'

    'Then why did you pass it?'

    'We just wanted to be prepared for exigencies.'
    Last edited by acptulsa; 05-14-2019 at 09:38 AM.
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.

  8. #7
    Before you peeps get your danders up too high, I might suggest perusing the actual complaint:

    https://law.resource.org/pub/us/code...218354.1.0.pdf

    Plaintiff's case is not, IMO, unreasonable. Sadly, the document does not include the exhibits. I was hoping to see Exhibit 2:
    19. On information and belief, Defendant is employing a deliberate strategy of copying and posting large document archives such as the O.C.G.A. (including the Copyrighted Annotations) in order to force the State of Georgia to provide the O.C.G.A., in an electronic format acceptable to Defendant. 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.
    I compiled a "brief" history of events since October 2008 that are defining the global currency war and the role that gold is playing:

    Tin Foil Hats, Economic Reality and the Total Perspective Vortex

    Also, have you contacted your Congressional Rep and asked them co-sponsor Ron Paul's Rep. Paul Broun Jr.'s HR 1098 77: Free Competition in Currencies Act?

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Maybe. And maybe the state of Georgia just wants to be able to stick anyone in prison at any time.

    'We made breathing illegal. But don't worry. We won't enforce the law.'

    'Then why did you pass it?'

    'We just wanted to be prepared for exigencies.'
    I first realized this might be the case for legal representation when I started to go to public code pages and now and then there was a footnote. "When pursuing any of these actions we highly suggest hiring personal legal representation and here is a link to known and reliable licensed representation firm lists".

    What the hell is that spam recommendation crap doing on government public code sources?



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  11. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Bern View Post
    Before you peeps get your danders up too high, I might suggest perusing the actual complaint:

    https://law.resource.org/pub/us/code...218354.1.0.pdf

    Plaintiff's case is not, IMO, unreasonable. Sadly, the document does not include the exhibits. I was hoping to see Exhibit 2:
    Not unreasonable?

    They accuse him of demanding the legal code '...in an electronic format acceptable to Defendant.' This makes it sound like he's nitpicking. So? He published it in that format himself. If you want something done right and all that.

    What is wrong with that?

    Copyright law? Really? Copyright law covers writing which is private intellectual property. Is the legal code of Georgia private property? Or is it something the citizens paid their legislature to create, and therefore their property? Is it something entertaining and saleable, or is it something which, by every tradition of American jurisprudence, the citizens of Georgia not only have every right to read (having paid for its creation), but have no legal right to be ignorant of?!

    Maybe ATruepatriot is right, and local lawyers are afraid if people can search the morass for keywords, they'll need lawyers less often. But I don't believe the laws of a just and civilized society should be created for the purpose of keeping lawyers in Lamborghinis.

    Do you?
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.

  12. #10
    2018 Florida Statutes, Chapter 119 > Section 01

    119.01 General state policy on public records.—
    (1) It is the policy of this state that all state, county, and municipal records are open for personal inspection and copying by any person. Providing access to public records is a duty of each agency.
    (2)(a) Automation of public records must not erode the right of access to those records. As each agency increases its use of and dependence on electronic recordkeeping, each agency must provide reasonable public access to records electronically maintained and must ensure that exempt or confidential records are not disclosed except as otherwise permitted by law.
    (b) When designing or acquiring an electronic recordkeeping system, an agency must consider whether such system is capable of providing data in some common format such as, but not limited to, the American Standard Code for Information Interchange.
    (c) An agency may not enter into a contract for the creation or maintenance of a public records database if that contract impairs the ability of the public to inspect or copy the public records of the agency, including public records that are online or stored in an electronic recordkeeping system used by the agency.
    (d) Subject to the restrictions of copyright and trade secret laws and public records exemptions, agency use of proprietary software must not diminish the right of the public to inspect and copy a public record.
    (e) Providing access to public records by remote electronic means is an additional method of access that agencies should strive to provide to the extent feasible. If an agency provides access to public records by remote electronic means, such access should be provided in the most cost-effective and efficient manner available to the agency providing the information.
    (f) Each agency that maintains a public record in an electronic recordkeeping system shall provide to any person, pursuant to this chapter, a copy of any public record in that system which is not exempted by law from public disclosure. An agency must provide a copy of the record in the medium requested if the agency maintains the record in that medium, and the agency may charge a fee in accordance with this chapter. For the purpose of satisfying a public records request, the fee to be charged by an agency if it elects to provide a copy of a public record in a medium not routinely used by the agency, or if it elects to compile information not routinely developed or maintained by the agency or that requires a substantial amount of manipulation or programming, must be in accordance with s. 119.07(4).
    (3) If public funds are expended by an agency in payment of dues or membership contributions for any person, corporation, foundation, trust, association, group, or other organization, all the financial, business, and membership records of that person, corporation, foundation, trust, association, group, or other organization which pertain to the public agency are public records and subject to the provisions of s. 119.07.

    https://www.flsenate.gov/Laws/Statutes/2018/119.01

  13. #11
    In the case of HRC, they said she had no criminal intent.

  14. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Not unreasonable?
    I did not think so. Did you read the complaint?

    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    They accuse him of demanding the legal code '...in an electronic format acceptable to Defendant.' This makes it sound like he's nitpicking. So?
    Point 19 is not the crux of the complaint. It's providing background on the defendent/case. If Exhibit 2 contains some recording or published quote from defendant supporting the assertion claimed (re: the "terrorist" language), it would seem rather disingenuous of defendant's lawyer to claim the State was the one using that language. They are actually claiming that defendant used that language to describe his actions/goals.

    Quote Originally Posted by acptulsa View Post
    Copyright law? Really? ...
    I can see that you did not bother to read the complaint. The dispute is not over the public domain language of the law. It's over the summaries and supplemental material that the agency paid a 3rd party to create apparently without the use of tax dollars. The complaint doesn't go into any detail on how the 3rd party was contracted or where the funds used to pay for it came from, but based upon what is disclosed there, it is not unreasonable to consider that the 3rd party content is not public domain.
    I compiled a "brief" history of events since October 2008 that are defining the global currency war and the role that gold is playing:

    Tin Foil Hats, Economic Reality and the Total Perspective Vortex

    Also, have you contacted your Congressional Rep and asked them co-sponsor Ron Paul's Rep. Paul Broun Jr.'s HR 1098 77: Free Competition in Currencies Act?

  15. #13
    Without providing the publisher with the ability to recoup its costs for the development of these copyrighted annotations, the State of Georgia will be required to either stop publishing the annotations altogether or pay for development of the annotations using state tax dollars. Unless Defendant’s infringing activities are enjoined, Plaintiff and citizens of the State of Georgia, will face losing valuable analysis and guidance regarding their state laws.
    What are they paying for these annotations with? Would they have to disclose them upon a FOIA request?

  16. #14
    The copyrighted annotations include analysis and guidance that are added
    to the O.C.G.A. by a third party publisher of the O.C.G.A. as a work for hire. These
    annotations include synopses of cases that interpret the O.C.G.A., summaries of
    Opinions of the Attorney General of Georgia, and summaries of research references
    related to the O.C.G.A. Each of these annotations is an original and creative work of
    authorship that is protected by copyrights owned by the State of Georgia. Without providing the publisher with the ability to recoup its costs for the development of
    these copyrighted annotations, the State of Georgia will be required to either stop
    publishing the annotations altogether or pay for development of the annotations using
    state tax dollars. Unless Defendant’s infringing activities are enjoined, Plaintiff and
    citizens of the State of Georgia, will face losing valuable analysis and guidance
    regarding their state laws.
    I have no problem with a person, organization or company summarizing laws, opinions and precedents. If they do so, the result is automatically covered under copyright law, and said person, organization or company has a right to sue.

    But this suit was brought by the Legislature of the State of Georgia. The State of Georgia is owned by the citizens of Georgia, and the legislature is hired to work for the citizens of Georgia. If these private entities that wrote these summaries need to sell them to recoup their costs, why aren't they suing? What interest could the Legislature of the State of Georgia have in it? Are they trying to create an official interpretation? Are they trying to squelch alternate interpretations? Did they pay part of the costs of preparing these summaries? Did the "public servants" of the legislature invest money from their pockets in it? Is that why the plaintiff is listed as the Georgia Legislature, rather than the more typical "People of the State of Georgia"? Is that not a conflict of interest?

    If it was partially funded by the state, is that not tax money provided by the people? Do the shareholders if a company not own patents and copyrights of things developed by employees working on the company's dime? Does this not make anything developed with state tax revenue the property of the citizenry?

    Is it a "work for hire" or isn't it?

    The whole thing smells. I don't blame the defendant and winner of the case for wanting it to go to the SCOTUS. I do too.

    Terrorism?! Snort.
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.

  17. #15
    The CIA created and financed Google, and people defend its censorship by saying its a private company. Well, it's either private or its a CIA front. It cannot be both.

    The federal government is skating that fine line, and though this involves a state, a favorable ruling on this could have positive repercussions. If the "Legislature of Georgia" wants to take this to the Supreme Court, I say let 'em!
    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    There's not a liberty lover on the planet who isn't called a liberal by the right, and a con by the left.
    Quote Originally Posted by Swordsmyth View Post
    I don't really care if I happen to be wrong about your positions, you are wrong about mine.



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