Public records in the scope of Wikipedia itself
This encyclopedia itself theoretically uses forms of public records in its own right, the user contributions ("contribs") log, article edit histories, and other logs. Although this publicizes pretty much every action that every user and administrator does on Wikipedia, most hold that it is necessary to catch vandalism, maintain order, and make sure that users behave, and is an inherent necessity in having an open-source, freely-editable encyclopedia.
Public Records in the US
I thought that this article deserved a section about public records in the US (particularly about the differences in accessibility by state), so I added one. Any thoughts from others? Phyrne22 20:30, 20 August 2007 (UTC)
The article seems both deficient and incorrect: There is no mention of First Amendment right to access court records to inspect and to copy, a common law right, which was re-affirmed by the US Supreme Court in Nixon v Warner Communications, Inc (1978). Access to court dockets is listed as governed by the Freedom of Information Act, where in fact it is governed by the First Amendment. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 09:19, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The concept of public records is a key concept to democracy and the rule of law. The article in its current form does injustice to the subject. As only one example: It can be argued that absent court records as public records, the Habeas Corpus right, deemed by the late Justice Brennan as "the cornerstone" of the American Constitution, could not be practiced. It would be worthwhile to cover the origins of the concept and its evolutions as the "common law right to access court records - to inspect and to copy", and the significance of the distinct two rights - to inspect and to copy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 09:23, 9 July 2010 (UTC)
The definition currently given at the top of the article is way too narrow to be accurate, and I feel has been made worse by recent edits.
This makes sense as a starting point:
- The California Government Code defines public records as, “…any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristic.” For example, public records can include, but are not limited to, papers, books, maps, charts, photographs, audiotapes, videotapes, and information stored on a computer. Source.