Talk:Copyright status of work by U.S. subnational governments

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Reflist error[edit]

When I added the Reflist template, which is a routine enhancement, [1], footnote 3 generated an error message and it is not quite clear to me how to fix it. I tried re-spelling the ref name but that does not seem to be the issue. Please advise.GeoBardRap 22:38, 30 June 2011 (UTC)

So in other words the actual ref had not been established, just the name. It seems. 00:14, 1 July 2011 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Geofferybard (talkcontribs)
Yea, the content of this article was copied from Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, but the ref wasn't filled for the ref name, so that's why it generated an error. - M0rphzone (talk) 01:48, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Move proposal/request[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved to Copyright status of work by U.S. subnational governments. Miniapolis 21:44, 19 June 2013 (UTC)

Copyright status of work by U.S. state governmentsCopyright status of work by U.S. state and local governments and territories – Why? Because:

  1. States define the copyright status of work by their local subsidiaries. At least I know that's true in CA, and guess it's true in the other 49.
  2. We have Copyright_status_of_work_by_the_U.S._government and this is an offshoot; do we need more articles? No, IMO.
  3. It's a good place to put the DC, PR and territories info, and it's here now.

--Elvey (talk) 00:46, 30 May 2013 (UTC)

Nope. BDD, government WORKs have copyright status; governments themselves don't. I don't much like Copyright status of U.S. subnational government works either (it would then need to cover work that the gov't owned but didn't create); not sure it's better than the status quo. Actually...
...the initial content of this article was extracted from Copyright status of work by the U.S. government Maybe we'd be better off restoring it there and deleting this page entirely. --Elvey (talk) 01:26, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

Interlude: Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Copyright status of work by U.S. state governments. --23:25, 10 June 2013 (UTC)

  • I agree with including 'territories' and any other state-level division, and the title should be adjusted accordingly. (I should have thought of that ..). I'm not convinced 'local' belongs in this page, but I am not opposed to it. I haven't spent much time looking at copyright status of works by government bodies below state level, so I can't give a meaningful answer. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:33, 10 June 2013 (UTC)
  • Support Copyright status of work by U.S. subnational governments. That does the trick without being too wordy. --BDD (talk) 18:34, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
          • Either way. Clearly the consensus is against deleting it, and the proposal is 2 weeks old. --Elvey (talk) 21:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


John, can you explain what you intended by the table headings? In moving info on territories over from Copyright status of work by the U.S. government, I'm at a loss as to what to put where, and the Code of Laws column entries to me seem of no value, as even the few that aren't red links don't help getting to the relevant (off-wiki) copyright statute.

These are the current headings:

State              Code of laws    Section         Notes

How about these instead:

Gov't of           Copyright law links     Excerpts/Notes


Jurisdiction        Copyright law links     Excerpts/Notes

For the CA, NC and FL rows, should we provide an anchor link to the relevant section of the page? --Elvey (talk) 21:01, 12 June 2013 (UTC)

My intention was to have a wikilink for the article about the laws of that region, in order to help readers understand the general framework in that jurisdiction & recent revisions (and those articles also have external links to the laws), a link to the actual section(s) that pertain to copyright of that code of laws, and specific copyright facts that are known in the last column.
I personally don't think we need anchor links to the relevant section, but feel free to add them - I wont be reverting. Thanks so much for helping. John Vandenberg (chat) 23:07, 12 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks, that clarifies. I see some potential value to the info in the column now. I just don't see the logic in having a section of this article on each region, and having it contain a a table with a row for each region. I think we should have one or the other. John, is the table a derivative of List_of_U.S._state_legal_codes? It appears to be. --Elvey (talk) 19:21, 13 June 2013 (UTC)
I also don't see much benefit of prose if it doesnt provide more detail than the notes field in the table. But the prose can grow over time, whereas a Notes field in a table is less likely to.
I had forgotten, but the the Table is obviously a copy of 'List of U.S. state legal codes' as it appeared at the time. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:37, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
It looks like you need to read all of WP:COPYWITHIN. I've not given you a {{uw-copyright-new}} warning but please address the apparent copyvio; I see no attribution for the copied content. (An admin (BWilkins) foolishly insisted I'd violated copyright law by copying MY OWN comments from one part of this wiki to another recently! He was obviously wrong, since I am still the copyright holder of my own comments, but I gave up fighting.)--Elvey (talk) 19:01, 14 June 2013 (UTC)
The half of the table that I copied is facts (state name, and name of state code of laws), and is not copyrightable. I did not copy the Notes or External links, as they could be considered to contain creative content. Feel free to report me for copyright violation if you disagree. John Vandenberg (chat) 00:12, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for improving on my efforts here and on related pages, John Vandenberg. (FYI, IIRC, in CA and FL, at least (and perhaps everywhere) the states rules on copyrightability apply equally (narrow exemptions aside) to creations of local government.)
John, anyone: So, should we have a section of this article on each region (for which we have info), or a table with a row for each region? I think we should have one or the other, and lean toward the former. Agreed? --Elvey (talk) 09:23, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Potential references[edit]

I mentioned in the AFD that I'm concerned about what I perceive to be WP:OR in the article, without substantial use of any secondary references.

This is an area that's search-resistant. Most searches are going to be overwhelmed by material on the well-documented statutory exclusion for the U.S. government in § 105, so there's a lot of chaff and not a great deal of wheat in the results. And it doesn't do to exclude "105" or "United States government" as a search term, because any sources dealing with the treatment of copyright in the individuals states' works will invariably cite to § 105 if only to note that it applies only to the feds.

However, here are a couple likely scholarly works that I've found that may be applicable. Mind you, I'm judging from the titles and first page as shown on Hein Online. I don't have a subscription, and can't see the articles themselves; I'm doing a similar search on JStore, to which I do have access, but it's not all that fruitful. But in case anyone has better access (including to a good old-fashioned hard-copy law library) than I, they may be worth checking out.

Here are a few that are not paywalled:

TJRC (talk) 00:53, 15 June 2013 (UTC)

T, those mostly pre-date Microdecisions, Inc. v. Skinner(2004) and County of Santa Clara v. California First Amendment Coalition(2009) which makes 'em of limited (mostly historical) use. OTOH, the Pitman article is current, detailed and well referenced!--Elvey (talk) 09:17, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

Due process concerns[edit]

I know at some point I've seen scholarly comment that the extent to which a state can claim copyright in its works must be limited by due process concerns, as citizens must have the ability to freely access and distribute statutes, regulations, court decisions, etc., in other words, at least anything that has the force of law. I'm not aware of any federal court cases on the subject, but there probably are state court ones. Some searching will probably dig up some secondary sources discussing this issue for a separate article section apart from each state's details. postdlf (talk) 16:40, 8 July 2013 (UTC)

See {{PD-laws}}. We need to add analogous info to this article, or link to it.. --Elvey (talk) 05:17, 10 July 2013 (UTC)

Commentary - What's at stake; why the statuses differ.[edit]

In my view, one core divisive issue has resulted in findings that some states have released the bulk of their work into the public domain while others have not given up the right use copyright to restrict use and dissemination of their work:

Nearly all the US subnational governments have enacted a broadly applicable Sunshine law in recent years, but each law rarely speaks directly to the impact of the new law on copyright status. The core purpose of the laws is to allow greater insight into the government that governs them. The creation and dissemination of such works and derivatives thereof (typically by public interest groups) can be pivotal. If the state is allowed to restrict what the public does with the works that the law made available, then it remains difficult for such copies and derivative works to be created or disseminated, because the would-be derivatives author can't get a copy of the work from another member of the public, or because the derivative work, once created, can't be shared with the public. On that basis, it has been found that in a few states, but as of yet, not many, that the state cannot use copyright to restrict what is done with its works, as to find otherwise would be contrary to the core purpose of and clear legislative intent found the sunshine laws. --Elvey (talk) 17:18, 14 July 2013 (UTC)

DC and PR[edit]

Why is there nonsense about DC and PR? Compendium II is clear:

206.02(c) District of Columbia. Works of the govern-

ment of the District of Columbia, as now

constituted, are not considered U.S. Govern-

ment works.

206.02(d) Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Works of the

government of Puerto Rico are not considered

to be U.S. Government works.

So the 'rule of doubt' does not apply - and these clearly aren't part of the U.S. Government because if they were, their works would necessarily be U.S. Government works! --Elvey (talk) 06:08, 12 August 2013 (UTC)

@Elvey: Ironically, it looks like you're the one that did it: [2]! Probably some kind of confusion during the craziness over on the related article: Talk:Copyright status of work by the U.S. government#Works Made for Hire for the US state Governments etc. It already confused someone on Commons too: [3]. I've rewritten the section now. --Closeapple (talk) 03:37, 10 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. I guess I accepted that we could rely on the logic of what was stated about Copyright in the works of "organized territories", and definitions of what "organized territories" were. Wow. Looks like we in fact shouldn't accept that, because there is specific guidance regarding these specific territories that override the statements about "organized territories", in general. So is 206.02(e) inconsistent with (d), or is wikipedia, which says, e.g. at Territories_of_the_United_States#Organized_Territory that PR is an organized territory, wrong? --Elvey(tc) 05:26, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

North Carolina's stuff is PD?[edit]

Re. [4] - Moonriddengirl seems to think we must not only avoid reading "are the property of the people" as a statement that they're in the public domain, but that we need to warn people that they may not be in the public domain. I think we should emphasize the term "are the property of the people", and I think that adding the sentence "These works are clearly defined as public records, but may not be public domain." is uncited and not supported by reliable sources. I challenge it. Moonriddengirl, When you say, "These works are clearly defined as public records", I don't think it's clear what you even mean - obviously public records are public records. But that's a tautology, and not a statement we should include. That they may not be public domain is an opinion statement, appropriate if cited or if put in an article in Wikipedia space. If public information compiled by the agencies of North Carolina government or its subdivisions are clearly defined as public records, we must be able to cite a source that clearly defines them thusly. May I ask what prompted you to make that edit, MRG? --Elvey(tc) 04:36, 10 November 2014 (UTC)

I found that the State Library of North Carolina, which is responsible for maintaining state records, considers state documents in it's collection as being in the public domain. Their digital collections has a tag for this. Also, it appears workers at the library have a user name NCandbeyond, and they've added the same statement to templates: Template:PD-SLNC, commons:Template:PD-SLNC
Sparkgap (talk) 05:42, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

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