TODAY: Curing the Civic Cancer of Copyright of Public Laws and Legal Codes

The OpenGov Foundation’s Executive Director to Address American Association of Law Library’s National Conference on Copyright of State Legal Materials at Boston University Law School

BOSTON, MA (December 2, 2016) — As U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer writes, “If a law isn’t public, it isn’t a law.”  Yet across America, the vast majority of state, county and local public laws and legal codes are not close to publicly accessible, locked away from the public under copyright restrictions and poll-tax-style paywalls. This is a serious, growing problem for free, functional government and violates the fundamental right of all Americans to know the laws under which they live.  

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Today, at 3:30 PM time as part of National Conference on Copyright of State and Legal Materials, The OpenGov Foundation’s (OGF) Executive Director Seamus Kraft will share how we are curing the copyright cancer: with a unique combination of cutting-edge data science, policy development and collaborative efforts with the U.S. Congress and Free Law Founders coalition of state, local and county governments.  The OGF’s work— from modernizing local laws and legal codes to developing model copyright of law reform legislation— to build a world where the public has the best possible access to every single law, legal code, rule and regulation was recognized by the American Library Association with the 2016 James Madison Award for  championing, protecting and promoting public access to government information and the public’s right to know at the national level.

What: The National Conference on Copyright and State Legal Materials

Who: Executive Director Seamus Kraft, Emily Frentren, Director of Government Relations, American Association of Law Libraries, Kris Kasianovitz, Government Information Librarian, State, Local and International Documents, Stanford University Libraries

Where: Boston University Law School, Boston, MA

When: Friday December 2nd, 3:30 PM

How to Watch: The discussion will be recorded and posted after the fact. Follow @FoundOpenGov on Twitter to get the video, or contact The OGF directly.

Contact: Mary Kate Mezzetti | marykate@opengovfoundation.org | +1-508-776-2789

Emily Feltren | feltren@aall.org | +1-312-205-8010

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