Monday, September 08, 2008

Who do laws belong to?

A reader who happens to be a patent and trademark lawyer and who wishes anonymity has commented via email on my recent post about California's copyrighting of their statutes, which prevents people from freely downloading copies of them:

"there is, in fact, such a thing as a "work for hire" in the u.s copyright law. works made for hire are are owned by the employer, so as you suggest, the question comes down to who's working for whom."

It's always been my understanding that "public servant" means just that, serving the people one works for, namely the taxpayer. It's only logical to infer, then, that something created at the behest of taxpayers and paid for by them should belong to the citizens to do with what they wish, and not arbitrarily to a government entity.

California residents, it's your stuff. Take it if you want it.

No comments: