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Here is how the complaint—filed in US District Court in Atlanta last week—begins:
This action for injunctive relief arises from Defendant’s systematic, widespread, and unauthorized copying and distribution of the copyrighted annotations in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (“O.C.G.A.”) through the distribution of thumb drives containing copies of the O.C.G.A. and the posting of the O.C.G.A. on various websites. Defendant has facilitated, enabled, encouraged, and induced others to view, download, print, copy, and distribute the O.C.G.A copyrighted annotations without limitation, authorization, or appropriate compensation. On information and belief, Defendant has also created unauthorized derivative works containing the O.C.G.A. annotations by re-keying the O.C.G.A. in order to make it possible for members of the public to copy and manipulate the O.C.G.A., thereby also encouraging the creation of further unauthorized derivative works.
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.
The state is not asserting that it is a copyright violation to publish the text of the statutes themselves, “since the laws of Georgia are and should be free to the public.” However, Public.Resource.Org has no right to republish the annotated version of Georgia’s code, which is created by a third-party legal publisher as a work for hire under contract with the state legislature, alleges the complaint (PDF). It was filed Tuesday in federal district court in Atlanta.
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
Consistent with its strategy of terrorism, Defendant freely admits to the copying and distribution of massive numbers
of Plaintiff’s Copyrighted Annotations on at least its yeswescan.org... website. See Exhibit 3. Defendant also
announced on the yeswescan.org... website that it has targeted the States of Mississippi, Georgia, and Idaho and the District of Columbia for its continued, deliberate and willful copying of copyrighted portions of the annotated codes of those jurisdictions.
Its terrorism because they don't like it. And when stupid people don't like something, its called "terrorism" now.