To promote access to justice, equal protection, innovation in the legal marketplace, and to codify long-standing public policy, the Copyright Act of the United States, 17 U.S.C., should be amended as follows:

“Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, administrative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public policy. This applies to such works whether they are Federal, State, or local as well as to those of foreign governments.”

This language comes directly from Section 206.01, Compendium of Office Practices II, U.S. Copyright Office (1984). It reflects clear and established Supreme Court precedent on the matter in cases such as Wheaton v. Peters, 33 U.S. (8 Pet.) 591 (1834) and Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244 (1888). The law belongs to the people, who should be free to read, know, and speak the laws by which they choose to govern themselves.


Affiliations for Identification Only and Do Not Imply Institutional Endorsement

Jasmine C. Abdel-KhalikAssociate ProfessorUMKC School of Law Beth AdelmanDirector of the Charles B. Sears Law LibrarySUNY Buffalo Julie AhrensDirector of Copyright and Fair Use, Center for Internet and SocietyStanford Law School
John R. AllisonSpence Centennial Professor of Business and Professor of Intellectual PropertyUniversity of Texas at Austin Pat AufderheideUniversity ProfessorAmerican University Margo A. BagleyProfessor of LawUniversity of Virginia School of Law
Ann BartowProfessor of LawPace Law School Karen S. BeckManager, Historical and Special CollectionsHarvard Law School Library Yochai BenklerJack N. and Lillian R. Berkman Professor for Entrepreneurial Legal StudiesHarvard Law School
Melissa J. BernsteinLibrary Director and Professor of LawUniversity of Utah Robert C. Berring, Jr.Walter Perry Johnson Professor of LawUC Berkeley Law School Annemarie BridyAssociate ProfessorCollege of Law, University of Idaho
William J. BrutocaoAdjunct Professor of Intellectual Property LawUniversity of La Verne College of Law Dan L. BurkChancellor's Professor of LawUniversity of California, Irvine Michael A. CarrierProfessor of LawRutgers Law School
Michael W. CarrollProfessor of LawAmerican University, Washington College of Law Brian W. CarverAssistant ProfessorUniversity of California, Berkeley Carol ChomskyProfessor of Law and Associate Dean for Academic AffairsUniversity of Minnesota Law School
Margaret ChonDonald and Lynda Horowitz Professor for the Pursuit of JusticeSeattle University School of Law Ralph D. CliffordProfessor of LawUniversity of Massachusetts School of Law Julie E. CohenProfessor of LawGeorgetown University Law Center
Kevin Emerson CollinsProfessor of LawWashington University School of Law David G. CowanVice President and Director of Library ServicesSouth Texas College of Law Susan CrawfordProfessor of LawCardozo Law School
Richard A. DannerRufty Research Professor of Law and Senior Associate DeanDuke University School of Law Estelle DerclayeProfessor of Intellectual Property LawUniversity of Nottingham Pamela EdwardsProfessor of Law and DirectorCenter for Diversity in the Legal Profession, CUNY
Michelle Vescio EvensonFellow, Center for Law and Intellectual PropertyThomas Jefferson School of Law Thomas G. Field, Jr.Emeritus and Visiting Professor of LawUNH School of Law John FlymProfessor EmeritusNortheastern Univ. School of Law
A. Michael FroomkinLaurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein Distinguished Professor of LawUniversity of Miami School of Law Jon M. GaronProfessor of LawNorthern Kentucky University Chase College of Law James GibsonProfessor of LawUniversity of Richmond
Eric GoldmanProfessorSanta Clara University School of Law Jerry GoldmanResearch Professor of LawIIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Ellen P. GoodmanProfessorRutgers University School of Law
Jennifer Stisa GranickDirector of Civil LibertiesStanford Center for Internet and Society James GrimmelmannProfessor of LawNew York Law School David HalperinOf CounselPublic.Resource.Org
William D. HensleeProfessor of LawFAMU College of Law Laura A. HeymannClass of 2014 Professor of LawCollege of William and Mary Kenneth J. HirshDirector of the Law Library and I.T. and Professor of PracticeUniversity of Cincinnati College of Law
Cynthia HoProfessor of LawLoyola University of Chicago School of Law Dan HunterProfessor of LawNew York Law School Todd T. ItoReference Librarian and Lecturer in LawUniversity of Chicago Law School
Conrad A. JohnsonClinical Professor of LawColumbia University School of Law Faye E. JonesDirector and ProfessorLegal Research Center, Florida State University Dennis S. KarjalaJack E. Brown Professor of LawArizona State University
Melinda KentManager, Research ServicesHarvard Law School Library Ian KerrProfessor of LawUniversity of Ottawa Minjeong KimAssociate ProfessorColorado State University
Amy LandersDistinguished Professor of LawPacific McGeorge School of Law Sarah Hooke LeeAssistant Dean and Director, Information and Research ServicesNortheastern School of Law Library Richard LeiterDirector and Professor, Schmid Law LibraryUniversity of Nebraska College of Law
Mark A. LemleyWilliam H. Neukom ProfessorStanford Law School Lawrence LessigRoy L. Furman Professor of Law and LeadershipHarvard Law School Yvette Joy LiebesmanAssistant Professor of LawSaint Louis University
Joseph P. LiuProfessor of LawBoston College Law School Lee Ann W. LockridgeDavid Weston Robinson Professor of LawLouisiana State University J. Paul LomioLibrary Director and Lecturer in LawStanford Law School
Lydia Pallas LorenKay Kitagawa and Andy Johnson-Laird IP Faculty Scholar and Professor of LawLewis and Clark Law School Brian J. LoveAssistant ProfessorSanta Clara University School of Law Carl MalamudPresident and FounderPublic.Resource.Org
Susan Nevelow MartAssociate Professor and Director of the Law LibraryUniversity of Colorado at Boulder John MayerExecutive DirectorCenter for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction Mark P. McKennaProfessor of Law Notre Dame Law School
Hiram Meléndez-JuarbeAssociate ProfessorUniversity of Puerto Rico Law School Michael J. MeurerProfessor of LawBoston University School of Law Courtney MinickAttorneyJustia.com
Deirdre K. MulliganAssistant ProfessorUC Berkeley School of Information Ira Steven NathensonAssociate Professor of LawSt. Thomas University School of Law Charles R. NessonWeld Professor of LawHarvard Law School
Beth NoveckProfessor of LawNew York Law School Tyler T. OchoaProfessor of LawSanta Clara University School of Law Harlan OnsrudProfessorUniversity of Maine
Sean PagerAssociate Professor of LawMichigan State University Richard J. Peltz-SteeleProfessor of LawUniversity of Massachusetts Dartmouth Aaron PerzanowskiAssociate Professor of LawCase Western Reserve University School
Laura QuilterCopyright Attorney and Information Policy LibrarianUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst R. Anthony ReeseChancellor's ProfessorUC Irvine School of Law Blake ReidStaff AttorneyInstitute for Public Representation, Georgetown Law
Michael RischAssociate Professor of LawVillanova University School of Law Matthew SagProfessorLoyola University Chicago School of Law Zahr SaidAssistant Professor of LawUniversity of Washington School of Law
Pam SamuelsonRichard M. Sherman Distinguished Professor of LawUC Berkeley Law School Sharon K. SandeenProfessor of LawHamline University School of Law Joshua D. SarnoffProfessor of LawDePaul University College of Law
Arundhati SatkalmiSenior Research LibrarianSt. John's University School of Law Roger E. SchechterProfessor of LawGeorge Washington University Law School Jason M. SchultzAssistant Clinical Professor of LawUC Berkeley School of Law
Jessica SilbeyProfessor of LawSuffolk University Law School Joshua M. SilversteinProfessor of LawUniversity of Arkansas at Little Rock David A. SimonFellow, Project on Law & Mind SciencesHarvard Law School
Christopher Jon SprigmanClass of 1963 Research ProfessorUniversity of Virginia School of Law Tim StanleyAttorneyJustia.Com Katherine StrandburgProfessor of LawNew York University School of Law
Barbara Gellis TraubHead of Reference and Instructional ServicesSt. John's University School of Law Samuel E. TrosowAssociate ProfessorUniversity of Western Ontario Geertrui Van OverwalleProfessor of LawUniversity of Leuven
Eugene VolokhGary T. Schwartz Professor of LawUCLA School of Law Erika V. WayneDeputy Director and Lecturer in LawStanford Law School Library Beth WilliamsDirector of the Library and Information Technology ServicesLouisiana State University Law Center
Cicely WilsonLibrarianJustia.com Jane K. WinnCharles I. Stone ProfessorUniversity of Washington School of Law Suzanne WonesExecutive DirectorHarvard Law School Library
Richard W. WrightDistinguished Professor of LawIIT Chicago-Kent College of Law Alfred C. YenProfessor of LawBoston College Law School Jonathan ZittrainProfessor of Law and Vice-Dean for Library and Information ResourcesHarvard Law School
Janis L. JohnstonAssociate Professor of LawUniversity of Illinois Michelle PearseSenior Research LibrarianHarvard Law School Library Peter SuberProfessorEarlham College
Sue ZagoDirector of Law LibraryUniversity of New Hampshire Wendy SeltzerFellow, Berkman CenterHarvard University Catherine CrumpStaff AttorneyAmerican Civil Liberties Union
Anne KlinefelterDirector of the Law LibraryUniversity of North Carolina

Affiliations for Identification Only and Do Not Imply Institutional Endorsement

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