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Legal history

2020

Comparative and Foreign Law

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

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Copyright In The Texts Of The Law: Historical Perspectives, Charles Duan Apr 2020

Copyright In The Texts Of The Law: Historical Perspectives, Charles Duan

Articles in Law Reviews & Other Academic Journals

Recently, state governments have begun to claim a copyright interest in their official published codes of law, in particular arguing that ancillary materials such as annotations to the statutory text are subject to state-held copyright protection because those materials are not binding commands that carry the force of law. Litigation over this issue and a vigorous policy debate are ongoing.

This article contributes a historical perspective to this ongoing debate over copyright in texts relating to the law. It reviews the history of government production and use of annotations, commentaries, legislative debates, and other related information relevant to the law …