Copyright Column

Column Editor: Laura N. Gasaway (Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Univ. of North Carolina-Chapel Hill School of Law, Chapel Hill, NC 27599; Phone: 919-962-2295; Fax: 919-962-1193),

QUESTION: A court library has recently had discussions with an attorney about the copyright status of state court briefs. The attorney believes that briefs are copyrightable and that Lexis, Westlaw infringe when they include briefs in their databases without permission. The library maintains that state court briefs are public information and not subject to copyright. Is there a difference in U.S. government works and state government documents?

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