Contours of Copyright: The States Win One and Lose One 

HGZ Headshot Photo 2015 (M0846618xB1386)Two recent U.S. Supreme Court cases affect the rights of states under copyright law, one pro-state, one anti-state (really more pro-public). In his new copyright article, Howard Zaharoff discusses the Court’s rulings in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc. and Allen v. Cooper, Governor of North Carolina.

The state loss was Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org. Inc. (decided April 27, 2020). The issue was whether the State of Georgia could copyright annotations to the Georgia Code, consisting of case summaries and other explanatory materials created by LexisNexis in a work-for-hire arrangement with Georgia’s Code Revision Commission. The pro-state case, Allen v. Cooper (decided March 23, 2020), concerned how and when Congress may properly abrogate states’ rights under the 11th Amendment to the US Constitution. Learn about the arguments and the rulings in this copyright article.