Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Can Government Official Put Copyrighted Work "On the Record"?
Government immunity? State governments are immune from copyright infringement lawsuits (sovereign immunity). So if the copying was done by a state official, the state could not be sued. Congress tried to change that but a district court ruled otherwise (although an individual state employee may be liable.) Local governments and the federal government (and their employees) can be sued for infringement for either scanning or passing out copies. (Passing out copies might make for a better fair use defense because it limits copying to a need-to-know group).
BTW Dept. If copyrighted material is placed in the Congressional Record, there are restrictions on reproducing it.