Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc.

Case Background

In 2013, Public.Resource.Org purchased, scanned, and posted online all the current volumes of the print Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). In 2015, the State of Georgia sued Public.Resource.Org in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and received judgement in the State’s favor, finding that because the annotations formally lack the force of law, they are not in the public domain. Public.Resource.Org appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. The Eleventh Circuit reversed the judgement, holding that Georgia cannot assert a valid copyright interest in any part of the OCGA. The State of Georgia then appealed to the Supreme Court, and Public.Resource.Org responded, maintaining that the State of Georgia was wrong on the merits but that the Court should grant certiorari to clarify how courts should analyze whether a given work is an uncopyrightable government edict.

The Supreme Court granted cert in June 2019 and heard oral argument on December 2, 2019 (Docket No. 18-1150).

Formal Statements