Codification of the law is an expensive and time-consuming task that requires a certain level of skill and an ability for quick turnaround of product. Because of this, Congress and a majority of state legislatures hire companies, pursuant to their respective jurisdictions, with legal experts who organize legal information from a wide swath of sources into masterfully-constructed annotations brimming with helpful information to the reader. These annotations are so useful that the federal and state judiciary often employ them to understand statutes that are unclear or to define the scope of statutes. Moreover, these annotations, due to the nature of the agreement with their respective legislatures, even save taxpayers a great amount of money.4 If you are a publication company, have an employer with enough capital to purchase a subscription package with these publication companies, or are an individual with expendable funds, there are little drawbacks to copyrighted annotations. For many Americans, unfortunately, this option is not so freely available. ...
This Comment analyzes the historical development of the government edicts doctrine and the impact Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc.10 has on the American people. Part II outlines the development of copyright law, the government edicts doctrine, work for hire doctrine, and statutory interpretation as they relate to this recent evolution of copyright law. Part III explains Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. in the United States Supreme Court, the preceding district and appellate court decision on this case, as well as prior case law discussing the government edicts doctrine. Part IV discusses how uncopyrightable legislative works will impact groups such as legal researchers, agencies, publishers, other states, those with disabilities, future intellectual property lawsuits, and others under purview of American legislatures.
Elizabeth Selph, Comment, Death of the Author: The Evolution and Expansion of the Government Edicts Doctrine in Copyright Law, 72 Mercer L. Rev. 657 (2021).