RFP: Enhanced Code of Federal Regulations Needs Your Help

This RFP is a call for assistance from librarians and other civic-minded individuals. In 2008, Public.Resource.Org, with the assistance of a variety of parties including the Sunlight Foundation, GovTrack.US, Stanford University, and Google, purchased a bulk feed of the Code of Federal Regulations, a product sold by the Government Printing Office.[1] This RFP details the second stage of this program.

via RFP: Enhanced Code of Federal Regulations – Open Government | Google Groups.

What Carl and the folks at public.resource.org want to do is create version of the CFR that will pull all the various technical standards that are included by reference into the an online version of the CFR, actually including the standards in the body of the CFR. And they’re looking for help from the library community. If you can help Carl and p.r.o get these standards, let him know. Remember that by including the standards through reference, they become part of the CFR and should be available to the public.

One Reply to “RFP: Enhanced Code of Federal Regulations Needs Your Help”

  1. Elmer: I don’t entirely understand. Many, if not all, of the standards referred to in Mr. Malamud’s post are copyrighted. In my view, Mr. Malamud’s message appears to be a request that persons engage in copyright infringement. In my view, involvement in this matter could give rise to liability for direct or contributory copyright infringement. To my knowledge, Veeck is good law only in the 5th Circuit, not in California, where P.R.O. is located. In California, to my knowledge, Practice Management states the law. Practice Mgmt. Info. Corp. v. Am. Med. Ass’n, 121 F3d 516 (9th Cir. 1997), amended by 133 F.3d 1140 (9th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 524 U.S. 952 (1998). Nor does Veeck apply in the 7th Circuit, where the Illinois State Library is located; the law on this issue in the 7th Circuit appears to be unclear. Further, the ruling in Veeck was narrow, applying only to “a model code,” whose text “serves no other purpose than to become law,” and whose publisher “operates with the sole motive and purpose of creating codes that will become obligatory in law.” 293 F.3d at 804-05. See also the following language from Veeck: “The copyrighted works do not ‘become law’ merely because a statute refers to them. See 1 GOLDSTEIN COPYRIGHT, § 2.49 at n. 45.2 (noting that CCC[, the case stating the law on this issue in the 2d Circuit,] and Practice Management ‘involved compilations of data that had received governmental approval, not content that had been enacted into positive law’). Equally important, the referenced works or standards in CCC and Practice Management were created by private groups for reasons other than incorporation into law. To the extent incentives are relevant to the existence of copyright protection, the authors in these cases deserve incentives. And neither CCC nor AMA solicited incorporation of their standards by legislators or regulators.” 293 F.3d at 804-05.

    The opinions above do not constitute legal advice or legal representation.

    Robert C. Richards, Jr., J.D.*, , M.S.L.I.S., M.A.
    * Member New York bar, retired status.

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