Waives the ability of government agencies in New York to claim copyright protection except where the record reflects artistic creation, or scientific or academic research, or if the agency intends to distribute the record of derivative work based on it to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public officers law, in relation to the ability of government agencies in New York to claim copyright protection
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To guarantee that copyright claims should not chill the desire or ability of citizens to use public records or serve as an impediment to the economic interests of the State.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section 1. Section 89 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to read as follows:
10. Any copyright in a record prepared by an agency that is disclosed pursuant to the provisions of this article is waived, except if such record reflects artistic creation, scientific or academic research, or if the agency intends to distribute the record or a derivative work based on it to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental lease, or license. If any of the foregoing exceptions apply, the agency may in its discretion waive any such copyright.
Section 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.
JUSTIFICATION: Government records, particularly those available in electronic media, have value and may be used commercially for profit. Further, it is a given that government agencies expend substantial amounts of money to acquire, develop and use information technology. Nevertheless, that money would be expended as part of running the government even if there was no FOIL, and even if no one ever requested the records.
Copyright and similar protections, such as patents. are justifiable when the historical elements of copyright are present: artistic creativity or academic or scientific research. However, copyright should not be claimed when an agency is obligated by law to prepare a record. Also, fair use of copyright material provides for public access to, and allows reproduction of records that may involve the accountability of government and promote the public's understanding of government functions and activities.
Government should not be using copyright or other protections in order to charge more than the actual cost of reproducing records or to discourage in any other way the dissemination of public information.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Similar to: A.5472 and S.2385 of 2007/2008; A.6532-A and S.4729-A of 2005/2006 A.10010 of 2003/2004
03/27/09 Referred to Investigations and Government Operations 06/21/10 Amend and Recommit to Investigations and Government Operations - S.3659B
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect 60 days after it becomes law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1837 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 13, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. OPPENHEIMER, DIAZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Government Operations AN ACT to amend the public officers law, in relation to the ability of government agencies in New York to claim copyright protection THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 89 of the public officers law is amended by adding a new subdivision 10 to read as follows: 10. ANY COPYRIGHT IN A RECORD PREPARED BY AN AGENCY THAT IS REQUIRED TO BE DISCLOSED PURSUANT TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE IS WAIVED, EXCEPT WHERE THE RECORD REFLECTS ARTISTIC CREATION, SCIENTIFIC OR ACADEMIC RESEARCH, OR IF THE AGENCY INTENDS TO DISTRIBUTE THE RECORD OR A DERIVATIVE WORK BASED ON IT TO THE PUBLIC BY SALE OR OTHER TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP, OR BY RENTAL, LEASE, OR LICENSE. IF ANY OF THE FOREGOING EXCEPTIONS APPLY, THE ENTITY FROM WHICH THE RECORD IS SOUGHT MAY IN ITS DISCRETION ELECT TO WAIVE ANY SUCH COPYRIGHT. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD06316-01-1