Copyright Laws vs. Public Court Documents

E-Commerce Times

The public court system appears to have an implied right to distribute papers filed in lawsuits, related to those suits. Probably even the opposing parties in lawsuits have the right to make copies to provide as exhibits to papers filed in response, and to share with clients and expert witnesses. The question is, do commercial businesses have the right to copy documents filed in court and share these documents for commercial gain? That question may soon be answered.

In the aftermath of the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, state and federal governments moved to become more open, and the Internet has made the achievement of transparency even easier.

Information is now available to the general public on government websites or from federal agencies in response to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Many states have open records laws (like the Texas Public Information Act ) requiring a similar provision of information on the state level.

Read More.

The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.

Search Tips:

You may use the wildcard symbol (*) as a root expander.  A search for "anti*" will find not only "anti", but also "anti-trust", "antique", etc.

Entering two terms together in a search field will behave as though an "OR" is being used.  For example, entering "Antique Motorcars" as a Client Name search will find results with either word in the Client Name.


AND and OR may be used in a search.  Note: they must be capitalized, e.g., "Project AND Finance." 

The + and - sign operators may be used.  The + sign indicates that the term immediately following is required, while the - sign indicates to omit results that contain that term. E.g., "+real -estate" says results must have "real" but not "estate".

To perform an exact phrase search, surround your search phrase with quotation marks.  For example, "Project Finance".

Searches are not case sensitive.

back to top