Thought Leadership
By Gabrielle Frieser, a rising third year law student at Harvard Law school and a summer associate at Gerard Fox Law.

“No One Can Own the Law”: Supreme Court Rules Statute Annotations Ineligible for Copyright Protection


In a recent decision, the Supreme Court held that annotations accompanying statutory provisions in Georgia’s Official Code are ineligible for copyright protection, even though the annotations lack the force of law. Writing for the majority in Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc., Chief Justice Roberts relied on the “animating principle” that “no one can own the law.” The Court found that the annotations, although not binding law, were “authored” by an arm of the legislature in the course of its legislative duties, and are therefore ineligible for copyright protection.