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Re: PHPNuke license


> > Maybe I'm remembering something completely wrong, but I thought that
> > legal contracts in the US were not copyrightable.
> If that is the case, I congratulate the US legislators.
> However, in the UK, if I remember correctly, the Law Society owns the
> copyright for the standard terms and conditions used in buying and
> selling houses and charges for their use, thereby adding its own
> private tax to the various government taxes on buying and selling
> property.

In the US, "Edicts of government, such as judicial opinions, adminis-
trative rulings, legislative enactments, public ordinances, and similar
official legal documents are not copyrightable for reasons of public
policy" (Copyright Office Practices Compendium II section 206.01).

The Supreme Court recently accepted a case that may clarify the extent
of this exception (Veeck v. SBCCI):


I have also heard the claim that private contracts are not
copyrightable, but I've never seen law or precendent to support it.
Given that copyrights on other legal documents (including the model
codes at issue in Veeck) have generally been upheld, I would be
surprised to find that contracts are exempt.

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