Apparently, Oregon is trying. The story goes thusly: Oregon sent a cease and desist letter to Justia and Public.Resource.Org. They claimed a copyright in the “arrangement and subject matter compilation of Oregon statutory law…” Thus, Oregon is asking these sites to take down the Oregon statutes they make available for free.
Most of the correspondence is available for view here. As Justia and P.R.O point out in this letter, the Oregon website is horribly W3C non-compliant (there are over 503,000 HTML errors!), is not “section 508” compliant, doesn’t use CSS (!!!) and even has a robots.txt file that blocks search engines!
How is that “accessible to the public”? The site lacks functionality and may not be accessible by all browsers and all operating systems.
So, what if a State decides to either charge for access to its statutes or makes it publicly available on a crappy website where not all can view the pages. Do we have a legitimate notice problem? I know we are all presumed to know the law, but if the State is charging for access to the actual text of the Statutes, or makes them difficult to access, what are the chances of successfully defending a prosecution on due process grounds?
Also, what the hell is wrong with Oregon? Why, in this day and age, would you be so stubborn and so stupid? What is really the point of “protecting” the Code? I don’t understand what they’re trying to accomplish, other than look foolish.
Anyway, anyone see a potential notice problem here?