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Session laws, code, code revision commission, copyright, copyright infringement, injunctive relief


The United States Supreme Court decided Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org, Inc. (“PRO”) in late April, 2020, a case with major implications for those who rely on the Arkansas statutes. The case addressed whether extra materials Georgia includes in its official statutes, the annotations, can be copyrighted, or if they are in the public domain and can be freely distributed without permission. The case pitted two important competing interests against each other: the ability of citizens to freely access the official versions of laws of their state, versus the interests of a third-party publisher in being compensated for its work. Arkansas produces its code in a process which is nearly identical to Georgia’s. Also, like the fact situation in PRO, the organization Public.Resource.Org (“PRO”) maintains a free copy of the Arkansas code on the internet without the State’s permission. This article will examine PRO and look at how the ruling might apply to Arkansas’s own official code.