Document Type

Amicus Brief

Publication Date


Case Name

Georgia v. Pub. Res. Org, Inc., 140 S. Ct. 1498 (2020)


Twenty-five centuries of history reject the foundation of Petitioners’ case. In contending that it may assert federal copyright law against its citizens to block distribution of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the State of Georgia contemplates a bright line between its uncopyrightable statutes and all other edicts of government that “lack the force of law.” No such line exists. On the contrary, sovereigns since antiquity have promulgated not only statutes but also proclamations, explanations, commentaries, and even annotations, all of which, even lacking “force of law,” carry great weight for the rule of law and the functioning of government. History reveals not a binary divide between statutes and all else, but a spectrum of edicts of government,