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Anyone seen this? Can you elaborate?

"Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal

Volume: 64 Number: 1577

June 14, 2002
 Privately Drafted Model Codes Are Not Copyrightable When Enacted Into Law

Privately authored model codes solicited to the government and enacted 
into law are not entitled to copyright protection, the en banc U.S. Court 
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held June 7 (Veeck v. Southern Building 
Code Congress International Inc., 5th Cir., No. 99-40632, en banc 
decision 6/7/02).

Reversing a panel ruling that affirmed a summary judgment for the 
copyright owner, the 8-6 decision relied on the long-standing principle 
that "the law" may not be subject to exclusive rights that can interfere 
with public access. The court also found that model codes become "facts" 
when enacted, and are therefore not subject to copyright protection under 
the merger doctrine. In dissenting opinions, Judge Jacques L. Wiener Jr. 
complained that the majority's holding enacts a blanket, per se rule that 
fails to take account of the private authorship here, and Judge Patrick 
Higginbotham noted that the record fails to support a claim that public 
access to the laws was hampered."

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)

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