Georgia claims that publishing its laws for free online is ‘terrorism’

Georgia claims that publishing its laws for free online is ‘terrorism’

I get that elected officials hate transparency. If nothing else, it just creates more work for them. But to equate it to terrorism? C’mon son.


Government officials have threatened “rogue archivist” Carl Malamud with legal action many times for his efforts to make public government documents widely available for free, but the state of Georgia has set a new standard for fighting this ridiculous battle: It’s suing Malamud for infringing its copyright of state laws by — horrors — publishing them online.

The state’s lawsuit, filed last week in Atlanta federal court, accuses Malamud of piracy — and worse, of “a form of ‘terrorism.'” His offense: Through his website,, he provides members of the public access to a searchable and downloadable scan of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated — that is, the entire body of state law. The state wants a court order forcing Malamud to stop.

Georgia and Malamud have been waging this battle for a couple of years, or ever since Malamud sent thumb drives bearing the scans to the speaker of the state House of Representatives in 2013. A cease-and-desist order, which Malamud rebuffed, came virtually by return mail.

I get that there is a legal question here, and I’ll let the lawyers sort that out.  My question is this…why isn’t all this available for free online as it is?

Share this!

Enjoy reading? Share it with your friends!