The Bluebook Challenge, and a Promise to the Public Domain

We see a noteworthy update this week in the back-and-forth between public domain advocate Carl Malamud and representatives of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation®.

As I understand it and as you might know, Mr Malamud has been working for some time to challenge both the appropriateness and the legality of the copyright protection claimed in The Bluebook. This week, on behalf of Mr Malamud and his foundation, Public.Resource.Org, Professor Christopher Sprigman of the Engelberg Center on Innovation and Policy wrote to counsel for the Harvard Law Review Association to outline its current position.

The letter is fascinating.

Not only does it outline the bold, multi-pronged, and factually and legally researched particular legal premise that underpins Mr Malamud and Public.ResourceOrg’s position, but it also announces plans to create a public domain version of The Bluebook. From the letter:

Based on what we’ve learned, we have embarked on a joint project with Public Resource to create and publish a public domain version of The Bluebook–a project we refer to as Baby Blue. Our project will mix public domain portions of the 19th edition with newly-created material that implements the Bluebook’s system of citation in a fully usable form.

The Legal Informatics Blog reports on the project and the letter, as does the LawGives blog, highlighting the interesting legal . And Public.Resource.Org has posted the letter, so we can all see its analysis and plans.

A hat tip to Robert Richards and the Legal Informatics blog for the news and links to the resources.

Comments are closed.