As more private companies upload judicial opinions, state and federal regulations and other public court documents, attempting to copyright those documents may prove futile. After all, many public court documents are deemed uncopyrightable and essential for public consumption.

“Most public agencies recognize there’s a public interest in making their records as readily available to the public as possible,” said Jones Day’s Peter Canfield. “If there’s a cost that gets in the way, it should be a minimal one.”

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