Lawyers file class action copyright suit against WestLaw and LexisNexis for publishing legal briefs filed in cases

by Stephan Kinsella on February 23, 2012

As can be seen here. (h/t Skip Oliva)
022212 West

This reminds somewhat of the practice of lawyers sending cease-and-desist letters and then claiming copyright in them to stop them from being posted, as noted here:

  • http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20071005/174623.shtml: “In an apparent attempt to avoid the Streisand Effect, lawyers sending threat letters sometimes claim that the recipient would violate the firm’s copyright by posting it online. This post is about Public Citizen’s response to one dumb threat letter and its decision to post the letter online despite the copyright claim.” It’s funny how popular it has become for lawyers to claim it’s illegal to post or even show anyone their cease-and-desist letters. Remember: just because a lawyer says so, it doesn’t mean it’s true. You can see Public Citizen’s response to the letter (pdf), which lays out a variety of reasons why the cease and desist is ridiculous (it’s yet another attempt to force criticism offline) and ends with a fantastic response to the claim that the original C&D is covered by copyright and cannot be posted online without additional charges: http://www.citizen.org/documents/directbuycd.pdf: sometimes such letters conclude: “Please be aware that this letter is copyrighted by our law firm, and you are not authorized to republish this in any manner. Use of this letter in a posting, in full or in part, will subject you to further legal causes of action.”
  • Court Says You Can Copyright A Cease-And-Desist Letter, Techdirt (Jan. 25, 2008)
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