Cyberlaw Clinic, Law Profs Submit Second Brief on Standards and Law

AERA Amicus Cover PageLast week, the Harvard Law School Cyberlaw Clinic, on behalf of a group of law scholars, filed an amicus brief (pdf) in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in American Educational Resource Association (AERA) v. Public.Resource.org, Case No. 1:14-cv-00857-TSC (D.D.C.). In January, amici joined a similar brief in the case, ASTM v. Public Resource, Case No. 1:13-cv-01215-EGS (D.D.C.), which is pending before the same court. As in the previous case, the plaintiffs in this case are organizations that develop standards (SDOs). They include AERA, the American Psychological Association, Inc., and the National Council on Measurement in Education, Inc. Plaintiffs allege copyright and trademark infringement by defendant Public Resource, a non-profit organization dedicated to making government information accessible to the public, for publishing on its website privately developed standards that have been incorporated into federal law.

This latest brief advances many of the same legal arguments made in the previous brief with reference to model codes and applies them to privately developed standards. Amici argue that privately developed standards that are later incorporated into law are not, and should not be, copyrightable. Our earlier blog post on the previous brief summarizes those arguments in detail.

Spring 2016 Cyberlaw Clinic students Allison Kempf and Ben Murray took the lead on this brief, working closely with Chris Bavitz and Andy Sellars, and drawing on the earlier work of Clinic students Joseph Posimato, Michael Gocksch, and Miranda Means. Attorney Cathy Gellis again assisted with the filing.

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