[Board] FW: [OSGeo-Discuss] The amicus curiae brief in the Orange County, California public records / geo data court case

Tim Schaub tschaub at opengeo.org
Fri Dec 16 09:34:25 PST 2011

I'd be willing to vote on attaching our name to a brief if we are
given more detail on the cases.  Michael, if you're able to dig and
summarize, that would be helpful.


On Fri, Dec 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM, Michael P. Gerlek <mpg at flaxen.com> wrote:
> Fellow Boardsters, our help is requested.
> I know nothing about the case myself and we'd need to do our homework first, but from this short blurb it seems like something we could/should support.
> I'd be willing to do the homework, if the board thinks this a worthy cause.
> _mpg
> -----Original Message-----
> From: discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org [mailto:discuss-bounces at lists.osgeo.org] On Behalf Of Dan Putler
> Sent: Friday, December 16, 2011 9:08 AM
> To: discuss at lists.osgeo.org
> Subject: [OSGeo-Discuss] The amicus curiae brief in the Orange County, California public records / geo data court case
> Hi all,
> I've been in contact with Bruce Joffe who has been working on an amicus curiae ("friend of the court") brief associated with two court decisions that have gone in completely opposite directions in California, one involving Santa Clara County and the other involving Orange County. The legal point is the same in both cases, is GIS data (parcel data in
> particular) data or is it software? If it is data, then it is covered under the California Public Records Act, requiring that it be released to the public for reproduction costs, if it is software, it isn't covered, and is subject to licensing fees. The judge in the Santa Clara County case (correctly) determined it was data, while the judge in the Orange County case (incorrectly) determined it was software. The case is now heading to the California Supreme Court, and Bruce Joffe is rounding up potential individuals and organizations to sign on to the amicus curiae brief. More details about the situation was posted on the Directions Magazine daily newsletter on Wednesday. Here is the link to the article:
> http://www.directionsmag.com/articles/sierra-club-vs-orange-county-pra-lawsuit-update-december-10-2011/219926
> My main purpose for posting this information to this list is to determine if there is some mechanism by which the Open Geospatial Foundation can be listed as one of the supporting parties in the amicus curiae brief. I don't know if there is a mechanism for approving this, but this seems like an issue that we should have a strong interest in.
> Dan
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Tim Schaub
OpenGeo http://opengeo.org/
Expert service straight from the developers.

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