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

Alex Mandel tech_dev at wildintellect.com
Fri Dec 16 12:23:57 PST 2011

If the Foundation was to sign this I imagine the mechanism is Board

However, we may need legal advise first as making such statements might
change our ability to get 501(c)3 status. We would also need to consider
if the Foundation as a whole should make these types of decisions as a
board or as a collective vote of the Charter members and if it needs to
be consensus or majority. Basically I want to make sure that by having
the Foundation take a stance we don't put off potential contributors and
members or have adverse implications on the legal side.

On the other side, everyone is welcome to sign as an individual
geospatial professional.


On 12/16/2011 09:08 AM, Dan Putler wrote:
> 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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