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

Michael P. Gerlek mpg at flaxen.com
Fri Dec 16 19:23:20 PST 2011

I've volunteered to take point on this issue and do the homework, as a first step towards bringing to the Board for approval.

I've started a wiki page listing some reading material about the case:


If anyone has any opinions about the issue (either pro or con!), please email me or email the list or add to the wiki.


> -----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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