What is the law?
Binding, on-point law (about)
Advisory sources (about)
Public records law (about)
Arizona's first open records law was enacted in 1901. The current public records law can be found at Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121. See generally, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Open Government Guide: Access to Public Records and Meetings in Arizona and National Association of Counties, Open Records Laws: A State by State Report, 17-18 (2010).
Does the public records law restrict the use of disclosed records?
The Arizona public records law requires requestors to provide a statement of purpose if they request public records for commercial purposes. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121.03(A). If the stated purpose is deemed an "abuse" of the right to receive public records, the request may be denied, and provisions are included which penalize fraudulent non-disclosure of purpose by the requestor. Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121.03(B-C).
Specifics and examples (about)
|Status||Applies to...||Based on?|
|Not copyrightable||Arizona Supreme Court opinions ||Ariz. Const. art. VI, § 8 (stating that decisions are "free for publication by any person"), as interpreted in 1963 Az. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 63-19 (R-229)|
|Copyrightable by rule||"Documents and materials produced and copyrighted by the [Arizona Supreme] court"||AZ ST S CT Rule 123|
Additional things to consider (about)
The Arizona State Library indicates that works of the Arizona state government are protected by copyright.
The Arizona public records law requires that records be "open to inspection by any person". Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121.
The Arizona code refers to public records as the "property of this state." Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 41-151.15.
Where else to go
- Arizona State Library, available at http://www.azlibrary.gov/.
- Arizona Attorney General Agency Handbook, guide to public records, available at https://www.azag.gov/sites/default/files/sites/all/docs/agency-handbook/ch06.pdf.
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Open Government Guide: Access to Public Records and Meetings in Arizona, available at http://www.rcfp.org/rcfp/orders/docs/ogg/AZ.pdf.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121, available at http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/39/00121.htm&Title=39&DocType=ARS.
Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 39-121.03, available at http://www.azleg.state.az.us/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/ars/39/00121-03.htm&Title=39&DocType=ARS.
Ariz. Const. art. VI, § 8, available at http://www.azleg.gov/FormatDocument.asp?inDoc=/const/6/8.htm.
- AZ ST S CT Rule 123(12), available at http://www.azcourts.gov/Portals/74/Rule123/Rule%20123%20Rules%20of%20the%20Supreme%20Court.pdf.
Attorney General Opinions
- 1963 Az. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 63-19 (R-229), available at http://azmemory.azlibrary.gov/cdm/ref/collection/agopinions/id/1304.
Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, Copyright Policy, available at http://www.azlibrary.gov/policies.
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Open Government Guide: Access to Public Records and Meetings in Arizona, available at http://www.rcfp.org/rcfp/orders/docs/ogg/AZ.pdf.
National Association of Counties, Open Records Laws: A State by State Report, 17-18 (2010) available at http://www.naco.org/newsroom/pubs/Documents/County%20Management%20and%20Structure/Open%20Records%20Laws%20A%20State%20by%20State%20Report.pdf.
-  Judicial opinions cannot be copyrighted. The Supreme Court in Banks v. Manchester, 128 U.S. 244, 9 S. Ct. 36, 32 L. Ed. 425 (1888) invalidated an asserted copyright by a private publisher, an Ohio citizen, for copyright in the state court reports, holding that any content written by a judge cannot be copyrighted because "[t]he whole work done by the judges constitutes the authentic exposition and interpretation of the law, which, binding every citizen, is free for publication to all, whether it is a declaration of unwritten law, or an interpretation of a constitution or a statute." See also Nash v. Lathrop, 142 Mass. 29, 35, 6 N.E. 559, 560 (1886) and Wheaton v. Peters, 33 U.S. 591, 668, 8 L. Ed. 1055 (1834). Only materials ancillary to the court opinion such as the "title-page, table of cases, head notes, statements of facts, arguments of counsel, and index" may be copyrighted. Callaghan v. Myers, 128 U.S. 617, 649, 9 S. Ct. 177, 185, 32 L. Ed. 547 (1888). AZ ST S CT Rule 123 must, therefore, only apply to the materials added to the reports by the reporter or publisher, and not to the judicial decisions themselves.