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What is the law?

Binding, on-point law (about)


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Public records law (about)

Kansas first enacted a public records statute in 1957. The Kansas Open Records Act is found at Kan. Stat. Ann. § 45-215.

The Kansas Open Records Act provides that a "public agency shall not be required to provide such items or devices which are copyrighted by a person other than the public agency," Kan. Stat. Ann. § 45-219(a), which suggests that public agencies can hold copyrights, and that copyrights held by public agencies do not preclude disclosure under the Act.

Does the public records law restrict the use of disclosed records?

Kan. Stat. Ann. § 45-220 restricts the use of records for commercial solicitation, but does not prohibit commercial use generally. Kan. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 98-51; Kan. Att'y Gen. Op. No. 2000-35; Kan. Att'y Gen. Ops. No. 96-68; Kan. Att'y Gen. Ops. 98-55. See also Theresa Marcel Nuckolls, "Kansas Sunshine Law; How Bright Does It Shine Now? The Kansas Open Meetings and Open Records Acts", 72:6 J. Kan. B. Ass'n (May 2003), at 28, 42.

Specifics and examples (about)

Status Applies to... Based on?
Copyrightable Volumes of state reports Kan. Stat. Ann. § 20-206
Copyrightable by statute Intellectual property of the Kansas Bioscience Authority Kan. Stat. Ann. § 74-99b09(a)(20)
Copyrightable by statute General Index to Kansas statutes published by West Publishing Company, with copyright vested in the State of Kansas Kan. Stat. Ann. § 77-134
Copyright asserted by department "photos, graphics and logos" on the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism website
Copyright asserted by department Content of the Kansas Department of Commerce website

Additional things to consider (about)

Several Kansas statutes refer to "books, records and other property" of state agencies, implying that books and records are owned by the state. See, e.g. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 41-203; Kan. Stat. Ann. § 74-128; Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-2546a. Kan. Stat. Ann. § 45-403 says that "[a]ll government records made or received by and all government records coming into the custody, control or possession of a state or local agency, in the course of its public duties, and all government records deposited in the state archives, shall be public property and shall not be mutilated, destroyed, transferred, removed, damaged or otherwise disposed of, in whole or in part, except as provided by law."

The Kansas Historical Society says that "Government records are generally not copyrighted," and that "Photocopies ordered from other published materials may make the patron liable for copyright infringement," but does not specify whether they are referring to state government records.

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