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What is the law?

Binding, on-point law (about)


Advisory sources (about)

A 1979 Kentucky Attorney General Opinion notes that "[w]e have not as yet addressed the question" of state copyright ownership. 1978-1979 Ky. Op. Att'y Gen. 2-587 (1979). A later Attorney General Opinion held that records copyrighted by a third party could be exempt from public records disclosure, but did not address the possibility of state copyright ownership. Ky. Op. Att'y Gen. 09-ORD-079 (2009).

Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 7.500(7) says that "[n]o action taken pursuant to this section shall be deemed to alter or relinquish any copyright or other proprietary interest or entitlement of the Commonwealth of Kentucky," suggesting that the Commonwealth of Kentucky may be presumed to be able to hold copyrights.

Public records law (about)

The Kentucky Open Records Act was enacted in 1976 and can be found at Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 61.870.

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

The Kentucky Attorney General has consistently held that "[t]he purpose for which a person seeks access to a public record is not relevant to the Open Records Law." 1988-1991 Ky. Op. Att'y Gen. 2-682 (1991), however the Open Records Law requires commercial uses to be disclosed to the state, and may require an additional fee for commercial use. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 61.874(4) & (5).

Specifics and examples (about)

Status Applies to... Based on?
Copyrightable by statute Intellectual property of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 154A.060(1)(c)
Copyrightable by statute Forms and instructions designed by the Kentucky State Police Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 16.066(4)
Public Domain by statute Opinions of Kentucky courts Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 21A.070(4)

Additional things to consider (about)

Several places in the Kentucky code refer to records as "property of the state": Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 43.080 ("all books, accounts, reports, vouchers, correspondence files, records, money and property of any state agency"); Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 36.040 ("all records pertaining to wars and relics shall be kept, and be custodian of all such records, relics, colors, standards, and battle flags now the property of the state"). The code also provides for recovery of records unlawfully withheld from the records custodian. Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 171.530.

Where else to go



Attorney General Opinions