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What is the law?

Binding, on-point law (about)


Advisory sources (about)


Public records law (about)

Missouri has two statutes addressing the public right of access to government records. The Sunshine Law was enacted in 1973, and is found at Mo. Ann. Stat. § 610.010. The Public Records was enacted in 1961, and is found at Mo. Ann. Stat. § 109.180. Missouri also included a public right of access to the records of the Missouri Citizens' Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials in the 1994 amendment to the Missouri Constitution establishing that Commission. Mo. Const. art. XIII, § 3(9). Prior to these statutes, the 1955 case Disabled Police Veterans Club v. Long, 279 S.W.2d 220 (Mo.App.1955), described the common law public records right of access.

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

Public records disclosure of vital records is restricted to use for "legitimate research purposes." Mo. Ann. Stat. § 193.245. Additionally, fee waivers require that the request "is not primarily in the commercial interest of the requester." Mo. Ann. Stat. § 610.026.

Specifics and examples (about)

Status Applies to... Based on?
Copyrightable by statute "instructional, training and informational audio-visual materials, manuals and documents which are prepared by [Department of Mental Health] personnel or by persons who receive department funding to prepare such material" Mo. Ann. Stat. § 630.095
Copyrightable by statute "any photograph, written work, art object, or any product created of the capitol or capitol grounds" Mo. Ann. Stat. § 8.007 (5)
Copyright asserted by state "headnotes, footnotes, annotations and index" of the Missouri Revised Statutes [1]
Copyright asserted by state "arrangement, graphics, and maps" used in the Missouri Register

Additional things to consider (about)

The Missouri State Library specifies that state government documents in their collections are made available for fair use only, strongly implying that they believe state government documents are copyrighted.

Several statutes refer to public records as "property of the state": Mo. Ann. Stat. § 109.270 "All records made or received by or under the authority of or coming into the custody, control or possession of state or local officials in the course of their public duties are the property of the state or local government"); Mo. Ann. Stat. § 253.420 ("all specimens, objects and materials collected or excavated [an unauthorized archeological dig] together with all photographs and records relating to such material, are property of the state"). Additionally, unauthorized possession of public records is punishable by statute. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 109.080; Mo. Ann. Stat. § 109.030.

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