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South Dakota

What is the law?

Binding, on-point law (about)

South Dakota law specifies that state agencies retain the copyright to their records, and that the copyright is retained by the agency when records are transferred to the state archives, until formally transferred. S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-14.3.

Advisory sources (about)


Public records law (about)

A common law right of access to public records goes back at least to 1928 in South Dakota. State v. Ewert, 52 S.D. 619, 219 N.W. 817 (1928). The South Dakota public records law was first enacted in 1939, and expressly excludes copyrighted material from its copying requirements. S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-1 (copies provided "unless federal copyright law otherwise provides").

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

The public records law does not generally restrict the use of public records, however, the use of certain information for commercial solicitation is prohibited. S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-1.11; 1980 S.D. Op. Att'y Gen. 183 (1980).

Specifics and examples (about)

Status Applies to... Based on?
Copyrightable by statute "material authorized for publication by § 2-16-6", including:
"a) The United States Constitution;
(b) The South Dakota Constitution;
(c) The South Dakota statutes;
(d) Executive orders enacted pursuant to S.D. Const., Art. IV, § 8;
(e) Supreme Court rules adopted pursuant to S.D. Const., Art. V, § 12;
(f) Circuit court rules adopted pursuant to §§ 15-6-83 and 23A-45-12;
(g) Case annotations of the reported decisions of South Dakota, the federal courts, and other state courts construing and interpreting the South Dakota Constitution and statutes, which shall be placed, wherever possible, immediately following the text of the sections being construed;
(h) Other executive orders with a continuing and statewide effect; and
(i) Such special and collateral references as the commission may determine necessary for a complete and useful code;" [1]
S.D. Codified Laws § 2-16-8
Copyrightable by statute Artwork for state medallions and bullion pieces S.D. Codified Laws § 1-6-22

Additional things to consider (about)

The South Dakota public records law limits access to "all citizens of this state, and all other persons interested in the examination of the public records." S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-1.

Several places in the South Dakota code refer to records as the "property of the state": S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-14.3 ("Any record transferred to the physical custody of the archivist remains the legal property of the agency of origin, subject to all existing copyrights and statutory provisions regulating the record's usage"); S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-10 ("All records of public officials of this state required to be kept or maintained by law are the property of the state"); S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-1.19 ("The records of any Governor and any lieutenant governor are the property of the state"); S.D. Const. art. XXVI, § 23 ("And the following records, books and archives shall also be the property of the state of South Dakota"). The law also restricts the transfer and destruction of public records. S.D. Codified Laws § 1-27-10.

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Attorney General Opinions