First: Librarians, please do not make legal decisions, copyright or otherwise, for your employer (or your own business for that matter) if there is possible litigation down the road. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish. Your library employer has, or should have, a lawyer who is paid for making these decisions that will keep you and the institution from getting sued. Keep in mind that it is not just a matter of right or wrong, lawful or unlawful, win or lose. It takes time and money to defend yourself in a lawsuit, frivolous or not. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time and money on services for your library’s patrons?
If you’re not tracking news of Robot Lawyers then you’re not keeping up with the legal research profession.
These developments are neither good nor bad. It’s a process and you have time to think, explore, experiment, and eventually panic, as humans always do. (Look at Wall Street traders. They panic sooner and more than almost anybody, although, admittedly, many of them are ruled by robots and robotic mentors.)
Not as obscure as you might think – and definitely in the public interest:
Final Incorporation by Reference Rule Implements Recommendation 2011-5 (from Legal Research Plus, with links to Fed Register)
“Today, the Office of the Federal Register (OFR) published its final rule on incorporation by reference. See Incorporation by Reference, 79 Fed. Reg. 66,267 (Nov. 7, 2014). The Freedom of Information Act allows agencies to incorporate by reference into federal regulations extrinsic materials that are “reasonably available to the class of persons affected.” 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(1). ….