Excerpt: “It now seems almost ludicrous. But until fairly recently, legal publishing giant West claimed that it owned the copyright to federal court decisions. I’m not talking about the headnotes West writes or the key numbering it adds, I’m talking about basic information such as the name of the case, the date of the case, the names of the attorneys who argued it, and the page numbers of the opinions.
That all came to a screeching halt with the 1998 companion opinions of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, both titled Matthew Bender & Co., Inc. v. West Publishing Co., 158 F.3d 674 and 158 F.3d 693. These were the David-versus-Goliath cases in which HyperLaw, then a publisher of Supreme Court and federal circuit cases on CD-ROM, challenged West’s longstanding claim of ownership and won….” (Link to full Law Sites Blog post.)
(Thank you to Rob at Law in the News for the lead.)