Oregon Open Content initiative

From Pete Forsyth 503-453-9766

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The Oregon Legislative Counsel recently sent out "cease and desist" letters to a couple web sites that were republishing Oregon laws, and improving access to legal scholars. This is bad, and something should be done! If the law really permits this, it shouldn't be enforced, and it should be changed. See my blog post on the topic.


Draft(s) of letter(s)

key points

  • We write laws to govern ourselves, not to establish a revenue stream.
  • oregon.gov should not be tasked with reinventing the wheel; where resources already exist, we should make the best use of tax dollars and not try to develop a web solution ourselves.
  • Citizens should be able to access legal documents under any circumstance, while the current system is not transparent and is not easy to use for people with disabilities.

People to contact

Legislative Counsel Committee oversees the Legislative Counsel. It consists of the following state senators and representatives. (email convention: "rep.firstlast@state.or.us" or "sen.firstlast@state.or.us"):


  • Peter Courtney sen.petercourtney@state.or.us
  • Jeff Merkley rep.jeffmerkley@state.or.us


  • Kate Brown (sen...)
  • Ginny Burdick (sen...)
  • David Nelson (sen...)
  • Jackie Winters (sen...)
  • Floyd Prozanski (sen...)


  • Dave Hunt (rep...)
  • Greg Macpherson (rep...)
  • Andy Olson (rep...)
  • Dennis Richardson (rep...)
  • Diane Rosenbaum (rep...)

Related idea(s)

Not only laws, but all materials produced by the government should be released into the public domain. This is how the Federal government works. Its products are all over Wikipedia, are used in scientific studies and journalism, etc. See wikipedia:User:Peteforsyth/leg for more...

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