Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 14, 2009 6:54 AM. The previous post in this blog was Weekend wrapup. The next post in this blog is You're better off in jail. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Monday, September 14, 2009

Here we go again with copyright and Oregon public records

There's an economics professor at the University of Oregon named Bill Harbaugh, and this fellow really has a bee in his bonnet about access to public records in the state. He's of the view that the state's "open meetings" law, which also covers access to records, is too wimpy and needs to be reformed. He's also apparently a frequent requester of documents from state agencies, including the university that employs him, and that apparently hasn't much endeared him to the bureaucrats who have to deal with him. Lately, he says, he's been after records about a lawyer for the university -- one with whom he's tangled over his many requests. Let's put it this way: He won't be getting any "team player" awards from his superiors any time soon, especially since he likes to air out their personal compensation packages when of course, they'd rather he didn't.

A while ago, Harbuagh discovered that the state attorney general's office has written an extensive manual on Oregon law regarding public records -- and that ironically, it isn't posted on a state website anywhere. When he asked the AG's office for a copy, Harbuagh says, he was told it would cost $25 for a pdf file and warned that it was copyrighted material, not to be copied or redistributed without the state Justice Department's consent.

Harbaugh is defying the copyright warning. He says he checked a hard copy of the manual out of the U of O law library, scanned it, and has posted the resulting pdf files on the U of O website, here. He hearkens back to the recent flap in which the bureaucrats who work for the state legislature claimed that the Oregon Revised Statutes could be copyrighted -- a claim that they quickly abandoned once it was publicized to great uproar.

It's interesting that the AG's office isn't claiming that the manual is confidential or privileged, but is claiming that it's protected by copyright and can't be disseminated without payment of money. Especially since they apparently can send it out in a readily available pdf file, why don't they just blow a little bandwidth and post it?

Interestingly, Harbaugh notes that the existence of the manual was mentioned in Willamette Week, when Attorney General John Kroger pointed to it as requiring him to release the drafts of the investigation report in the Sam Adams-Beau Breedlove teen sex case. That incident is surely a gift that keeps on giving, isn't it?

Anyway, Oregon taxpayers shouldn't have to pay to see a copy of the state public records manual. We already paid for its production, and that's enough. Given all the promises of transparency we heard last fall, it ought to be posted officially, as in right away.

Comments (27)

This gets tiring the way that "public" agencies hide stuff. Try to find a simple budget and history for the State, City of Portland, TriMet, etc.

Like it'd kill them to be open and honest with taxpayers.

Let's cut to the chase. What's the real motivation behind their desire to keep control over dissemination of the manual? They just want to keep public records closed? Or at least make certain public records difficult to access? Is that it?

Here's my contribution to keeping records public.

On a fancy street off of Willamette Boulevard. Worker is sledgehammering cement, signs recall petition for mayor Sam Adams.

We two canvassers cross the street and find an empty house. Darn. Going back up street, notice that owner of house appears to be talking in serious earnest to cement worker, waving a piece of paper. Is he giving the guy a hard time??? Can't be. We stop, ask very, very politely if owner would like to sign. "ABSOLUTELY NOT." I apologize for bothering him. We go to next house, where, darn, again noone is home. Owner walks down to us, stops, tells us that our services would be more useful in rural or suburban areas, and that "you won't find much support in this area". I reply, you know, we are all free to have our own opinion and act on it." Then he proceeds to tell us that Beau Breedlove is an "opportunistic pig". I unravel somewhat, get ready to cry, vomit, lose my bowel contents on his new cement job, etc, but can only exclaim, repeatedly, "how can you SAY that?!". Upon which owner does seem like maybe he has understood that maybe he should have chosen his words, um, a little better.

Then Providence intervened. Not one, but two parties almost SIMULTANEOUSLY returned home to both of the houses in front of and next to our kindly gentleman. Both parties have two people in it, all four persons sign the petitions, on their car bonnets. Moments later, man walking his ancient mom clutching her walker, come around the corner, both sign the petition.

Our man has gone into his house, then comes back out. I approach him as he is talking again to his cement worker, let him know on the politest possible terms, sir, I just wanted to let you know that no fewer than six people on your block just signed the petition.

We have a eureka moment. He waves his hand, almost friendly, "that's OK, people are entitled to their opinion", he says.

Indeed.

Dorothy Gale reincarnate.

Hey, thanks for the cite Jack!

On inauguration day President Obama's first executive order called for more transparency in government. 6 weeks after Senate confirmation his AG Eric Holder sent out a memo to government agencies, making clear the USDOJ would no longer help them hide behind a restrictive interpretation of FOIA law.

I can say from my own experience that those reforms have already led to FOIA improvements. The USDOJ OIP bureaucrats now cite Holder's memo with pride, and release documents quickly and at no cost - including documents that the Oregon DOJ is still claiming are privileged and can never be released.

John Kroger could take that memo, substitute "Oregon Public Records Law" for "FOIA", and implement the same reforms in Oregon by this afternoon.

Bill Harbaugh

My website at http://openuporegon.com has more on this.

Excellent post. It's almost like reading the Oregonian about 25 years ago when they sometimes delved into an issue. And then they let you decide on the real facts and not the slanted.

Funny how professors are doing all the detailed investigative work while reporters slack off. It will be good news when all the big Oregon newspapers go out of business.

There is now a useful blog about UO mismanagement and secrecy issues called "UO matters".

Twenty five years or so years ago, the Oregonian sometimes published stories with facts if it suited them. And sometimes they withheld them. Three stories I know for a fact that were not published by the Oregonian in the 80s - cocaine dealing done by employees of large auto dealer chain (reporter quit Oregonian and left Portland), Packwood scandal (prior to the election - story was broken to public by The Washington Post), and the Roman Catholic priest scandal (this on authority from a family member of one of the victims whose family had talked to an O reporter in the 80s).

Not to mention the Goldschmidt pedophilia period.

LucsAdvo and Allan L, I agree with both of you. And add Adams to the list.

I just remember 25 or so years ago (I've been reading the O for over 55 years) that when O's editorial board finally let a reporter delve into a story, they seemed to do it more precisely and with less judgment. But then my memory and wishful thinking might be escaping me.

With regard to the Holder memo, boy am I glad that instead of steadfastly applying the law, that some nameless, faceless Federal bureaucrat will be deciding on a case-by-case basis whether my or others privacy interests ought to be protected. I am jumping through hoops!

Does anyone out there have any idea how little run-of-the-mill FOIA's have to do with open government?

I have always wanted to FOIA the FBI for opening an innocuous personal letter (without a warrant and without probable cause) sent to me in 1972. Back in the days of their paranoia about anyone who might remotely know someone who might remotely know someone who might remotely know Daniel or Phillip Berrigan (and while I never met a Berrigan I was friends with people who knew people who had met them and or protested with them). There's been a few other things too over the years too... but somehow I am sure that it's all been lost..

Bill Harbaugh, Mr Kroger is too busy with "creative nonfiction," a field of endeavor for which he demonstrated considerable flair in the Adams/Breedlove matter. He is, WW informs us, already a finalist in that category for an OR Book Award:

"Sarah Winnemucca Award For Creative Nonfiction

Bibi Gaston of The Dalles, The Loveliest Woman in America: A Tragic Actress, Her Lost Diaries, and Her Granddaughter’s Search for Home (William Morrow)
Debra Gwartney of Finn Rock, Live Through This: A Mother’s Memoir of Runaway Daughters and Reclaimed Love (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
John Kroger of Salem, Convictions: A Prosecutor’s Battles Against Mafia Killers, Drug Kingpins, and Enron Thieves (Farrar, Strauss, Giroux)
Floyd Skloot of Portland, The Wink of the Zenith: The Shaping of a Writer’s Life University of Nebraska Press)"

As James Madison said,

"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."

Given that this quote is prominently posted on the cover of the very manual which AG John Kroger is now trying to keep off the internet, I hold with those who favor farce.

Kroger is not going to take any action against me. Tony Green is soon going to stop answering questions about this. Kroger is never going to do anything to improve access to Oregon's public records, and he is going to blame this on the legislature, claiming he is powerless to act.

Bill Harbaugh

I'm curious to know why Mr. Harbaugh thinks there's no copyright in the manual produced by the State of Oregon. The argument against copyright in the ORS (and judicial opinions, for that matter) is quite strong. But in a government-produced manual, the case is not as clear cut. Bill?

Check this out.

http://public.resource.org/

I don't see how any document like a "manual", produced and published by state employees on the state's dime, can be anything but an open record and in the public domain.

The preface to the manual, written by then Attorney General Hardy Myers, says that the manual constitutes an official opinion of the AG.

http://harbaugh.uoregon.edu/ORDOJ_PR_Manual/OR_DOJ_PR_Manual0.pdf

enjoy.

Nosing around his site, I see that Prof. H also has a cool "Letter of Marque" issued to a distant relation -- recalling our recent discussion of alternatives to war in Afghanistan after 9/11/01.

G Joubert: being an open record is not inconsistent with being protected by copyright.

Bill Harbaugh: The AG is part of the executive branch, and Hardy Myers is a state official. This raises two problems: copyright law says no copyright in products of the U.S. government (doesn't restrict copyright by state government); and court cases extend this to judicial opinions and legislative acts, Myers's opinion is neither.

Check out the following link...

http://bookstore.gpo.gov/actions/AdvancedSearch.do

Can you believe that our subversive government actually charges its citizens for publications? We should all receive our food pyramid charts and keys to soil taxonomy for free. Along with health care -- and food -- and housing -- and transportation (in green zones at least). Whatever you all collectively deem to be right and good and proper, we the people ought to be willing to fund fully and unconditionally.

The $25.00 fee here is nothing more than an administrative fee/nuisance charge. Personally, I have found when I was unable or restricted in my ability to pay such a fee to a government agency, a friendly phone call was all that was needed for a freebie or some sort of workable compromise. And having been on the receiving end of such phone calls more than a time or two, I can say that no struggling college student was turned away empty handed.

"doesn't restrict copyright by state government"

Why would they copyright it if it would have any chilling effect on public access? As long as someone credited Staet of Oregon whenever they quoted parts of it.

What would you suggest the penalty to be for sharing your copy of a manual written by taxpayer-paid employees that explains law on Oregon records?

I mean everytime someone wants to know what rules are they need to get permission from the State of Oregon?

"The $25.00 fee here is nothing more than an administrative fee/nuisance charge."

Fine, if it's just a PDF post it on the WEBsite and requore no "nuisance" from taxpayers.

Today slashdot.org picked up this story, saying Kroger has reached a "new level of meta-absurdity". I'm getting hundreds of downloads.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/09/09/16/1925206/Professor-Posts-Illegal-Copy-of-Guide-to-Oregon-Public-Record-Laws

Sorry, I know I'm enjoying this way too much. I do hope Kroger starts making those improvements to PR law implementation quickly.

Bill Harbaugh
http://harbaugh.uoregon.edu

Volokh's blog is now covering this. I put in a plug for you.

http://volokh.com/posts/1253220102.shtml

Great work Bill Harbaugh.

Open government and public records have lapsed shamefully (and steadily) in Oregon over the past 25 years.


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend
Familia Bianchi, Malbec 2009
Terrapin Cellars, Pinot Gris 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2009
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Termpranillo 2010
Ravenswood, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Quinta das Amoras, Vinho Tinto 2010
Waterbrook, Reserve Merlot 2009
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills, Pinot Grigio 2011
Tarantas, Rose
Chateau Lajarre, Bordeaux 2009
La Vielle Ferme, Rose 2011
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio 2011
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir 2009
Lello, Douro Tinto 2009
Quinson Fils, Cotes de Provence Rose 2011
Anindor, Pinot Gris 2010
Buenas Ondas, Syrah Rose 2010
Les Fiefs d'Anglars, Malbec 2009
14 Hands, Pinot Gris 2011
Conundrum 2012
Condes de Albarei, Albariño 2011
Columbia Crest, Walter Clore Private Reserve 2007
Penelope Sanchez, Garnacha Syrah 2010
Canoe Ridge, Merlot 2007
Atalaya do Mar, Godello 2010
Vega Montan, Mencia
Benvolio, Pinot Grigio
Nobilo Icon, Pinot Noir, Marlborough 2009

The Occasional Book

Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 115
At this date last year: 21
Total run in 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics