Cross-post from SCOTXblog: “Who owns your appellate briefs?”.
There are some deep copyright questions with legal briefs. They are expensive and time-consuming to prepare, and they are (ideally) quite expressive. But, at the same time, they are filed as part of a lawsuit.
The online publishers (West, Lexis) scan copies of these briefs and then charge people for access to these briefs.
Does that cross the line from defensible fair use to copyright infringement? How is that different than Google scanning a book and reselling it, as if the scan is a new work?