Would selling a government document as a poster be a copyright violation?

UPDATED: Jan 10, 2012

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Would selling a government document as a poster be a copyright violation?

The State Department has released a one page guideline to the 13 dimensions that make a successful officer. For a potential officer, it would be useful to have a poster size version of this document as a reminder and a code to live by. However, I am unsure as to whether printing and selling these is a violation of copyright law or not, especially considering that it is a government document that is freely available to anybody.

Asked on January 10, 2012 under Business Law, Arizona


Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Government pages are not usually protected for the reason you quoted: they should be available freely to everybody. However, different courts may have different opinions. One court said government pages are not automatically stripped with copyright protection. Your best option is to call the agency that published the page to find out whether it is ok to reprint it in a poster fashion.

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