The two legal research companies Fastcase and Casemaker have settled their three-year legal battle over Casemaker’s claims of copyright in Georgia administrative regulations.
In federal court in Atlanta, the two companies jointly filed a stipulated dismissal of the matter. The request did not not reveal the terms of the settlement, but the dismissal was “with prejudice,” meaning the matter cannot be refiled at a later date.
I have reached out to both companies for comment and will update this post if I hear more.
The settlement comes just a week after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a similar case, Georgia v. Public.Resource.Org Inc., which involves Georgia’s claim of copyright in the Official Code of Georgia Annotated.
The legal battled between Fastcase and Casemaker started in 2016, when Fastcase sued Casemaker after Casemaker served it a written notice demanding that it remove Georgia administrative rules and regulations from its research collection.
Casemaker’s parent company, Lawriter, has an agreement with the Georgia Secretary of State designating it as the exclusive publisher of the Georgia Rules and Regulations and giving it the right to license that content to other publishers.
After the court dismissed that lawsuit without prejudice in January 2017, Fastcase filed a second complaint against Casemaker in February 2017. Casemaker filed a motion to dismiss that second lawsuit.
In July 2017, the court granted the motion to dismiss, concluding that it lacked subject-matter jurisdiction because Casemaker had never registered a copyright in the Georgia regulations, and also concluding that it lacked jurisdiction because because Fastcase failed to satisfy the amount-in-controversy jurisdictional minimum of $75,000.
Fastcase appealed, and in October 2018, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled for Fastcase, finding that the lower court erroneously granted summary judgment in favor of Casemaker and remanding the case to the District Court for further proceedings.