|This work was created by a government unit (including state, county, city, and municipal government agencies) that derives its powers from the laws of the State of California and is subject to disclosure under the California Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.). It is a public record that was not created by an agency which state law has allowed to claim copyright and is therefore in the public domain in the United States.
Pursuant to the California Public Records Act (Government Code § 6250 et seq.) "Public records" include "any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by any state or local agency regardless of physical form or characteristics." (Cal. Gov't. Code § 6252(e).) notes that "[a]ll public records are subject to disclosure unless the Public Records Act expressly provides otherwise." County of Santa Clara v. CFAC California Government Code § 6254 lists categories of documents not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. In addition, computer software is not considered a public record, while data and statistics collected (whether collected knowingly or unknowingly) by a government authority whose powers derive from the laws of California are public records (such as license plate reader images) pursuant to EFF & ACLU of Southern California v. Los Angeles Police Department & Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and are not exempt from disclosure and are public records.
Although the act only covers “writing,” the Act, pursuant to Government Code § 6252(g), states: “Writing” means any handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, photocopying, transmitting by electronic mail or facsimile, and every other means of recording upon any tangible thing any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combinations thereof, and any record thereby created, regardless of the manner in which the record has been stored.
California's Constitution and its statutes do not permit any agency to claim copyright for "public records" unless authorized to do so by law. The following agencies are permitted to claim copyright and any works of these agencies should be assumed to be copyrighted outside of the United States without clear evidence to the contrary:
County of Santa Clara v. CFAC held that the State of California, or any government entity which derives its power from the State, cannot enforce a copyright in any record subject to the Public Records Act in the absence of another state statute giving it the authority to do so.
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