Tag Archive | Open Records

CA Supreme Court Issues Ruling on GIS Open Records Case

For the history of Sierra Club v. Orange County see GIS Cafe Blog (May 10, 2013): Sierra Club v. Orange County Has Its Day In Court

For the CA Supreme Court ruling (PDF), visit: CA Supreme Court Decision July 8, 2013

To the extent that the term ―computer mapping system is ambiguous, the constitutional canon requires us to interpret it in a way that maximizes the public‘s access to information unless the Legislature has expressly provided to the contrary. (Officeof Inspector General v. Superior Court, supra, 189 Cal.App.4th at p.709.) As explained above, we find nothing in the text, statutory context, or legislative history of the term―computer mapping system‖ that allows us to say the Legislature clearly sought to exclude GIS formatted parcel data from the definition of a public record when it can be disclosed without any accompanying software.

Applying the interpretive rule set forth in article I, section 3, subdivision (b)(2), we must conclude that section 6254.9(b)‘s exclusion of―computer mapping systems from the definition of a public record does not encompass a parcel database in a GIS file format. Contrary to what the County contends, this reading of the statute does not ―repeal or nullify‖ a ―statutory exception to the right of access to public records‖ in contravention of article I, section 3, subdivision (b)(5). Our holding simply construes the terms of section 6254.9 in light of the constitutional mandate that a statute ―shall be narrowly construed if it limits the right of access.(Cal. Const., art. I, §3, subd. (b)(2).)
We note that this interpretation is consistent with a 2005 opinion letter issued by the Attorney General in response to a request by a member of the Assembly to determine whether ― parcel boundary map data maintained in an electronic format by a county assessor [is] subject to public inspection and copying under provisions of the California Public Records Act (88 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 153, 153 (2005).) The opinion letter explained that ―the term ̳computer mapping systems‘ in section 6254.9 does not refer to or include basic maps and boundary information per se (i.e., the basic data compiled, updated, and maintained by county assessors), but rather denotes unique computer programs to process such data using mapping functions original programs that have been designed and produced by a public agency.‖ (88 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. at p. 159.) Accordingly, the Attorney General concluded, ―parcel map data maintained in an electronic format by a county assessor does not qualify as a ̳computer mapping system‘under the exemption provisions of section 6254.9 (88 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. at p. 159) and must be provided upon request as a public record at a fee limited to the direct cost of producing the copy (id.at pp.163–164). As noted above, the record here indicates that 47 counties in California maintain GIS-formatted parcel base maps and provide access to those GIS-formatted databases as public records. (Ante, at p. 3.) Of those 47 counties, 19 changed their fee policies following the Attorney General‘s opinion letter, according to Sierra Club‘s expert.
Because section 6254.9(b) does not exclude GIS-formatted databases like the OC Landbase from the definition of a public record, such databases are subject to disclosure unless otherwise exempt from the PRA. Unlike the records at issue in County of Santa Clara v. Superior Court (2009) 170 Cal.App.4th 1301, the County here does not argue that the OC Landbase is subject to any other exemptions. The fact that the County offered to produce the information underlying the database in an alternative format suggests that no such exemption applies. Similarly, the County‘s general practice of producing the OC Landbase to the public, albeit pursuant to a licensing agreement, suggests that its contents do not implicate any of the confidentiality or other concerns underlying th e exemptions set forth in section 6254. Because the OC Landbase is not excluded from the definition of a public record under section 6254.9(b), and because the County does not argue that the database is otherwise exempt from disclosure, the County must produce the OC Landbase in response to Sierra Club‘s request―in any electronic format in which it holds the information‖ (§6253.9 (a)(1)) at a cost not to exceed the direct cost of duplication (§§ 6253.9 (a)(2),6253, subd. (b)).
CONCLUSION
For the reasonsabove, we reverse the judgment of the Court of Appeal andremand to that court with directions to remand to the superior court to issue a writ consistent with this opinion.
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Ohio Court: Geodata Intertwined with Proprietary Software Falls Outside Open Records Law

Supreme Court Rules County Engineer’s Response Met Requirements of Public Records Act

by Dennis Whalen, CNO, March 7, 2013

The Supreme Court of Ohio today denied a writ of mandamus sought by Portsmouth real estate appraiser Robert Gambill to compel the production of certain public records by Scioto County Engineer Craig Opperman.In a 6-1 per curiam opinion, the court held that Opperman met the requirements of the Ohio Public Records Act by offering to provide Gambill with a copy of the county’s electronic database containing deed information and aerial photos of all property in the county if Gambill paid the estimated $2,000 cost of separating that data from proprietary mapmaking software protected by U.S. patent laws that is “inextricably intertwined” with the data on the engineer’s computer.

For full text of the article, visit Supreme Court Rules County Engineer’s Response Met Requirements of Public Records Act.

Related Articles:

See also High Court Rules in Favor of County (Portsmouth Daily Times), Ohio Court: Geodata Intertwined with Copyright-protected Software Falls Outside Open Records Law (Directions Magazine).

Similar Cases:

Sierra Club loses on appeal in case for access to Orange County database (Directions Magazine 2011)

The WireData Case and Implications for Geospatial Data (WI State Cartographer’s Office 2008)

Does Government Geographic Data Belong to the People?

By Bruce Joffe, Cadalyst, February 8, 2012

After nearly three years of legal wrangling, the Sierra Club and Orange County are now facing off in the California Supreme Court. The issue that brought the two organizations into conflict is one of great importance to GIS professionals and non-users alike: public access to government databases. After the California First Amendment Coalition won a California Public Records Act (PRA) lawsuit against Santa Clara County, in April 2009, Sierra Club filed a similar suit against Orange County. Sierra Club needed Orange County’s parcel basemap in the GIS-compatible database format, but couldn’t afford to pay the price Orange County was charging — $475,000 — and didn’t believe that the County had the right to charge more than the cost of duplication, as prescribed under the PRA. Orange County defended its data sales policy with the so-called “software exemption” of the PRA, which states that government agencies do not have to provide software for the cost of duplication, as they do for the data that they use to make public decisions. … Sierra Club appealed the case, but the 4th District Court of Appeal affirmed the decision in support of Orange County. The County’s logic was that GIS includes software and data (citing ESRI’s definition of GIS as “a collection of software and data”), the County’s landbase is a GIS, GIS is a type of computer mapping system, and CMS is excluded by PRA section 6254.9; therefore, the County’s GIS landbase data is excluded….

Read more about this important debate. For the full text of the article, visit Does Government GIS Data Belong to the People? | Cadalyst.

From Public Records to Open Government: Access to Massachusetts Municipal Geographic Data

by Robert Goodspeed, URISA Journal 2011, Volume 23, No 2

Abstract: Increasingly, citizens are demanding access to raw data from governments to hold public officials accountable, look up facts, conduct analysis, or create innovative applications and services. Cities and towns create data using geographic information systems such as layers describing parcels, zoning, and infrastructure that are useful for a wide range of purposes. Through a public records request to all 351 Massachusetts municipalities, this paper investigates whether these data are accessible to citizens in practice. Some response was received by 78.6 percent of the municipalities. Two municipalities refused access to all electronic records. Many others charged fees ranging up to $453 or placed legal restrictions on the data through licensing that could chill or prohibit creative reuses of the information through emerging technologies. Other practical barriers limited public access to data, such as limited resources, government officials’ limited technical knowledge, and outsourcing to private vendors. A followup survey among municipalities that did not respond to the request was conducted to determine if they had GIS systems or data policies, and this information was collected for 80.3 percent of the municipalities. Finally, the paper discusses the legal, policy, and technical steps that can be taken by governments to move from a “public records” to an “open government” paradigm for transparency of government data. The policy recommendations for municipalities include publishing GIS data for free online and with minimal legal restrictions.

For full text of the article, click here.

An Examination of Geospatial Data Availability and Data Accessibility by State

From the GSDI Legal-Econ Listserv:

Article: An Examination of Geospatial Data Availability and Data Accessibility by State
Documents to the People 39(1): 27-31?(Spring 2011)

This article focuses on a relationship between geospatial data availability and data accessibility, based on a hypothesis that state and local governments would contribute to the Geodata.gov clearinghouse (representing data availability) if states have open GIS record access laws. The analysis involved three steps: (1) collect data from Geodata.gov to measure geospatial data availability by state; (2) collect laws and opinions of attorneys general of all states to measure accessibility to geospatial data; and (3) correlate the data to test the hypothesis that state and local governments would contribute data to Geodata.gov clearinghouse if state laws encouraged open access to the GIS records. Result: “The results were not exactly what I was hoping to get. The hypothesis was rejected in all models but one.”

For full text of the article, click here.

OMB Prepares to Shutter Data.gov

By Gautham Nagesh, The Hill, March 31, 2011, 7:15 pm

OVERNIGHT TECH: THE LEDE: FedNewsRadio reports the Office of Management and Budget OMB is preparing to shut down several of the White House’s key transparency initiatives by May 31 if more funding is not approved. The House spending bill only included $2 million of the Obama administration’s requested $35 million for the e-Government fund. Without additional funds, Data.gov and PaymentAccuracy.gov could be the first to go …

… federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra announced the release of the software source code for the IT Dashboard and another federal spending accountability toolkit. Kundra said the reasons were twofold: to allow the public to submit its ideas and improvements and to facilitate other states and local governments adopting the technology for themselves. …

For full text of the article, visit Hillicon Valley – The Hill’s Hillicon Valley.

From Public Access to Open Government: Access to GIS Data

 

From Public Records to Open Government: Access to Massachusetts Municipal Geographic Data

Robert Goodspeed, PhD Student, MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Submitted for publication to URISA Journal, January 2011

ABSTRACT

Increasingly citizens are demanding access of raw data from governments to look up facts, hold them accountable, conduct analysis, or create innovative applications and services. Cities and towns create information for geographic information systems such as parcels, zoning, and infrastructure that are useful for a wide range of purposes. Through a public records request to all 351 Massachusetts municipalities, this paper investigates whether this data is accessible to citizens in practice. In an apparent violation of the law, two municipalities refused access to electronic records. Many others charged fees ranging up to $453 or placed burdensome legal restrictions on the data that could chill or prohibit creative reuses of the data through emerging technologies. Other practical barriers, such as limited technical knowledge or resources and outsourcing to private vendors, restricted public access to data. Most troubling, 23.2% of municipalities did not respond with 29 days, nearly three times the legally mandated 10-day response time. Finally, the paper discusses legal, policy, and technical steps that can be taken by governments to move from a “public records” to an “open government” paradigm for transparency of government data. The policy recommendations for municipalities include publishing GIS data for free online, and with minimal legal restrictions.

For full text of the article, which has not yet been peer-reviewed, click here.

 

Mayor orders city to post data trove online

Baltimore, MD Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake a...

Image via Wikipedia

Mayor Orders City to Post Data Trove Online: Open Baltimore Effort Intended to Increase Transparency, Accountability

by Julie Scharper, Baltimore Sun, January 26, 2011

Which Baltimore neighborhoods have the most break-ins? Where are cars most likely to be ticketed? Which city buildings are assessed the highest property taxes — and which are not taxed at all? Before Wednesday, those seeking answers to such questions would have to file time-consuming public information requests to obtain city data. But the city is now posting such data on a new website — two dozen sets of data from city agencies so far, with more to be posted in the coming months. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said making the information public will help “innovative and creative people … find ways to improve service delivery and save money for taxpayers.” She signed an executive order Wednesday requiring city agencies to post data online as part of an effort called Open Baltimore. …

For full text of article, visit Mayor orders city to post data trove online – baltimoresun.com.

WIREdata Court Case – Implications for Geospatial Data

 

The Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office just published ” WIREdata and its implications for WI geospatial data”. For the full text of the article visit the Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Website:  http://www.sco.wisc.edu/pubs/WIREdata_and_its_implications_for_WI_geospatial_data_2009.pdf

Prior GeoData Policy blog postings on WIREdata: https://geodatapolicy.wordpress.com/2008/06/26/wi-supreme-court-decision-on-wiredata/?preview=true&preview_id=62&preview_nonce=5452d22b1c

A synopsis of the WIREdata article can be found below:

In Brief: “WIREdata and its implications for WI geospatial data” by Lea Shanley, Wisconsin State Cartographer’s Office

On June 25, 2008, the Wisconsin Supreme Court issued an opinion in WIREdata Inc. v. Village of Sussex (2008 WI 69), after nearly seven years of litigation between WIREdata, Inc. and the villages of Sussex and Thiensville, and the city of Port Washington. This litigation touches on Wisconsin state open records law and its application to electronic databases. Specifically, the Court considered the scope, timing, and procedure for making open records requests, as well as the cost and format of the electronic records requested and the authorities responsible for responding to these requests. This article summarizes the WIREdata case, and highlights the potential impact of this decision on access to electronic land information systems (LIS) and geographic information system (GIS) datasets in Wisconsin.

In its published opinion, the Wisconsin Supreme Court acknowledged, but did not revisit the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit’s opinion, which held that federal copyright law did not prevent open records law access to public agencies’ property assessment data. The Seventh Circuit’s ruling underscores the idea that copyright in electronic databases, such as LIS/GIS datasets, resides in the small amount of originality required for the “selection, coordination, or arrangement” of the data, and not in the factual data themselves (Onsrud, 2004). Notably, in a subsequent case, the Seventh Circuit also ordered one of the plaintiffs – Assessment Technologies – to pay WIREdata more than $91,000 in attorney’s fees for pursuing a copyright infringement suit with little merit.

The Supreme Court instead focused its attention on Wisconsin open records law issues. First, the Court held that a public agency – not its independent contractor vendor – is the statutorily defined “authority” responsible for responding to open records requests.  Second, the Court held that a public agency may not evade its responsibilities under open records law by hiring private vendors to create and maintain their property assessment records and then by re-directing requests for agency records to those vendors who maintain them. This is a very important holding given that many agencies in Wisconsin and throughout the country are similarly delegating these functions to private vendors.  The WIREdata decision does not prohibit this practice; but, under this ruling, public agencies will need to make appropriate arrangements with their vendors for the provision of records necessary to respond to open records requests.

Third, the Court stated that while a public agency may recoup its “actual, necessary and direct costs of reproduction,” it cannot generate revenue through open records requests. Furthermore, as stated in the WI Department of Justice’s 2008 Public Records Law Compliance Outline, “[a]n offer of compliance, but conditioned on unauthorized costs and terms, constitutes a denial” of an open records request. WIREdata, Inc. v. Vill. of Sussex 2007 WI App 22, ¶ 57, 298 Wis. 2d 743, ¶ 57, 729 N.W.2d 757, ¶ 57. In light of the WIREdata decision, public agencies may wish to consult with their attorneys in order to determine whether their geospatial database constitutes a “record,” as defined by Wis. Stat. §19.32 (2), that is subject to open records requests.[1]

Fourth, the Court ruled that the municipalities had satisfied WIREdata’s initial open records requests by providing electronic portable document files (PDFs) of the property assessment data. This holding, however, was based on the wording of WIREdata’s initial request for an “electronic/digital copy,” which was broad enough to encompass the PDF format; it did not address whether providing a PDF would satisfy a more specific request, such as for “enhanced” comma delimited copy of data, or for a copy of a searchable database, such as a GIS data set.


[1] “ “Record” means any material on which written, drawn, printed, spoken, visual or electromagnetic information is recorded or preserved, regardless of physical form or characteristics, which has been created or is being kept by an authority. “Record” includes, but is not limited to, handwritten, typed or printed pages, maps, charts, photographs, films, recordings, tapes (including computer tapes), computer printouts and optical disks. “Record” does not include drafts, notes, preliminary computations and like materials prepared for the originators personal use or prepared by the originator in the name of a person for whom the originator is working; materials which are purely the personal property of the custodian and have no relation to his or her office; materials to which access is limited by copyright, patent or bequest; and published materials in the possession of an authority other than a public library which are available for sale, or which are available for inspection at a public library (Wis. Stat. §19.32 (2) ).”

Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules on WIREdata Case

 

The WIREdata Corporation, a subsidiary of MetroMLS, Inc., provides real property record information to the real estate community for most of the lower half of Wisconsin. In 2001, WIREdata filed an open records request with the City of Port Washington and the villages of Thiensville and Sussex for access to their property assessment records. The municipalities provided the information in digital PDF format, rather than as copies of their computer databases. WIREdata contended that the digital PDF files provided by the municipalities failed to comply with state open records law.   

This litigation concerns the state’s open records law and its application to requests for access to large data bases created by private contractors on behalf of municipalities. The Supreme Court has been asked to consider a number of issues about the scope, timing, procedure, cost and format of electronic records involved in open records requests.

 

For links to court documents and oral arguments, visit:

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/archive.htm

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/docs/wiredata.pdf 

Summary of court cases preceding WI Supreme Court Case:

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/docs/march08.pdf 

2003 Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Decision

 

Assessment Tech v. WIREdata, 350 F.3d 640 (7th Circuit Court of Appeals). The plaintiff, Assessment Technologies, developed a software program that enabled county assessors to store and analyze property tax assessment information electronically in an AT formatted database. The defendant, WIREdata, acquires assessment data and repackages it in a form that is useful to the real estate community. Some assessors, however, felt that providing copies of their AT databases would be a violation of the license agreement. AT sued WIREdata for copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets. The trial court entered a permanent injunction against WIREdata on the copyright infringement claim, but did not reach the trade secret claim.  

The trial court’s decision was reversed on appeal. In his written opinion, Judge Posner stated,  

“In reversing the judgment for the plaintiff in this suit for copyright infringement, we described it as a case “about the attempt of a copyright owner to use copyright law to block access to data that not only are neither copyrightable nor copyrighted, but were not created or obtained by the copyright owner; the owner is trying to secrete the data in its copyrighted program—a program the existence of which reduced the likelihood that the data would be retained in a form in which they would have been readily accessible.” 350 F.3d 640, 641-42 (7th Cir. 2003). We added: “It would be appalling if such an attempt could succeed.” Id. at 642. And it did not succeed.”

 

Following this decision, all parties filed motions for summary judgment.

For oral arguments and court documents, visit: http://www.ca7.uscourts.gov/fdocs/docs.fwx?caseno=03-2061&submit=showdkt&yr=03&num=2061.PD

Commentary from the attorney blogosphere: 

7th Cirtuit Rules that Extraction of Public Domain Data from Copyright Protected Databases is Not a Copyright Infringement (Laura Gellman, Stanford Law School, December 2003): http://cyberlaw.stanford.edu/packets001809.shtml

 

Speaking of Great Court of Appeals Decisions (Laurence Lessig, December 2003)

http://lessig.org/blog/2003/12/speaking_of_great_court_of_app.html 

Fair Use and Misuse (Laurence Lessig, April 2004)

http://lessig.org/blog/2004/08/fair_use_and_misuse.html

 

Justly Irascible (Susan Crawford, December 2003)

http://scrawford.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2003/12/1 

A Moment of Sanity (Joe Gratz, November 2003)

http://www.joegratz.net/archives/2003/11/27/a-moment-of-sanity/

 

Judge Posner: Misuse Remedies for Copyright’s Chill (Wendy Seltzer, EPIC, August 2004)

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2004/08/judge-posner-misuse-remedies-copyrights-chill 

2007 Wisconsin Court of Appeals Decision

 

The summary judgment of the trial court was reviewed de novo by the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin: WIREdata, Inc v. Village of Sussex and Grota Appraisals (2007 WI APP 22, Appeals No. 2005AP1473, 2006AP174, 2006AP175). The parties each raised several issues for the Court’s review:

 

“(1) whether both the municipalities and their independent contractor assessors are the responsible statutory authorities under the open records law; (2) whether WIREdata’s requests contained reasonable limitations as to the subject matter and length of time of the sought-after records; (3) whether the municipalities denied WIREdata’s open records requests; (4) whether the municipalities complied with the open records law by providing the PDF to WIREdata; and (5) whether the imposition of costs and attorney’s fees on Michael Grota, Grota Appraisals and Assessment Technologies was appropriate.” 

 

Commentary by the attorney blogsphere: 

Municipalities Violated Open Records Law by Providing PDF of Property Assessment Records and Not Allowing Access to Database (K&L Gates, January 2007)

http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/2007/01/articles/case-summaries/municipalities-violated-open-records-law-by-providing-pdf-of-property-assessment-records-and-not-allowing-access-to-database/

 

General commentary from real estate industry and the press:

http://www.inman.com/blog/2007/01/5/mls-company-sues-make

http://www.rcfp.org/newsitems/index.php?i=4634

http://www.rcfp.org/privatization/records.html  

2008 Wisconsin Supreme Court Decision

 

The Appellate Court decision was affirmed in part, and reversed in part by the Supreme Court of Wisconsin (WIREdata, Inc. v. Village of Sussex, 2008 WI 69; 2005AP1473, 2006AP174, and 2006AP175). The court stated:

 

“We reverse in part and affirm in part the decision of the court of appeals. WIREdata, Inc. v. Village of Sussex, 2007 WI App 22, ¶¶2, 3, 67-70, 298 Wis. 2d 743, 729 N.W.2d 757. In order to assist the reader in understanding our determinations, in relation to that decision, we disagree with the court of appeals’ specific holdings as follows: that the three municipalities denied the open records requests of WIREdata and, thus, violated the open records law; that the PDFs were insufficient to comply with such open records requests; that the open records law requires access to the computerized database; that the “enhanced” demands did not require the creation of new records; and that WIREdata is entitled to fees and costs from each of the municipalities. However, we agree with the court of appeals’ specific holdings as follows: that the municipalities are the responsible authorities under the open records law; that such responsibility cannot be shifted to independent contractor assessors; and that the initial written requests of WIREdata were valid and, thus, were not insufficient as to subject matter and length of time.”

Case Digest (Wisconsin Law Journal, June 25, 2008)

http://www.wislawjournal.com/article.cfm/2008/06/30/2005AP1473-2006AP174–2006AP175-WIREdata-Inc-v-Village-of-Sussex

“A municipality may not avoid liability under the open records law by contracting with an independent contractor assessor for the collection, maintenance, and custody of its property assessment records and by then directing any requester of those records to the independent contractor assessor who has custody of the sought-after records.”

 

For links to court documents and oral arguments, visit:

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/archive.htm

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/docs/wiredata.pdf 

Full text of the opinion can be found at:

http://www.wicourts.gov/sc/opinion/DisplayDocument.pdf?content=pdf&seqNo=33183

Oral arguments can be found at:

http://www.wicourts.gov/supreme/scoa.jsp?docket_number=2005AP001473&begin_date=&end_date=&party_name=&sortBy=date

News Stories:

 

AP News Stories, June 25, 2008:

http://www.examiner.com/a-1458097~Court__Towns_satisfied_Wisconsin_open_records_law.html 

http://www.examiner.com/a-1458993~Court__City__villages_satisfied_open_records_law.html

Jim Stevens, Living Lake Country, July 2, 2008: http://www.livinglakecountry.com/story/index.aspx?id=767941

Mike Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online, June 26, 2008: http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=766307

Amicus Briefs

Find the amicus briefs starting page 994 of the PDF document file.

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/archive.htm

http://www.wicourts.gov/about/resources/casemonth/docs/wiredata.pdf

 

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Andrew T. Phillips, Kristen D. DeCato, and Stadler, Centofanti & Phillips, S.C., Mequon, on behalf of the Wisconsin Counties Association.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Daniel M. Olson, Madison, on behalf of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Joseph P. Guidote, Jr., Outagamie county corporation counsel, on behalf of the Wisconsin Association of County Corporation Counsel.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by David A. Strifling and Quarles & Brady LLP, Milwaukee; E. King Poor and Quarles & Brady LLP, Chicago, Ill.; and Michael R. Klipper, Christopher A. Mohr, David Ludwig, and Meyer, Klipper & Mohr, PLLC, Washington, D.C., on behalf of First American CoreLogic, Inc., LexisNexis, the Real Estate Information Professionals Association, and the Software and Information Industry Association.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Mary E. Burke, assistant attorney general, with whom on the brief was J.B. Van Hollen, attorney general, on behalf of the Wisconsin Department of Justice.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Paul W. Schwarzenbart and Lee, Kilkelly, Paulson & Younger, S.C., Madison, on behalf of Wisconsin Land Title Association, Inc.

An amicus curiae brief was filed by Robert J. Dreps, Rebecca Kathryn Mason, and Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Madison, on behalf of the Wisconsin REALTORS® Association, Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council, Wisconsin Broadcasters Association and Wisconsin Newspaper Association.

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