from the how-dare-you-not-break-the-law dept.
Håkon Wium Lie of WWW fame has written on his blog about being sued for publishing public domain court decisions in Norway. Various volunteers have been publishing this material at rettspraksis.no, which is now down because of the copyright lawsuit against them even though both Norwegian laws and court decisions are exempted from copyright in Norway.
The basis for the lawsuit has been the copyright harmonization effort, Directive 96/9/EC from 1996, which asserts a 15-year copyright on databases and their contents. Not worried that Norway is outside the EU, the judge apparently considered the matter for less than 24 hours and without hearing counter arguments before deciding against rettspraksis.no, taking the site's contents offline, even material older than 15 years, and then slapping the volunteers with a large legal bill. An appeal is underway.