Stuff written by employees of the US government as part of their employment are supposed to be public domain simply because they're a US government employee, per Wikipedia.

So what about for the state of Texas? More specifically, what about student publications like The Daily Texan that are owned by a state-owned university?

  • Quoting Wikipedia, "It is entirely student-run and independent from the university." – HDE 226868 Jul 11 '15 at 16:19
  • 1
    Wikipedia also says that the owner is the university of tx at Austin. . – neubert Jul 11 '15 at 16:47
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The situation in Texas is unclear.

It is worth mentioning Texas as a state where the law may require statutory authorization in order to copyright state documents. Although the statute does not explicitly state such as a requirement, it can be inferred from an attorney general opinion.

At a bare minimum, the Department of Health, the State Preservation Board, the Water Development Board, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and county governments all have statutory authority to hold copyrights.

In your specific case, there's an additional complication. Something is only a work of the State of Texas if one of the following is true: 1) it was created by a government employee as part of their job duties, or 2) it was a work for hire. It's quite likely that neither of the above is true for a student newspaper, rendering the question of Texas-owned copyrights irrelevant.

State government works in the US are not uncopyrightable in the US in general; the copyright law just doesn't protect federal works.

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