W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-awwsw@w3.org > March 2011

Re: Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official

From: Alan Ruttenberg <alanruttenberg@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2011 00:52:17 -0400
Message-ID: <AANLkTimEB9Yh21kRG+R9p4q1+hHPixxW1v=KP+2yzjeh@mail.gmail.com>
To: nathan@webr3.org, Jonathan Rees <jar@creativecommons.org>, AWWSW TF <public-awwsw@w3.org>
Competing laws, with ambiguous enough language.

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/149.43
http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/317.32

The first says public record should be at cost, the second says that
county recorders should charge certain fees for certain types of
delivered information. The specifics are:

"The county recorder shall charge and collect the following fees, to
include base fees for the recorder’s services and housing trust fund
fees, collected pursuant to section 317.36 of the Revised Code:
...
(I) For photocopying a document, other than at the time of recording
and indexing as provided for in division (A) of this section, a base
fee of one dollar and a housing trust fund fee of one dollar per page,
size eight and one-half inches by fourteen inches, or fraction
thereof;

(J) For local facsimile transmission of a document, a base fee of one
dollar and a housing trust fund fee of one dollar per page, size eight
and one-half inches by fourteen inches, or fraction thereof; for long
distance facsimile transmission of a document, a base fee of two
dollars and a housing trust fund fee of two dollars per page, size
eight and one-half inches by fourteen inches, or fraction thereof;"

---

The question would seem to resolve around whether the language in the
later statute was intended to be broadly or narrowly construed.
Because there is a per-page cost associated with gathering funds for
the housing trust fund, it could reasonably be argued that the
intention was not to tie the cost specifically to the cost of
reproduction. OTOH the housing fund contribution differs for
photocopying versus facsimile transmission. Still, it does seem to
indicate that there should be some additional charge proceeds of which
are allocated to the trust fund. Whether that was wise is another
story.

Also note that even in the first statute there is language that
differentiates commercial from other uses public records.

"In any policy and procedures adopted under this division, a public
office may limit the number of records requested by a person that the
office will transmit by United States mail to ten per month, unless
the person certifies to the office in writing that the person does not
intend to use or forward the requested records, or the information
contained in them, for commercial purposes. For purposes of this
division, “commercial” shall be narrowly construed and does not
include reporting or gathering news, reporting or gathering
information to assist citizen oversight or understanding of the
operation or activities of government, or nonprofit educational
research."

I'd place the blame on the sloppy writing of the second statute, which
should have made its intention clearer. It's clear the witness was
deliberately being difficult, but I think it is a bit more
understandable given the context.

Comment #52 on the boing boing page gets to the crux of the reason for
the recorder's actions:

"The case centers on how much it should cost to get electronic copies
of real estate deeds in bulk. The entities filling suit had a specific
deal with the Recorder to get the deeds on CD for $50 per CD for a
number of year. A new Recorder came in, noticed what looked like a
sweetheart deal, and ended it, asking instead for the existing rate
for paper copies of $2 per page."

-Alan


On Fri, Mar 18, 2011 at 10:37 PM, Nathan <nathan@webr3.org> wrote:
> :) that's brilliant! wish I'd seen that conversation pan out in real life.
>
> I did find it particularly interesting that the confusion was over two
> different names for the same thing, and not one single name being used to
> refer to two different things..
>
>
> Jonathan Rees wrote:
>>
>> This article reports on a real difficulty with identification and
>> reference.
>> And you thought the semantic web was hard...
>>
>> Identifying photocopy machine poses problem for Cuyahoga County official
>> http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2011/03/identifying_photocopy_machine.html
>>
>> courtesy of boingboing:
>> http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/18/reluctant-witness-re.html
>>
>> Jonathan
>>
>
>
>
Received on Saturday, 19 March 2011 04:53:09 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Saturday, 19 March 2011 04:53:11 GMT