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The IT Law Wiki


Copyright law[]

A 'public record includes

[o]fficial records maintained by the U.S. Copyright Office relating to registrations and document recordations, which are made available to the public through the Office's website, the Copyright Card Catalog, the Catalog of Copyright Entries, or the Records, Research and Certification Section.[1]

Criminal law[]

A public record

includes 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.[2]


Public records are

a primary source of information about individuals, available to anyone, and can be obtained from governmental entities. What constitutes public records is dependent upon state and federal laws, but generally include birth and death records, property records, tax lien records, motor vehicle registrations, voter registrations, licensing records, and court records (including criminal records, bankruptcy filings, civil case files, and legal judgments).