An Act for Public Ownership of Public Information (full text)

Training session Mon Jan 16 at 12:00 pm.


A copyright notice is present on the bottom of every page at This copyright notice should not be there, as it prevents us or anyone else from copying the law to explain it. This itself is not such a big deal, really, as we think this copyright is not enforced.

The bigger deal for housing providers, which is how MassLandlords gets involved, is the building and fire code. The way Massachusetts regulations present these codes, they add modifications onto the text we have to buy. For example, we have to pay for the source of the 2015 building code:

And then we have to pay for the 2015 differences:

Then we have to reconstruct for ourselves, each licenseholder separately, what the regulation actually says.

The differences are published online for free, but with the disclaimer that the online version is not kept up to date, not official, and may not be relied upon. For instance:

Of course the online version could be official, except the state makes money selling official versions under its copyright.

The fire code is copyrighted and available only for purchase similar to the building code.

Supported by Staff
MassLandlords staff drafted or participated materially in the creation of bill text below. Members will be polled at the next update of the policy priorities survey.
Bill Text May Change
The legislative process involves many changes to most bills. Our goal with bill explainers like this is to communicate core concepts assuming final wording is beyond our control. If you feel we missed or misunderstood a core concept about this bill, please contribute to this explainer by emailing or by using the support widget on this page. Pointing out typos or poor drafting is appreciated on green bills (we wrote or support).

Full Text of the Public Ownership of Public Information Bill

To be posted.

Explanation of the Public Ownership of Public Information Bill

This change would subject the legislature to the public records law. Currently committee votes are secret, so the public do not know how a legislator voted at the crucial stage of committee recommendations. This bill would make committee votes public same as floor votes.
If the legislature or an executive agency want to derive the Massachusetts building code, fire code or other law or regulation from a third party copyright source, such as the ICC, then they will have to obtain licensing from the ICC for statewide publication.




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