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Some government documents are protected by copyright... in some cases, documents created by contractors are copyrighted, and in some cases state government documents are protected. Federal documents are the types that should be in the public domain. Libraries use the doctrine of first sale to be able to check out items. Copyright covers several rights, and is initially granted to the creator of the work. I'll edit soon. ^_^ Most copyright is controlled by Congress, but some areas of copyright are controlled by state law (pre1972 sound recordings come to mind). -cjovalle