Bluebook and Baby Blue: Copyright Conundrums and Trademark Troubles

bluebookBy Kiran Jassal

Law students across the United States are familiar with “The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation,” prepared by the Harvard Law Review Association. Recently, the manual’s copyright and trademark protections have come into question. More specifically, the Engelberg Center on Innovation Law and Policy at New York University joined Public Resource to publish “Baby Blue,” a public domain version of The Bluebook. Publishers of Bluebook vehemently defend their work, claiming copyright and trademark infringement. Professor Christopher Sprigman, of NYU Law, explained Baby Blue’s open access objective in an interview with the NYU Journal of Intellectual Property and Entertainment Law. To show support for the project, Yale Law students have started a petition, stating Baby Blue “will ensure that no one…is denied access to these rules of legal citation”. The question remains, however, whether Baby Blue infringes on any of Bluebook’s publisher’s intellectual property rights. Continue reading