This, ladies and gentlemen, is why the law is not a proper subject of copyright. I’ve written about this topic before, but I had no idea that the situation could be as bad as it is in Liberia, where one man claims to have a copyright on the only codified copy of the country’s laws. He’s holding out for hundreds of thousands in dollars in what can only be described as “ransom,” leaving courts and the government guessing at what the law actually is.
I’m curious, though, how a country can have a rule of law strong enough to enforce his copyright and yet weak enough to let this happen. I suspect there is more in the way of high-level complicity and corruption than the story lets on. Copyright is the symptom, not the problem.