A Wisconsin state appeals court says a public relations firm doesn’t have the right to free access to the state Department of Transportation’s accident database.
The DOT releases accident reports through its website for $6 per report, through written requests and through a subscription service that costs $250 per week. Media Placement Services argues DOT should grant free access to the agency’s accident database.
The 1st District Court of Appeals ruled that Wisconsin’s open records law and other statutes allow DOT to charge access fees and case law has held that the right to access records doesn’t extend to databases. The court said Media Placement Services can access the data in other ways like any other member of the public.
The firm’s attorney, Robert Pledl, had no immediate comment.
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