Wisconsin court: Electronic records better than paper copies

MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The Wisconsin Appeals Court says public records provided electronically contain more information than paper copies.

The ruling Wednesday affirms a lower-court decision that sided with Bill Lueders, the president of Wisconsin's Freedom of Information Council. The case originates from a public records request Lueders made to state Rep. Scott Krug asking for emails his office received in response to proposed changes to the state's water laws in 2016.

Krug provided Lueders with paper copies for inspection and copying. Lueders clarified he wanted the records electronically because they contain more information than paper records, including metadata from the emails.

Krug argued he satisfied Lueders request by providing paper copies, but the Appeals Court disagrees.

Lueders called the decision a "major win" for public access that establishes "electronic records contain additional information."

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