In a move that could change the $5 billion legal publishing marketplace, Carl Malamud, who established public.resource.org earlier this year, plans on making more than ten million court decisions freely available on the Internet.
Here's an excerpt from "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free":
Mr. Malamud has a significant track record in battling publishers over public information. In 1994 he began a crusade that ultimately persuaded the federal government to make records from the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Patent and Trademark Office available online to the public at no cost.
He said the free availability of that digital information did not undercut the businesses that were making money from the information at the time. . . .
The Public Resource effort is one of several attempts to make the nation's laws more accessible. One project, AltLaw (altlaw.org) is a joint effort by Columbia Law School’s Program on Law and Technology and the Silicon Flatirons program at the University of Colorado Law School to permit free full-text searches of the last decade of federal appellate and Supreme Court opinions.
Source: Markoff, John. "A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free." The New York Times, 20 August 2007, B6.