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Public.Resource.Org Aims to Offer All Federal & State Cases & Codes Free Online

The New York Times reports on the project of "Internet gadfly" Carl Malamud, founder of Public.Resource.Org, to make more than 10 million pages of case law available free online.

According to the ReadMe file on Public.Resource.Org,

The short-term goal of the project is the creation of an unencumbered full-text repository of the Federal Reporter, the Federal Supplement, and the Federal Appendix. The medium-term goal is the creation of an unencumbered full-text repository of all state and federal cases and codes.

The entire Federal Reporter, Supplement and Appendix is a short-term goal? All federal and state cases and codes are medium-term? My goodness, what would be considered long-term?

In the ReadMe file dated Friday, August 17th, Malamud reports that he hopes to have the Federal Reporter, first series (300 volumes) scanned within the next few months. So far, he's got 1000 pages of court decisions from the 1880s (scanned from a West ultrafiche).

Malamud has written a letter to Thomson West stating his intent to create "an unencumbered public repository of all federal and state case law and codes. This goal is not meant to compete with commercial vendors such as yourself, who perform a worthy service for the large law firms and other well-funded institutions who practice the business of law." In the letter, Malamud asks Thomson to clarify their copyright claims on the reports; Thomson has yet to reply.

Thanks to my colleague, Bill Ebbott, for the tip.