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Public.Resource.Org & Fastcase Partner to Offer Free Archive of Federal Case Law

From the press release:

Public.Resource.Org and Fastcase, Inc. announced today that they will release a large and free archive of federal case law, including all Courts of Appeals decisions from 1950 to the present and all Supreme Court decisions since 1754. The archive will be public domain and usable by anyone for any purpose.

This is a big deal and has generated quite a buzz around the blogosphere. Check out the reaction from Elmer Masters (see also his post on Teknoids); Real Lawyers Have Blogs; and Jason the Content Librarian.

More from the press release:

This transaction represents a one-time purchase of a copy of data. This corpus will be integrated into the ongoing public services from organizations such as AltLaw and the Legal Information Institute, thus providing continuity of coverage into the future.

I was wondering if this would duplicate efforts with AltLaw (which already has federal case law from the last 10 to 15 years), but it seems not. Looks like this new partnership will provide the retrospective materials while Altlaw will continue to collect the newer cases.


I think this may lead to a lot of different online services offering access to the same data. But that can be a good thing as competitors work to build a better case law search engine.

I agree. There may be duplication, especially at first. But I'm guessing that eventually things will be consolidated.

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