Friday, 16 November 2007

Fast Case caselaw in the public domain

Good news travels fast. On Wednesday Carl Malamud of and of and Lisa Miller of Fleishman-Hillard/Fastcase, Inc. sent out a press release announcing FastCase - and the story was picked up by the New York Times and Corey Doctorow at Boing Boing - and soon everyone was talking about it. What is Fast Track doing? 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.
Free caselaw online is a big deal. As Elmer Masters, the Internet developer at CALI said on the listserv, "Finding case law on the web has always been a crap shoot. It is all over the place, in
different formats, and coverage is haphazard. The release ...of all of this material in a single, uniform collection is an incredible boon to anyone looking for that case law or trying to build tools that use case law.
You can see a preview of the collection or search the preview collection with a Google custom search engine that Elmer made.
Thanks to everyone who sent me info about the collection, and especially to Elmer and the other teknoids.

No comments: