Friday 12 December 2008

End-run around PACER?

Wired has a story that "online rebel" Carl Malamud, who runs open-government group Public.Resource.Org, says that "the PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system is the most broken part of our federal legal mechanism. They have a mainframe mentality." And he's doing something about it. He's asking lawyers to donate their PACER documents one by one, which he then classifies and bundles into ZIP files published for free at his organization's website. The one-year-old effort has garnered him 20 percent of all the files on PACER, including all decisions from federal appeals courts over the last 50 years. As many of us know, PACER will charge you 8 cents a page to read documents that are in the public domain — a fee that earned the federal judiciary $50 million in profits in 2006.

Hat tip: Nate "the Great" Traurig

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