Open Data and the Free Access to Law Movement in the United States

Finnell, Joshua Open Data and the Free Access to Law Movement in the United States. The Winnower, 2016. [Journal article (Unpaginated)]


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English abstract

From Jimmy Carter to Barack Obama, the hope for a more transparent and open government has been slowly evolving. The data deposits and open-access requirements of the United States' federally funded research has opened up larger discussions about research redundancy and reproducibility. Projects like Harvard's Free the Law Project, RECAP, and all of the organizations and individuals involved in the Free Access to Law Movement continue to push for more transparency and free access to US case law. This article provides a historical overview.

Item type: Journal article (Unpaginated)
Keywords: Open Data, Legal Information, Government Policty
Subjects: B. Information use and sociology of information > BG. Information dissemination and diffusion.
E. Publishing and legal issues. > ED. Intellectual property: author's rights, ownership, copyright, copyleft, open access.
E. Publishing and legal issues. > EE. Intellectual freedom.
I. Information treatment for information services > IM. Open data
L. Information technology and library technology > LJ. Software.
Depositing user: Mr. Joshua Finnell
Date deposited: 19 Apr 2017 15:04
Last modified: 19 Apr 2017 15:04


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[1] Executive Order 13642—Making Open and Machine Readable the New Default for Government Information of May 9, 2013, available at (accessed 21 March 16).

[2] L Laird, “As Governments Open Access to Data, Law Lags Far Behind” (2016) available at (accessed 20 March 16).

[3] Harvard University Library Innovation Lab, “Project: Free The Law” (2015) available at (accessed 23 March 16).

[4] A Ziegler, “Free the Law – Overview” (2015) available at (accessed 24 March 16).

[5] Executive Order 12146—Management of Federal Legal Resources of July 18, 1979, 44 FR 42657, 3 CFR, available at (accessed 22 March 2016).

[6] Coopers & Lybrand/U.S. Department of Justice, “An Analysis of the Justice Retrieval and Inquiry System (JURIS): Final Report” (1979) available at (accessed 20 March 16).

[7] J Bing, “Let There Be Lite: A Brief History of Legal Information Retrieval” in A Paliwala (ed), A History of Legal Informatics (Spain: Prensas de la Universidad de Zaragoza, 2014) 46-47.

[8] S Lyons, “Balancing Access and Privacy: Free Pacer” (2009) American Association of Law Libraries Spectrum 30-33, at 30.

[9] J Schwartz, “An Effort to Upgrade a Court Archive System to Free and Easy” (2009) New York Times A16.

[10] RECAP, “RECAP The Law” (2016) available at (accessed 21 March 16).


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