Enabling complete PACER RSS feeds in the Eastern District of California

“We are writing to urge the District Court for the Eastern District of California to fully enable an existing feature of the PACER system: RSS feeds of all recent cases and filings in your jurisdiction. I am the executive director of Free Law Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in Oakland, California that works to make the U.S. legal system more fair and efficient. I am writing on behalf of a broad coalition of individuals and organizations that believe enabling this simple feature is important to transparency and public understanding of court activity….” 

Circuit Panel Rebuffs Judiciary on Excessive PACER Fees

“The federal judiciary cannot fund its pick of courtroom technologies with the fees drawn in by a system that makes court records publicly available, an appellate panel ruled Thursday. 

PACER, short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records, was created over 30 years ago to just what its name suggests, charging 10 cents per page, or $3 per item, since its last fee hike in 2012….”

Australian Law Librarians’ Association :: Open Educational Resources and Scholarship in Law and Legal Studies: the State of Play

“This session will discuss key developments in the worlds of Open Educational Resources (OER) and Open Access in research. Steven Chang and Thomas Shafee from La Trobe University will provide an overview of the key benefits and challenges/solutions in the context of Law and Legal Studies, situated within the bigger picture of recent developments in open access publishing and open data. This will lay the foundations of how law librarianship can be future-ready in the rapidly changing teaching and research landscape….”

New COVID-19 Legal Database | O’Neill Institute

“Launching today, the COVID-19 Law Lab initiative gathers and shares legal documents from over 190 countries across the world to help states establish and implement strong legal frameworks to manage the pandemic. The goal is to ensure that laws protect the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities and that they adhere to international human rights standards.

The new Lab (at www.COVIDLawLab.org) is a joint project of United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) and the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law at Georgetown University….”

Call for Proposals: Free Access to Law in a Changing Landscape – Virtual Law Via the Internet 2020

“The 2020 Law via the Internet Organizing Committee is pleased to present our Call for Program Proposals for this year’s virtual LVI conference. The theme of this year’s conference is “Free Access to Law in a Changing Landscape” and it will take place, virtually, on September 22 and 23, 2020….”

Decolonising Knowledge: Digitising African Law and Legal Scholarship Tickets, Mon 29 Jun 2020 at 11:30 | Eventbrite

“This webinar, co-hosted by SOAS and the University of Cape Town, focuses on access to African law and legal scholarship. It brings together a panel of law, law and society, and open access academics and practitioners, who will share their experiences on law as lived in Africa.

The session will provide an opportunity for engaging with the challenge of open access legal scholarship in Africa, especially from the perspective of accessibility of this information. The panellists will share details of their own current or planned activities to expand open access law on the continent, shared in concrete personal and organisational contexts. The panel will then proceed to discuss and chart a possible way forward for a continental effort to mobilize African scholars for better open access to legal scholarship.

Many Africanists and African legal scholars agree that increasing access to African law and African legal scholarship will not only have distinct knowledge creation benefits but would also counter the narrative that there is limited legal scholarship within Africa. African legal knowledge, created, nurtured and built upon on the continent, by African scholars, will reflect their context, thoughts and aspirations. More and quality access to primary and scholarly legal information for teachers, researchers and librarians in law, will assist African legal academia to implement and teach a most relevant legal curriculum in law faculties across the continent and abroad.

In that sense, the primary purpose of the webinar is to promote ideas on accessibility of African law, written by Africans. The second purpose, a very practical one, is to establish a forum and continued conversations that will ensure projects, currently operating in silos, can begin to exchange ideas, actions and resources, so that wider, more impactful programmes are generated in the process….”

Just Launched: Muftiships Web Archive – Libraries Spotlight BLOG

“Columbia University Libraries is pleased to announce the launch of the Muftiships Web Archive. Developed by librarians within the Ivy Plus Libraries Confederation, the archive preserves the websites of Muftis (Muslim legal experts) and leading jurists from the Islamic world. Included are websites that cover the responses of judicial authorities to current events in their respective countries and beyond, illustrate the manner in which these authorities engage with the public, and illuminate the ways in which Islamic law is administered in the digital age. And though included websites have gained greater visibility in light of the Coronavirus pandemic in the Middle East and Islamic world, the jurists and their institutions have been the focus of interest for decades. Curators of the Muftiships Web Archive are: Gayle Fisher (Harvard University), Roberta Dougherty (Yale University), Peter Magierski (Columbia University), Sean Swanick (Duke University), and Guy Burak (New York University), with additional help from Dr. Adnan Zulfiqar (Rutgers Law School), who supplied Fatwas related to the Coronavirus as part of the “Mapping COVID Fatwas“ project in conjunction with Harvard’s Program in Islamic Law. …”

Academic Law Libraries and Scholarship: Communication, Publishing, and Ranking by Dana Neacsu, James M. Donovan :: SSRN

“After reviewing the background against which these challenges have appeared, we suggest that libraries define for themselves a more active role within scholarship production, which we define to include publication, distribution, access, and the process of scholarship impact assessment. The argument rests on the practical considerations of business organization. It is simply good business for law schools to curate the output of faculty scholarship, and many already do it through faculty repositories. Given that foundation, it seems logical for the library, as the institution which already manages those repositories, and which supports the students’ law reviews and journals in numerous ways, to step up and manage the full range of scholarship publication. This library management of student-edited scholarship production could cover all its aspects, excluding editorial publication decision and manuscript editing, from training and assisting to gather sources for cite checks, adding journal content to institutional platforms, administering technology services, and advising on copyright….”

US Supreme Court’s Decision on Copyrightability of Annotations to Official Code of Georgia: Can It Inspire the Access to Law Movement in India? | SpicyIP

“We are delighted to bring to our readers an insightful post by Dr. Arul George Scaria on the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Georgia et al., v. Public.Resource.Org holding that annotations to the official code of Georgia are not copyrightable. In this post, he makes a case for the adoption of the government edicts doctrine by Indian courts to foster greater ‘access to law’ in India….”

Caselaw Access Project Nominated for a Webby: Vote for Us! | Library Innovation Lab

“The Caselaw Access Project has been nominated for one of the 24th Annual Webby Awards. We’re honored to be named alongside this year’s other nominees, including friends and leaders in the field like the Knight First Amendment Institute.

CAP makes 6.7 million cases freely available online from the collections of Harvard Law School Library. We’re creating new ways to access the law, such as our case browser, bulk data and downloads for research scholars, and graphs that show how words are used over time….”

Caselaw Access Project Nominated for a Webby: Vote for Us! | Library Innovation Lab

“The Caselaw Access Project has been nominated for one of the 24th Annual Webby Awards. We’re honored to be named alongside this year’s other nominees, including friends and leaders in the field like the Knight First Amendment Institute.

CAP makes 6.7 million cases freely available online from the collections of Harvard Law School Library. We’re creating new ways to access the law, such as our case browser, bulk data and downloads for research scholars, and graphs that show how words are used over time….”

Supreme Court rules Georgia can’t put the law behind a paywall | Ars Technica

“A narrowly divided US Supreme Court on Monday upheld the right to freely share the official law code of Georgia. The state claimed to own the copyright for the Official Code of Georgia Annotated and sued a nonprofit called Public.Resource.Org for publishing it online. Monday’s ruling is not only a victory for the open-government group, it’s an important precedent that will help secure the right to publish other legally significant public documents….”

SCOTUS Rules No Copyright in Official Annotated State Code | Cyberlaw Clinic

“We’re pleased to report that the United States Supreme Court has sided with Public.Resource.org and held that the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is ineligible for copyright protection. The Cyberlaw Clinic worked with the Caselaw Access Project team at the Harvard Library Innovation Lab on an amicus curiae brief (.pdf) advocating this very result. The brief highlighted the significant burden that would be placed on those creating tools to facilitate access to law if legal materials generated by or at the direction of state government officials were subject to copyright protection and the importance of a bright line holding that official government works are not copyrightable….”

U.S. Supreme Court: Make official Georgia code free to the public

“The state of Georgia’s annotated version of state law cannot be protected under copyright law and sold for more than $400 a copy, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The decision resolves hotly disputed litigation between the state and public records activist Carl Malamud, who had published the code on his Public.Resource.org website. When Georgia insisted he take it down and he refused, the state filed suit and obtained an order from a federal judge directing him to remove it….”

Opinion analysis: Sharply divided bench rejects Georgia’s copyright in annotations of Georgia statutes – SCOTUSblog

“The decision this morning in Georgia v Public.Resource.Org resolves a technical question of copyright law, the extent to which governmental authorities can copyright (and profit from) the materials that they create. The specific question here is the copyrightability of annotations that summarize, but are not part of, the state’s body of enforceable statutes. The opinion of Chief Justice John Roberts for a 5-4 majority holds that the “government edicts” doctrine, long recognized as preventing copyright protection for judicial opinions and statutes, also applies to annotations of those statutes that are prepared at the behest of the legislature. Dissents from Justice Clarence Thomas (joined by Justice Samuel Alito and in large part by Justice Stephen Breyer) and by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (joined by Breyer) would have permitted Georgia to copyright those materials and retain the exclusive right to authorize their sale….”