Primary Legal Materials, FREE & On-Line. It's About Time

Carl Malamud at O’Reilly Radar reports on Law.Gov, “America’s Open Source Operating System”. As st forth in the opening paragraph:

Public.Resource.Org is very pleased to announce that we’re going to be working with a distinguished group of colleagues from across the country to create a solid business plan, technical specs, and enabling legislation for the federal government to create Law.Gov. We envision Law.Gov as a distributed, open source, authenticated registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States. More details on the effort are available on our Law.Gov page.

Primary legal materials include case law and statutes.

For years, easy access to these materials has been tied up in paid gateways tended by private publishing houses. This has NEVER made sense to me. Why can’t we have a system offering superior access to this free content? The powers behind Law.Gov apparently agree and are working towards that end.  Let the money makers focus on their secondary materials and expert commentary. Case law and statutory law accessible and on-line are necessary components of an open government, a result we all should embrace.

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Primary Legal Materials, FREE & On-Line. It’s About Time

Carl Malamud at O’Reilly Radar reports on Law.Gov, “America’s Open Source Operating System”. As st forth in the opening paragraph:

Public.Resource.Org is very pleased to announce that we’re going to be working with a distinguished group of colleagues from across the country to create a solid business plan, technical specs, and enabling legislation for the federal government to create Law.Gov. We envision Law.Gov as a distributed, open source, authenticated registry and repository of all primary legal materials in the United States. More details on the effort are available on our Law.Gov page.

Primary legal materials include case law and statutes.

For years, easy access to these materials has been tied up in paid gateways tended by private publishing houses. This has NEVER made sense to me. Why can’t we have a system offering superior access to this free content? The powers behind Law.Gov apparently agree and are working towards that end.  Let the money makers focus on their secondary materials and expert commentary. Case law and statutory law accessible and on-line are necessary components of an open government, a result we all should embrace.

Your Own, Digital Nook

NookYes, you can. You can have your own digital Nook for reading books. Barnes & Noble’s new eReader is called the “Nook”. It is to be introduced today to the clamoring masses, just in time for the holiday rush.

Its feature set is impressive. The unit will have a grey and white reading display area, with a color touchscreen immediately below the reading area.

But it gets even cooler: the Nook will allow both wireless book downloads and the ability to lend books to others (unless, of course, your friend is sporting a Kindle). A sizeable number of B&N’s offerings will be downloadable for free via the Google Books project, not available to Kindle users.

This has gotten me to thinking, which is always a dangerous thing: when are “they” going to allow these eReader units to access reference materials or library works on a temporary loan basis? Imagine heading off to court with the relevant portions of the applicable administrative codes and annotations in your slick, slim, touchscreen beauty? You can “return” the sections when you no longer need them and fill your eReader back up for your next case.

Asking price is $249, which matches the latest Kindle price.

So, what do you think? Will you be reading from a screen this holiday season?