January/February 2008 issue
Group Makes Federal Decisions Free Online
Creative Commons and Public.Resource.Org,
two non-profit organizations, have created a
web site (http://public.resource.org) intended to
make various types of government information
available to the public for free. So far the site
has focused on Smithsonian images,
congressional hearings and materials from the
Department of Commerce’s National Technical
Information Service (NTIS).
The site is now moving into the realm of federal
court decisions by making a large number of
them downloadable in bulk from
the files include all U.S. Supreme Court
decisions and all Courts of Appeals decisions
from 1950 to current. Most of the case law was purchased from
Fastcase, Inc. The purchase was made possible
by donations from various foundations.
Additional case law was contributed by
publisher William S. Hein & Co.
The files have been converted to standard
XHTML format and use CSS style sheets in
order to allow developers to build their own
search engines and interfaces. For much more
detail about the project, you can read the press
release and this article from Law.com.