Malamud Court Gadfly

gadfly.jpg Carl Malamud is at it again. After getting patents and SEC filings and Congressional subcommittee hearings available online, now he’s going for court case law.
Last week, Mr. Malamud began using advanced computer scanning technology to copy decisions, which have been available only in law libraries or via subscription from the Thomson West unit of the Canadian publishing conglomerate Thomson, and LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier, based in London.

The two companies control the bulk of the nearly $5 billion legal publishing market. (A third, but niche, player is the Commerce Clearing House division of Wolters Kluwer).

He has placed the first batch of 1,000 pages of court decisions from the 1880s online at the site. He obtained the documents from a used Thomson microfiche, he said.

A Quest to Get More Court Rulings Online, and Free, By JOHN MARKOFF, New York Times, Published: August 20, 2007

Markoff refers to Malamud as a gadfly. Hey, Socrates was a gadfly, too. Not bad company.

Now what happens if the Internet first mile access duopoly decides to give Thomson and LexisNexis and Wolters Kluwer high-speed high-quality transit and deprioritizes the Internet Archive?