“Let Us Hack Our Primary Law”

I’ll be leading a discussion in INLS 584: Information Ethics next Thursday on the topic of recent efforts to “hack” the way primary law is published in the U.S. The discussion assumes no prior knowledge of legal publishing. Here is a brief summary I prepared:

Why do the governmental entities assert copyright over state statutes or publish judicial decisions and public court documents in non-extensible formats? We will look at a variety of opinions, both practical and ideal, on these issues and will also have a brief primer on types of both federal and state primary law— statutes, written judicial orders and opinions, and regulations. We will also look at some recent success stories, including efforts to “hack” the D.C. Code and the release of the U.S. Code in bulk .xml.

I’ve settled on several short reading assignments, which are subject to change. Please–if you have suggestions, send me a note on Twitter @kirschsubjudice:

Copyright of Primary Law:

The State of the Art:

Explore Legal Hacking:

And, a final note from Carl Malamud:

Carl Malamud