[Open-Legislation] openlaws.eu EU Project starting today

Francis Davey fjmd1a at gmail.com
Thu Apr 3 14:44:43 UTC 2014

2014-04-03 15:30 GMT+01:00 James McKinney <james at opennorth.ca>:
> Hmm, that's strange, I thought there was a self-sustainable alternative
> that is compatible with ethical licensing, that does not require a monopoly
> or selling services exclusive to lobby groups, and that maintains free
> access for all... Oh, right, the Free Access to Law Movement! Wow, look at
> that! Since the Legal Information Institute was founded in 1992 at Cornell,
> these have sprung up all over the world: http://www.fatlm.org/ In Canada,
> CanLII is great.

As I mentioned before BAILII is an absolutely dreadful block on any forward
progress in the UK for core case law. It is a block because it is able to
obtain preferential access to data at no cost from the government but is
unwilling to permit that data to be used by others in any really useful way
except by browsing their website. That makes it essentially useless for all
kinds of development work. Eg I can't write something that alerts me when
particular legislation is cited, roll my own search engine that is superior
to their utterly appallingly bad one etc etc. I don't need to draw a

CanLII's funding model is much like that of BAILII - essentially a small
tax on all lawyers. Not something everyone can pull off. I would much
rather my practising fees were being spent on a truly open project.

Francis Davey
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