Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Legal Rebel Carl Malamud

It was good to see this laudatory profile in the Legal Rebels series that has been running in the ABA Journal. It celebrates Carl Malamud, who, although not a lawyer himself, has led a crusade "to make public-domain legal materials actually accessible to the public." Malamud founded the organization Public.Resource.org, and thousands of pages of primary authority are freely available through its website. Malamud is currently working to "liberate" and post to Public.Resource.org the Code of Federal Regulations, state administrative codes, and public safety codes, just as he liberated the EDGAR database in the 1990s.

Malamud is also campaigning to be appointed the head of the Government Printing Office. His campaign slogan is "Yes We Scan," and his campaign website includes his prepared statement. In it, Malamud puts forth some of the initiatives he would champion if he were to lead GPO: GPO should lead the way in making federal primary legal authority easily accessible; the Federal Depository Library Program should be redesigned to support librarians better; passports should be designed to better protect Americans' privacy and security; the presentation of federal information on the Internet should be rethought to include cloud computing and upgraded video capabilities; GPO and its operations should be transparent; the public domain should be expanded and protected. The graphic that illustrates this post comes from the campaign website.

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