In a video interview sponsored and distributed by the West Group, law librarian and information scientist Bob Berring of Boalt Hall at Berkeley says he doesn’t think “volunteer” legal publishers will be around very long (it’s been 17 years now, Bob, and some days we feel every one of them). The funny thing is, we don’t disagree with all that he says — there are things that a high-priced service can do that we never will be able to, and we said so very explicitly in our response to a West Group employee some months back. We greatly admire the editorial value West adds to what it publishes — and we believe that there should be open-access alternatives for those who want to know what the law is, but can’t or won’t pay the price for such beautifully-enhanced information.
We’ll have more to say about this in a forthcoming blog post. For now, as Professor Berring seems to suggest, we’ll just run along and play. After all, what would a big company like Thomson/West have to worry about from the likes of us “volunteers”?
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