Law.gov — the fledgling movement to compile publicly available legal documents and resources on free Web sites — got a financial jumpstart on Friday.
Google Inc. awarded the project $2 million as part of the company’s Project 10^100, which awarded $10 million to five different organizations that were chosen through a public vote.
“This is huge,” said Carl Malamud, a leading force behind Law.gov and president of Public.resource.org , which lobbies for transparency in government. “Just as important as the money is the fact that people are listening. The 9th Circuit gave me time on the agenda of their summer meeting, the White House has blogged this twice. Getting the industry to think this is for real and desirable also helps a bunch.”
The Google funding bumps law.gov’s bank balance from less than $2,000 to more than $2 million. Law.gov has been in the discussion phase for months, and the project is ready to move forward with the added funding in hand. One of the first priorities is to create online videos and DVDs of the workshops held in the spring that helped to solidify the vision for law.gov, Malamud said.
The National Inventory of Legal Materials also moving forward, with a specific eye to jurisdictions that don’t adhere to the project’s open information principles. Law.gov is also nearing an agreement with the University of California at Hastings and the Internet Archive to scan 3 million pages of brief from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Last month, law.gov released a list of 10 core principles that will guide the project.
Karen Sloan can be contacted at email@example.com.