No one has worked harder, worked longer or had more success at the cause of making government information accessible to the public than Carl Malamud and his organization Public.Resource.Org. From putting the SEC’s EDGAR database online in 1993 – effectively shaming the SEC into putting it online itself two years later – to his 2020 U.S. Supreme Court victory defeating the state of Georgia’s claim of copyright in its official legislative code, to his 2022 federal court win allowing him to publish private-industry technical standards that are incorporated by reference into thousands of federal, state and local laws, Malamud has devoted his career to freeing the law.
On this episode of LawNext, Malamud joins me to recap some of the significant milestones of his more-than 30-years of battling government bureaucracies. Among the topics we discuss: how his 1993 publication of the SEC’s EDGAR database on the Internet became a turning point for government information online; how his work with Aaron Swartz – the younger computer programmer who later killed himself after being indicted by the U.S. attorney – and other to open access to PACER documents led to creation of the RECAP database of free PACER filings; how his publication of Georgia’s official legislative code led to a watershed Supreme Court ruling; and why, in recent years, he has turned his attention to India, of which he said, “If there is to be a revolution in access to knowledge, it has to be in India.”
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