RECAP: Turning PACER Around

We recently blogged about the Improve PACER Petition. The Princeton University just launched a project called RECAP. Developed by Harlan Yu, Timothy B. Lee and the Berkman Center’s own Steve Schultze (and under the supervision of Professor Ed Felton, the project offers a Firefox extention that helps users of PACER automatically send copies of documents they are purchasing to an archive and to be notified when documents they are seeking are available for free through the archive. (Read the paper Government Data and the Invisible Hand by Harlan, Ed and 2 colleagues to learn more about the inspiration for the project.)

According a recent news release by the courts, more than one million PACER subscribers have registered since 1991. Many people are affected by PACER’s pay wall and problems with functionality and authentication. RECAP, along with the Improve PACER Petition and Public.Resource.Org’s recycle PACER project have all been important steps in improving accessibility to this important government information.

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