PACER gets some help from Firefox and CITP

The Princeton Center for Information for Technology Policy has come up with a Firefox extention to bring PACER documents to the public for free. The Firefox extention is called RECAP.
RECAP replicates PACER content and uploads it to a mirror site hosted by the Internet Archive. Of course, unlike the PACER site, the RECAP material will be available for free to the public. The Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and the GPO, charge the public eight cents a page for PACER documents. This fee is needed to fund ongoing maintenance of the system, personnel costs, and support needed bandwidth. There are arguments in support and against this fee, but even if the fee is necessary to fund PACER, crowdsourcing the documents makes perfect sense. It does not interfere with the doucment system created by the Administrative Office, and actually helps them make their public information available to the public. Assuming of course, that they consider this their mandate.
You might remember that Carl Malamud of PublicResources.org attempted to create a “mirror site” site of sorts last year, but was shut down by the Office of Court Administration.

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