A class action lawsuit was filed on February, 22nd by Edward White and Kenneth Elan and their individual law firms against West Publishing (West) and Reed Elsevier (Lexis) in New York. White & Elan have filed their lawsuit against West and Lexis asserting that copyright infringement has taken place, specifically in regards to documents submitted to the courts like witness lists and jury instructions.
For quite a few years it has been LexisNexis and Westlaw’s practice to collect publicly filed briefs and to put them online along with a plethora of other legal resources. In this case, the plaintiffs are claiming that because these legal publishing giants are copying publicly filed briefs into their own databases and then only making them available for a fee, copyright infringement is occurring.
I suppose we will have to wait and see what happens as a result of this case, however I must say that the last time Lexis was here they brought us Quiznos and the last time West came to visit they brought cupcakes. Sometimes it’s hard to be objective when you have icing stained hands from a delicious cupcake…
~ Brian Trippodo ~