Google announced on its homeblog last week that it’s getting into the law business in a big way.
Is this good news? We don’t know. In the short-term, Google moving into the neighbourhood will probably free up access to US law for lawyers and non-lawyers alike, as happened in other countries thanks to free access movement members like AustLII and BAIlII.
Taking the longer view, more than a few people are saying this is the last nail in the coffin for commercial subscription services. Eventually, they might even put pressure on the free access services that rely upon donations and sponsorship for their continued existence.
Another player in the law information field is always welcome. An information monopoly isn’t.