Tuesday, October 14, 12:30PM Berkman Conference Room, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor, Cambridge, MA
In the past twenty years, a remarkable number of government documents have been put online. In some cases, these documents are made easily and freely accessible. In others, technology has failed to overcome barriers or even created new barriers to access. One particular subset of documents -- opinions, dockets, and the full public record in federal court cases -- remain behind a pay wall. Although the U.S. Government cannot hold copyright in documents it creates, it has for a long time long charged for the cost of creating and maintaining these documents. While the courts understandably seek to pay for the services they provide, this talk will argue that there is an alternative path in which the public benefits far outweigh the costs.
Stephen is a fellow at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. He works on both telecommunications policy issues and automated media content analysis. He received a Masters from the MIT Comparative Media Studies program, where he focused on historical norms in communications law. During that period he also worked as a legal assistant for Google. In a former life he was a geek, and helped found the non-profit startup Public Radio Exchange. He lives in Boston, MA.