Law Professors, Librarians, and Think Tankers Praise RECAP
We’ve been getting a ton of helpful feedback from users over the weekend. We’re grateful for all the supportive emails, comments, and tweets we’ve received. We’re also grateful for the bug reports and feature requests we’ve gotten. We need this kind of feedback to make RECAP better.
Most of the questions we’ve received are are now answered by the Frequently Asked Questions section of our about page. Stay tuned for some upcoming blog posts where we’ll address some of these questions in more detail. But first, we wanted to highlight some more of the commentary that RECAP’s release has generated.
The great part about this is that because the Archive is providing the server space for free, every RECAP user is saving the court system work. Each time you download through RECAP, you avoid having to go through PACER’s servers at all. So yes, RECAP will mean a decrease in PACER’s revenues, but it also means a decrease in the things those revenues need to pay for. It’s an all-around good thing. It saves attorneys, researchers, and citizens money. It saves the government computer resources. And it makes the law just a little bit more free and accessible.
We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.
Ryan Singel of Wired calls RECAP “a pretty good hack,” and urges the judiciary to drop its paywall. The Lawyerist blog says that RECAP is a “brilliantly-conceived tool to liberate public records from PACER.”
RECAP seems to be especially popular among law librarians. Erika Wayne, a law librarian at Stanford University, writes of RECAP: “Be impressed. Very impressed.” We also got a favorable write-up from the University of Wisconsin law library and a mention from the Georgetown law library.
RECAP is also popular among DC-area think tanks. Heather West at the Center for Democracy and Technology calls RECAP “exactly the kind of project that we need” to promote judicial transparency. Jerry Brito of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, an early advocate of online transparency, calls RECAP “ingenious.” And we got a mention from Jim Harper of the Cato Institute.
Finally, we were particularly happy to get coverage from the American Bar Association’s ABA Journal blog. Practicing lawyers are the heaviest users of PACER, so it’s extremely helpful to have RECAP covered by influential legal publications.