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Help Free PACER in San Francisco and New York This Friday

DEEPLINKS BLOG
April 29, 2015

Help Free PACER in San Francisco and New York This Friday

There may be nobody more committed to ensuring that the people have access to the law than rogue archivist, EFF client, and 2009 Pioneer Award winner Carl Malamud. This Friday, his latest campaign to free PACER culminates in a "polling place" at the Internet Archive in San Francisco, where he's encouraging people to come in and vote with their pens by writing to Chief Judge Thomas of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is all scheduled for May 1, which was designated in 1958 as "Law Day" by President Eisenhower.

Carl's outlined this stage of the PACER campaign in a memorandum of law called "Yo, Your Honor," and the whole thing is worth a read. The upshot, though, is this: a good first step to demonstrating that a free PACER is possible and advantageous is giving a researcher access to evaluate—and then publish—a large set of cases, for free. Carl's making the case that he should get a fee exemption to do that, and he's asking members of the public to write out a note of support on thematic postcards that he'll provide.

In San Francisco, Carl will be at the Internet Archive from 8 am to 5 pm. EFF staffers will be dropping by throughout the day to write out postcards.

In New York, Legal Hackers NYC will host an event that includes a happy hour, a postcard signing, and a screening of "The Internet's Own Boy," the documentary about Aaron Swartz. Swartz famously fought for expanded public access to information, including an early collaboration with Carl to release PACER records.

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