Subject: Re: the value chain
From: Scott Goehring <scott@poverty.bloomington.in.us>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 1999 21:31:23 -0500

On 10 Dec 1999 11:32:13 -0500, Ian Lance Taylor <ian@airs.com> said:

>Based on your description, they're selling a service, not control
>over the data.  The service is better access to the data.

Quite true.  You can walk into virtually any law library (there are
hundreds of public law libraries in this country) and see the exact
same data that is replicated on Westlaw.  (In volumes published by
West, no less.)  Westlaw is merely much faster and more convenient
than the paper editions.

Lawyer's Co-op sued because West tried to keep them from putting
markers into their publication of Supreme Court opinions indicating
where page breaks are found in West's publication of Supreme Court
opinions.  They would want to do this because, until recently, when
citing a Supreme Court case, one was required to cite "in parallel"
all three publishers: the United States Reports (published by the
GPO), the Supreme Court Reports (published by West), and the Lawyer's
Edition (published by Lawyer's Co-op).  Without these page break
markers, one would have to have subscriptions to both West's and
Lawyer's Co-op's reporters to effectively cite any Supreme Court
case.

The citation rules have recently been changed to eliminate the need
for parallel citation of those cases which have been reported in the
United States Reports.  I cannot imagine that this is not in response
to West's suit.