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Tired of Paying for PACER Docs? Princeton Group Offers Alternative

Posted Aug 14, 2009 1:34 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Many federal courts make their case documents readily available online—for a price. And even though it's only 8 cents a page, that can quickly add up for frequent users.

As some users unhappy about the cost of the PACER (short for Public Access to Court Electronic Records) system lobby for changes, others are developing workarounds. The latest is a website launched today, RECAP, that offers a download to open source software through which PACER documents are seamlessly duplicated as they are pulled up by participants, according to Ars Technica.

The Firefox extension puts the duplicated documents on a mirror hosted by Internet Archive, and eventually, if enough people use the RECAP website system, there will be a substantial library of free documents available, the law blog explains.

RECAP was developed by the Center for Information Techology Policy at Princeton University.

Additional and related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Users Ask Federal Courts to Improve PACER Document Access System"

TechCrunch (Washington Post): "Use RECAP To Bypass Court Document PACER Paywall"

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