Fastcase: Advance Sheets via eBooks

Fastcase is a recent newcomer to the field of  computer assisted legal research tools.  According to its promotional information, Fastcase “…is the leading next-generation legal research service that puts a comprehensive national law library and smarter and more powerful searching, sorting, and visualization tools at your fingertips.”  Twenty-two state bar associations include Fastcase as a benefit for their members. The resource provides access to both federal and state primary sources of law, i.e. cases, statutes, and regulations, at less cost than other nationally known competitors.  Yesterday Fastcase announced the introduction of its new ebook Advance Sheets.   According to the Fastcase announcement, “(f)ree Advance Sheets include published and unpublished opinions for iPad, Kindle, Kindle Fire, Android tablets, or Nook.”   According to the company, these free ebook Advance Sheets are being described as follows: the publication of “one month’s judicial opinions (designated as published and unpublished) for specific states or courts (,) available for iPad, Kindle, Android, Nook, and other e-readers.”  There will be “Advance sheets for each state, federal circuit, and U.S. Supreme Court” that include “summaries of opinions” that are “(f)ully searchable, with highlights, annotations, bookmarks, and other key features.”  Lastly, the advance sheets will be available this week and are “(f)ree, and licensed under Creative Commons BY-SA license.”   Law.com interviewed Fastcase CEO, Ed Walters.  According to Walters, Fastcase  “will be loading up the Advance Sheets in the various online stores on Wednesday and will be available through the same mechanisms that you download books and music from the online services, e.g., iTunes and Google Play.”  This new service aligns with Walter’s view that ” publishing is a “service not content business.” Differentiators in the publishing industry will become “service and new distribution models….'”

Hat Tip:  Law.com

About Lisa Smith-Butler

Associate Professor of Law Charleston School of Law 385 Meeting St., Suite 322B Charleston, S.C. 29403 843.377.2144
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