Google Goes Legal

20 Jan, 2011

Google has entered the market for legal information with a free service that allows users to search a database of US laws and court rulings. The move could endanger long-established legal publishers such as Westlaw and LexisNexis.

The Google Scholar service has been extended so that users can choose to search ‘legal opinions and journals’ for information that they need.

Though court rulings and laws in the US are not protected by copyright they are usually only available for comprehensive searching in paid-for services to which universities and law firms subscribe.

Google Distinguished Engineer Anurag Acharya said in a blog post that the company hopes that its entry into this search market with a free product will help US citizens to understand and engage with their legal rights.

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