Openlaw Experiment (fwd)

Lynn Winebarger owinebar at
Sun Apr 18 01:00:35 UTC 1999

   This came over a copyright list I'm on.  I thought it might be of
interest.  (note the open source reference)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 1999 21:41:49 -0400
From: Diane Cabell <cabell at>
Reply-To: cni-copyright at
To: Multiple recipients of list <cni-copyright at>
Subject: Openlaw Experiment

The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School has
begun a novel research project called Openlaw.

Openlaw is an innovative litigation strategy that uses the Internet 
as a public commons for developing legal arguments.  Eldred v. Reno,
contesting the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, is the first
case to be litigated using an Openlaw approach.  Attorneys and law
students are cordially invited to register on the Openlaw site and to
participate in the brief-writing process.

Openlaw is an experiment in crafting legal argument in an open forum.
With your assistance, we will develop arguments, draft pleadings, and
edit briefs online. You are invited to join the process by adding
thoughts to the "brainstorm" outline, drafting and commenting on 
drafts in progress, and suggesting reference sources.  Building on 
the model of open source software, we believe that an open development 
process best harnesses the distributed resources of the Internet
community.  What we lose in secrecy, we expect to regain in depth of 
sources and breadth of argument.

We welcome all participants in our drafting process.  To join the 
team, follow the register link on the sidebar and enter your email 
address and a chosen username and password (other information is 
optional).  Registration will give you access to all portions of the 
openlaw site.

We'll start the process by brainstorming ideas for our legal arguments. 
Use threads on the discussion boards to post your ideas and respond to
others.  We will then pull ideas from the outline into drafts posted 
for collaborative critique and editing.  In addition, please visit the
Copyright's Commons website at
Please send any comments you have on the sites to Ashley Morgan
<amorgan at>

Ashley Morgan and Jenny Love

Diane Cabell
Fausett, Gaeta & Lund

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