New Opportunities For Commercial Legal Publishers
Yesterday on slaw.ca, Gary P. Rodrigues wrote about the possible consequences for commercial legal publishers now that Canadian jurisdictions are starting to declare that the online versions of their statutes have official status:
"At some point, one can anticipate that one or more commercial publisher will take the next step and combine their existing annotated statutes with new content online to create a comprehensive collection of 'Statutes of Canada Annotated' or the Statutes Annotated of a province. Existing content could be used as a base on which to add annotations to the remaining statutes in stages."
"At the very least, one can expect that commercial publishers will seek to make arrangements with governments to make the official content available online to their subscribers. Licensing the official content at little or no cost from governments should provide an opportunity for the commercial publishers to reduce costs while enhancing the authority of their content offering. While the quality of the commercial databases is at least equal to that of the various governments, they can never be 'official'."