carl malamud – public

carl malamed

Just learning about him.

Read his wikipedia page here.

He founded

who’s motto is “Making Government Information More Accessible”.

He just posted this:

When the U.S. Attorney told Aaron he had to plead guilty to 13 felonies for attempting to propagate knowledge before she’d even consider a deal, that was an abuse of power, a misuse of the criminal justice system, a crime against justice.

And that U.S. Attorney does not act alone. She is part of a posse intent on protecting property not people. All over the United States, those without access to means don’t have access to justice and face these abuses of power every day.

When people try to restrict access to the law, or they try to collect tolls on the road to knowledge, or deny education to those without means, those people are the ones who should face the stern gaze of an outraged public prosecutor.

re: Aaroninternet’s own boy


The bottom line is that fixing PACER is not a technological challenge, but a political one, and technology has yet to solve the problem of getting the politically powerful to focus on the right things at the same time.


talk at mit april 7 2015 – as tweeted by Ethan:

began with the belief that all citizens should have access to the laws and materials of government, sez

. began posting building codes because they’re copyrighted, but also incorporated into law, which is outside copyright.

National Fire Protection Association finally sued over the national Electrical code. and two other firms defending him.

“PACER is the working of our federal courts” sez . If you’re a researcher who wants to download 1b documents, you’ll need to pay.

The PACER work moved from “recycle the public domain” to downloading 700GB from a library – there was no appropriate use policy.

. theorizes that judges get little fan mail, so he’s encouraging us to send postcards re: PACER to the Mass. chief justice

“On Mayday – also Law Day – we’re opening a PACER polling place at the Internet Archive” to solicit anti-PACER postcards –

. acknowledges a problem with suing courts over PACER: Congress ordered the courts to charge for access to the system

.: PACER’s fees are a poll tax on access to justice.

. conducted a privacy audit of PACER in 2008… discovered that the documents with personally identifiable info are still online

. is proposing the Swartz Cup to award groups or law schools that download and republish the most PACER docs (without paying)

PACER is a distributed system, explains , run by a contractor in Texas. Very hard to search across court systems.

Who does PACER access really matter for? Journalists, esp. data journalists. Academic researchers. Big data analysis sez

One of ‘s core concerns: smart, well-meaning people working with broken, outdated tools, which cost fed gov’t $80b a year

The federal government pays itself $30m to access PACER, and fees occasionally get in the way of Justice department defending the US…



.@carlmalamud is a national treasure. Georgia suing him for making state law accessible to citizens is disgraceful.…

july 2015

It takes a special kind of ridiculousness to argue that someone seeking to make the laws of the land more accessible to the public is somehow looking to “control the accessibility” of those laws.


Carl Malamud (@carlmalamud) tweeted at 5:17 PM on Thu, Apr 20, 2017:
Book of Swaraj sources just sat on my shelf. When I sent it down to @internetarchive 636 people read it in a year.


My talk Friday for the Indian Academy of Sciences will be at 4pm in the seminar hall of the Centre for Contemporary Studies, next to the Indian Institute of Science.

Open to the public. My topic is Access To (All) Knowledge.

Original Tweet:

in Bengaluru, India – 11.5 hrs diff.. so at 330am

carl’s page on event:

livestream: [] and/or []

22 min – what i did in us.. looked for databases that didn’t have copyright et al

when i put something online i always made sure anyone could download it

23 min – 2008 – laws that weren’t available.. ie: building codes.. all tech standards

25 min – 2013 – sued me.. 2015 – my pro bono bill was 2.8 mn.. next yr 1.8 mn.. so defending onslaughts

safety standards for baby pacifiers.. argument is that these are of no use to individuals.. i disagree.. buildings.. any body should be able to look at

27 min – making indian standards available.. reason why not available.. making money.. i put 19 000 standards online.. when they asked to renew.. i told them i’d converted all to ie: html.. et al.. they got upset..

29 min – will be back in oct.. our position is that these are the law.. not voluntary.. 90 are compulsory

31 min – how do you question authority.. change the system..? i did a deep dive in indian history/law.. led me to focus even more on india

32 min – digital library of india – had about 550 000 books scanned over 10 yr period.. i set web crawlers.. took about 6 months.. took me 463 000 books on archive..  govt took their server down.. so i am only one w archive..  vast majority of this collection is amazing..

33 min – beginning to get crowdsourcing.. people making this digi library better..

35 min – 4th project – ghandi works and speaking and letters.. et al.. online and nehru.. et al

37 min – now sci knowledge in the us.. special provision.. ‘works of us govt’.. has no copyright

38 min – fed employees w journal articles .. 1.2 mn.. was it at home.. so copyright in place..  and weeded out those w/copyright..

42 min – if trying to do big data on scholarly corpus can’t.. publishers don’t allow

purpose of copyright is advancement of knowledge.. if blind copyright doesn’t not apply.. copyright is for limited time.. there are teaching exemptions..

brings me back to india.. case of litigation to high court of delhi.. for uni copying.. if in teaching.. copyright does not apply.. so teaching convention (saved them)

44 min – also deeply embedded in indian constitution.. based to life/education.. every student up to 14

45 min – looking back into indian history.. the idea that knowledge is something we should impart is quite fundamental

46 min – to understand if under indian law there is a way we can make these articles available to 20 mn students of india.. rather than forcing them to go to a pirate’s site.. because we know that india is the 2nd largest downloader of sci hub.. china’s the biggest…. us and uk are right up in the top 10 because us students don’t have access ot the scholarly lit, don’t have access to single articles.. sometimes if you’re a researcher and you need a single article that isn’t available in your subscription.. publishers will charge you $5000 for that single article.. and you’ve got to go to whoever gave you the grant and get them to approve that..t

graeber grant law

47 min – i think it’s time for the indian uni’s to stand up for the students.. so am working on that

48 min – how do you make changes like this.. questioning authority..  change only comes in on struggle..

49 min – today knowledge has been colonized..  to me scientists are the new indigo farmers.. sci hub to me is a salt factory.. and getting persecuted for doing that..t

50 min – why this matters so much..? ie: climate change deniers.. disease and $1000 pills to cure it.. people starving.. violence.. intolerance.. to solve these big problems.. have to understand that access to knowledge is the big promise of our timest

51 min – we have to be involved citizens and that’s how we change these things.. i believe if there’s going to be revolution.. has to start in india.. revolutions don’t happen unless we act..

52 min – where learning is available to everybody freely..knowledge flows like waters and wisdom like a mighty stream.. t


carl on a public library in india

Carl Malamud (@carlmalamud) tweeted at 6:08 AM – 26 Dec 2018 :
I’ll be speaking about a Public Library of India on Friday at 4pm at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.


find/follow Carl:

link twitter