March 1 marked the culmination of an ambitious and audacious project to digitize and provide free and open access to all official court decisions ever published in the United States. Called the Caselaw Access Project, it came about, starting in 2015, through an unusual partnership between Harvard Law School and a Silicon Valley-based legal research startup called Ravel Law.
The massive undertaking involved scanning nearly 40 million pages from some 40,000 law books and converting it all into machine-readable text files, creating a collection that included 6.4 million published cases, some dating as far back as 1658. While Harvard’s Library Innovation Lab did all the work, Ravel — and later LexisNexis after it acquired Ravel in 2017  — footed the bill.
 Harvard completed that digitization in 2018, making those cases available for free to the general public, but until March 1, 2024, any commercial use of the cases was restricted by the agreement between Harvard and Ravel (and later

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