It’s a legal information world

The Information World Review Blog posts an interview with James Mullen, Information Officer at CMS Cameron McKenna and author of LI Issues. He speaks for many serious blawgers in saying that his blog has exposed him to many individuals and organisations he may never have encountered otherwise. Thanks to James for mentioning Binary Law along with Information Overlord as the two blogs he considers “most trustworthy”.

The September issue of IWR features an article – Law users irked by lacklustre service – citing frequent complaints by users against the Big Two about high costs and poor customer relations, but also criticism of some of the smaller niche players. A spokesman for LNB states the obvious in saying that information that once required premium subscriptions is now available for free on the web and that consumer expectations have risen dramatically, but sadly the article does not note LNB’s response to this state of affairs. On the other hand, some larger law firm and accountant customers appear to be their own worst enemy, according to an information manager at a bank:

their market power is derived from the fact that not everyone can do it. This … leads to a conservatism when sourcing information and a reliance on a few brand-name suppliers. This in turn has made competition and innovation pretty moribund in this part of the information world.

I think s/he speaks about innovation within the established publishers. Innovation has been alive and well amongst small players and that will only increase.

More legal information world stories:

IWR has recently signed up as an official partner in the Guardian’s Free our Data campaign.

The Free our Data campaign questions if the ancient institution of Crown copyright still has a place in the digital age, with the tongue in cheek suggestion that the simplest way to abolish Crown copyright might be to abolish the Crown itself.

In a leader, The Guardian praises BAILII (7 years late).