Why Harvard should welcome free citation manuals

Rogue archivist Carl Malamud writes, "Third year Harvard Law School student Kendra Albert did a very nice job on her powerful opinion piece in the Harvard Law Record, the student-run newspaper."

The hubbub is all about the recent publication of a book called Baby Blue’s Manual of Legal Citation, a totally public domain implementation of the legal uniform system of citation. All across the country, we've been receiving a stream of support from hundreds students at Yale, Harvard, Stanford, and NYU law schools.

This book was posted by Public Resource and written by Professor Chris Sprigman of NYU (one of the leading copyright scholars in the country) and his students, who we will keep anonymous while the blue fog of litigation threats remain in the air. We got pro bono legal help from Joe Gratz of Durie Tangri (the guy Google hired to defend them in the Google Books case) and our reviewers include noted experts such as Pam Samuelson of Berkeley. So, we're pretty sure we got this one right.

After a very aggressive Xmas Eve demand for a Writ of Habeas Codex ("Show Us The Book!"), we found ourselves negotiating with the two outside law firms they hired to tell us to keep off the grass. This fight has been going on since 2009 and I will be so glad when the blue wars are formally declared to be over and we can be at peace again. I have many good friends at Harvard and we've done so many things together that it pains me to have them put lawyers on our tail instead of just picking up the phone and talking about things. In the meantime, enjoy Baby Blue.

Harvard Law Review should welcome free citation manual, not threaten lawsuits
[Kendra Albert/Harvard Law Record]

(Thanks, Carl!)