Judge dismissed proposed class in copyright suit against LexisNexis, Westlaw

Judge Jed Rakoff eliminates group of lawyers who didn’t register their works

In February, two lawyers sued the popular legal databases LexisNexis and Westlaw, saying they violate lawyers’ copyrights by reproducing their legal documents. Earlier this week, Manhattan District Judge Jed Rakoff dismissed some of their claims.

In their suit, lawyers Edward White and Kenneth Elan claimed LexisNexis and Westlaw were responsible for “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and the law firms who authored them.” They said the databases’ parent companies, Reed Elsevier and West Publishing, respectively, didn’t have permission from authoring lawyers to publish their legal documents, and that the companies have raked in “huge profits” by selling access to the databases.

Ashley Post

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