Today the Department for Constitutional Affairs’ long awaited Statute Law Database project has launched, free at point of use for anyone. It’s super. Last week, access to consolidated versions of the law of the UK wasn’t possible without paying lots of money. Now it is free.
There are some down sides – 40 acts are not covered at all, law is only guaranteed included up until the end of 2001, and the data only has history of changes back to 1991 (details on status here).
Worse, from the point of view of OKF, the copyright/licensing situation is still not good. Now the data is free as in beer, can we have it free as in speech as well please? (More details on the Statute Law Database in my previous post on the subject)..
Even so, it is a fantastic new resource, and congratulations to everyone involved in creating it. Meanwhile, make sure you don’t bear armour, you maintain the dykes on the edges of your property, and you don’t write blank cheques.
Update: 2007-01-10 Thanks to the enquiries of Nick Holmes it has been confirmed that the original copyright notice was a mistake and the database will be fully open, available for anyone to use and reuse under the standard terms of the PSI click-use license. Hurrah!