Westlaw and LexisNexis are two legal database companies that are being sued by two lawyers willing to take the leap against them by interpreting the laws regarding copyrights. The two lawyers, Edward L. White from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and Kenneth Elan allege that the two databases participate in “unabashed wholesale copying of thousands of copyright-protected works created by, and owned by, the attorneys and law firms who authored them.” For the most part, the lawsuit claims that the databases copy briefs that are filed publicly as well as motions filed publicly and other types of legal documents.
The lawsuit was filed by the two lawyers in a federal court in Manhattan. The two lawyers have filed the lawsuit on behalf of representing two groups of lawyers, the ones whose work is protected by copyright and those who do not have copyrights on their work.
The website for White says that he has experience in cases involving patent and trademark cases as well as acquiring unpaid oil and gas royalties for clients. The suit claims that LexisNexis and Westlaw have garnered massive profits by selling access to legal documents across the country without receiving permission from the lawyers who wrote those documents to publish them online.