For far too long, Westlaw has maintained an unearned monopoly over legal research, quashing any competitor and restricting access to the public law to those able to pay its exorbitant prices. We can no longer allow the law to be held ransom behind the paywalls of a corporate monopoly.
America is a country based on laws. The law belongs to all of us. It governs us, protects us, and forms the basis of our great democracy. Our highest ideal is justice for all. This depends on the people—all people—having access to the law. But for Westlaw, the public law is nothing but a commodity to be bought and purchased and a fiefdom to be protected at all costs. Starting today, this stops.
ROSS is filing antitrust claims against Thomson Reuters and West Publishing. As explained in our filing, Westlaw’s business model is to build walls around the public law to unfairly maintain control over the $8 billion-dollar legal research marketplace. It does so through sham litigations, restrictive licensing conditions, phony copyright claims, and the like – anything and everything to protect its monopoly.
We started ROSS with a simple dream: democratize the law and make it available to all, not only those with wealth, to level the playing field. We have never wavered from that dream or our vision to inspire technological innovation to ensure access to justice, even when Westlaw uses every weapon available to it to destroy us and prevent us from realizing our dreams. Today is simply another step to fulfilling that dream. Today, ROSS fights for you, the people.
Andrew Arruda, Jimoh Ovbiagele, Pargles Dall’Oglio, and the ROSS team