Be careful about the iLegal app for iPhone – and read this before you make your mind up

There is a new iLegal app for iPhone. It is not free – and I would advise you to read this excellent post by Nearly Legal before you get anywhere near downloading it.

The legal press seems to be enthusiastic – but they may not have had the time and dedication to investigate as Nearly Legal did. Make your own mind up, as always, but do read Nearly Legal’s post.  It may not be as up to date as you want it to be.

UPDATE
Interesting and encouraging comments

8 thoughts on “Be careful about the iLegal app for iPhone – and read this before you make your mind up

  1. This is a shame… But the problem seems to be that there’s no open data source for the latest laws! Some enterprising person SHOULD be able to build an app like this. So instead of pillorying him for an apparently failed attempt it seems those energies should be better directed to the underlying problem of why it is that the laws regulating a society should be so inaccessible to it.

  2. Cathy, I couldn’t agree more. If you re-read the post, you’ll hopefully see that I’m not pillorying ‘a failed attempt’. Indeed I applaud Mr Leigh’s energy in producing the app. I am, however, having a go at the somewhat over-enthusiastic and at points downright inaccurate promotion of the app. Mr Leigh and his partner company are after all charging a not insignificant sum for a repackaging of freely available resources, while not being particularly transparent about the limitations of the content.

    Also, if you read the blog, you’ll notice that the lack of freely available up to date statute has long been a complaint of ours. In fact we are committed, via the blog and the freelegalweb project, to the provision of freely available legal information and we have a substantial database of specialist case law reports available.

    Charon -sorry of this is double posted. The first vanished on submit.

  3. I agree with Cathy. Some people just have nothing better to do but complain. This student has achieved something amazing (I bought the app and it is brilliant!) and should be praised not attacked.

  4. Yes it does NL. In fact it seems to contain, as promised, absolutely everything (including the Salmon Act 1986 if that’s of any interest).

  5. John – thanks. That’s encouraging. It is possibly only missing up to date amended legislation then. While you are here and active, we have the opportunity to see.

    Try Housing Act 1988 Schedule 6 para 31(2). What does it say?

  6. Pingback: Law Student’s iPhone App Gets Slated « Legal News, Legal Views, Law News, Legal Jobs, Law Jobs, Training Contracts, Training Contract News, Legal Humour

  7. Addressing Cathy’s comment:
    “But the problem seems to be that there’s no open data source for the latest laws! … it seems those energies should be better directed to the underlying problem of why it is that the laws regulating a society should be so inaccessible to it.”

    The idea that the Law is the government’s operating system, and that it should be open source is gaining traction in the US:

    http://radar.oreilly.com/2009/10/lawgov-americas-operating-syst.html

    The Law Is “America’s Operating System”:
    Should It Be Open Source? http://www.law.duke.edu/cspd/conferences/law.gov

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