Thursday, November 10, 2011

Maryland State Regulations – Fee for Real-Time Access

The Maryland State Law Library (@mdstatelawlib) tweeted this news from the Maryland Reporter:

“Instead of a service that was once free, Maryland citizens and businesses will now have to pay a $190 annual subscription fee to the Secretary of State’s office if they wish to access the most timely government information published by the Maryland Register.
Updates to current and proposed state regulations, hearing notices, executive and legal opinions, and more, were available online to the public every other Friday for free, and had been for years.

Now, due to procedure changes at the Register – a bi-weekly, state-run regulations publication – those who can’t or won’t subscribe will have to wait about five extra days to view information that had been available in real-time for years.
The Register also eliminated an easy to use HTML viewing option that free users easily accessed. Users will now have to scroll through a roughly 60 page document to find an individual piece of information by using the remaining PDF option.”

Users can still access the Maryland Register free online – but the free version is only updated every two weeks (an eon in today’s world of real-time information).  I hope this isn’t a trend for official publications!


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