I was sent this website for a transcript network business. The idea is that plaintiff attorneys submit transcripts and then everybody can benefit from those transcripts. I’m a big believer in free information and sharing knowledge, but this kind of thing does have the capability of cutting into reporter incomes. According to my Stenonymous source, it is also illegal in California.
Now, it’s worth restating that this really does seem to violate the law, Government Code Section 69954 says, in pertinent part, “…shall not otherwise provide or sell a copy or copies to any other party or person.” Although, we live in such a pro-business country that I bet they’ll declare corporations not to be people or some other backwards legal justification.
There’s also some concern this violates CCP 2025 according to my source. 2025.340(e) seems to point at it being illegal for court reporters and agencies to sell transcripts or personal identifying information to others, but it’s not clear to me that attorneys are barred from sharing under 2025, because 2025 is quite long.
The takeaway? Reporters in states with copy protection might want to see if this company or others like it are doing business in or have a registered address in their state. The locations posted for this company are New York, California, and Wisconsin. Having to compete in places where it’s legal is fine. But where companies have to violate the law to create transcript sharing networks, the law should be changed or the behavior should be disallowed. I don’t support the status quo of being a nation of unenforced laws or letting corporations rob people. I’m hoping most of you feel the same.