[NOTE: Updated on 13 January 2010 to add the response of the Law Library of Congress, and to rephrase the title and first sentence of the post.]
The letter, signed by Dr. Roberta I. Shaffer, the Law Librarian of Congress, states that “[t]he Law Library is pursuing the registration of the ‘LAW. GOV’ domain where researchers throughout the world will be able to find authoritative local, state, national, foreign and international legal and legislative information. The Law Library envisions hosting the site and collaborating with federal agencies, state, local, and foreign national governments, and international organizations to maintain a ‘one-stop’ URL.”
Regarding [w]hether the library’s action respecting the Law.gov domain is related to the Law.gov open government data project
is unclear. I’ll post more information about this shortly., Dr. Shaffer and Andrew Weber of the Law Library of Congress told me the following, which they have also posted to the library’s Facebook page, on 13 January 2010:
“The Law Library of Congress is a government entity, and has no formal or official relationship with Carl Malamud[, who identifies himself as “the President and Founder of Public.Resource.Org,” which is organizing the Law.gov open government data project]. However, the Law Library is always interested in working with and receiving feedback from concerned citizens and the organizations with which they are affiliated. Therefore, we welcome and consider input from Carl and many, many others on our public-facing initiatives. We are excited about the possibility of building the structure and content for the LAW.GOV domain and will be relying upon our diverse constituencies to assist us in this major undertaking. We are awaiting a decision, which is expected in the very short term, about whether the domain name will be granted to us.”
Many thanks to Dr. Shaffer and Mr. Weber for their comment.