Scribd is a free service that lets you put your document or image files online, where they are available to the public. Now Scribd is offering to scan your print documents and put those online — for free. You mail in your documents, wait some weeks, and then enjoy your words in pixels. Even accounting for the fact that Scribd is in complete charge of the project and so can move as slowly and as selectively as it wishes, this is a remarkable offer.
…and it got me wondering: would this be a good way to put public domain case reports online? Scribd offers not only scanning but the conversion via OCR to searchable documents, which would be a boon to researchers using older legal material. And though one of the terms imposed by Scribd, naturally, is that your scanned material be available on Scribd, they don’t seem to require exclusive rights. CanLII could do worse than to phone up Scribd and propose a large scale conversion of early Canadian law, given the stinginess of law societies and governments in this respect.