There is nothing radical about a leading legal publisher jumping into the fierce competition for current awareness market share. What is radical in WK’s announcement is the casual, almost off- handed reference to “automatic copyright compliance.”
Every publisher, pronounces their profound commitment to supporting lawyers and improving workflow. They build tools for collaboration but generally exclude clients (anyone outside your organization or your network) from being permitted users of the licensed content. And who do lawyers most want to collaborate with? CLIENTS!
One of the things that has driven me batty over the years is the disconnect between product licensing and workflow. If you send a lawyer content – you need to assume that they need to share it. WK is removing the “licensing handcuffs”and stating unambiguously that lawyers are free to share content with colleagues and clients. Hallelujah!
Over the years this is something that law librarians have to deal with on an ad hoc basis. A lawyer wants to share “hot news” with their client. No leading publisher has had an efficient system to deal with this. A response may come in a few hours… or a few days. Worst of all is the ” the wink and a nod approach”… we will give you permission …. we won’t come after you – trust us – but we can’t put it in writing….”
I asked Bob Lemmond, Vice President of Wolters Kluwer, Law and Business about the rationale for this dramatic break with traditional position of newsletter publishers. Lemmond indicated that it is a recognition of the nature of lawyers workflow. “It is imperative that we support lawyers collaboration with each other and with their clients.” WK also expects to be soliciting content from law firms for distribution on their platforms.
The Content These daily news services will deliver breaking news from both the federal and state level, the latest rulemaking and updates on litigation as well as a complete summary of the daily legal news.
Mobility Rules The products will be delivered via email, RSS feed, and mobile apps for iPad, iPhone, Blackberry, and Android.
- Daily email summaries written by knowledgeable attorneys and industry experts with links to the full text of any new cases, regulatory or statutory developments, and breaking news
- Seamless access to information from ANY mobile device without being prompted for logins/passwords. Other legal news services require logins creating unnecessary time delays.
- The ability to customize content by topical area and jurisdiction so users can view the content that is the most relevant to them
- Built-in copyright permissions that permit legal professionals to instantly share information with clients or colleagues without having to download or reassemble information.
- Time-saving mobile apps with customizable home page, ability to filter by topic/jurisdiction, note-taking capabilities, favorites folders and email functionality
- A searchable archive on Wolters Kluwer’s proprietary online content delivery platform, IntelliConnect.
The expansion of both the content and delivery platforms suggest that Wolters Kluwer is targeting a legal “newsletter” niche currently dominated by Bloomberg BNA and Law 360. However WK seems to have focused more on customization of both content and delivery from the start than their competition have. They are clearly ahead of the entire market in embracing the need to allow lawyers to legally “socialize” their content.