Free Law Project is a California non-profit public benefit corporation with following goals:
- Create powerful tools for legal research
- Provide free, public and permanent access to primary legal materials
- Foster an open ecosystem for legal research and development
- Support academic research on related technologies and legal systems
As per my knowledge, two major expenditures for Freelaw project are salary of Mike Lissner, who is the only full time employee of Freelaw, and cost of technical equipment and servers. Current donations come mainly from government agencies, non-profits and philanthropists. Donations can be in two forms:
Monetary donations can be made via Dwolla, Paypal, Credit card or Check. Form for making these donations is available at this link. There is also a reminder mechanism on courtlistener.com to send the donor a reminder to donate again in one year after making the donation.
The other form of donation which Freelaw accepts is data donation. Data that is free from copyright restrictions can be set using a USB drive on this contact. As specifically mentioned on courtlistener.com, community is not interested in copyrighted data because it is liability for the work community does. So donors are suggested to refrain from donating copyright data. Recently, in past few months, database of courtlistener.com grew from a million opinions to close to 2 million from one such donation.
As far as I know, currently there are no competing projects, which are open source and have the same goals as Freelaw project.