Digital archivist goes rogue, and wins big in court

The Chronicle of Philanthropy has the news:

A federal judge today handed open-records activist Carl Malamud a victory in his battle to get the Internal Revenue Service to release Form 990 tax returns in a format that can be read by computers, thus making information about nonprofit operations far more accessible.

U.S. District Judge William Orrick rejected the IRS’s argument that producing the documents requested by Mr. Malamud’s group, Public.Resource.Org, would create a significant burden on an overstretched agency.

“The fact that an agency may be under significant financial distress because it is underfunded does not excuse an agency’s duty to comply with the [Freedom of Information Act],” he said in a ruling filed in U.S. District Court of the Northern District of California.

Some people never learn. You can’t win a fight against an archivist. Not even the IRS.

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