Monday, November 5, 2007

UK Land Registry Axes Online Deeds

Good example of the downside of accessibility as UK Land Registry ends online access to deeds. Relates to something I long ago term the J. J. Gittes Dilemma, after the 1930s Los Angeles private detective immortalized by Jack Nicholson in the 1974 classic "Chinatown." It takes Jake Gittes several days and several beatings to uncover a land fraud which would--arguably--take just a few hours or even minutes to uncover on the Internet today. On the other hand, the expansion of freedom of access to 'public' records

One could argue, as I am inclined to do, that the need to access some records in person, or in writing, or through licensed channels, is not an undue hindrance to access. I have yet to find a single state official who can justify making details of my property ownership in Florida available to anyone, in any country, at any time, for any reason, with no fee, process of authorization, or record of access, which is the current state of affairs.

(I'm not even sure there are any state officials who realize that a. this is the state of affairs they have created and b. it is a problem.)

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