Baby Blue

The Bluebook. The mere mention can incite strong emotions in the law community. Some of love (perhaps Stokholm syndrome from long law review hours?) and some of hate.

Why is a system designed in an age of manual typesetting still dictating the law community’s citation formatting?

This question has been asked for decades and prompted the creation of alternatives. Richard Posner even wrote a law review article entitled Goodbye to the Bluebook in 1986. Throughout years of complaints and criticisms the Bluebook has remained the gold standard.


Baby Blue is a project started by NYU to create [yet] another Bluebook alternative. However, Baby Blue is not really an alternative.  Instead it is more of a “re-expression” of the rules–the stated goal being to breakup “the cartel” controlling the publishing and updating of the Bluebook.  Idealistically, legal citation rules should be simple and freely available to all.

The Harvard Law Review initially took exception to Baby Blue and sparked many discussions about the the Bluebook’s copyrightability. The historical origin of the Bluebook was even researched and called into question.

Does Baby Blue infringe on the Bluebook’s intellectual property?  Who can assert a copyright claim?  These interesting questions may never be resolved; as of the creation of this post Baby Blue is freely available online.


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