In a detailed and informative post entitled Judge Declares Some PACER Fees Illegal but Does Not Go Far Enough, open-courts activist Steve Schultze says explains that
Five years ago, in a post called “Making Excuses for Fees on Electronic Public Records,” I described my attempts to persuade the federal Judiciary to stop charging for access to their web-based system, PACER (“Public Access to Court Electronic Records”). Nearly every search, page view, and PDF download from the system incurs a fee ranging from 10 cents to $3 (or, in some cases, much more). I chronicled the many excuses that the [federal] courts have provided for charging what amounts to $150 million in fees every year for something that should—by all reasonable accounts—not cost much to provide.
He then explains why, in his view, federal district judge Ellen Huvelle's recent opinion holding some PACER fees impermissible "is good, but not good enough."
Schultze also has written a law-review article arguing that "free access to electronic court records is a constitutionally necessary element of the structure of our modern Judiciary."