Tuesday, April 16, 2013

My Favorite Blog - Groklaw

For more than ten years now, I've been reading Groklaw.net. I can't remember how I found it. I just know that when I read the first article and laughed, I was in the right place. Anyone who can talk about court cases, technology and make a great joke in passing is alright. That someone would be Pamela Jones, the woman who started it all back in 2003.

Groklaw started out as a blog for the simple purpose of following the intricacies of the SCO v. IBM lawsuit. The first article, "SCO Falls Downstairs, Hitting its Head on Every Step", shows the enormity of what The SCO Group was attempting to perpetrate upon the Linux Community. But it is also a great example of the dedication to accuracy and patience that the Linux Community and Pamela Jones have for their work. All that with a sense of humor and irreverence.

The Linux Community rallied behind Groklaw to chase down every unsealed filing in that lawsuit and convert it to text for all to see. They located references all over the web to dispute the claims in the filings and the complaint itself. Volunteers went to the courthouse to witness the proceedings. If there was ever a more cordial opponent (or ally, depending on your perspective) in any proceeding, you'd find it in Groklaw.

Their enthusiasm and spirit of cooperation is contagious. It makes for a very readable blog and the comments to their articles are no exception. Over the years, they have built an archive of legal papers and proceedings that are hard to match anywhere else. Except maybe the Library of Congress, where they are now archived.

As the SCO lawsuits wound down and it became clear that despite their claims to contrary, they did not own the copyrights to UNIX, the Linux Community found other adversaries to follow: Microsoft, Nokia, Apple, and a variety of patent trolls.

Pamela Jones is no longer a regular writer there, getting a well-deserved rest from such a tremendous undertaking. A task that required unrelenting perseverance in pursuit of the goal: to get Linux in the the free and clear of any adversary. Groklaw is now overseen by Mark Webbink, among many others. Some of you may remember that Webbink was the first General Counsel to Red Hat.

I continue to read this blog on a daily basis to see what new legal news is afoot. Groklaw has provided excellent coverage of the Apple v. Samsung lawsuits and the Oracle v. Google lawsuit over Android. The coverage you see there will go well beyond what the mainstream press will let on to you. Groklaw also covers the patent troll controversies and continues to work toward the elimination of software patents in all their forms so that free software remains free for all.

That's just a sample of what I like about Groklaw.
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