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Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 08:34 PM EDT

We won the Free Software Foundation's 2007 award, the Award for Projects of Social Benefit. So this is recognition of us as a group. Harald Welte won the Award for the Advancement of Free Software. The press release says this about our work at Groklaw:
The Award for Projects of Social Benefit is presented annually to a free software project that intentionally and significantly benefits society. Since its start in 2003, Groklaw has evolved into an invaluable source of legal and technical information for software developers, lawyers, law professors, and historians.

We've worked so hard together for so long, it is wonderful to have our group work recognized. Dan Bricklin was kind enough to attend for us and convey our thank you, and there's a picture of him with the award in the press release. FSF's art designer designed our plaque so charmingly. You can see a picture of it in the press release, but Dan sent me a picture he took, too. Would you like to see it?

Here it is, your award:

Isn't that nice, how the artist, Lincoln Read, took the magnifying glass from our logo and designed the award? I love it. Since you couldn't be there, here's the audio [Ogg] of the thank you I sent, in addition to Dan's remarks. He brought his OLPC XO to play it on.

: )

And here's the awards committee, and when you read the names, I'm sure you'll feel as proud as I do:

This year's award committee was Peter H. Salus (Chair), Raj Mathur, Hong Feng, Lawrence Lessig, Andrew Tridgell, Jonas Oberg, Verner Vinge, Richard Stallman, Suresh Ramasubramanian, Alan Cox, and Fernanda G. Weiden.

All that transcribing at 3 AM... it was not wasted effort, and now you can say that your contributions were part of winning the award, because it's true.

Update: My favorite email of congratulations reads like this:

Tenacity counts. The FSF knows it. Congratulations.


Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards | 136 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Congrats to PJ and all!
Authored by: joef on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 08:37 PM EDT
Well deserved!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: chrisbrown on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 08:42 PM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: Steve Martin on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 08:43 PM EDT
And PJ's voice is as delightful as I remembered.

Congratulations, PJ, for this award. It's well deserved.

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: Marketer on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 08:44 PM EDT
Well earned by many at Groklaw, but PJ above all!

GLENDOWER : I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
HOTSPUR : Why, so can I, or so can any man;
But will they come when you do call for them?
—I Henry IV

[ Reply to This | # ]

Maintaining a high signal to noise ratio.
Authored by: SirHumphrey on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 09:04 PM EDT
This shows why PJ is right to maintain high standards of professionalism in
contributions. There are plenty of forums for slanging matches and flame wars.
By NOT being one of those sites, Groklaw ensures that the law researchers,
judges, professors etc, have a high quality source of information to draw from.

The power of the Groklaw community is the ability to spot lies and falsehoods in
the arguments of baseless lawsuits, to contribute those unfortunate highly
verifiable and tedious facts which are a stumbling block to vexatious and/or
frivolous lawsuits, and to prevent trolls from acting as vicarious puppets of
people who do nothing to promote a cohesive and progressive society for all.

I fully expect Groklaw to continue winning awards such as this, as the community
continues to take down the Enrons and SCOundrels of our times.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: kurtwall on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 10:34 PM EDT

Kudos well-earned, indeed. PJ, I told you several years ago you were doing A Good Thing. I've never wavered in that belief and hope my own small contributions have helped, but no one here will argue that you deserve the lion's share of the credit. I look forward to the day, which will most assuredly come, when you'll get to wear that red dress.

Kind regards,


[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: bigbert on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 10:44 PM EDT
Congrats, PJ! You go, girl.

Surfo, ergo sum.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: tce on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 11:15 PM EDT

Thank you.

PJ & the Groksters...maybe not a rock & roll band, but clearly rocking
the world.

Groklaw is a source of fundamental optimism that Speaking Truth to Power does in
fact change the world for the better and that Greed Based business has fewer and
fewer places to hide.

Thank you.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, March 19 2008 @ 11:54 PM EDT
The best way to show that a stick is crooked is not to argue about it or to spend time denouncing it, but to lay a straight stick alongside it. -- D. L. Moody (1837-1899)

Congratulations on another recognition of your straightness.


[ Reply to This | # ]

The Social Benefit Keep Growing
Authored by: KayZee on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 12:08 AM EDT
Just this evening I was searching through Groklaw for the techniques used to
covert the court documents into text. Found the article

Tesseract OCR How-To, by Dr Stupid; Scripts by Fred Smith
Monday, December 11 2006 @ 08:45 AM EST

which is very helpful. I am working with as group to build a document library
of cases on consumer law. FOSS all the way is the plan.

Thank you for documenting how its done so the benefits can keep on growing.

[ Reply to This | # ]

This is just the start of the war
Authored by: SpaceLifeForm on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 01:19 AM EDT
We have many years to go.

But, the momentum is in our favour,
and those of us that truly value freedom are here,
and more are joining every day.

Never, ever, give up even when things look dark.

The darkside wants you to give up. They will attack
from every angle they can, to discourage you.

Don't be divided, unite, and we will win!


You are being MICROattacked, from various angles, in a SOFT manner.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: bberrign on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:10 AM EDT
What a fantastic turn of events for PJ and all her volunteers!
When i find myself discouraged by the antics of some large
corporations, i turn to the Groklaw posts and i find my faith
in the basic goodness of people restored. PJ you are a true
treasure, and your sweet audio voice-message is a truly inspiring yet humble
work of art. Thanks and congrats!

PJ and Groklaw are a great asset; factual reporting
and honest analysis of the world of Free and Open Software.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Congrats to PJ
Authored by: SilverWave on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:12 AM EDT
Well Deserved.

Well Done :)

You don't need to use an Anti-Virus with Linux as thats mainly a windows thing
But you can if you want to, its your choice.

[ Reply to This | # ]

How would the Free Software Community sue Microsoft over the OOXML/ISO debacle?
Authored by: darkonc on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:54 AM EDT
I think that it's time for us to sue them, but how, generally would it be done?

The other question is: Is there currently a limit to punitive damages in monopoly lawsuits?

Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Nearly 5 years of Groklaw -
Authored by: cybervegan on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 05:36 AM EDT
Nearly 5 years of focusing the intense light of truth on the roaches of the
software ecosystem, through the spyglass of Groklaw. How they have skittered
frantically to get out of the light, and return to their dank, dark world where
the FOSS community owes them a license fee for using what the FOSS community
itself created. But it hasn't worked.

A long time ago, when you were thinking of quitting because the roaches were
starting to bite back, some of us tried to persuade you to keep on going.
"What you are doing is very important" was what I said, I think. I
felt somehow a bit responsible when you got ill because you were putting too
much into Groklaw, and certain gutterpress reporters were trying to make your
life a misery, but I'm glad to see that you overcame that and pace yourself a
bit better now. (Hint: we still wouldn't mind if you took a break once in a

Thanks for sticking round, Pamela. Humble though you may be, without you there
would be no Groklaw, and I'm certain that SCO would have got away with their
scam because no-one else would have been watching with a keen enough eye when it
mattered most. What do you think all those other Groklaw awards are for? :-D

Groklaw is a paragon of what makes FOSS and the Internet so good.

Thankyou PJ. You have united and educated us all.


Software source code is a bit like underwear - you only want to show it off in
public if it's clean and tidy. Refusal could be due to embarrassment or shame...

[ Reply to This | # ]

That Picture is Worth Several Thousand Words
Authored by: DaveJakeman on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:00 AM EDT
Very touching.

Well done PJ and all.

Monopolistic Ignominious Corporation Requiring Office $tandard Only For

[ Reply to This | # ]

Open Source- please stop
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:37 AM EDT
In light of this, and in general ... It would be nice if Groklaw would start to
refer to free software as "free software", and stop using the the
inferior, misleading, and meaningless term 'open source'.

Remember, Microsoft loves this term because it can so easily be misinterpreted
and thus co-opted for their own marketing desires.

Michael Zucchi

(FSF member and contributor to free software)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic [OT] Comments
Authored by: artp on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:42 AM EDT
Better late than never ??!?

Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks Comments
Authored by: artp on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:45 AM EDT
Per usual.

Userfriendly on WGA server outage:
When you're chained to an oar you don't think you should go down when the galley
sinks ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • OLPC ... - Authored by: Latesigner on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 10:07 AM EDT
    • OLPC ... - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 10:18 AM EDT
    • OLPC ... - Authored by: Winter on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 10:26 AM EDT
I'm very proud today
Authored by: Sean DALY on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:58 AM EDT
Such a well-deserved recognition. Some years ago I had wanted to find a way to
contribute and I am grateful PJ to have found that way thanks to you.


[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ is Number One
Authored by: BarbieLee on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 08:06 AM EDT
Awards may or may not replace the paycheck depending on how one values the work
they do. PJ's untiring and unbelievable long hours in research, editing, and
posting is beyond any normal person. Her memory has to be a photographic memory
as she goes back days, weeks, months, years, to pull up postings and records to
support or contradict filings and stories posted across the legal network and

With her comprehension of legal issues and knowledge of software coding she has
artfully interwoven both into a tapestry so clear even those of us who don't
understand either can understand PJ's explanations of both. PJ is one of those
rare people classified as gifted or genius. All of us hope to see her walk
across the stage someday wearing her finest gown and claim one of the many
awards coming her way.

She deserves so much more and I hope she receives all the monetary success she
so richly deserves.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Transcript of PJ's Thank-you speech
Authored by: gumnos on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 08:53 AM EDT

I'm so sorry I can't be there in person with you because it's such a thrill to have Groklaw recognized like this, and I truely thank you on behalf of all the volunteers who make Groklaw work. It's no exaggeration to say that I could not do Groklaw by myself. In fact, when I started, Groklaw was just a very small idea.

In the early days, all I had in mind was to explain legal cases in the news to geeks. It was only after readers showed up in great numbers and we all started to talk to each other, and run ideas past each other, and research, and work things out together that I began to realize what Groklaw could become: mainly a place where lawyers and geeks could explain things to each other and work together so they would understand each other's work better. That was a very exciting day. I've likened working with the group to surfing a wave. And that's the closest description I've ever come up with. The trick for me has been to keep standing, and also to try to figure out which way to try to direct things. But any group work has a life of its own and appreciating that and letting it be that way is a very important piece.

Here we are then, years later, being recognized for our work. I want to thank everyone for their effort and consistent work. So many knowledgeable and skilled and willing people decided that it mattered to stand up and try together. How amazing the human brain is, and when you put thousands of them together it's just astonishing what can result.

What I am very proud of is that when I look at the members we started with, overwhelmingly they are all still involved with Groklaw--still reading it, still helping, still researching. And Groklaw is still growing. I think that will probably continue as we work more and more on "finding prior-art" projects.

For me as an individual, I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see a problem, to have an idea you hope might work, then to implement it, and tweak it and morph it, and because other people show up with ideas that are better than yours or add to yours. Then have people that you care about and admire tell you that what you're doing matters. I can't think of a more satisfying feeling, so thank you very much for this wonderful feeing, for the validation, and for the encouragement.

Hope I managed to get it all right.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Off topic
Authored by: knarf on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 09:27 AM EDT
For everything not related to these awards... And make 'm clicky...

[ "Omnis enim res, quae dando non deficit, dum habetur
et non datur, nondum habetur, quomodo habenda est." ]

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO Was Right!!!
Authored by: sonicfrog on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 11:28 AM EDT
Here is the proof. There is no PJ. If their were, she would have accepted this
meaningless award. This guy accepting the reward is the real pen behind Groklaw.
And he SO works for IBM! How can I tell? Just LOOK at him. He has "I Work
For IBM" written all over him....

PS. PJ, Congrats. You've done a fantastic job over the years, and we thank you
for sifting through the muck that are the SCO lawsuits.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Z - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 11:35 AM EDT
    • Z - Authored by: squib on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 12:38 PM EDT
    • Z - Authored by: sonicfrog on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 01:23 PM EDT
      • Z - Authored by: squib on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:12 PM EDT
        • Z - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:28 PM EDT
Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: ssavitzky on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 01:59 PM EDT
Big congratulations!!


Never anger a bard, for they are not subtle and people remember funny songs.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Harald Welte and Groklaw win FSF's 2007 Free Software Awards
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 02:18 PM EDT
You earned it PJ! Good Work.
Would be nice if Groklaw had a better blog system, makes more happy and better
content control.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Congrats to PJ and all!
Authored by: morven24 on Thursday, March 20 2008 @ 06:47 PM EDT
Congratulations to PJ and the Groklaw workers on another well deserved Trophy.

PJ will need a bigger display cabinet soon!!!

[ Reply to This | # ]

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