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No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

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Groklaw's Mission Statement and What We Offer You

Groklaw is meant to be several things. It's an experiment, something not quite like anything that has been done before. It's primarily a working site, not a discussion forum.

First, it's a journalistic enterprise, with interviews, research, and reporting of legal events important to the FOSS community, as they unfold, including chronological, day-by-day coverage of the SCO story, beginning on May 16, 2003. You will find that coverage on the Archives page. We cover all legal news and litigation, however, that the community is interested in, including PDFs and plain texts of the legal documents filed, so they can be searched by keyword and so that the blind can have easy access to the information. We cover a number of topics regularly, such as the ODF/ Microsoft Open XML and other standards stories and news about the GPL, DRM, Patents, and we have a page of resources on the Novell-Microsoft patent deal, and if you become a member, you can choose which topics you wish to read and skip the topics that don't interest you, if you wish. Here's a map of Groklaw's various features.

Second, we are applying open-source principles to research to the extent that they apply. Our community includes those with a technical background and others with legal and paralegal training, as well as journalists, educators, and many end users who care enough about their operating system of choice to work to defend it. Our hope is that by working together knowledgeably, pooling our skills, we can contribute to the defense of Linux, the kernel, and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). One part of the group knows what kinds of things are useful in a court case, another knows the tech to understand what's important technically, others have skills in researching the history of Unix and Linux, and others volunteer to transcribe, attend court hearings, pick up court documents, etc. You will note that we have collected on the Legal Research page links to resources that explain legal terms and concepts at play in this story.

Third, it's an antiFUD site. We strive to present solid facts in rebuttal to attempts to smear FOSS with fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), as well as to correct well-meaning but inaccurate portrayals of Linux, GNU/Linux and the FOSS community. In connection with that purpose, we are happy to answer any questions journalists may have or to help them find accurate facts, without any need for credit or attribution. We are willing to do your research for you. We know you have deadlines and may need a helping hand sometimes. You will note that we have a Search tool, as well as a searchable Quote Database, where you can search for and find quotations from the personages involved in the SCO litigation.

Fourth, it's an archive of every significant element in the history of the SCO v. IBM, SCO v. Novell, SCO v. AutoZone, SCO v. DaimlerChrysler and Red Hat v. SCO lawsuits, including transcripts of the legal documents filed in plain text and transcripts of teleconferences and media events. We have a separate Transcripts page. If you are looking for a particular court, you can find it on the Courts page.

So, Groklaw has become a comprehensive legal news resource, acknowledged and used by all the parties, including SCO, and they are welcome to use it, as is the rest of the world. It is our hope that law professors will use the materials in their classes and that historians now and in the future will take advantage of this material, and that it will be a permanent record of this historic time. You will find the legal documents on the Legal Docs and on the various Timeline pages located off of this SCO page. There is also a SCO Financials page, and the Legal Research page, where you can find links to resources for your own research.

Fifth, it's Pamela Jones's personal creation and the site belongs to her, much in the sense that Linus Torvalds is at the head of the Linux kernel project, although many, many others contribute. While others contribute articles, wherever there is no author mentioned, it is PJ's writing and reporting. [ Update: Note that from May 16, 2011 onward, Mark Webbink is the editor of Groklaw. If PJ writes an article, it will say so. If there is no author listed, it is Mark's.] It is her personal thank you for the software she enjoys using so much. If you are interested in Groklaw's beginnings, here is an interview with PJ from the early days. And here is Wikipedia's entry on why PJ likes to stay out of the limelight as much as possible. Here's a more recent interview.

Sixth, it's a community within a community, a place where we can enjoy communicating with others who share a common interest and those who are interested in learning more about the subjects we research and discuss. Feel free to join us and to volunteer, if you'd like to help. You don't have to use GNU/Linux, by the way. Our volunteers include those using Windows, Mac OS X, and Unix, so there's no need to feel uncomfortable because of your operating system. PJ uses Kubuntu Fedora Linux as her preferred operating system, as well as Knoppix, but has and enjoys an iMac and an Apple Powerbook G4 with OS X, as well as even one old Windows 98SE computer and a laptop that is half XP, although neither is connected to the Internet. The point of saying that is to let you know that you are welcome here, if you wish to help. Please note that we have a comments policy.

While the site as a whole is copyrighted by Pamela Jones, unless otherwise noted, PJ's articles are typically released under the Creative Commons license Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported. Articles by others may or may not be, so check for a copyright notice on the article in question. [ Update: As of May 2011, Mark Webbink, Esq. joined Groklaw, to take the lead on patent litigation. From that month onward, all articles by PJ will have her initials in the title area; if there is no such notation, the articles are by Mark. Note that Mark Webbink's article are also released under the same license.] That logically means that no complete mirror of Groklaw is legally possible, intended or permitted. Comments are copyrighted by those that posted them, including my own, and may not be compiled, copied, modified, deep linked, indexed (that includes comment message numbers and thread pointers), distributed or reproduced elsewhere without permission. An occasional link is ok, but a mirroring of all the comments is not.

Groklaw is a noncommercial community-supported site. Groklaw is not affiliated with IBM, Red Hat, Novell, Google, or any other party to the litigation it covers. It's an independent journalistic voice, funded by contributions from the FOSS community, telling the story from its point of view, because its members are, after all, while not a direct party to this lawsuit, directly interested in and affected by its outcome. It is their code and their community that is under attack. For that reason, we believe it is both natural and appropriate that we try to contribute positively to that outcome.

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw has been prepared as a service to the FOSS community in particular and the general public. It is not intended to constitute legal advice. PJ is a paralegal, not a lawyer. Mark Webbink is a lawyer, but he is not your lawyer. Groklaw is educational only. Even when lawyers write or contribute to articles, it is still not legal advice. You need to hire your own lawyer to solve your own legal matters. Groklaw is informational only. We use reasonable efforts in collecting, preparing and providing quality information and material, but we do not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy or timeliness of the information contained in, or linked to, this web site. If you know more than we do, let us know, so we can improve.

Last Updated Saturday, March 31 2012 @ 08:54 AM EDT

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