Groklaw, an award-winning website covering legal news related to the open source software community, has announced that it is shutting down on its eight birthday: May 16, 2011. The site will remain online, but it will stop publishing new articles next month because its creator believes the site is no longer needed.
Groklaw was started as a law blog on May 16, 2003 by paralegal Pamela Jones with the goal of covering and explaining legal news to the tech community. It has covered various issues, including the SCO-Linux lawsuits, the EU anti-trust case against Microsoft, the standardization of Office Open XML, software patents, the DMCA, and RIAA's legal actions against file sharers.
The first one is what started it all. The legal and public disputes between the software company SCO Group and various Linux vendors and users is what Groklaw became famous for. The SCO Group alleged that its license agreements with IBM means the source code that IBM wrote and donated to be incorporated into Linux was added in violation of SCO's contractual rights. Thanks to Jones, at least in some part, SCO's copyright claims against Linux were eventually dismissed, as were its assertions that it owns Unix.
"I know a lot of you will be unhappy to hear it, so let me briefly explain, because my decision is made and it's firm," Jones said in a statement. "In a simple sentence, the reason is this: the crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won. SCO as we knew it is no more. There will be other battles, and there already are, because the same people that propped SCO up are still going to try to destroy Linux, but the battlefield has shifted, and I don't feel Groklaw is needed in the new battlefield the way it was in the SCO v. Linux wars."
You can read Jones' full post over at Groklaw: Groklaw Articles Ending on May 16th.