Scholarly Law Article in the Groklaw Blender = Law Review Smoothie

Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Center and also Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation, Oxford University struck it rich recently. Rich in the sense that he got his latest article, "The Generative Internet" published on Groklaw where that large, voracious and didactic community tore into it in all sorts of interesting ways.

I confess to being a Groklaw addict and avid follower of the writings of Pamela, "PJ" Jones since she started Groklaw some years ago (gosh is it that long?). The main focus of the blog has been the SCO v. IBM litigation where you can find every single filing posted (in text and PDF) and long, circuitous and almost always insightful discussion of every single point of law that crazy case has taken.

PJ single-handedly created the notion of "open source litigation" where everything is visible, questioned, verified, researched and discussed. Regular followers of Groklaw have received a graduate level education in all sorts of legal issues, complex litigation tactics, intellectual property and beyond.

There are plenty of lawyers present daily as well as geeks and greybeards (the SCO case careened right into the old UNIX/ATT/BSD litigation long ago) and they provide expert commentary, war stories, personal recollection and hilarious commentary on the train wreck that is the SCO case.

Now take that gang and toss in a scholarly law review-type article and the results are fascinating.

If Professor’s Zittrain’s skin is thick enough (and having met the chap, I believe he will see this for the jackpot of riches it is), he will be able to reap a whirlwind of insight and market-testing for a paper that looks like it wants to be a full-length book someday.

I can’t comment on the paper itself – I’m still slogging through it and from the reactions of the non-lawyers and non-law professors (see the graphic above), I am not the only one slogging.

Still, as an invited guest of PJ’s, many of the responses are reasoned, intelligent and innovative. PJ’s community is rich in intelligence and intellectual diversity and pretty polite. (PJ has ruthlessly enforced a no-profanity policy in the comments which makes her site one of the purest pleasures to read).

Politeness aside, this gang is a tough audience and they make for a rich learning experience for Zittrain or any other law professor who wants to write to a wider audience.

Comments are closed.