Pamela Jones

Pamela Jones

Pamela Jones, commonly known as PJ, is the creator and editor of Groklaw, an award-winning website that covers legal news of interest to the free and open-source software community. Jones is a journalist, who previously trained and worked as a paralegal.

PJ's articles have appeared in Linux Journal, LWN, LinuxWorld Magazine, Linux Today, and She also wrote a monthly column for the UK print publication Linux User and Developer. She is one of the contributors to the book Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution.

Grok Projects


Jones has a blog, called Groklaw, which covers open source legal issues, notably the SCO-Linux controversies. Her stated purpose for starting the blog can be found in the first interview she ever granted, for Linux Online, where she said:

I started my blog just before the SCO case was filed. Originally, my purpose was just trying to learn how to blog, because an attorney and I were discussing the possibility of me doing some telecommuting work for him, including work on his blog. I had no knowledge of blogging, so I quickly got Radio, because he used it, and I put up one article to practice, which I never thought anyone in the world would ever see (ironically, about the Grokster decision and how I admired David Boies' Napster legal documents). I was just writing to the air.

My thought then was to try to explain legal news stories as they came along. I was forever reading Slashdot comments about legal news and most of the comments would be way off, and I realized that there is a hunger for someone to explain what it all means, what the process is, how things play out, to people who aren't in the legal field.

Groklaw's Mission Statement says it 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.... Second, we are applying open-source principles to research to the extent that they apply.... Third, it's an antiFUD site.

Groklaw has covered the various lawsuits involving the SCO Group in detail but also covers general legal news of interest to the Free Software and Open Source community. The site has won numerous awards.


Jones also launched Grokline, a Unix ownership timeline project, in February 2004. The project was successful in finding, getting permission to publish, and publishing the USL v. BSDi settlement agreement, which had been kept secret by the parties. The revelation of this document was important in dispersing a cloud of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt the SCO group had placed over the settlement terms.


Grokdoc's goal is to create a useful manual on basic tasks that new users will find simple and clear and easy to follow, using what they learn from their study.


Jones reveals very little personal information, as she considers it private and has expressed from the beginning a strong preference for avoiding fame. Here are the reasons she gave in the early days for using just her initials:

I originally wanted to stay anonymous, in a sense, by just saying PJ. Eventually media attention and other factors made it impossible to remain just PJ but I would have if I could have. I have no desire to be famous, for one thing. And I have been creatively influenced by Scott McCloud's work. He points out in Understanding Comics (p. 45–51) in a section on iconic representation that people respond most strongly to a drawing of a character that simplifies to the point that anyone can identify with the character. I guess I was hoping for that effect. In other words, I was hoping people could assume whatever they wanted and just focus on what I said, rather than on who was saying it. For that reason, I chose PJ, because it could be anyone, either sex, any nationality, anyone and no one in particular. I wanted participation by anyone interested in the SCO story. No politics. Nothing extraneous. Just an effort to locate and provide evidence that could be useful. I knew the community could answer SCO, if they just knew what was needed. And they have.


  • Articles in Linux Journal, Linux World, Linux Today, LWN.
  • Monthly column in LinuxUser, a UK print publication.
  • Contributor to Open Sources 2.0: The Continuing Evolution.

See also

Notes and references

External links

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