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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 13 declined, 1 accepted (14 total, 7.14% accepted)

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Submission + - Linux User Group for Professionals? (Redux) (

ir0b0t writes: "In August of 2005 I posted asking if there were other lawyers who had migrated their law offices to FOSS. Its now January of 2009, and I want to renew the question. Its ironic that a profession as devoted to logic and the Constitution as lawyers has not required more FOSS literacy of its members. Has anything changed since 2005? Are there lawyers or other professionals who have formed groups to discuss FOSS and its use? Either as a practical and cost-effective alternative to proprietary code or as mandated by devotion to civil liberties?"
GNU is Not Unix

Submission + - Can Closed Source Be Legally Blended With GPL?

ir0b0t writes: "Using a GPL license with closed source code should mean that the modified code is also GPL. But this guy, ptang ptang olay biscuit barrel, says no. Closed source code *can* sometimes legally be combined with GPL code without resulting in GPL code. I happen to disagree, but I heard he's a lawyer and a coder and that he ought to know. :) Here's the link."

Submission + - free software; free legal forms

ir0b0t writes: "Coders and lawyers for openmissoula presented a "proof-of-concept" demo to the Montana Supreme Court Commission on Self-Represented Litigants that uses free code to give free legal forms to low and moderate income Montanans. Many Montanans cannot get access to the courts for even simple matters. Existing nonprofits typically use large grants for proprietary solutions. Will the proof-of-concept demo be embraced by the Montana lawyers?"
The Almighty Buck

Submission + - Support For Small Professional Offices Using FOSS

ir0b0t writes: "I have a small office and recently finished replacing all the code in my office with FOSS. It took over 5 years, and my brother had to help me a lot. He actually did everything, and I tried to stay out of his way and learn as much as I could. Here is what I'm running now: * Ubuntu 7.04 * Samba * Drupal * OpenOffice * egroupware * backuppc * Firefox * Thunderbird * Gnucash Now I need technical support occasionally because the discussions on the forums are often over my head, and my brother may disown me if I keep relying on him for help. What options are available for FOSS technical support in the smaller cities, especially for a small law or accounting office?"
The Courts

Submission + - FOSS Demonstrated for Social Justice Lawyers

ir0b0t writes: "Two migration stories are being offered in Montana to urge social justice lawyers to migrate to free and open source software (FOSS). The site has links to my law firm which runs FOSS and the Montana Association of Criminal Defense Attorney website which just migrated to Drupal. The focus of the nonprofit openmissoula site is saving money through FOSS to increase direct services to clients — especially low-income and pro bono clients.

Here is the lead story on openmissoula that makes the case:
Nonprofit programs and private offices can be served entirely by free and open source software (FOSS) .

Using FOSS avoids licensing fees charged by vendors and related risks and costs of proprietary software. Money saved permits innovation and more direct services to clients. How? A local area network (LAN) server based on Samba can connect a large number of Windows, Apple, and Linux workstations. A "user-friendly" desktop-oriented version of the Linux operating system is Ubuntu. Egroupware can be used for a shared team members' calendar, a shared contacts directory and a shared to-do list. Jabber can be used for instant messaging. Asterisk can be used to run a large telephone system. An email client is provided by Thunderbird. A "better browser" (according to Forbes) is Firefox. A website like this one can be published with Drupal. Gimp can be used instead of Photoshop for image editing. Accounting records, formal documents and routine correspondence can be created with the Open Office Suite. Encrypted remote access with an office computer can accomplished with freenx. Backups can be automatically completed and sent offsite over an encrypted connection with Backuppc.

Advocates, social workers, grant administrators, legal aid attorneys, public defenders and program facilitators take notice: there is no licensing fee for use of these — and other — FOSS programs.

Read more: 50 Open Source Success Stories in Business, Education and Government
What additional incentives can be offered? Or is FOSS a wrong turn for the nonprofit world? "

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