Thursday, October 13, 2005

Following up on open documents

A while ago, there was quite a to-do over the Massachusetts legal system choosing to go to open document formats. The title link goes to an article responding to criticisms by Microsoft boosters. In this particular harangue, I want to throw out a constitutional ideal. Open document formats are available free to the public through the open source licensing scheme and the general public license scheme. This could equal a brave move by the state of Massachusetts to allow access to the courts by anyone with a computer and an internet connection. OpenOffice.Org allows anyone to use a full suite of programs to create documents. Now, these documents are admissible for court filings in Massachusetts. Allowing the everyman to participate in the legal system breaks down the walls and opens the doors Kafka contemplated as the bar to many individuals from influencing the legal system.

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