The Groklaw Story, Part Two

Last week, LinuxInsider published a story looking at the role of Groklaw.net, an informational Web site dealing with The SCO Group’s lawsuits against Linux users and supporters. The story contained both expressions of support for, and criticism of, Groklaw and its founder-publisher Pamela Jones, including statements by SCO’s public relations director, Blake Stowell.

The story elicited a storm of protest and abuse from members of the open-source community, ranging from allegations of biased reporting to suggestions that its publishers were secretly in the service of proprietary software vendors. One criticism was that Jones was not given the opportunity to respond.

The publishers feel that the story presented both sides and that its critics failed to distinguish between presenting the views of a party to a dispute, and endorsing them. Stowell’s comments, it was felt, could stand or fall on their own merits.

One of the legitimate demands contained in some readers’ letters was that Stowell back up his allegation of “misconstrued and twisted” information on Groklaw with specifics. In fact, at our request, Stowell had provided an example, but time constraints prevented its inclusion in last week’s story.

Blake Stowell said:

Here is one example. On January 27th, Pamela Jones chose to post a story from Newsforge that was written by Bruce Perens. In this story, Bruce suggested the following: That he has “assembled ample evidence that they [SCO] have lied under oath in court.”

Bruce Perens also wrote in this posting:

“This virus [MyDoom] has been assembled for the purpose of defaming the Linux developers by spammers, SCO, or others.”

Has any specific evidence about SCO lying under oath actually been presented or come forward? Not to my knowledge.

Has anyone found that SCO was actually the creator of the MyDoom virus? No. To even suggest that SCO was the creator of the virus I believe is ludicrous.

This is one example of how in SCO’s opinion, a lot of misinformation is posted on Groklaw.

In the interests of fair debate, therefore, we present his example here and talked with Pamela Jones in an interview for her views on it and on other matters related to Groklaw, SCO and the continuing disputes.

LinuxInsider: Pamela, what’s your response to this example?

Jones: I see no misinformation. Perens stated his opinions. SCO doesn’t like it that the truth is out there, but it’s out there. If he wishes to make a statement on Groklaw, stating his position in some matter, he’s free to send it to me. I don’t think the stated concern is sincere, though. I reserve the right to respond, naturally.

LinuxInsider: In last week’s story, Stowell made some serious insinuations about you, your motives and your backers, suggesting that you are secretly associated with IBM. What’s your response?

Jones: As I have said publicly elsewhere, I don’t have any connection to IBM professionally or personally. I never have had any such connection. I have never even been inside an IBM building. They haven’t given me any financial support of any kind. Not a dime. Not a promise. Not a grant. Not a PIPE deal. Not an envelope of money under the table from a cousin. Not a ThinkPad. Nothing. IBM does not sponsor Groklaw.

Why, then, does SCO say that IBM sponsors Groklaw? They make the claim based on the fact that they say IBM gave some computer equipment to Ibiblio once upon a time. And Ibiblio hosts Groklaw for free. They have also been telling journalists that I live near IBM headquarters. That’s it. That is IBM’s “sponsorship.” Wink, wink. Get it?

By trying to get journalists to print where they think I live, they are putting me in danger. If you think I am exaggerating, take a look at what a SCO zealot posted on Yahoo’s Finance message board, that if I was as pretty as [Julia Roberts playing] Erin Brockovich, he’d … well, he seemed to have rape in mind.

LinuxInsider: We’ve heard that judge Brooke Wells has criticized “trial by media” in the IBM case. What’s your view of the proper role of media in reporting disputes such as this?

Jones: SCO, in the most recent teleconference about the financials, said Wells told both sides to avoid remarks in the press. That seems unlikely to be precisely accurate. When did you last hear IBM say anything at all to the press about the case? Which side has been trying it in the media, in your experience? Why, then, would Wells tell IBM not to try it in the press?

The media doesn’t understand why people react when lies or falsehoods are printed. It’s because people don’t like lies and falsehoods. The tech media is used to Microsoft users, who mostly don’t know their nose from their big toe when it comes to computers. So they don’t react to stories with inaccuracies.

People who use GNU/Linux know computers well, so they spot nonsense a lot quicker, and yes, I suppose they get sick of reading nonsense, particularly nonsense they perceive to have been written for hire, so to speak, with MS money in the background tilting the stories against FOSS.

LinuxInsider: Finally, what’s your view of SCO’s choices of DaimlerChrysler and AutoZone as end users to sue?

Jones: I think they have made a laughingstock of themselves. And I think that no one in their right mind will ever enter a contractual relationship with them again.

These aren’t really end-user lawsuits, though. As I’ve written, these are “uh oh, I was a SCO customer” lawsuits. This DaimlerChrysler thing has nothing to do with Linux, unless you see SCO as a scorned, toxic boyfriend who beats you up if you try to leave him and his Unix software and switch to GNU/Linux.

AutoZone is accused of using shared libraries, but the guy who switched the company over to Linux posted on Groklaw a month ago that they didn’t use any shared libraries, so I expect that means curtains for that lawsuit. Of course, it’s early in the picture, but so far I see absolutely nothing that will stand.

No Comments

  • I read both stories and thought they were perfectly reasonable reportage, but then I’m a consulant, not a journalist and know little about the nuances of professional behavior in the field.
    On the other hand, the combination of your stories, the response to them, and too much time on my hands has sharpened my interest in a closely related question. That question is this: to what extent does IBM’s marketing and public relations "machine" depend on what Stalin used to call "useful idiots?"
    A useful idiot, you may recall, is someone who does his master’s bidding without being told to or directly compensated for his efforts – like John Kerry in his work for Hanoi.
    IBM used this appraoch extensively in selling mainframe Linux, quoting many nonsensical claims made by useful idiots about this product’s value and performance on their website, and even in their print advertising, but standing behind precisely none of it. Thus the question your stories accentuated for me, and thus first the question I’d love to see you take on, is whether people like Mr. Perens and Ms. Jones are useful idiots who are disconnected from, but being used by, IBM.

    • Well, consider this: It’s rare in life, I know, but there are some questions where the preponderance of truth lies on one side of the question. It is my opinion that the SCO lawsuits form one such time. Groklaw has published actual court documents and transcripts of press conferences and lectures where SCO has directly and repeatedly contradicted themselves. They say one thing to the press, and then directly deny it when pressed in court. What should be done in such a case? Not report it? Report is with "balance" by trying to find some dirt on IBM? If a spokesperson gets caught in a lie, why is it wrong to report that fact?
      So if IBM wants to make hay out of their opponents ineptitude, how is that a bad reflection on Groklaw. Groklaw started up independently to report on the SCO FUD. That IBM is the recipient of such facts is not the mission of Groklaw. I can assure you that if IBM starts issuing FUD on related matters (as has happened in IBM’s past), Groklaw will report that too.
      Groklaw is on the side of truth. Boy, that sure sounds corny nowadays, but there really is no better way to phrase it. Lots of legal shananigans are going on, and Groklaw is shining a light on it all in order to find out where the truth lies. You know what? This is a unique service being performed. When was the last time we had such a service? Usually we depend on the press to tell us what is happening in court cases of interest. Now we have volunteers transcribing motions and conferences in almost real time and instead of depending on press spin, we can read the actual material in near real time.
      How can anyone (other than SCO and its supporters) complain about that? What IBM does with this information is immaterial to the Groklaw mission.

      • <quote>If you read down a thread, almost every post starts out "IANAL" (I am not a lawyer), yet the next 500 words will be offering up their legal opinion on the matter.</quote>
        Hrumpf! The first time I saw IANAL on a discussion, my initial reaction was "Yeah, so many of us in this business are (anal, that is)."
        Sadly, ‘bangular’ doesn’t add anything of substance to the discussion. It reminds me that "opinions are like a******s, everybody has one and they’re mostly full of ***t."
        There now, I also have added nothing of substance.

        • You are not trolling. Although your statements sound rude, they are your serious beliefs and must be respected and refuted in an equally serious manner.
          The first hole in your theory is related to timeframe.
          Mr. Perens was involved in Linux advocacy before IBM began any marketing of Linux services. Your ‘useful idiot’ theory (which also spins a nuance of impoliteness) only works if Mr. Perens’ actions occured after the introduction of IBM influence into the Linux community.
          The second hole is a bit more abstract.
          Ms. Jones does what she does because she thinks it is best for the Linux community. Currently IBM is acting in the community’s best interests and that is why Ms. Jones’ statments and actions support IBM.
          Subtle, but important. PJ can only be mistaken for a ‘useful idiot’ as long as IBM acts in a manner that advances her own goals.
          (OT: With your logic, it kinda seems Vice President Cheney be a ‘useful idiot’ for Halliburton, except for the compensation part)

  • "Stowell’s comments, it was felt, could stand or fall on their own merits."
    IANALBIWAJ (I Am Not A Lawyer, But I Was A Journalist), and I know that, in journalism, there’s a name for comments standing or falling on their own merits: a commentary. By wrapping the SCO commentary up with a lead, a bridge, a second-hand quote from the other side and other trappings of an actual news story, you legitimized their comments by making it seem they were being presented within the American tradition of journalism. But they weren’t. The story had Ms Jones’ name all over it, but you didn’t give her a chance to respond. You didn’t check any of the subject’s facts (as far as a reader can tell), and you let bald assertions of conspiracy and other wrong doing go without a response. That’s not balanced, that’s not fair, and that’s not journalism.
    This passage is also troubling: "That prospect pleases Pamela Jones, who has been quoted as saying, "Litigation isn’t a long-term business strategy, even if you ‘win.’ It’s a one-time payout. Then what? If you have no product people want, that’s the final chapter, especially if people really don’t like you and what you stand for." It may be that kind of intransigence…"
    It’s shoddy journalism to characterize someone’s feelings about something if you didn’t actually talk to the person. Worse, nothing in the quote you used supports the emotion you assign to the subject (really, the way your wrote it states she’d be pleased if SCO only got initial damages — I doubt she’d be pleased at all if they got any damages, because they’d have to win their case to get them). Secondly, you misused the word intransigence. That means an unwillingness to compromise. The quote is simply her opinion of litigation as a business model. How is that opinion of a business strategy proof of instransigence? She may be intransigent on the subject, but nothing you presented supports that.
    Worse, you use the emotion (being pleased) you assume, her second-hand quote that you then incorrectly label and present it as a possible reason for Mr. Stowell’s comments about Ms Jones being secretly bankrolled by IBM, which you then do not check and do not give the object of this possible defamation a chance to rebutt.
    It is no wonder, then, that "The story elicited a storm of protest and abuse…" You clearly abused Ms Jones, so it is little wonder you were subjected to protest and abuse in return. My advice is to shun the fast-and-loose journalistic standards that seem to prevail on the web, go back to Journalism 101 and stay awake this time.
    As for the case itself (I can’t resist), all you have to do is follow the money. Why should SCO be entitled to anything beyond initial damages even if they are correct? If someone damages you, you sue, you get damages. You don’t refuse to let the damage be undone so you can go after end users (skipping the distributors in the process) so you can get money for something you did not create. That’s why Mr. Stowell is having a hard time. There’s an old saying: your actions are speaking so loud I can’t hear what you’re saying. SCO’s actions — delay, obsfucation and taking its own customers to court — speak volumes about what kind of company it is, whether IBM wrongly contributed code to Linux or not. All the press releases (and poor journalism) in the world won’t convince a thinking person otherwise.

    • Actually, Bangular, PJ removes posts that are obviously trolls, offensive, or incoherent (unreadable). Seeing that you continue to ring all three bells with your dunderheaded whining, I am not surprised if you have had your posts removed.
      I would also add that my original answer to your first witless ordinance was rejected by the moderators here, so I guess you now have the same problem with the site you are using for your soapbox.
      Which brings me to the most salient point: why do you cower in this backwater and cast aspersions at Groklaw when you could take them there? The answer is obvious – you are poultry stool.
      By all means, I think you should carry on here – it is an excellent recommendation for Groklaw that abrasive teenage thimblewits like yourself are weeded out and sent home to mom.
      Will you be continuing your tenure here after March break, or will grade 9 demand too much of your looming intellect?

      • Bangular: So, you have a *Linux mailserver* – what in the blue hell is a *Linux mailserver*?
        This is what is known between grown-ups as a ‘tell’. To put it in terms your shallow pan can accomodate, that means that, when you claim to be something you are not, then you attempt to back up your claim by providing information that reveals your pathetic lack of knowledge about the very thing you claim to be, then we can all ‘tell’ you are full of it.
        Your assertions about your alleged professional experience are laughable in light of this gaffe.
        Apparently hanging around slashdot hasn’t helped you much.
        Thankfully, you (obviously) have the bulk of your life still ahead of you.
        My advice is that you finish high school and try to find a job where your peerless intellect might be engaged to its full extent.
        For instance, with a little hard work, you might make an excellent speed bump or professional troll.
        Good luck with your ‘Linux mailserver’.

        • Bangular: So, instead of putting luser out of the race by revealing just which open source projects you helmed (sure, kid), you instead trot out this juvenile and disingenuous ‘rebuttal’, leaving his argument unmet.
          Happily, as luser pointed out, no one gives a rat’s behind what you think anyhow. Too timid to take your vitriol to Groklaw, you smear it on the walls here like the witless poltroon you are.
          I will join in on your little fantasy world here by stating that my having created the known universe where once there was void trumps your uncontested mastery of self-pleasuring techniques.

          • No, it isn’t GNU/Linux, because it is not running only open source software.
            I find you arguing semantics, which is fine, whatever. I proved you wrong and now you find yourself looking for a way to save yourself. It is running linux, it’s also running a lot of other things. Want to have a nice discussion now on why it’s not X Windows, or why KDE isn’t a WM, or some other semantics arguement that Linux noobs like to have when they think they’ve learned something? I’d rather have a conversation about the kernel IO scheduler than a semantics arguement. This conversation is over. You are wrong. Get over it.

          • Nice attempt to backpedal out of making an idiot of yourself!
            Your continued use of vernacular in an attempt to appear to have a clue is akin to using your face to wipe the dog crap off of your shoe.
            Announcing that you have won an argument falls far short of actually winning. I sense that you are frustrated by the fact that so far no one has fallen for even one of your laughable assertions.
            There is no ‘semantic’ argument here – you simply revealed your complete ignorance of what you were talking about by saying that you run a ‘Linux mailserver’. Your red-faced attempt to back away from this only underscores how desperately out of your depth you are.
            You say ‘I proved you wrong’ to subdude which, aside from torturing English, is yet another lie. Where did you meet his argument? Answer: nowhere.
            At this point, if someone told me that you are in reality an inanimate object, I’d be prepared to believe them (no offense meant to any inanimate objects).

          • ‘More than you have in your pinky’? Although what you meant to say was probably something about having more experience in your pinky than whoever has in their whole body, your inability to pull even that trite retort out of the mothballs without screwing it up speaks volumes about your actual mental wattage.
            Regardless, I would still contend that luser probably does have more brains in his pinky than your ficticious ’23 years’ of Unix experience has afforded you. If you need evidence to that effect, try reading your own insipid, snot-faced skid marks in this forum. You’ve got me convinced.

          • So you need not prove youself to someone with ‘dude’ in their name? You know, that is word for word the same retort used by Rob Enderle in response to a comment by someone named Sgt Jake – substitute ‘dude’ for ‘Sgt’. Hmmm. Anyhow, I fail to see where a moniker like ‘Bangular’, devoid of meaning, is supposed to lend you an air of sophistication.
            Especially when it has become patently obvious here that you not only lack the spine to take your thumbsucking little beef to Groklaw, but you also couldn’t debate a toddler without making a fool of yourself. Imitating Rant for Rent Rob like you do only underscores these points.

          • "I proved you wrong…"
            You have proved nothing other than you are not a Linux project leader or even a skilled Linux user.
            "I’d rather have a conversation about the kernel IO scheduler than a semantics arguement."
            Of course you would, if you could, but you can’t because you are not a skilled professional as you would have us believe.
            Any newby can get their mom to download a live Linux CD and configure it only for sendmail or some other MTA. The fact that you can claim a functioning open source mailserver as yours really proves nothing at all.
            I am sorry but you are a fraud – you are trying to pass yourself off as some sort of Linux pro but your newby mistakes reveal your true status.
            So the situation begs the obvious question; If you are not a real Linux professional as you state, what are you doing bad-mouthing Groklaw?

          • Last post for this idiotic conversation. a) if you had actually connected to the mail server you would have seen it’s NOT running sendmail. In fact, from what I can see, all you did was contact the webserver with Internet Explorer. If you had tried to elicit an uptime, you would have seen that server has been running long before this conversation. But alas, a 15 year old doesn’t know how to do that… In fact, I think it’s a bit hypocritical for someone to try and make the argument they are while running windows. But alas, that is what you are. And as a child I know you will want to have the last word. Go ahead, then you can go to 5th period english.

          • > if you had actually connected to the mail server you would have seen it’s NOT running sendmail.
            I did not connect to your mailserver, some may consider such a connection to be an attack. I don’t run Windows – another newbie mistake.
            I did check out your published DNS records. I know your domain is pointed at a couple web hosting companies, not to you. I know your ‘mail’ and ‘mx’ records are pointed at a private Adelphia ‘no servers’ cable access account. I know you are using zoneedit.com’s free service for your dns records.
            You attempt to profess a mass of Unix/Linux knowledge yet you make the most incriminating newby errors. How do you explain that?
            Your personal attacks are childish and baseless yet you state that quality in my posts.
            You are not a Unix/Linux professional – anybody and their mom can download and load a live CD Linux distro.
            You are not a Linux project leader, as you claim.
            You do not administer a 100 node Linux render farm, as you claim.
            You are not even a contributor to any open source project, as you claim.
            You appear to have picked up a bit of dialoque here and there but your posts are littered with errors of fact and context – real coders are exacting about such details.
            So tell me bangular, who do YOU want to be today?

          • Before I reply to your actual post, I’ll state a few things about myself. I am currently Plant Manager / IT guy for a small company that manufactures and services oilfield chemicals in Texas. I am 28 years old, married, 2 children and a have nice middle class house, and income. I have a small network at home including a firewall on an old p100, an XP2800 for myself and a XP1800 for my wife, along with my old rev A iMac for our 8 year old daughter. The firewall and my workstation both run Gentoo Linux, my wife’s runs win2k and my daughter’s OS8.5. At our main office at work I maintain an 8 node lan, with win2k and winxp on the workstations, and linux on the server. We are out in the sticks so I have to make due with 128k ISDN. I know Linux, Windows, MacOS and general networking well.
            I like Groklaw and read it daily.
            I took exception to a few points in your post.
            Some of your opinions are quiet emotional, eg
            > Groklaw is such a horrible site.
            > PJ herself is so unprofessional it is incredible.
            > Groklaw is extremely bad for the community.
            You are entitled to your opinion. I politely disagree with them.
            Some of the generalizations you express are false, eg
            > Take every non-techinical fanatic, idiot, and 13 year old who wants to be a lawyer, and you’ve got Groklaw.
            I am none of the above, AND I am not just a single person, but more of a representation of the general membership of the site.

            > Post ANYTHING that conflicts with their idealist views and you will be flamed to no end with idiotic accusations like "so, is this SCO trolling on our boards again".
            I observe a variety of intelligent discourse among the comments. I rarely see remarkable flames or insults (such as the one to which I am now replying)

            > If someone offers up the truth on a situtation and it conflicts with Groklaw’s views, I’ve actually seen her egg on flame wars.
            You seem much more observant than me. I have never seen PJ encourage in any manner a flame war. Possibly you can show me what you have actually seen. That point segues into …

            > […] I had been visiting it since about 2 months after it launched. It used to be a place for SCO/MS related legal documents to be posted. That original goal has obviously been lost and has become a place for every conspiracy theory possible. I stopped visiting after Groklaw accused SCO of DoSing itself. I’ve been back a couple times only to find things have gotten worse.
            You have a bucketful of non-constructive opinions and generalizations in the queue, yet you’ve only been there twice since you started viewing it negatively.
            I conclude with a quote from PJ:
            Money is nice, but integrity is everything.

  • Time to be smacking people around with the clue-bat, I think.
    All whining and whinging and moaning aside, you have *ALL* missed the point – entirely.
    (Q) What Is Groklaw?
    (a) It is a discussion site.
    (Q) What does that mean?
    (a) There are postings of ‘things to discuss’ and there are subsequent postings which constitute ‘the discussions’.
    (Q) And that is relevant how?
    (a) no matter how much you dislike and/or disagree with ‘the discussion’ only the worst kind of moron would visit Groklaw and ignore the "things to discuss".
    Groklaw includes as its primary articles (or however you wish to phrase "the initial postings to which all the subsequent discussions pertain") detailed literal quotations of *publicly available* information including legal documents/filings and briefings. Irrespective of which side of the SCOvsIBM fence you agree with, you could simply read the detailed and often literal-and-in-their-entirety documents and MAKE UP YOUR OWN MIND.
    Yes at times these also include analysis by PJ (and/or others) but So What? In the end Groklaw is an interesting site where many of the deep and dark secrets of this case are being brought to light.
    Anyone who has bothered to visit Groklaw on anything even approaching a regular basis can clearly see that PJ has on many and various occasions welcomed *constructive* criticism of the site, including any and all content errors/mistakes, and/or the analysis presented. PJ has ALSO clearly and most obviously worked hard to present The Facts and a relevant analysis.
    You may not agree with The Analysis, but the FACTS are almost always a matter of Public Record — if they’re wrong (misquoted, out of context or whatever) then You Can Prove it – otherwise SHUT UP because nobody wants to hear your baseless opinionated whining.
    YES there are looney zealots trolling the Groklaw discussions, and YES at times they’re totally out of line. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. ANY and EVERY public discussion website attracts its share of "bad apples".
    Read the articles, correct them with FACTS , not OPINIONS, and Let Justice Prevail.

    • >Wow… A *real* mail server.
      "Yes, a linux one at that. Which would make me a *real* linux user."
      Erm… I am sorry but I was making fun of you – interesting that you didn’t get that. Also, I don’t know what you mean by "a linux one at that".
      There are no "linux mail servers" – there are open source mail servers, Unix mail servers, multi-platform mail servers but no Linux mail servers.
      The term ‘Linux’ refers to the operating system kernel. Many users often refer to the "linux" operating system although that is technically incorrect – it should be GNU/Linux. However, there are definately no Linux mail servers.
      You made a real rookie error – do you still want to insist you are an open source project leader?
      Like I said, I don’t know who you are but I sure know what you are not.
      Run along little troll!

      • Actually, Bangular, I wouldn’t mistake you for an MS or SCO flack. First of all, even PR ghouls must at least have a veneer of sentience. Secondly, They must be able to write.
        Also, you will need to graduate high school before getting a job with a PR firm.
        I take it from your apoplectic little tantrum that those brutes at Groklaw humiliated you inadvertantly – there ought to be a ‘your clue must be at least this tall to surf this site’ warning there for hapless shallow pans such as yourself.
        Doubtless you displayed some of the dazzling charm and wit you do here and got flamed.
        But then again, who cares? Since you clearly lack the conviction to shoot your mouth off at Groklaw, no one there need be annoyed by your ankle height aspersions.
        Good luck with puberty.

  • Let’s see:
    Bruce Perens:"[I have] assembled ample evidence that they [SCO] have lied under oath in court"
    Blake Stowell:"Has any specific evidence about SCO lying under oath actually been presented or come forward? Not to my knowledge."
    A non sequiter. The fact that evidence has not been presented implies that it doesn’t exist in which universe??
    Bruce Perens:"This virus [MyDoom] has been assembled for the purpose of defaming the Linux developers by spammers, SCO, or others."
    Blake Stowell:"To even suggest that SCO was the creator of the virus I believe is ludicrous."
    Certainly no more ludicrous than the assertion by SCO, widely reported in the media and certainly at least tacitly held by Mr Stowell (my proof – he missed this opportunity to correct all the misquoting of SCOs real opinion), that the Linux or Open Source communities created the virus. How does one reasonably characterize Mr. Perens *opinion*, which paraphrases to "created by someone to defame Linux", as misinformation?
    Mr Stowell’s assertion that this is misinformation has, in my humble opinion, just about zero credibilty. But that’s ok – he really has a lot of better examples, but you can’t see them until you sign a Non Disclosure Agreement. (Sorry – an "inside joke" for those following the SCO-IBM case)
    I really don’t understand why people keep wasting bandwidth letting SCO spout drivel like this.

  • I follow groklaw quiet a bit (just not the user comments). It appears that some reporters are associating user comments with those of Pamela Jones. Although Pamela Jones is not un-biased about her oppinions she seems to always separate those opinions from the facts. I have seen many of her postings that stated that she is not sure if a particular source is acurate. This is a good clue for readers to know that what she is reporting may or may not be acurate and if it is later substantiated she generally lets you know. In my opinion she is completely un-biased when reporting facts, and she lets you know when she’s stating her opinion. It is when people fail to fully investigate or read what she has written that problems arise. As for user comments, I think we all can agree that users on any site will say some very strange and radical things.
    As for my opinion on the case. The jury is still out, and I haven’t completely made up my mind. I have studied Unix for quiet some time now, and have even written a tutorial about it. The code that is in Unix has come from so many places in so many ways that even people that have dedicated great amounts of time creating trees representing the history of pieces of Unix contributions are undecided about where many things came from. It also seems possible to me that AT&T borrowed substatial amounts of code, and it is unclear to me wether they own (now it would be SCO) that code as a derivitive work, or if the News Letter that AT&T published stating the opposite would hold true. For that matter I have read the SCO Novell contract line by line, and have concluded that becasue it is filled with so much ambiguity and self contradiction, that if you can really figure it out I think I would give you a gold medal.
    Some people want to make this case a very simple one. It is not and all though the facts may not be clear that’s the clearest fact this case has to offer. I think it would be better if everyone involved let everyone else have thier opinions (after all we might all turn out to be wrong), and real reporters and journalists stuck to reporting the facts.
    Knowing that someone threatened Pamela Jones in the way that they did tells me (in my opinion) that there are some sick people out there. I wish people would stop making religious wars out of these things. trust me the companies involved don’t really care about you personally I’m not sure how much you should care about a non-living entity. Instead you should worry more about all of the people that these desicions will effect.
    I know that I’ve written way too much, so I’ll stop writting, but I just want to leave you with one last comment for people who write such mean things about other people.
    STOP being so ruthless, heartless, mercyless, and inconsiderate. We all are human beings who are all entitled to our beliefs and our opinnions.

    • I reiterate – I do not believe bangalor is a regular linux user, nor a Linux project leader, nor any of the credentials he claims for himself. Quite frankly bangalor ‘dost protest too much" – it is uncharacteristic of true old hands in the Linux community to self promote so much.
      Further, bangalor states that "Lot’s of people who use open source don’t like Groklaw." This "wild accusation" is not supported in fact.
      Lastly, bangalor actually cites Rob Enderle as an authority "People like you are the exact ones people like Rob Enderle talk about." Really.
      I make no accusations about what bangalor really is only what he isn’t. I will leave it up to the readers of this thread to decide what bangalor really is.
      As for bangalor’s Parthian shot about PJ deleting some posts from Groklaw – I understand and support the practice. Some posts just don’t merit the airplay.

      • >>Lastly, bangalor actually cites Rob Enderle as an authority
        I do? No, I cite him as a troll whom people like you fuel.
        >>I make no accusations about what bangalor really is only what he isn’t
        >>I do not believe bangalor is a regular linux user.
        That is not an accusation? hmmm, looks like one to me. Can you not even keep your facts straight during a single post?
        >>As for bangalor’s Parthian shot about PJ deleting some posts from Groklaw – I understand and support the practice
        For someone who is so pro open, I see your censorship as a conflict of interest. This is why slashdot is a better open source resource. The fact is, slashdot only deletes posts when faced with legal opposotion they know they can not win. PJ deletes posts because she doesn’t like them.
        I do not have to prove my experience to someone with "dude" in their name. I would be suprised if you are a day over 15. would you like to finger print my mail server? mail.bangular.com Go right ahead. Looks like a linux server to me. In fact, it’s a linux from scratch variant I made a couple of years back. and no, I’m not going to go to any other lengths than that to prove I’m a linux user because I don’t need to prove myself to a child.

        • "I would be suprised if you are a day over 15."
          Your ad hominem remarks says it all about you. I am Linux User 61537.
          "For someone who is so pro open, I see your censorship as a conflict of interest."
          You make a very newby mistake – ‘open source’ doesn’t mean no rules. PJ likes to run her site with a little decorum – she deletes flamebait, like your posts here.
          "would you like to finger print my mail server?"
          Wow… A *real* mail server. You are probably getting ready to make a web page next.
          You should make a law page all of your own – then you can let everybody post exactly what they want. That would be good.

          • >Wow… A *real* mail server.
            Yes, a linux one at that. Which would make me a *real* linux user. Funny how someone so convinced otherwise just a few hours ago is proven wrong so quickly.
            >You are probably getting ready to make a web page next.
            And you assume because I don’t have a page up when you go to http://www.bangular.com you assume there is nothing on the site? I would rather you not troll my wiki and message boards (which I wrote in jsp) so yes, I did take the main page down. and there is already a site where I can post what I want, it’s called slashdot.

  • All I saw in your first story was quite a bit of Stowell running off at the mouth, or keyboard, as it were.
    I saw no balance.
    Stowell provided ONE example of what he felt was misinformation. However, I’d like to see him support that refutation with evidence. He says the Perens’ quote was misinformation. I read the original. It was Perens expressing his opinion. Opinion is not misinformation.
    Stowell’s characterization of it as misinformation is disingenuous considering the crap he spews.
    He also indicated that there were many examples – I have a feeling that his comment is like the "million lines of code" comment by McBride – ludicrous and untrue.
    By the way, how is it fair that Stowell’s comments get featured in two articles and PJ’s are featured in just one and still get cut short? Seems like you didn’t quite get all the egg off your face, Mr. Halperin

    • The issue is SCO’s activities. Groklaw provides easy access to the source documents. Someone who gives her opinion on what it all means is a bonus. That someone writing with wit and an easy to read style makes the site even more attractive.
      Yes it provides a forum for feedback, some of the feedback comes from lawyers, some from engineers and no doubt some from your average nutter.
      They are fighting against a troll campain at the moment. Their solution may work better or worse than the solution adopted by slashdot. Their is no doubt however that the trolling effort has been sustained and vindictive. There is also no doubt that trolling has destroyed many a site, and is considered a successfull strategy to use against a site that offers a view that is not your own. Given the damage that can be caused by sustained trolling one can not blame a site for acting against such activity with little mercy.
      Groklaw is also fighting a campain to discredit the site. I think I would be excused for concluding that part of the campain is your post and the treatment that Groklaw has received from this site.
      Groklaw had a had a large influence on the outcome of the SCO smear campain. Groklaw is a major reason why the whole SCO thing has fallen flat on it’s face. No doubt the reason why it is now receiving so much attention by those that would like to bring it down.
      Yes I believe the SCO event in past tense. Thanks to Groklaw the Contract between IBM and SCO is now available online for the casual reading by any lawyer asked to comment on the threat to linux, ( what other site provides such a service, source documents what a radical concept).
      We now know that the SCO have taken two of their customers to court. We don’t have to take a reporters word for it or Groklaw’s or the feedback forum; thanks to Groklaw the court documents are online for everyones reading pleasure.
      The tin hat crowd believed Microsoft bankrolled the SCO campain. We now have a memo that leaves one suspecting that they could be right. Under such circumstance it is hard to accept that Groklaw should be considered suspect because the more extreme element is looking for a conspiracy under every rock.
      Did SCO DDOS themselves, as the main purpose of the virus was the collection of insecure window boxes, unlikely. But it is also unlikely it was done by the Linux crowd. SCO accused the linux crowd, the linux crowd accused SCO. The people collecting the zombies just played on.
      Whatever, it was nothing but a side issue. The main game, the attempted destruction of linux has been dealt a very healthy blow by Groklaw using little more than the timely publication of court documents.
      I take my hat off to them.

      • "Groklaw is such a horrible site…"
        Not true. The posting of court documents in searchable text, public documents such as SEC filings, excellent articles posted by true Unix and Linux experts and excellent probing dialogue by a large contingent of intelligent posters.
        What is true is that some people have posted on Groklaw with the intention of inflaming the dialogue – some of these posts are deleted as flamebait if they contain no facts or objective opinion.
        Take the post of bangular as an example. Almost everything he says is pure flamebait. PJ is totally professional within the boundaries of her experience! bangular makes wild and bitter accusations that have no basis in fact.
        I do not believe for a moment bangular is a Linux user – we as a group are generally more descerning.
        I do not believe for a moment bangular is an open source advocate and his obvious bias against Groklaw and PJ speaks volumes. bangular talks like someone who has a hidden agenda. And before you accuse me of being just another ‘Linux fanatic" –
        I present as proof the totally documented archives of groklaw.org for all to see for themselves.
        After reading a couple stories, judge for yourself who is making "idiotic accusations".

        • Yes, yes, been in charge of many open source projects, currently run a rendering farm of 100 linux servers.
          Such a bold individual to speak up and make a brave stand for the GNU/Linux community (anonymously). Oh yeah, it’s GNU/Linux, in case you forgot (which you did). Not that I need to remind someone with at least a decade of ‘linux’ experience.
          Why don’t you take a moment out of your precious day and tell us a few of these ‘many’ open source projects you’ve been ‘in charge’ of? That way we can all reel in horror at being slammed by such ‘linux’ guru as yourself.
          All I hear is:
          dude Groklaw sucks.
          no it doesn’t.
          yes it does, and I should know because I’m a bigshot with lots of thingies.
          Just the kind of retort one would expect from someone who considers /. to be ‘more intelligent’.
          The fact of the matter is, you’re just a peon, in a sea of peon’s, whose opinion doesn’t amount to squat. You’re quick to slam Groklaw, but haven’t the courage to list your many ‘accomplishments’. You know why? Because any open source project leader worth his/her salt, wouldn’t waste his/her time whining about Groklaw on ‘Linuxinsider’.
          Good day, and good riddance.

          • This is typical attacks on groklaw when one has nothing constructive to post.. why not debate something factual? I haven’t read anything in this post that would convince a total madman.. Instead of attacking someone, read the documents themselves for yourself. from their own filings, contracts and court statments, also from their "press releases"..Nothing but barratry on a grand scale..Laywers post on here.. But you don’t have to be a laywer to read english..

          • <quote>If you read down a thread, almost every post starts out "IANAL" (I am not a lawyer), yet the next 500 words will be offering up their legal opinion on the matter.</quote>
            The law is not some elitist club where you have to go to school for 20 years to join. The law affects everyone, not just lawyers. People that wish to twist the law count on people not caring or thinking they need a lawyer to understand even the simplest thing. I am not a lawyer but I would like to understand the law as best I can. At the SCO Forum show when SCO displayed the names of three cases supposedly supporting their case against IBM and their one-sentence interpretations of those cases, I looked them up myself. I found the judges’ opinions to be easy to understand. Guess what, they didn’t support SCO’s position. Have you ever read a law? Not many people have. It would take weeks of reading to get through the entire US code now and it is confusing, but it is also interesting. SCO is trying to claim IBM’s own work as a derivative work, even though it doesn’t contain any of SCO’s code. The law and several cases on the matter make it clear that a work is not derivative if it doesn’t contain code from the preexisting work. If you read through the claims that SCO makes and case law on the matter, even the cases SCO puts forth itself, you can see the have a VERY thin case.

          • I do not believe for a moment bangular is a Linux user
            And it’s accusations like that that discredit the whole linux community. The biggest problem with open source extremeists as yourself is you make wild accusations you have absolutly no ground for. In fact, I am not only a linux _user_, I maintain my own distribution and have written ALFS (Automated Linux From Scratch) scripts to accomadate for mass installions of it. I am also currently working on a package manager for it using Berkley DB.
            I am a regular poster at slashdot and of many open source projects.
            People like you are the exact ones people like Rob Enderle talk about. You are always quick to assume lot’s of things about people with no basis on fact. ANYONE who disagrees with you is automatically a SCO sympathizer. Guess what, YOU have just proven me right! I disagreed with your opinions, you accused me of being someone with a hidden agenda. Lot’s of people who use open source don’t like Groklaw. Frankly because there are A LOT of people like you there. People who automatically think everyone who doesn’t agree with them is a troll. Groklaw does not in the least bit represent open source. Slashdot, newsforge, linux.com, yes. Groklaw? Not in the least bit.
            If everyone is so willing for everyone to go to Groklaw and have a look, keep in mind PJ takes down posts she doesn’t like. Try to disagree with them, and I can assure you you’re opinions will be met with wild accusations.

          • haha you know what, the fact that I’m probably arguing with a 13 year old speaks for itself. One whom is quick to resort to childish name calling. You can argue with yourself on this one. Because I’m willing to bet my 23 years unix experience is more than you have in your pinky.

          • I suggest people just ignore bangular’s post. Other then the ability to google for a few impressive (I was impressed, really) linux phrases he is SCO. Making claims with no foundations.
            If he really was a maintainer or widely respected contributer to any known open source project do you think really think he would not validate himself (besides not being able to intelligently discuss his differences with Groklaw or whomever)? A case of put up or shut up.
            After reading his posts and forming my own opinion on his credibility and possible motivations I simply ignore his posts and proceed to read other peoples commments.
            GNU/Linux GOD
            The One True Creator of Linux and Sliced Bread
            Heir to all *nix
            (Proof shown upon request)

  • Granted PJ has has calmed down a bit compared to her post on Groklaw in responce to the first statement I find it disturbing that she implies SCO supporters are rapest based on a chat board. This shows she has an emotional commitment not toward IBM so to say but against SCO. I can’t blame PJ for being upset at SCO FUD pointed in her direction, but, the reason I go to Groklaw is to look for facts not opinions or personal vendetas. PJ if you are reading this don’t let yourself fall in to SCO’s trap. They are trying to get you involved in something besides fact finding. They want to make Groklaw more of a tabloid than a site of good documentation. In doing so SCO lowers your sites credibility. Don’t let this happen.

    • "Take every non-techinical fanatic, idiot, and 13 year old who wants to be a lawyer, and you’ve got Groklaw."
      Wrong. You are obviously missing the forest for the trees. You’ve commented on the discussion section. Your characterizations are wrong, in my opinion, but you could have even made them on Groklaw.
      Groklaw is a repository of documents far more than it is a discussion site. Jones is careful to explain the difference between her analysis of documents and statements and what a lawyer might say. If you didn’t understand that, you weren’t trying.

      • All me to point out what I think are inaccuracies in bangular’s post re: Groklaw. He or she is certainly entititled to his or her opinion, and so am I. But since I have been reading Groklaw longer than bangular has, I might be able to offer a reasoned rebuttal.
        I have no way of knowing if bangular is a SCO/MS sympathizer. There are certainly SCO shills out there trying to discredit anyone who criticizes SCO, but let’s take bangular at his/her word and assume that bangular really is a moderate Linux user who just wants all extremist positions to settle down into a more moderate tone.
        Groklaw idiotic and recycled? Completely false on the face of it, as anyone who visits Groklaw can plainly see. This is not another /., but a place where serious discussions occur and flame wars and script kiddies are hard to find. Groklaw posts material that are impossible to find elsewhere on the Net. Yes, you can say transcribing court documents is "recycling," but it does so in way that makes it acccessible for the 99% of us who cannot get to the courtroom. This is a good thing, and what makes Groklaw unique and valuable. Don’t take my word for it, or bangular’s. See for yourself and then you’ll know who was right here.
        Opposing views are often discussed in calm, reasonable manners. It is true that flamers are dealt with harshly, but that is because they are trying to prevent Groklaw from descending to /. levels. This is a place for serious discussion of tech and the law, and all viewpoints are welcome as long as it is accompanied by facts.
        PJ is routinely praised for her professionalism, and yes, by those outside of Groklaw too. Yes, conspiracy theories have been discussed, but always because of facts that were brought forward (not just wild speculation). She has been proven right about MS’s involvement, as we found out last week from SCO itself.
        Rather than being bad for the community, Groklaw is viewed as a real community asset by those in the OS world. Groklaw has been praised by every member of the OS "elite," all the names you have heard of. So if the OS community says Groklaw is helpful, but bangular says it is not, you’ll just have to read the site for yourself to see which side is more believable.
        Reality is what Groklaw is all about. It is an anti-FUD site. If you read it, you already know this. If you haven’t, don’t take anyone’s word on it but check it out yourself. Or don’t. Up to you.
        bangular sounds as if he or she is a Linux user that wanted more prominence on Groklaw and was hurt when he/she weren’t taken seriously. If I am wrong about that, I apologize. I am not wrong about my opinion of bangular’s post.

        • "I find it disturbing that she implies SCO supporters are rapest based on a chat boar"
          That is not what she said. She said that by posting her location, SCO is making it possible for nut cases to potentially harrass her or even cause her harm, and then she gives one example of someone who actually is a supporter of SCO who made a threat against her. There is nothing wrong with her pointing this out, for it is a fact. She pointed it out calmly and reasonably too.

          • I find it comical for you to assume I’ve never visited the site, when in fact I had been visiting it since about 2 months after it launched. It used to be a place for SCO/MS related legal documents to be posted. That original goal has obviously been lost and has become a place for every conspiracy theory possible. I stopped visiting after Groklaw accused SCO of DoSing itself. I’ve been back a couple times only to find things have gotten worse. I can’t help but remember reams of posts saying "If SCO isn’t attacking themselves, why is their no backscatter". The manner in which those posts were recycled was amazing. Most didn’t understand the situtation and just retold what others did.
            And I would consider myself a little more than a moderate linux user as I have myself been in charge of many open source projects since the early 90’s and currently run a rendering farm of 100 linux servers.
            I also think your comparasion of Groklaw to Slashdot inaccurate. In fact, those whom frequent slashdot seem more intelligent than those of Groklaw. PJ edits and removes posts. Slashdot has only removed a few posts (only 1 iirc) because of legal threats. PJ removes posts because she can. Furthermore, trolls, flamewars and idiots get modded down on slashdot. Good posts modded up. Windows, Mac, and Linux users frequent slashdot and you will get good arguments for almost any story from many perspectives. On the other hand, you will only get one opinion from Groklaw. Whatever PJ thinks trickled down to the boards.

          • If anyone reading these comments wants to see how wrong bangular is, all you have to do is look at the first sentence of his or her reply: "I find it comical for you to assume I’ve never visited the site, when in fact I had been visiting it since about 2 months after it launched."
            Here is what I actually said: "But since I have been reading Groklaw longer than bangular has"
            See? He completely misconstrued my words into something I did not say. By the way, his comments confirm my assumption: I have been reading Groklaw longer than he/she has.
            The rest of what bangular said about Groklaw is either completely false or gross exaggeration of reality based on his or her perception. Do yourself a favor, read Groklaw and make up your own mind. bangular is flat out wrong, as the response to my rebuttal shows.

  • Mr. Halpern,
    The crux of my annoyance at your original Groklaw story and the current one is summed up by this quote:
    "The publishers feel that the story presented both sides and that its critics failed to distinguish between presenting the views of a party to a dispute, and endorsing them. Stowell’s comments, it was felt, could stand or fall on their own merits."
    Where to start? First, and foremost is your head-spinning claim to have presented "both sides." Whoa, you present a detailed and totally erroneous set of claims by Stowell about Pamela Jones and you don’t get her response? And then you call that presenting both sides? Breathtaking. Yes you later allowed Jones a response. How fair, after the fact.
    More fundamental is your common misconception that stories like the SCO/IBM/Groklaw/Stowell/Jones stuff are not appropriate for a teensy bit of fact-finding before shoving them out to the public. Yes, I know that journalism everywhere has degenerated into dueling-quotes rather than fact-finding and research. However, that doesn’t mean that you should wander up that lazy trail. It also doesn’t mean that picking someone to quote shouldn’t be done more fairly.
    Stowell asserted numerous things as if they were fact and additional things as if the innuendo was true enough for conclusions to be drawn. You couldn’t check? Couldn’t you have determined before rushing to publish whether Jones was employed by IBM or the recipient of IBM funds or equipment? No, not to bother. You’re a busy "journalist" and quoting doesn’t mean you agree.
    You quoted Stowell’s complaint about Perens article that was in turn posted on Groklaw. You asked Jones to comment. You might have asked Perens. You might have even tried to learn what statements, made in court, were at issue in Peren’s comment. I don’t know what Perens was referring to, but I have read transcripts and SCO court filings that contain blatant mistatements of fact. Are those lies under oath? I am not a lawyer so I don’t know.
    However,in my opinion Peren’s quote isn’t what worries SCO about Groklaw. What worries them about Groklaw is its huge collection of SCO documents, IBM documents, contracts, legal documents, transcripts of SCO press conferences and conference calls and so on. Most of it now searchable. Want to know what SCO says about this case? What they said in court? What they filed in court? What IBM said in court? What IBM filed? How about the discrepancies (huge discrepancies) between what SCO said in the press and what they’ve said in court and in court filings? Go to Groklaw and search.
    Groklaw isn’t just a chat room of ranting opinion. It’s a resource for anyone who wants to research the SCO cases. I guess that leaves out busy reporters who haven’t the time.

  • Groklaw is such a horrible site. Take every non-techinical fanatic, idiot, and 13 year old who wants to be a lawyer, and you’ve got Groklaw. Groklaw is about 100 recycled anti anything non-gpl opinions floating around.
    Post ANYTHING that conflicts with their idealist views and you will be flamed to no end with idiotic accusations like "so, is this SCO trolling on our boards again".
    If you read down a thread, almost every post starts out "IANAL" (I am not a lawyer), yet the next 500 words will be offering up their legal opinion on the matter.
    PJ herself is so unprofessional it is incredible. Her opinions are always filled with wild conspiricy theories about how SCO and MS are trying to take over the world. If someone offers up the truth on a situtation and it conflicts with Groklaw’s views, I’ve actually seen her egg on flame wars.
    I’ve been using linux since the early 90’s and been with the movement longer than most have had computers. Groklaw is NOT an accurate representation of the open-source community. Groklaw is an extreme sect of self-richeous fedora using idiots. The spew out about as much fud as SCO and MS. Groklaw is extremely bad for the community. They make the community look like something it’s not. On one end there’s SCO and MS, on the other there’s Groklaw. In the middle there is reality. Point out to them how extreme they are and what will you get? More extremeist opinions on how you are a SCO sympathizer.
    I’m not saying groklaw.net should be taken down… but maybe they should think how much they are actually hurting the open source community. Open Source will never gain popularity if the world sees us as a bunch of SCO/MS bashing idiots with no grip on reality. Sadly, I know exactly how groklaw readers will respond to this. Accusing me of being a SCO/MS sympathizer…

  • Dear Mr. Halperin,
    As a Linux user, I think I can identify exactly what it is about your work that upsets us so terribly. In the above piece you quote Stowell about a story published on Newsforge and quoted in Groklaw. Unfortunately, (and this lack of research is where you make the Linux enthusiasts really angry) you haven’t investigated Stowell’s story at all. What date was the story Stowell referrs to quoted on Groklaw? What parts of the story did PJ quote, and were they the same portions of the story that Stowell quotes? What did PJ have to say about that Newsforge story? Did she agree with Peren’s point of view or did she simply use it as an example of how people view SCO?
    These are all important and relevant questions which directly relate to Stowell’s credibility, but instead of attempting to answer those questions you’ve accepted his words uncritically, then printed them before your interview with PJ, making it difficult for anyone to see her as credible.
    Also, you have once again failed to mention that Groklaw publishes court transcripts, legal filings and contracts between the various players in this battle, and that Groklaw provides links to SCO’s SEC filings as well as a quote database where everything Blake Stowell, Laura Didio, or Darl McBride has ever said on the subject of Linux or IBM can be easily found.
    The incredible depth of research available on Groklaw goes well beyond anything I’ve ever seen on your site, and when you publish something like what I just read above, it makes the difference between LinuxInsider and Groklaw glaringly obvious.
    Alex Roston

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