Join 3,495 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


I fought the linux, and the linux won...
April 28, 2007 2:05 AM   Subscribe

Is anyone really surprised to hear that our happy little friends at SCO just got a a delisting notice from Nasdaq? If you own SCO stock, this might be a good time to look at a timeshare instead. (winky winky) (via)
posted by metasonix (49 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
that's what they get for wasting everybody's time.
posted by quarter waters and a bag of chips at 2:53 AM on April 28, 2007


To me, the whole SCO v. "Linux" saga always said more about the fundamental weakness of SCO's case than it did about the strength of the Open Source community to deal with IPR disputes. IBM's creation of Groklaw was, however, a brilliant move. That little website provided a focus for collecting the prior art that IBM's litigators needed to defeat SCO's tenuous copyright claims. By way of lagniappe, it also saved IBM a buttload of legal research costs. All those programmers wlling to do IBM's work for free.... let's see the Indians and Chinese consultancies compete for that business.

And Groklaw will certainly come in handy when more legitimate IPR claims are made on Linux. It is an "open secret" that open source - including the Linux kernel - infringes plenty of valid patents. It is a matter of time.

Anyway, good riddance to SCO. Their case was groundless, it never should have gotten as far as it did. Patent trolls like SCO just make it harder for legitimate IPR holders to pursue their claims against infringers.
posted by three blind mice at 2:58 AM on April 28, 2007


3bm...that last sentence...how so? Not arguing with you, just trying to understand why that's so.
posted by pax digita at 3:19 AM on April 28, 2007


If SCO hadn't pissed off Stallman with their Emacs shenanigans back in the day, there might not be an FSF. So they did some good.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:44 AM on April 28, 2007


WRT Linux and patents: The Linux kernel could concievably infringe on stagnant jurisdictions where software patents are valid, but most open source development happens outside such artificial limitations. Additionally, closed source software infringes on software patents just the same, as there can be no software otherwise. Most companies with actual products dont engage in patent nuking for fear of retribution, leaving the field open to patent trolls such as SCO.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 4:07 AM on April 28, 2007


"IBM's creation of Groklaw"

Um, what is the evidence that IBM created Groklaw?
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 5:15 AM on April 28, 2007


"Patent trolls like SCO just make it harder for legitimate IPR holders to pursue their claims against infringers."

Firstly I don't think SCO is suing about patents, but they are trolling, but moving on...

I can address that somewhat. If nothing else it ties up the court with a high profile case, but there is at least one other issue. It puts a bad public face on legitimate IP claims. When you get a group that misrepresents, abuses the system, the perceptions shifts to that *all* claims of this nature are bogus. Some are many are not. SCO had been screaming the loudest. Poisoning the well.

Also the pissing match drives up prices for legal defense ( and offense) and insurance, making things only accessible to large corporations with deep pockets. Also allowing said corps to stonewall any case against them to financially break anyone who would dare oppose them.

A problem also exists in the system, overworked and woefully ignorant (and sometimes mindlessly stupid) pubic servants (both judges and patent reviewers). Who have allowed both meaninglessly vague and "software" patents to pass thru.

Seriously, if you try and apply a patent from 1983 to an otherwise standard business process just because part of it is now on a computer or an electronic network.. you are a patent troll.

For instance verizon, why should the medium that the phone call travels on be patentable?

rambling rant over..
posted by MrLint at 6:01 AM on April 28, 2007


three blind mice writes 'By way of lagniappe, it also saved IBM a buttload of legal research costs.'

You've not been following the case very closely, have you, three blind mice? The volume of work that Cravath, Swaine and Moore and their Utah associates have put in on this case has been phenomenal -- far, far outstripping the efforts put up by Boies, Schiller, Flexner. If arguments on paper and apposite citations are the measure of dollar spent, anyway.

And for all Groklaw likes to take credit for it's legal research, it's the lawyers that deserve the real credit. PJ's done a phenomenal job of explaining it and summarizing the difficult legal arguments, but the critical legal blows have all been bought on IBM's dollar.


'And Groklaw will certainly come in handy when more legitimate IPR claims are made on Linux. It is an "open secret" that open source - including the Linux kernel - infringes plenty of valid patents. It is a matter of time.


Give me a break, will you? You've got SCO engaged in a battle for their life, desperate to show the Linux kernel as infringing some sort of intellectual property rights before their case and their business goes to the wall. You've got them backed financially by the likes of Microsoft and Sun. And yet the best they can come up with eventually boils down to some weak-assed contract claims?

Yet you know of some infringements that they're unaware of? I suggest that you give them a call. You'd be handsomely rewarded for the information, I'm sure.

Personally, I call bullshit.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:04 AM on April 28, 2007


Schadenfreude. I love schadenfreude, its not quite as good as chocolate, and not nearly as good as sex, but you can enjoy it with your clothes on and it isn't fattening, so that's something.

The only thing keeping this from being perfect is that I seriously doubt that McBride will be forced into personal bankrupcy as he and the entire board of SCO should be. Oh well, I'll settle for seeing their corporation go down in flames and them become somewhat less rich.

As for software patents, if there were any justice in the world the idiots who decided that software, or business models, or anything else along those lines, was patentable would never be able to find work above the burgerflipper level again.
posted by sotonohito at 6:07 AM on April 28, 2007


LOL
posted by spitbull at 6:08 AM on April 28, 2007


threeblindmice, you are completely high. IBM had nothing to do with the creation of Groklaw; that was just Pamela Jones. I think it may have even predated the SCO litigation by a few months. Originally, it was just intended as a site for geeks to learn about the law, but the SCO case sort of preempted the original purpose.

Your source that Groklaw was invented by IBM is most likely SCO, the management team of which has consistently showed itself to be pathologic liars. You literally can't trust anything they say, as has been shown over and over and over. Their evidence? IBM contributes to ibiblio, and ibiblio hosts Groklaw. But ibiblio also hosts SCO, so obviously IBM must have created them too, right?

Groklaw has survived and prospered all by its lonesome, driven largely by Ms. Jones and her nearly-tireless drive to get the truth out.

If the SCO management weren't such lying sacks of shit, there would have been no need for Groklaw.

If there's one thing this case has shown: Linux is extraordinarily clean. Its authors have stolen from nobody. It may still have patent problems, but that's because of stupidity in the patent office, allowing A) computer code to be patented at all, and B) allowing patents to be issued on obvious ideas. Public-key encryption is probably patent-worthy; one-click shopping most certainly is not.
posted by Malor at 6:27 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, I should have said.... would have been no need for what Groklaw turned into. It would likely have stayed with the original idea, which was just to teach the basics of law to geeks.

And, as an aside, there are damn few legitimate "IP" companies. Damn few. Most are just patent trolls, living under bridges and extracting money as people go by, providing no actual value in exchange.

Stallman is right that "intellectual property" is a noxious idea; we have patents, copyrights, and trademarks. Those are better words to use.
posted by Malor at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2007


It is an "open secret" that open source - including the Linux kernel - infringes plenty of valid patents.

Then why haven't there been more lawsuits? It would be pretty trivial to prove since open source code is open. Show when the feature went into your product, show when appeared in the other project and if you had it first, sue. This hasn't happened so I really doubt that it will.
posted by octothorpe at 6:43 AM on April 28, 2007


It is an "open secret" that open source - including the Linux kernel - infringes plenty of valid patents. It is a matter of time.

You shouldn't have any trouble coming up with a specific example then, right?

What would actually be interesting to see is a specific example of a patent that the patent holder actually intends to try to enforce.
posted by delmoi at 6:52 AM on April 28, 2007


delmoi writes: You shouldn't have any trouble coming up with a specific example then, right?

How about Thompson's MP3 patents (possibly infringed by various open-source players); Unisys' GIF patent (since expired, IIRC, but nevertheless probably infringed for years) and some of Adobe's hinting type-rendering patents (AFAIK, open source software includes a compile-time switch that a user can turn on to enable infringing code, plus a README file that explains exactly how to infringe)?

Those are just off the top of my head. I haven't actually analyzed the patents and the allegedly infringing code, so I can't say for sure. (Technically, nobody can say for sure except a judge, but one can make a pretty good guess if one tries.)

Point is, there probably is infringing code in Linux and/or in software that's typically distributed with a Linux system.

I think we won't see any/many patent infringement suits against Linux/OSS because there are only a few deep pockets around, and damages would probably be low because the community could design around any software patent in a few hours.

BTW, to my knowledge, the SCO suits are (or were) about copyright, not patents (although I understand they are mostly about contracts, now).

posted by spacewrench at 7:40 AM on April 28, 2007


spacewrench None of what you mentioned is in the Linux kernel.

Furthermore, most distros are annoyingly careful about not including mp3, or any other patent encumbered codecs. I had to grab a third party tool in order to modify my Kubuntu distro to (possibly illegally) use those codecs.

Try again.
posted by sotonohito at 7:44 AM on April 28, 2007


How about Thompson's MP3 patents (possibly infringed by various open-source players); Unisys' GIF patent ... and some of Adobe's hinting type-rendering patents

Those are just off the top of my head.


Off the top of your head and not in the Linux Kernel, as sohonohito mentioned. Lots of Linux distros don't even come with mp3 decoders, the gif patent is expired, and I'm not familiar with the type stuff, but it wouldn't be in the Kernel anyway.
posted by delmoi at 8:36 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Schadenfreude. I love schadenfreude

I see your schadenfreude and raise you weltschmerz.
posted by srboisvert at 8:38 AM on April 28, 2007


Then why haven't there been more lawsuits?

Not that I think the Linux kernel is loaded with IP problems, but the fast answer there is "IBM."

IBM is betting big on Linux. Thus, getting into a patent war with the Linux kernel is getting into a patent war with IBM. You do *not* want to go there.
posted by eriko at 8:41 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Try again.

You can't be serious. I'm a huge OSS booster, but there's no question that a bazillion patents are being infringed. If you insist, here's one that's being violated by every jabber server (as far as I can tell) and by lots of other software, probably including the kernel, too. Here's one that's likely violated by every file compression tool, such as tar, unzip, Java (because of its JAR system), etc.

Then why haven't there been more lawsuits?

Because it usually accomplishes little to sue open-source developers; it would be difficult to collect damages and would be horrible PR, and you'd run the risk of getting the patent invalidated because of new prior art claims. Better to save your patent litigation for threatening corporations, where the potential benefits of success are greater.
posted by gsteff at 8:53 AM on April 28, 2007


You shouldn't have any trouble coming up with a specific example then, right?

Microsoft's FAT patents. Challenged and upheld by the USPTO. Hindered by anti-trust, Microsoft would have a hard time asserting these patents against Linux, but there can be no doubt that without access to these patents most Linux distributions would be somewhat diminshed in usefulness.

Moreover, OSRM reported a few years ago that the Linux kernel infringed as many (or as few) as 283 patents. Of course this might be a self-serving estimate (OSRM sells infringement insurance) but it is hardly unbelievable. And as Professor Ronald J. Mann of the University of Texas Law School observed:

The problem, however, is that the open-source community does not exist in a vacuum. It exists in a world in which the commercial software industry is building up large portfolios of protected IP, portfolios that pose a serious threat to the open-source community…. The problem is that the open-source community has set itself outside of the cooperative IP framework of the mainstream software industry. Thus, its members have no patents of their own with which they might protect themselves in ... litigation. At the same time, it has developed its software with the same cavalier attitude to the possibility of patent infringement as commercial software firms exemplify. Those two habits cannot coexist in the long run.

IBM had nothing to do with the creation of Groklaw; that was just Pamela Jones.

And Saddam Hussein had WMDs. I'm not knocking it. I think it was a brilliant use of the web.

3bm...that last sentence...how so? Not arguing with you, just trying to understand why that's so.

Mr. Lint provided an answer for me. Not all software patents are "one-click" rubbish. To imagine that there is nothing to invent in software would be to confuse software development with typing.

The Linux kernel could concievably infringe on stagnant jurisdictions where software patents are valid,

Stagnant jurisdictions? Like the United States? And Japan (where software has been patentable since 1971). And large portions of the EU (where the EPO case law has followed developments in the rest of the world.) Like it or not, software IS patentable in many jurisdictions and the environment is changing. Now you have hedge funds buying into patent litigation.

SCO was the warm-up band. They sucked and got booed off the stage. The main act is still somewhere in the wings.
posted by three blind mice at 9:01 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, three blind mice, you're in good company with your belief that IBM started Groklaw. SCO is claiming the same thing, with an equal amount of evidence and credibility.
posted by grouse at 9:15 AM on April 28, 2007


Wow, gsteff. Those patents are amazing. Encumbering the obvious, yeah, that's the way to keep your economic lead. Jeez.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:27 AM on April 28, 2007


Here's one that's likely violated by every file compression tool, such as tar, unzip, Java (because of its JAR system), etc.

That patent wasn't filed until Jun 27, 2000, tar has been around for more than twenty years. Even if there was a patent that predated tar, it would have expired by now.
posted by octothorpe at 9:45 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey, three blind mice, you're in good company with your belief that IBM started Groklaw. SCO is claiming the same thing, with an equal amount of evidence and credibility.

You know who else says IBM started Groklaw? Hitler!

I don't know why this is such an emotional issue for so many people. Why should it matter? Would the Open Source community be less inclined to help IBM directly than some anonymous paralegal (who would have to be sitting in the courthouse every day, or one of IBMs cubicles, to so rapidly publish the reams of information coming out of the litigation)? The site seems far too impressive to be the work of a single person.

How about some evidence that she exists? Has anyone seen Ms Jones in public? Did she offer any testimony in the litigation? Has she delivered any keynote speeches?

For someone so famous and so loved by the Open Source community, she keeps an awfully low profile.

Just saying.
posted by three blind mice at 9:49 AM on April 28, 2007


three blind mice, If you have actually seen some indication (other than glue-sniffing SCO drivel) that IBM is somehow directly responsible for Groklaw, I (and I suspect many others, including SCO) would be fascinated to hear of it.

Patent violations may occur in some Linux distributions, but the Linux kernel itself, which is what is at question here, is, as far as I've ever been able to find out from what I consider reputable sources, as safe from them as pretty much any other modern operating system kernel.

I'm not saying that you're wrong, but I am suggesting that such a sweeping and confidently stated set of opinions might benefit from a little more supporting evidence than has thus far been provided.

All that said, I feel that eriko has nailed the guts of the matter - if the Linux kernel is violating anyone's patents it's very likely that they are ones belonging to IBM, which has no interest in enforcing them in this case.

If SCO were the warm up, they certainly haven't set the bar terribly high for the next act.
posted by imbecile at 9:55 AM on April 28, 2007


And Saddam Hussein had WMDs. I'm not knocking it. I think it was a brilliant use of the web.

Dammit, fish, I was THERE when it was created. I watched it. It had nothing whatsoever to do with IBM. Your claims to the contrary are from bad sources.... and from your strong tone, I really wonder if you have an iron in this fire somewhere?

Hell, for a long time, Pamela and many commenters were wishing aloud that IBM would read what everyone was posting, and when the research from Groklaw started showing up in the IBM case, they were ecstatic. It took a long time and IBM missed many good early observations that they could have used to great effect. If IBM's lawyers had been reading Groklaw in the first year, the case would have likely been much faster, and SCO would be in an even poorer position than they are now.

But saying it was deliberate on IBM's part? Absolutely not. When Groklaw started it was just... a random blog, before blogs were even that common. It became important through its impressive research and legal acumen, but it's foolish reverse projection to think that a monstrous company like IBM would even think to start a project like that. Sure, IBM took advantage as soon as they found about it, but saying they deliberately founded it is purely ignorant.

Remember, IBM pays attorneys for legal opinions. They're used to paying millions of dollars. Why would they, or their attorneys, have ever thought to ask random laypeople on the Internet? If you'd made that suggestion to IBM's board, you'd have been laughed out of the room.

"So let me get this right, five fresh fish.... instead of paying our legal team, one of the best in the world, we should start a website and hope that strangers show up, do all our research, and fight this case for us?" Their subsequent laughter would have made them incapable of speech for a long while, but the next words would have been, "You're fired."

If you want the straight story, look here.
posted by Malor at 10:05 AM on April 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


than some anonymous paralegal (who would have to be sitting in the courthouse every day, or one of IBMs cubicles, to so rapidly publish the reams of information coming out of the litigation)

In many cases, FFF, that's exactly what's happening... except that it's not Pamela. Volunteers actually go to the courthouse and get the papers. Others sign up to transcribe to HTML. And, of course, many of the documents are available electronically, meaning that nobody has to visit at all. (Look up how Pacer works, for instance.)

It's a small army of volunteers doing that work. Yes, it's fast, and yes, it's quite accurate. I've even caught a few errors and posted about them myself. Many hands make light work.
posted by Malor at 10:17 AM on April 28, 2007


Also note: had Groklaw not existed, IBM would STILL have stomped SCO into powder. It just would have taken a little longer.
posted by Malor at 10:18 AM on April 28, 2007


C'mon Malor. The "straight story" about Groklaw is a link to the Groklaw site. Show me a body.

Yeah, IBM pays lawyers for legal opinions. But where do they find prior art on which to base those opinions?

"So let me get this right Malor, you want us to rely on our own legal department to search the universe for prior art, and you want us to use on some blog over which we have no control, no connection, and no input to present the IBM story to the world?"

IBM may not technically have started Groklaw (whose URL was once registered to a White Plains NY address - the same town where IBM's legal department is located - before it was moved to an anonymous proxy server.)

Groklaw was a brilliant idea, well executed. It is one of the reasons you think long and hard before throwing legal claims against IBM.
posted by three blind mice at 10:25 AM on April 28, 2007


Volunteers actually go to the courthouse and get the papers. Others sign up to transcribe to HTML. And, of course, many of the documents are available electronically, meaning that nobody has to visit at all. (Look up how Pacer works, for instance.)

Don't you people have jobs? And why would so many people be willing to do what is normally a very well-paid consulting gig for free? For the sake of argument Malor, would it make any difference to you if IBM was behind Groklaw?
posted by three blind mice at 10:36 AM on April 28, 2007


I must be really out of it. I know I typed www.metafilter.com into the address bar, but it appears I typed slashdot.org. Weird.

Ah well. I'd better start thinking up obscure jokes about Fortran.

(In other news, Slashdot.org is running a story about some smartass graffiti artist political activist and DJ remixer who's produced a satirical but funny YouTube video.)
posted by humblepigeon at 11:24 AM on April 28, 2007


And why would so many people be willing to do what is normally a very well-paid consulting gig for free?

Because they care about free software. They want to maintain the ability to use their computers exactly as they choose, and not to be chained by or to any company. And because, and this may come as something of a surprise to you, people aren't always motivated just by money.

Why do people volunteer for Catholic Charities? Why do people get involved with the Boy Scouts? Why on earth would they provide professional services for free?

These volunteers are just nice folks who have the time to go get this stuff. It's not particularly skilled work, even, you mostly just have to show up and ask for it. Anyone with an hour or two free can do it, and, well, a number of folks are willing.

As far whether or not IBM funds it... I don't particularly care. If it turns out that it was all a sophisticated plot by IBM's lawyers to entrap SCO, I'm fine with that, because it's doing good work and making a measurable benefit in the world.

But it isn't. Your assertions are completely stupid. Your entire real basis of evidence appears to be that the domain was registered out of White Plains, NY.

Since we're talking about court and law here... even in civil court, you have to come up with a preponderance of evidence. You, um, haven't done that.

Again: you read bad sources, and you are repeating very poorly-thought-out conclusions.
posted by Malor at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since we're talking about court and law here... even in civil court, you have to come up with a preponderance of evidence. You, um, haven't done that.

He said she said Malor. I am a skeptic and you haven't given me (or the jury) one solid reason to believe your version of events. I fully admit that I can't prove beyond a reasonable doubt that IBM had its fingers in Groklaw and you cannot prove that they did not. Can you even produce a body? Ms. Jones however certainly does seem to be a mysterious figure.

Whatever. I don't trust IBM any more than I trust Microsoft. I am however astonished that so many Open Source supporters give their fealty to IBM and carry their water. But then again I never had a thing for religion or cults or "causes" so I can't really relate.

I generally insist on receiving payment for the professional work I do. Home loan, a wife and daughter, stuff like that makes me reluctant to give away my professional services to multi-national companies like IBM for free, but I guess that's just me. I should have gone into programming or paralegal work.

Anyway, what I think we might be able to agree on is that Groklaw was a key development coming out of the SCO v. IBM debacle and that it will provide a model for future litigations relating to Open Source.
posted by three blind mice at 12:52 PM on April 28, 2007


And why would so many people be willing to do what is normally a very well-paid consulting gig for free?

This may come as a shock to you, but some people play music, even practicing for hours a week, entirely without compensation. Suckers.

And then there are amateur astronomers. Lots of supernova, meteor, and comet discoveries are done by people who pay for the privilege. Suckers.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:52 PM on April 28, 2007


Of course I can't prove that they didn't. But I think, given my long experience with the site, that's it's extremely unlikely. There's just no evidence. There's lots of stuff pointing to a bunch of geeks protecting something they care about; there's essentially zero pointing at IBM. You have nothing, really, but a loud assertion. I don't think you even read Groklaw.

You're the plaintiff; it's up to you to prove your case. You can't, and you should withdraw. (and change your mind, because your position is completely unsupportable.)

If you want solid support for the no-IBM version of things, the entire history of the site is right there in the open. Start on May 16, 2003. Start reading. You will have no doubt left in your mind that IBM wasn't even vaguely involved when you're done.

And here's another hint: nobody was giving ANYTHING to IBM for free. Nothing. They were doing it to benefit themselves, by protecting software they cared about. IBM happened to benefit, but they didn't even NEED Groklaw, really; they've have won all on their own. They are, you know, fairly expert at the software thing, and they've have hammered SCO anyway.

It wasn't about IBM. Not at all. It was about protecting the Linux kernel. IBM just happened to be the fall guy. People would have done the exact same thing, no matter who the defendant was, because for them, the kernel was the defendant.

And, taken from the long view, that's the correct view; SCO was attacking Linux, not IBM.
posted by Malor at 1:58 PM on April 28, 2007


This may come as a shock to you, but some people play music, even practicing for hours a week, entirely without
compensation. Suckers.


Then why can't I find a plumber who'll fix my pipes for free? The suckers are the ones who think they are working for a cause - when the cause is making IBM shareholder's happy. Why pay programmers like those dumbasses at MSFT, when you can create a "cause" and get them to work for free? The Linux kernel is the Best. Outsourcing. Ever.

You're the plaintiff; it's up to you to prove your case. You can't, and you should withdraw.

You haven't even removed one of my pawns and you're calling mate? You blue suit guys are too much.

the kernel was the defendant. And, taken from the long view, that's the correct view; SCO was attacking Linux, not IBM.

The kernel, is it Shia or Sunni? SCO was attacking IBM. IBM was the party named in the lawsuit, they were the ones with the deep pockets and the business to protect.

Groklaw made it an attack on Linux which is why creating it was such a brilliant move by IBM.
posted by three blind mice at 2:27 PM on April 28, 2007


Why pay programmers like those dumbasses at MSFT

Why do you keep assuming that people who work on open source projects are not getting paid?
posted by dirigibleman at 2:34 PM on April 28, 2007


Why do you keep assuming that people who work on open source projects are not getting paid?

I'm not. Certainy IBM pays a lot of employees to work on Open Source projects, as do many other companies. Many other contributors, however, receive no financial compensation whatsoever whilst IBM (and HP and others) earn billions from the fruit of their labor. I don't know what kind of union represents these programmers, but I'd stop paying the dues.

The fiction of a paralegal named Pamela Jones not being paid by IBM for all the work "she" did helping to defeat SCO is just malignant.
posted by three blind mice at 3:24 PM on April 28, 2007


IBM was the party named in the lawsuit, they were the ones with the deep pockets and the business to protect.

Actually, SCO was asking all Linux users to pay them a license fee at one point. We all have an interest in keeping Linux free. On the other hand, nobody cares about your plumbing.

I am deeply impressed by your apparent belief that repeating your apparently incorrect assertion about groklaw will somehow make it true.
posted by sfenders at 3:30 PM on April 28, 2007


three blind mice writes "And why would so many people be willing to do what is normally a very well-paid consulting gig for free?"

Dude, writing and debugging open source software is doing "what is normally a very well-paid consulting gig for free." Why do you think people do that?

You have no evidence. All you have is your own intuition, which counts for squat.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:00 PM on April 28, 2007


three blind mice writes "The fiction of a paralegal named Pamela Jones not being paid by IBM for all the work 'she' did helping to defeat SCO is just malignant."

But you have no evidence. The only party which is advancing this line of thinking is SCO, which is not a reliable source. It's a nice little conspiracy theory, but you have nothing at all to back it up.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:03 PM on April 28, 2007


The intellectual property laws involving software are critically broken: the SCO case, where billions of dollars were spent and yet the complainant SCO never even identified what exactly was enfringing, is a classic example. It's not clear to me that software techniques should even be patentable at all.

(Disclaimer: I have one or perhaps two software patents to my name.)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:25 PM on April 28, 2007


Oh, and 3bm's claim is ridiculous without any proof.

Your argument that competent people don't do work on the Internet for free is palpably ridiculous -- look at Metafilter.

And the general idea that IBM could have done it is, well, ridiculous -- if you had any idea of their corporate culture you'd laugh at the very thought.

No proof. Ridiculous.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 4:56 PM on April 28, 2007


YYou haven't even removed one of my pawns and you're calling mate? You blue suit guys are too much.

You don't even have any pieces on the board.

Repeating your assertion makes it no less insane than it was the first time.

You've presented absolutely no evidence. None. Zero. You have one coincidence in the domain registration, and that's it. That's not evidence, not even the circumstantial kind. Everything else you claim is pure speculative fiction, ungrounded in anything resembling reality. You appear to be accepting your own imagination as facts on the ground.

To be more direct: pretty much every claim you've made here has been pulled completely out of your ass.

Oh, by the way: if five fresh fish should show up, I incorrectly thought you were three blind mice. My apologies.... anywhere you see FFF or your name up there, I meant TBM instead. Sorry!
posted by Malor at 5:25 PM on April 28, 2007


I really wonder if you have an iron in this fire somewhere?
Boy, would I like to see the answer to this question - what iron does TBM have in this fire that makes him carry on so relentlessly here, sans evidence, asserting the same thing again and again?
posted by blackberet at 10:42 PM on April 28, 2007


Many other contributors, however, receive no financial compensation whatsoever whilst IBM (and HP and others) earn billions from the fruit of their labor.

So, let me get this straight. Their work gives helps give us all free software alternatives to expensive bloatware (and recognition, plus other intangibles for them) and IBM makes billions.

SIGN ME UP NOW AND GET THE POPE TO SAINT THOSE GREAT VOLUNTEERING BASTARDS.

Always had a soft spot for Big Blue anyway, they could have conceivably done the same thing with PC's that Apple did to the MAC. Instead, we get plenty of competition and inexpensive, standardized hardware all around.

Why do you hate America, TBM?
posted by IronLizard at 12:24 AM on April 29, 2007


Groklaw has a very good article about their origins up today. Among other things, IBM states clearly in court documents that there is no link between it and Groklaw and never has been. So if TBM's assertions are correct, IBM has just perjured itself.

Given the history of the case and just how mendacious SCO has proven itself to be, I know what side I'd bet on.

TBM: I think your sources must have been Maureen O'Gara and Dan Lyons over at Forbes. They are the closest thing to journalistic hitmen I've ever seen. MOG has demonstrably been in SCO's back pocket for many years. I don't remember the backstory on Lyons, but his pieces are just about as slanted as they come.

Again: your sources are bad. Read this article if you want to know the truth. I can vouch for what she's saying here, as I was there for most of it.

Full disclosure: my involvement with Groklaw is that I've been reading it since the start. I've made a couple of anonymous corrections, a few posts and/or corrections with the username Malor, and I've donated some money once or twice. I've exchanged one set of emails with PJ when she was really sounding frazzled. I have no further connection and no particular axe to grind.
posted by Malor at 1:15 PM on April 29, 2007


For posterity, as I'm sure nobody is still reading this thread: PJ on Groklaw spotted that three blind mice has been at this for a long time. On this page on Larry Lessig's blog, posted more than three years ago, he was spreading much of the same misinformation.

I don't know why he's so deeply involved in this case, but something is very fishy here. He's been corrected repeatedly and thoroughly, particularly in regard to the "speedy access to court documents" that he finds so very suspicious, and yet continues to repeat the same baseless assertions. PJ even answered him directly.

I really believe he has an iron in this fire somewhere. These are not the actions of a disinterested party. He is spreading the same line that Dan Lyons, the Forbes reporter, is pushing, and I strongly suspect there may be a direct connection between the two. I have no proof, but this doesn't look right at all.

I wonder if he's so sure that PJ is in IBM's pocket because he's in SCO's?
posted by Malor at 7:26 PM on May 8, 2007


« Older Brains!...  |  Word Dissassociation... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments