Eight years ago, SCO, a long-time x86 Unix company, which had recently been bought out by Caldera, a leading Linux business of the day, shocked the IT world by suing IBM for stealing Unix code placing it in Linux. A Linux company suing Linux's leading enterprise partner!? While SCO/Caldera did have reason to be annoyed at IBM for how they had handled Project Monterrey, an effort to bring IBM's AIX Unix to the x86 processor, SCO's Linux lawsuit made no sense--except as an attack by anti-Linux enemies using SCO as a puppet. I, and others, said the lawsuit was nonsense, but at the time .many people still assumed that where there was smoke, there must be fire. Enter Pamela Jones, a Linux-loving paralegal who hated what SCO was trying to do, and so she started to methodically poke holes in SCO's claims in a legal analysis blog she called Groklaw.
For the next eight long years, Pamela "PJ" Jones used her legal research skills, and the help of numerous others, day by day and claim by claim, to show just how baseless SCO's claims against IBM, and later Novell, were. She also helped show how Microsoft financed SCO's seemingly endless lawsuits.
During those years, she was frequently attacked by people who claimed she was an agent for IBM. Her privacy was attacked by so-called journalists. Others claimed, and still claim to this day, that there is no PJ. That's utter nonsense.
Pamela Jones does exist. I've met her several times and she's a friend. She's also a very private person in her personal life and frankly she doesn't trust SCO, or its friends, as far as she could throw them. Since she's been stalked by them, I can't say that I blame her.
But, that's all beside the point. While even now the enemies of Linux, open-source software, and the First Amendment try to make this a story about how mysterious Pamela Jones is, the real story is that, thanks in no small part to her efforts, SCO's copyright claims against Linux were rendered moot, and SCO's very claim to own Unix ended up being dismissed.
Pamela Jones & Groklaw's Future
Today, as Jones wrote, "The crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won. SCO as we knew it is no more." And, that's what really important here, not the carping of desperate anti-Linux enemies looking for anything to whine about.
Sure, Jones went on, "There will be other battles, and there already are, because the same people that propped SCO up are still going to try to destroy Linux, but the battlefield has shifted, and I don't feel Groklaw is needed in the new battlefield the way it was in the SCO v. Linux wars."
As for 2011's Linux and open-source battles, Jones wrote, "The money behind SCO still have their daydreams. But the world has moved from computers and desktops to mobile and the cloud. Now it's Microsoft and all its venal little helpers and proxies attacking Google and Android. Linux back in 2003 had nobody to stand up for it. But Google doesn't need our help. I'm sure it wouldn't mind, but they have plenty of money and they can hire whatever they need or just buy it. I was willing to accept the threats and the danger and the smear campaigns I've had to experience when it was for the community. But I don't feel the same, if I see I'm not needed, and I see it. Android has won. No matter what tricks Microsoft may pull going forward, the world knows now that when there was free choice in the marketplace, people chose Android, which runs on Linux, over Microsoft's phone. Nothing they do can change that. All they can prove perhaps is that dirty tricks and misuse of the courts and regulatory bodies can distort the marketplace. But without the benefits of a monopoly, people don't actually choose Microsoft phones, at least not in comparison to Android. All they can do about that now is try to force you to use their products. That's in a way what a monopoly is."
Looking ahead, Jones has "some other things I want to get back to and a project I've wanted to get to for a long time, and I want to be able to wake up and not worry about what happened in the news. I'll tell you truly, I never worked so hard in my life as I have with Groklaw, and while it's been a thrill and deeply satisfying, it's also been all-consuming of my time and skills and energy. The events recently in Japan deeply affected me, and it reminded me that there are some other things I'd like to accomplish, while there is world enough and time."
As for Groklaw itself, the site will stay up. She also plans on" keeping the Timelines up to date with court documents, and we'll still finish the Comes exhibits if it kills me, so just email me your work when commenting is closed, if you are willing to keep helping."
Thank you Ms. Jones for all your work, and my best wishes both to you and your next projects. May they all be as successful as your efforts against Linux's enemies.