Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 18/8/2004Back in the office, the normal August lacunae is absent. The place is positively buzzing, none more so than Graeme 'Scoop' Wearden who appears to be close to hysterics.

Wednesday 18/8/2004
Back in the office, the normal August lacunae is absent. The place is positively buzzing, none more so than Graeme 'Scoop' Wearden who appears to be close to hysterics. He's looking at the Web site of another UK tech news operation, whose name I shall not as yet disclose. "What's the matter?" I ask inquiringly.

Between tears of unseemly joy, the story unfolds. A week or so ago, SCO -- bless 'em -- decided that it had had enough of suing people and was mildly put out that nobody seemed to take them seriously as a software company no more, no more. So, it let it be known that there were going to be no new lawsuits for the foreseeable: a creditable decision, you'd think.

But mischievous Scoop wouldn't let it lie. The next time he was on the phone to a SCO spokesman, he asked "if you're not going to sue anyone, who's going to buy a SCOSource licence?" "Ah," said the spokesman. "We're looking at that programme. All I can say is that people who buy soon may end up paying less than ones who don't."

Which was duly written up as "SCO ponders hike in 'Linux IP' licence fee", a reasonable reading, given that's what matey said.

So our hero was somewhat surprised to receive a steaming email shortly afterwards, "journalist to journalist", from a contributor to that UK tech news operation, accusing him at length of many sins: "That piece on SCO raising licence fees to prompt people into buying licences is irresponsible. You are either ignorant, paid off or just plain stupid. Of the three, the best one seems to be ignorant, and that is a sad statement." And so on and so forth, for many hundreds of intemperate words -- which, just for good measure, were cc'd to Pamela Jones on Groklaw and others.

We won't dwell on consequent correspondence, but Wearden stuck to his guns over the idea that if SCO said it was thinking of doing something it was worth reporting and nobody (apart from our ranty correspondent) disagreed.

So what caused Mr Wearden's incipient mirth today? He'd just been checking back and found out that two days after the J'Accuse email, The Inquirer took his story and ran it dead straight.

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