Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

Summary: Groklaw, the be-all and end-all of SCO lawsuit sites, will soon no longer be publishing new stories. Why? Because SCO's last dying efforts against Linux have come to nothing, and so Groklaw's mission is complete.


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.

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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.

Related Stories:

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Microsoft refuses to specify what it bought from Novell SCO says its claims not dead yet

Topics: Linux, Android, Google, Open Source, Operating Systems, Software

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  • 'PJ' didn't strike a reasonable balance between privacy and public activis

    If SJVN says he met a person who claimed to be 'PJ', I'm sure he did have one or more such encounters. That still doesn't mean Groklaw struck the right balance between privacy and public activism.

    No serious person would want an avatar named 'PJ' to run for Congress or for President, given that people seeking to be elected for such an office must present themselves to their voters and provide a considerably higher degree of transparency than most other people.

    'PJ' didn't provide much serious analysis -- just a combination of pseudolegal rants and conspiracy theories. Someone who makes claims about other people and their backing but neither states a past or current employer nor presented 'herself' at a conference or with a picture (which would at least make it somewhat possible that someone recognizes the person and can say something about the professional background) is just not reasonable.

    I think there's nothing wrong with people making anonymous posts on websites that allow that. I also think it's fine to use pseudonyms in some other online contexts. But I draw the line where someone plays a highly political role and applies double standards by presenting themself as a kind of 'transparency watchdog' while not even disclosing a minimum amount of information about themself.

    Meeting with one or a very few people -- so far you're the only who claims to have met a person who claimed to be 'PJ' -- is no substitute for allowing anyone to find out about that person's identity.

    Realistically, the only explanation is that 'PJ', whether a person or a group, has something to hide.
    • Me too

      @FlorianMueller I've spoken on the phone with Pam. It was very early on; I helped her with the Groklaw theme for Geeklog back when she was using that.

      I think there's a certain amount of what the psychologists call "projection" in the accusations that 'PJ' was something other than what she said she was. There was some bank in Canada that invested millions in SCO's lawsuit on behalf of a "mystery client." When we have mystery clients funding the lawsuit, pointing fingers at PJ and saying "she's too secretive" sounds like Noise From Redmond. Which is what many people think it is.
      Robert Hahn
      • Even if you, too, spoke with her, still the same problem

        @Robert Hahn: So we now have an "earwitness" in addition to SJVN. That still doesn't mean that a reasonable balance between privacy and public activism was struck. Even if you talked to someone over the phone, it would be just reasonable to know a least a little bit about the professional background of such a public figure, especially if it's a public figure that accuses others of secret funding etc.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @FlorianMueller A public company that engages in trade libel, accuses another of pirating the intellectual property of others, all while hiding behind the face of a bank, is despicable. Whatever you Munchkins say about PJ, your own employer's behavior was a thousand times worse.
        Robert Hahn
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @Robert Hahn Contrary to what you wrote in your 04/10/2011 12:34 PM comment, I don't have an employer. I'm simply independent.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @Robert Hahn
        Pam will be in retirement for a very short time. Oracle is coming to get some.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        Pamela Jones = Nadezhda Krupskaya
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @Robert Hahn

        "I think there's a certain amount of what the psychologists call "projection" in the accusations that 'PJ' was something other than what she said she was."

        Nailed it in one.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @Robert Hahn

        SCO was just a greedy venture. I had used SCO long back I think 1998 and they were far behind linux and protective about everything

        <a href="http://austinist.com/profile/cassidylobo">tires for sale</a>
    • 'PJ' articles were written by different authors

      On LWN a user has pointed out that standard text analysis tools for "gender guessing" show that some Groklaw articles were definitely written by female authors, others definitely by male authors:

      This is yet another clear indication that 'PJ' is just an avatar.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        No you are still a paid Microsoft shill and your comments are worth nothing.
      • Why do you even care?

        It's not as though you work for Microsoft is it?
      • Or that the &quot;gender guessing&quot; tools were rubbish?

        I think the clue is in the word "guessing". How desperate can you get!?

        BTW, would "foobarinator" be <b>your</b> LWN avatar, by any chance? Because surely the only person stupid enough to think that comment on LWN was worth linking to would be the person who actually wrote it.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        @FlorianMueller That doesn't discount the possibility of there being a real PJ... Maybe she collaborated with some anonymous contributors.
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        I've submitted several of my own blog's articles (original articles, not reposts) to the two tools given in the link you posted just to see how well they perform. The tools are crap. Apparently I'm female. I suppose my wife (of 30+ years) and my kids would be interested to know this!
      • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

        I think Florian Mueller is just an Avatar for anyone in Microsoft who wants Linux and anything to do with it dead.
      • The source documents from the court were ALWAYS presented.

        you could always, with groklaw, make up your own mind.
    • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

      @FlorianMueller Once again, the troll returns to attack anything Groklaw and/or PJ. Pot meet kettle. The only person with something to hide here is you Mr Mueller. YOU are the paid lobbyist. YOU are the one that has been proven wrong time and again by the facts. Go back under your bridge.
      • Proven wrong time and again on what?

        @gjleger@... I'm not a troll, nor a lobbyist, and you just claim I've "been proven wrong time and again by the facts" but don't mention even one such case.
    • RE: Mission Accomplished: SCO Loses, Groklaw Closes

      Most people know you are a paid employee of Microsoft. Come clean on it.