- GL: SCO Tried to Gag Groklaw in 2004. Yes, they really did. And not just Groklaw, either. They got it into their heads that IBM was funding a vast anti-SCO conspiracy, and PJ, Linus, Eben Moglen, and ESR were all part of it. And -- here's the key thing -- thus subject to the court's gag order.
I once said something about SCO wishing it had filed its case in an alternate universe where free speech didn't exist. Seems I got that wrong; what they really wanted was our universe, but without free speech.
Here's coverage of the latest weirdness, from Ars Technica and ZDNet.
And here's the full text of Kevin's letter, for your reading enjoyment:
February l, 2004
Todd Shaughnessy, Esq.
SNELL & WILMER, LLP
15 West South Temple Suite 1200
Gateway Tower West
Salt Lake City, Utah 84101-1004
VIA FACSIMILE: 801.257.1800
Re: SCO v. IBM
This letter follows our telephone conversations about how to best address Judge Wells' concern regarding litigation-related public statements. Our concern is that any agreement to refrain from such public statements should include not just IBM, but also affiliates and consultants that directly or indirectly receive financial support from IBM. This letter lists several persons and entities that, we are told, receive direct or indirect financial support from IBM. We would ask you to confirm if this is true.
Of principal concern is the Groklaw web site. It appears that Groklaw was conceived and launched by ibiblio.org in response to SCO's original filing against IBM. A fundamental purpose of the Groklaw website is to criticize SCO's litigation claims and evidence. Groklaw was taken to entirely unacceptable levels during the February 6 hearing before Judge Wells when a member of the gallery surreptitiously uploaded live commentary about the judicial proceedings to the Groklaw web site while the hearing was in process. This commentary included disparaging comments about participants in the hearing. We have been told that IBM is a sponsor of Groklaw and/or its parent organization ibiblio.org. If so, the Court has a right to know this in considering the scope of any order regarding litigation-related public statements in this case.
We are also concerned about the statements about SCO's litigation claims made by Linus Torvalds, who is employed by the Open Source Development Labs ("OSDL"), which is funded principally by IBM. Because of Mr. Torvalds' position in the technology world, his comments about SCO's evidence in this case are given particular weight in industry and popular press.
We are also concerned about the many litigation-related statements made by Eric Raymond, who claims to be a paid IBM consultant, and by Columbia Law Professor Eben Moglen, who also claims to be an IBM consultant. Mr. Raymond and Professor Moglen have been highly critical of SCO's litigation claims. If paid by IBM it is only fair that they, along with Mr. Torvalds, be included in the scope of any stipulation or order regarding litigation-related public statements.
It is unlikely that Judge Wells would allow IBM's indirect use or sponsorship of Groklaw, Linus Torvalds, Eric Raymond, Prof. Moglen or other consultants to publicly comment on SCO's litigation claims, while precluding a response from SCO. It is therefore necessary for us to gain more information about IBM's direct or indirect
financial support for these people and entities before we can meaningfully address any kind of stipulation related to litigation-related public statements.
I will be out of the country until February 18, 2004. I would appreciate it if you could address this matter with Mark Heise or Brent Hatch as may be necessary during that period of time. Please let us know if IBM is wiling to voluntarily provide the
information requested above as part of our continued discussions to resolve this matter to the Court's satisfaction.
Thank you very much.
(~~ KEVIN P. McBRIDE
cc: Chris Sontag
- More tasty stock option goodness for SCO's board of directors. Each gets another 15,000 options, priced at 0.89 Here are the Edgar filings for:
As noted by ElCorton on IV, the 0.89 price is kind of curious. SCO was trading in the high 0.90's for the previous week, and then dropped a dime on the day when options were being priced. Curious! So, sure, it happened concurrently with the delisting warning stuff, and SCO stock declining isn't exactly unusual, but it's still a fascinating coincidence, dontcha think?
- The US Supreme Court's finally decided that patent madness has gone too far. This doesn't affect the SCO case, since SCO doesn't have any Unix-related patents. But it's a nice step towards making the current plague of patent & other IP trolls go away.
- More fun with Unspam:
They've filed a billion-dollar lawsuit against a bunch of spammers, using info gathered by their "Project Honeypot". I'm certainly no fan of spammers, as longtime readers are well aware, but this seems like a really dodgy way to go after them. "Project Honeypot" sure sounds like a public-minded, not-for-profit endeavor, but if Unspam wins, they keep all the proceeds. The company is a curious beast indeed: Part tech startup, part crusading pseudo-nonprofit entity, and part quasi-governmental agency.
It's that last bit that's causing some trouble these days. Seems that Unspam can't afford to pay Brent Hatch, so now Utah taxpayers are on the hook for his legal bills, since Unspam's acting as an agent of the state government.
When the legislature authorized Unspam to basically be a litigation privateer on their behalf, they just saw dollar signs and never imagined there might be a downside to the adventure. Maybe they'll absorb this valuable life lesson, before they sign up for a similar escapade with Ralphie & CP80.
- In a hopeful sign, the Utah Legislature is having second thoughts about that goofy trademark law they just enacted.
- 2 OLPC items, one saying they'll soon be everywhere, another saying the project's dead.
- PC World on tweaking Ubuntu 7.04.
Labels: linux, open source, sco, tech