Monday, April 02, 2007


4/4 SNR

Today's fresh stupidness: SCO continues with its silly attacks on PJ & Groklaw. First they wanted to subpoena her in the Novell case. Now they want to add this "prospective" subpoena to the IBM case too. PJ's got a new GL article about it now, although for obvious reasons she's limited in what she can say about it. Or if you're one of those diehards who absolutely won't go to GL for any reason, Zen's got the whole raft of docs here, and Tuxrocks has 'em here.

Like PJ says in her article, SCO's obviously trying to intimidate her, and I just don't see that working. She's probably been expecting this and planning for it for quite some time now. Darl's had this unnatural obsession with PJ and Groklaw for years, and I guess for some reason he finally decided it was payback time. So this is what they come up with.

If you look at this along with SCO's recent vandalism attempts at Wikipedia (and "vandalism" is WP's description of SCO's behavior, not mine), and the ham-fisted attempt to intimidate the editors at SDTimes, and a pattern starts to emerge. My guess is that the geniuses at SCO were sitting around one day and got to daydreaming about how much better things would've gone if they'd filed the case in an alternate universe where freedom of speech doesn't exist. At one point they complain that GL allows the expression of all sorts of opinions, with no "gatekeeper" in place to make sure it's all, uh, fair and balanced. Which is a common argument you see among people who aren't clear on the basic concept of civil liberties -- and you encounter a surprising number of these people in the media, unfortunately. I seem to recall that MOG and/or Lyons have offered this argument in the past. Possibly Enderle as well. As the theory goes, you really only have the right to speak your mind if some sort of third party signs off on it first, be it your stereotypical angry chainsmoking newspaper editor, a court-appointed "gatekeeper", or what have you. And this third party, conveniently, serves as a good pressure point for people who disagree with you: If you don't like something in SDTimes, you can call upper management and threaten to pull your ads. On GL, with no upper management and no ads, there's no obvious way to compel PJ to pipe down about this SCO business.

In any case, I almost feel kind of left out because SCO hasn't gotten around to threatening me yet. I said almost. This is not a suggestion.

I imagine SCO & BS&F really believe they've latched onto an extremely clever strategy here. The timing and manner of the subpoena attempt lets SCO try to use this for more than just petty revenge. If the court lets them pursue this angle, they basically get to change the subject again, introduce new claims, add more testimony wayyyy after the deadline in the IBM case, and possibly delay the Novell case as well. And they and their media puppets can scream "coverup" if either IBM or Novell puts up a fight about it. On top of that, they've presented the matter to the court as a routine matter of evidence, a done deal, complete with a proposed order he can simply sign on the dotted line and be done with.

Unfortunately for SCO, this strategy assumes that federal judges are clueless and stupid, and will just blindly sign off on whatever random nonsense crosses their desks. I'm usually a complete cynic about this sort of thing, but I don't think this is likely to work. A common weakness of your average third-rate con artist (say, SCO, for example) is to assume that the mark (say, a federal judge) has never seen a con attempt before and couldn't possibly suspect anything. If someone's been a federal judge for any length of time, they've seen almost everything before. And if they haven't seen it, one of their colleagues has. Judges do talk shop over a round of brewskis now and then, just like the rest of us. Ok, maybe without the brewskis in Utah, but my point stands.

In an ideal world, Kimball & Wells would take one look at this ugly business and go "What do you take us for?" and toss it out ASAP. But nothing happens quickly in the courts. So if nothing else, SCO will probably get more delay out of this -- although I don't think that actually works in their favor anymore. So we'll see how this turns out, I guess.

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