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Groklaw Turns Ten

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the things-that-outlived-sco dept.

The Courts 50

Founded just to cover the SCO/Caldera UNIX lawsuits back in 2003, Groklaw has proven itself a great place to read and discuss many of the major tech trials since. And today, it turns ten: "We made it. A decade of Groklaw as of today. Who'd a thunk it? Not I. When I started, I thought I'd do a little fiddling around for a couple of months to learn how to blog. But then all you guys showed up and taught me some important things that I didn't know, and vice versa I hope, and here we are, on our 10th anniversary, still going strong, together on a very different path than I originally imagined. The important moment for me was when I realized the potential we had as a group and decided to try to surf this incredible wave all of you created by contributing your skills and time. I saw we could work as a group, explain technology to the legal world so lawyers and judges could make better decisions, and explain the legal process to techies, so they could avoid troubles and also could be enabled to work effectively to defend Free and Open Source Software from cynical 'Intellectual Property' attacks from the proprietary world." This despite a smear campaign by SCO and nearly shutting down in 2009. And it's archived in the Library of Congress.

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Rancid assholes. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741807)

My cock wants to have a little chat with your rancid asshole. No... to be completely honest, my repugnant cock wants more than that; it wants to smooch your bowels! Myself? I want to enjoy the feeling of having your disease-ridden feces all over my penis. What say you?

A quote from the authors (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741829)

"I can't believe that SCO bullshit went on for six fucking years."

Re:A quote from the authors (1)

bobthesungeek76036 (2697689) | about a year ago | (#43742365)

cat /dev/null > "SCO Group"

Re:A quote from the authors (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43744397)

"I can't believe that SCO bullshit went on for six fucking years."

Sometimes it takes time to kill something so that there's no chance of it coming back. Think of it like getting rid of fleas after your dog brought a few in.

Re:A quote from the authors (1)

lokedhs (672255) | about a year ago | (#43748557)

Actually, it's technically not even over yet. The case is still there.

The REAL We The People. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741877)

The judicial process has a lot of say-so in our digital lives these days. Groklaw is and will remain an important bastion of freedom when there's an issue of dangerous legal precedent at stake. I think it's a much more powerful platform than WTP, because most of the petitions on WTP are ignored or answered with a form letter and put to bed. At Groklaw you can contribute to fighting the folks who want a quarter every time you make a device with rounded corners, or every time you call fopen() on a UNIX clone.

Oh, and: I hate software patents. That is all.

Re:The REAL We The People. (1)

darkmeridian (119044) | about a year ago | (#43742899)

People complain that the courts are too powerful and that the laws are made without reference to what the people want, which is true to some extent, but websites like Groklaw make it possible for the people to know about what's going on and to meaningfully interact with the law, and to oppose legislation like SOPA. Hopefully, it will become harder for the people in government to try to pass legislation in the dark without the knowledge of the people.

Thanks for the awesome ... (3)

gstoddart (321705) | about a year ago | (#43741883)

It's always nice to have someone follow and translate the legalese for the rest of us.

Here's to another 10 years!

Re:Thanks for the awesome ... (-1, Troll)

RectumSoup (2925099) | about a year ago | (#43742127)

I have a dream. I have a dream that you will stuff your fetid cock into my rancid asshole and let loose an endless amount of little white tadpoles all over my feces. I have a dream that your disease-ridden cum and my feces will mix together so perfectly that it will come to be known as The Elixir of Life. I have a dream that my cum-covered feces will allow me to make rectum soup. I have a dream, my dear friends; I have a dream.

What say you?

Thanks for the fish (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43741893)

I read groklaw regularly and get a lot out of it. It chaps my ass that I feel like it is useful and helpful to know all that legal crap. (I just want to code.) There is a bit of a cult of personality over there on groklaw which can be off-putting at times, but Pamela has done a damn good job. Kudos to you Pamela. You have made a difference.

Re:Thanks for the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742697)

Groklaw is awesome, but dear god do not click on the comments section. The commenters over there are a bunch of unemployed Novell administrators who spend all day raging about stuff like DRDOS and MS-Word 95. (and a butthurt novell guy will mod this down within 5 seconds)

Re:Thanks for the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744603)

Yeah, PJ goes off the deep end too with conspiracy stuff every so often too imagining that everyone who ever disagreed with her secretly works for Microsoft or something, but the rest of it is good and the site has done a lot of good, especially in rallying support to end software patents.

Why didn't it shut down in 2009? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742001)

Anyone have a link to explain why she changed her mind and kept GrokLaw running?

Re:Why didn't it shut down in 2009? (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43742087)

Well it was started just for the SCO fiasco and when SCO lost big time, there wasn't a need to keep it going. She wanted to move on like any of us. Luckily she found someone she could trust to keep it going.

Re:Why didn't it shut down in 2009? (-1, Troll)

RectumSoup (2925099) | about a year ago | (#43742161)

As soon as I spotted your bare rectum, I knew that it was the rancidest rectum in all of Rancidville. Why else would my cock fly into your asshole at an inhuman speed? My fetid cock lusts after all that is rancid, and you, sir, have a mighty fine rancid, feces-infested asshole! What say you?

Re:Why didn't it shut down in 2009? (1)

Xtifr (1323) | about a year ago | (#43744233)

Actually, it started just before the SCO fiasco, and was originally unrelated. However, it quickly refocused on SCO once that whole mess started, and from then on, things went pretty much as you said. However, I think it's interesting that it wasn't originally about SCO.

The oldest article in the site archives is about Grokster [] . The second article is about SCO [] . So, yeah, it didn't take long to shift focus.... :)

(The articles are also numbers 3 and 6 respectively. I'm not sure if that indicates that at least four articles simply haven't been archived, or if GL simply uses non-sequential numbering, but either way....)

Re:Why didn't it shut down in 2009? (1)

Xest (935314) | about a year ago | (#43750827)

I suspect given that she was new to blogging, that like all new people working with those sorts of web applications, 1, 2 and possibly 4, and 5 were possibly just test posts figuring out how to make certain things work and not intended for public consumption.

I think few new sites starting out on a new CMS manage to preserve exact sequential numbering of new articles right from 1 for precisely this reason.

Cynical Attacks? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742011)

defend Free and Open Source Software from cynical 'Intellectual Property' attacks from the proprietary world.

Yet at the same time perfectly happy to support Google/Motorola's cynical 'Intellectual Property' attacks on Microsoft and Apple!

Was it a recipe for success then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742043)

Made mincemeat out of Daryl!!

SCO (5, Interesting)

JamesA (164074) | about a year ago | (#43742051)

I wish someone would put together a final analysis of the fiaSCO and all of the players. There was a lot of underground activity that Groklaw did not cover fully such as Yarro, Robbins, the 'suicides', the message board trolls (Merkey?) etc.

It would be great to see interviews from the perspective of the last rats off the ship and how they feel about the whole thing. By this time there has to be people ready to tell the real story.

There's a book waiting to be written here.

What we really need is an investigative reporter (2)

bpechter (2885) | about a year ago | (#43742191)

I'd love to see a good investigative reporter pick up and run with the story. I'm afraid, though, that the folks who "know where the bodies are buried" won't talk.
Perhaps if someone went at the story like they did in All The Presidents Men and just follow the money.

Amazing to see a decent company ruined by it's own management.
I liked Caldera and owned OldSCO stock before they made this ridiculous lawsuit happen. I got out before they killed the company.

Re:SCO (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year ago | (#43742765)

There's a book waiting to be written here.

It wouldn't surprise me if it was written by and for business schools as how to succeed in doing what SCO tried.

Re:SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743441)

We had an email from one of the SCO guys talking about how they were told to do this stuff by Microsoft.

Nice, but "grok"? (1)

azav (469988) | about a year ago | (#43742209)

Jesus, can we name it something else than a word that starts with "grok"?

That's such an ugly sounding word.

Re:Nice, but "grok"? (2, Funny)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#43742249)

But that word was invented by every libertarian's second favorite failed-sociologist turned successful science fiction writer. It's much better than letter our entire vocabulary be dictated by Ayn Rand.

Re:Nice, but "grok"? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742267)

You may have missed the reference to Stranger in a Strange Land [] , and you may need to have your geek badge revoked, because apparently you don't grok with fullness.

Re:Nice, but "grok"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742273)

agreed and i dont even know what this company is

I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742307)

Linux zealots will vehemently mod down anything critical of Groklaw or "Pamela Jones", so I'll just simply say that nobody with more than 2 brain cells to rub together would buy her story about being a little missing working in a small law firm who cut her computing teeth on Windows 95 then became a super-hardcore FOSS advocate after booting a Knoppix CD.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43742633)

What does it matter who she is? Any one with two brain cells could see the SCO shakedown for what it was. She provided useful information and insight into legal matters that most of slashdot did not have.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43742781)

She's used the platform gained from the SCO thing to push a lot of strange (borderline conspiracy) theories -- many of which have nothing to do with "FOSS". So while it doesn't really matter who she is, it should be obvious why some people in the industry might want to know.

You could say that Groklaw is best when one side is clearly in the right.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43742841)

And you are free to ignore anything and everything she says. The thing is you can't question her legal analysis, can you? Questioning her background is as ridiculous as not voting for Obama because you heard on the Interweb that he was born in Kenya.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744313)

Actually her legal analysis is 100% partisan and can be easily questioned. (This is pretty obvious whenever there's no SCO-like obviously wrong party.)

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43744423)

Please list an example of how her legal analysis was wrong. So what you are saying is her analysis of this case can't be used for every hypothetical or imaginary case? That's why you have to look at each case individually. (And why judges have to rule on each one separately). SCO did not 1) own the copyrights and 2) was as vague as they could be when pressed by the courts to specify exactly what IBM was alleged to have done. They didn't have a case; it was an extortion scheme. Even SCO's expert that they hired could find no evidence of IBM infringement. The last leg that had to stand on was IBM backed out of Project Monterrey. While it is true IBM stopped working on a project that was designed to bring Unix to Itanium, they did fulfill the basic contractual obligations. They (like everyone else) saw that Linux had far more potential and abandoned the platform.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743821)

Pamela Jones was in the employ of International Business Machines at some point during her tenure at GrokLaw. As far as I recall she was a paralegal at the time she created the groklaw blog and applied her legal research and writing skills to covering the SCO lawsuits. Why the hatred towards her?

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (2)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about a year ago | (#43744899)

Pamela Jones was in the employ of International Business Machines at some point during her tenure at GrokLaw.

That is not correct.
It was one of the allegations against her that she was employed by IBM in an attempt to discredit Groklaw.
It has never been documented, and there is no reason to believe it is true.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a year ago | (#43742865)

Why not exactly? My father is horribly intimidated by computers but found Ubuntu a refreshingly robust and reliable alternative to Windows XP when I introduced him to it, and was intruiged by the FOSS philosophy. I have no problem whatsoever believing that someone actually interested in and comptent with computers could have a far more passionate response, especialy if they had an idealistic bent and believe strongly in personal freedom, which isn't actually all that rare among people who enter the legal proffession, corporate lawyer jokes aside. I doubt it was an instantaneous magical transition, but most any story will be an oversimplified dramatization of reality.

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | about a year ago | (#43743141)

Oh? What's your theory?

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (2)

iggymanz (596061) | about a year ago | (#43743327)

Yo Maureen O'Gara, you psycho-bitch stalker! hows it going these days?

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year ago | (#43743565)

so the people (including a couple reporters more or less famous in IT tech world for decades) who claimed to know her or have met her were lying?

you might want to loosen the clamps on your tin foil hat

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (1)

Anonym0us Cow Herd (231084) | about a year ago | (#43743839)

Duh, duh, duh, duh, Darl . . . is that you?

Or could it be Ke, Ke, Ke, Ke, Kevin?

Which of the moron twins?

And I'll explain why this proves Groklaw's worth (1)

golodh (893453) | about a year ago | (#43744481)

Take this post for example. Fairly standard Slashdot material in that it joyfully mixes a little prejudice with a lot of ignorance and a generous dollop of laziness, and adds a just a pinch of over-the-top cynical populist rhethoric to complete the coctail.

Groklaw on the other hand combines a lot of hard work on fact-checking, reading the source materials, with actual knowledge of things legal and down-to-earth decency and simplicity in its choice of language.

It produces articles that are helpful, well-structured, well-written and devoid of unexplained jargon, and also don't look down on people with a "RTFM u N00B" attitude. It does admittedly take time and concentration to fully read Groklaw articles though: you can't just skim through and expect to understand what was being said.

No wonder it doesn't appeal to many people on Slashdot. It also happens to be *demonstrably* right most of the time, precisely because of the way it goes about its subject.

It also happens that a certain Maureen O'Gara (on a paid assignment from SCO) tried to 'unmask' Groklaw's PJ as an IBM think-tank, a lawyer collective and something else I can't quite remember. She didn't get anywhere I must say, and signally failed to even raise doubt about PJ being a private individual. So it will take more than a two-liner Slashdot drive-by comment to improve on that, dear Anonymous Coward.

And as to someone who isn't a pimply-faced teenager boy being unable to learn about computing, that's just about the height of stupidity. Especially when you consider that items like Linux, writing scripts, doing light programming, and blogging are basically accessible to *anyone* who's moderately smart got a good memory and is dedicated. Talent, in particular, is not involved at this level. There's nothing much to it really, apart from putting in some work. Teenagers tend, being largely unfamiliar with the concept, not to realise that.

It seems you rubbed your two braincells together once too often Anonymous.

Re:And I'll explain why this proves Groklaw's wort (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43752979)

Sad, little, lonely zealot. You'll believe she's exactly what she said she is, on the Internet. Nothing will change that. Thus, you aren't even who the post was directed at. Seems you aren't getting the attention you crave. Are you sure you're not a teenager? ;-)

Re:I'll speak for the ones who will be silenced. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43745625)

Pitifully obvious slashtroll is pitifully obvious.

But trolling Slashdot is easier than purse seining in a hatchery. Kinda sad, really. I remember when you had to be pretty skilled to set a hook here.

Reason for Founding (2)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | about a year ago | (#43743153)

Founded just to cover the SCO/Caldera UNIX lawsuits back in 2003,

Actually, that's not true. It was founded so that Pamela Jones could learn about blogging. It just happened to occur at the same time that the SCO debacle was starting.


Re:Reason for Founding (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43743583)

Yes, that's totally believable [] . A paralegal wants to learn a bit about blogging so she can telecommute. She starts a blog on May 16 2003, with no real knowledge of what she is doing. By sheer coincidence, this occurs just two months after SCO's first announcement they were going to sue IBM. By another sheer coincidence, her second posting ever is on SCO. And, golly gee, it just kind of grew from there, much to her astonishment.

Re:Reason for Founding (1)

FaxeTheCat (1394763) | about a year ago | (#43744837)

At least she has posted it all under her real name...

Re:Reason for Founding (1)

LoyalOpposition (168041) | about a year ago | (#43745335)

Yes, that's totally believable

That's where all the evidence points. It was her claim from the first. She has maintained it consistently for ten years. The objects of her rhetoric, who have great incentive for proving she's a shill for IBM, attempted to do so, but unsuccessfully. The court ordered IBM to disclose any relationship between them and Groklaw, and IBM claimed, under penalty of perjury, that there was none.

Your evidence that she isn't a paralegal attempting to learn how to blog sounds suspicious.

Yeah, I know where the preponderance of the evidence is.


Evolution of community (2)

Pecisk (688001) | about a year ago | (#43743189)

When SCO attacked first I was furious. I knew they lied, but really didn't know any additional details how these guys can be beaten. IBM decided to charge back. And then when PJ with Groklaw appeared, it was like we saw the light. At the beginning there were some nervous times, but everything turned out well. Then she started to blog about software patents and other legalese related to open source - and it was clear for me that it's not just PJ, it's community project, and it's here to stay. She also made us geeks not to be afraid from courts and lawyers and understand our rights and how system works.

So, thanks PJ. Thanks community. IMHO without Groklaw idea of open source would be in much different place than it is now.

Re:Evolution of community (2)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about a year ago | (#43744083)

One of the facets that was insightful was the copyright ownership debate. The point of was what did Novell sell to Santa Cruza y years ago. SCO claims that they got the Unix business and the copyrights when they bought Santa Cruz while Novell says that only the Unix business was sold. So it may have to come down to dueling testimonies.

PJ pointed out that Novell brought the actual lawyers who worked on the agreement to trial while SCO relied on people who didn't have first hand knowledge of the agreement. She also noted how Novell used board meeting minutes to show that 1) Novell was concerned whether Santa Cruz (old SCO) could actually keep up the business and 2) Santa Cruz did not have the money for the copyrights and business. Also if Novell sold the copyrights, then why did Santa Cruz agree to Novell having the right to intercede in any Unix deal? Why did Novel get 95% of any Unix business and gave Santa Cruz 5%? Thus Novell argued, they only sold the business. All SCO's witnesses could only testify what they thought the agreement meant to them without any first hand knowledge of the deal.

Later PJ went over the APA that was executed years later. Even in SCO's best case scenario the APA was a promise to sell the copyrights. However, no money changed hands (or any other consideration) so it couldn't have been legally a contract to sell.

PJ is extraordinary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43744175)

I realize that this is a redundant post, but pj deserves accolades. The sheer volume on Groklaw is astonishing. She organizes and presents coherently, with a distinctive voice, a lot of dry, technical material. I have learned a lot.

Thank you pj.

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