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SCO Legally Assaults PJ of Groklaw

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the when-will-it-end dept.

The Courts 340

Litigious Bastards writes "SCO has just filed court papers saying that they were unable to subpoena PJ of Groklaw. While they apparently sent their crack team of process servers out looking for random people named Pamela Jones, it would appear that they were unable to locate the bright yellow envelope labeled 'Email PJ' on the Groklaw website to ask for directions to serve her in person. They're once again accusing her of working for IBM or Novell, and Groklaw is now hosting over 20 documents PJ claims were planted in the media in an effort to discredit her. As she says, 'And so the stupidest lawsuit in the history of the world just got stupider. And a whole lot meaner.'"

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Legally assaults? (5, Funny)

Askmum (1038780) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619287)

I wasn't aware of the fact that assault was legal in the US.

SCNR

Re:Legally assaults? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619383)

Only if you hit someone with a lawyer.

Re:Legally assaults? (5, Funny)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619401)

Or you are the VP, on a hunting trip...

Re:Legally assaults? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619483)

Or a Kennedy driving drunk, at night...

Re:Legally assaults? (1)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619603)

You can't assault someone with a lawyer, everyone knows sh&^%t only smells bad.

Re:Legally assaults? (1, Funny)

imikem (767509) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620325)

Cool. An actual use for lawyers has been found. "Legal Assaulted" is a perfect premise for a show on Spike or G4 cable channels. /me runs to copyright the idea.

I've heard... (5, Funny)

Cytlid (95255) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619329)

... that they're also looking for an elusive character to subpoena, his name is "Honest Truth".

Re:I've heard... (5, Funny)

physicsboy500 (645835) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619463)

... that they're also looking for an elusive character to subpoena, his name is "Honest Truth".

that's funny... I thought they were trying to avoid him

Re:I've heard... (5, Funny)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619579)

Actually, they keep running smack up against the guy, but never recognize him when they see him.

Re:I've heard... (4, Funny)

Stanistani (808333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620101)

Psst! He's hiding in a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the Leopard'

Re:This is just a "What if" (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18620103)

what if P.J. just meant "Poetic Justice" and was not a real person, maybe Groklaw is just administered by a group of FOSS lovin' attorneys...

just a long shot in the dark...

PJ spouting hyperbole (-1, Troll)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619367)

I support Groklaw and have always enjoyed reading it, but PJ simply sounds shrill in her posting:

SCO wants to put a pin on a map and point to it and say, "Here's PJ." Then someone drops by and shoots me, I suppose.

That sounds no more intelligent than Rob Enderle accusing the `crunchies` of hunting him.

2 people connected to the scox-scam killed already (5, Interesting)

walterbyrd (182728) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619431)

They may have killed themselves, we really don't know. But, in a country where people are killed over parking spaces, I would be careful about seperating delusional paranoria from legitimate concern for one's safty.

Re:2 people connected to the scox-scam killed alre (2)

cannuck (859025) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620035)

Funny? Who are the half wits "scoring" comments?

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (1)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619443)

Agreed. Surely she could get in touch with them, right? Presumably she has nothing to hide, and could easily let SCO know "here I am, stop this nonsense". Groklaw shouldn't be about its creator.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (5, Insightful)

dschuetz (10924) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619799)

Agreed. Surely she could get in touch with them, right? Presumably she has nothing to hide, and could easily let SCO know "here I am, stop this nonsense".

True, but until they actually reach her with a subpoena, she's not under any legal requirement to do so. Hearing about a subpoena in the news (or via a motion she's retrieved from the internet) isn't nearly the same thing as actually being served. And if she's not actively dodging it (for example, if she's honestly taking a long-planned vacation somewhere and prefers to keep the destination private), then that's just SCO's tough luck.

I mean, really, why make it easy for SCO?

On a slightly different point, was it just me, or did this motion sound really whiny, even considering the history of this case?

The funny part (2, Informative)

Quila (201335) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619951)

And if she's not actively dodging it (for example, if she's honestly taking a long-planned vacation somewhere and prefers to keep the destination private), then that's just SCO's tough luck.
PJ claims she never left home. She only took a break from posting at Groklaw.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (2, Insightful)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620061)

True, but until they actually reach her with a subpoena, she's not under any legal requirement to do so. Hearing about a subpoena in the news (or via a motion she's retrieved from the internet) isn't nearly the same thing as actually being served. And if she's not actively dodging it (for example, if she's honestly taking a long-planned vacation somewhere and prefers to keep the destination private), then that's just SCO's tough luck.

I mean, really, why make it easy for SCO?

She's not under an affirmative duty to seek being served, but as you say she's neither allowed to avoid it intentionally. I would argue that as an officer of the court, and one who (I hope) believes in the system, she should in this case seek service. It's not going to make anything easier for SCO, as she has nothing to hide. She can be clever in her deposition and publish it on the site for our amusement.

That's just my opinion, of course, but it seems reasonable and logical to me. There's no reason to lower oneself to the tactics of the other side.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (3, Informative)

ClosedSource (238333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620137)

"I would argue that as an officer of the court, and one who (I hope) believes in the system, she should in this case seek service."

She's not a lawyer, right? What makes her an "officer of the court"?

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (2, Informative)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620321)

She's not a lawyer, right?

Correct, she's not, she is simply assumed to be by many. She is a paralegal, and is not admitted to the bar in any jurisdiction. I suppose that's just a pet peeve of mine...

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18620495)

Quit your whining. Nowhere on Groklaw does is say anything that would even come close to misleading someone to think she's a lawyer.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (1)

lenski (96498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620259)

To the best of my knowledge PJ was a paralegal, has never been a lawyer, and therefore is not an officer of the court. Furthermore, whatever she was before 2003, she is now unambiguously a blogger. Neither more nor less.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (3, Informative)

radarjd (931774) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620469)

To the best of my knowledge PJ was a paralegal, has never been a lawyer, and therefore is not an officer of the court. Furthermore, whatever she was before 2003, she is now unambiguously a blogger. Neither more nor less.

You are absolutely correct -- that was a bit of a jab on my part. I'm not a huge fan of Groklaw, or the way it is run. PJ's opinions are taken as fact or as prevailing legal opinion in their entirity by many, and that is annoying to me. She advocates a position, which is of course a lawyerly thing to do, while leaving out other arguments (see, e.g., the groklaw wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] ).

She may or may not work for IBM -- it doesn't really matter to me, and I honestly don't think it matters legally. At the same time, if she really values the law instead of a pulpit for her personal ideology, she should seek being served. She can blog about her personal experiences -- about a blogger becoming involved in her topic.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619821)

Groklaw shouldn't be about its creator.

Everybody knows by now that a message is meaningless and is to be ignored, or even disparaged if you can't identify the messenger. Just look at how ACs are treated here.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (1)

King Gabey (593144) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619861)

That's the point. SCO didn't even bother clicking on the link to contact her. Further they made posts public making it seem like they had been actively trying to contact her. "Obviously aware of SCO's designs to depose her, Ms. Jones has neither accepted service of the subpeona nor agreed for deposition, but rather appears to have fled and evaded service of the subpeona. " I'd be annoyed as well.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619749)

I think this was supposed to be humor... calm down.

You obviously haven't been following the case (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619813)

SCO has been making accusations against PJ for a long time. They have previously tried to find her and on one occasion they 'outed' her, identifying her as a sixty year old Mormon with a son in New York city. If they can find her and serve her then she will have to pay big lawyer bills with no hope of recovering them because SCO is going bankrupt anyway.

These people have demonstrated time and time again how nasty they are. They have zero respect for the truth and there is an excellent chance that some of them are going to jail when this is over.

PJ has nothing to do with the case other than hosting the website that destroyed the FUD value of SCO's criminally frivolous lawsuits. Any evidence she gives will have no bearing on the outcome of the cases. They are just after her to harass her. She's not being shrill and paranoid, she's being realistic.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (4, Informative)

peragrin (659227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619817)

Given the fact that Maureen O'Gara, a reporter(and I use that loosely)tried to find out where PJ lived, and then published photos of her alleged house, brother and mother without ever verifing if it really was the right Pamela Jones I too would be a bit paranoid. If I published photo's of Darl Mcbride's house you can believe he wold have the police after me even if it was the wrong house.

Given the facts in this case, and what Darl has said ad done, I too would be scared of what Darl would try to do.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619857)

Perhaps you don't live it the real world where very bad things can happen to very good people. There is lots of money involved here and maybe even some jail time for some corporate bigshots. So who knows what someone might do, or be paid to do, to shut up a never-ending source of bother for their get-rich plans.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (4, Interesting)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620067)

They have had 2 odd deaths, both ruled suicide, associated with them. One had turned against SCO and the other was convincing her father that SCO was a mess (who then disassociated himself from SCO and the parent). And you think that she is sounding shrill?

Me, If I was SCO's number one enemy, I would not want to be known to them.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620153)

Hyperbole, yes. But she's making an important point.

Lawyers and cops play special roles in our society. Those roles require they have powers which, if abused, could make our lives living hells. And bad as a rogue cop can be, short of killing you there's nothing he can do to you that's worse than what a rogue lawyer can do. Maybe they don't put a bullet in your head, but they can take the roof from over your head, the food off of your table, and medicine out of your medicine cabinet. For some people, people who have a responsibility to provide for others, a bullet in the head would be preferable.

So we rightly expect that cops and lawyers display a high degree of responsibility when it comes to the integrity of the system. To be a decent cop, I suppose you just need common sense, but a lawyer's ethics are much trickier because he's supposed to be a vigorous advocate for his client. The problem with abusive SLAPP lawsuits and even the use of empty legal threats is that they divide society into two classes: people with the resources to defend themselves and people who do not.

Does anybody have a duty to respect and cooperate with a system which unjustly oppresses them? Should we give power to people who will use it to wrong us for their clients' benefits? If we do, we'll end up with a two track system of justice in which one class of people can use the legal system to compel any behavior they wish from the other.

SLAPP suits and baseless legal extortion undermine the legitimacy of the system. The system should come down hard on lawyers who practice this kind of law. Not only should they be disbarred, they should be sent to jail to do hard time. We'd strip a cop of his badge and send him to jail if he was shaking down shopkeepers. I'd rather pay protection money to a cop than let a bad lawyer get his hooks into me.

Let me be clear that I don't hate lawyers. I admire the profession, and technical skills of it practitioners. But they have a higher duty of public ethics than a day laborer or cab driver, and when they breech that duty the damage they cause is unthinkable.

This by the way is why we should be concerned about the dismissal of David Iglesias. It is true that Mr. Iglesias served at the pleasure of the President; but the President has no more right to single out his political enemies for prosecution than he has to single out his friends to receive federal contracts. Mr. Iglesias, and indeed the President, have a duty to support and defend the Constitution, and the integrity of the legal system. As bad as the potential for abuse is for an ordinary lawyer, a prosecutor has the power to drop an unbearable burden of suspicion on anybody he choses. That power should only be exercised in the public interest.

Re:PJ spouting hyperbole (1)

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620241)

Given what Maureen O'Gara [wikipedia.org] did, I think PJ has reason to want her location kept private.

SCO still exists? (4, Interesting)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619403)

I'd have thought SCO would be bust by now, given the amount of money they must be spending on lawyers, and on how fast their customers must be running from them. Does anyone how they are still able to make money?

Re:SCO still exists? Simple (5, Interesting)

neongenesis (549334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619561)

Micro$oft has both purchased a very large license for undisclosed Unix IP (can't they get anything that they need from BSD?) and has been implicated at least a little bit in under-the-table assurances to places like Baystar that their "investment" in SCO will be covered when it is lost.

It has probably been worth a great deal to spread IP FUD about Linux until Vista gets up and going. Do you think that they have gotten their money's worth in funding TSCOG's long slow suicide?

Re:SCO still exists? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619575)

Simple. Microsoft is helping them out.

Funded by Microsoft (5, Informative)

alienmole (15522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619591)

It's funded by Microsoft [slashdot.org] . Your Windows dollars at work.

Re:SCO still exists? (2, Insightful)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619595)

There are nefarious groups in the world that would like to see SCO win and put Linux back into obscurity. Ironically, this case has had exactly the opposite effect that they intended.

It's shed light on the ridiculousness of software patents, and brought clarity to copyright law. Additionally it's shown that there are companies who are willing to stand up for Free Software, even at great expense.

I think those who have funneled money into SCO all deserve a round of applause for helping to validate Free Software!

Re:SCO still exists? (4, Informative)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620339)

It's shed light on the ridiculousness of software patents

On the contrary, it's shown that the system, slow as it is, at least works reasonably. They abandoned the lame-o patent claims long ago when it became clear they weren't winning them. Not to mention which, no software patents were never declared invalid in this case; rather, it simply became clear that SCO's interpretation of the licenses was retarded. In that sense, the patent claims were a matter of contract law, which was what was in fact disputed. Since then, this has become purlely a copyright case, and they're obviously losing that too.

and brought clarity to copyright law.

I don't know what's been clarified, other than the fact that there isn't any SCO-owned code in Linux save what they put there and has since been removed. Copyright law has always been clear with regard to this case: don't copy what isn't yours. Problem is (for SCO), IBM didn't.

Additionally it's shown that there are companies who are willing to stand up for Free Software, even at great expense.

I'd be wary - IBM is standing up for themselves. When they start filing amicus briefs in cases they're not involved in, that don't impact them directly, then I'll agree with that. Are they?

Re:SCO still exists? (4, Interesting)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620455)

I would also like to point out that prior to this lawsuit that it was a common mantra of FUD that the GPL had not ever made it into court to be tested, so it was unknown what its status in court would ever hold.

This lawsuit changed all of that, and has shown that the GPL is far stronger than ever... especially GPL v 2.0 (the 3.0 debate will open this FUD up all over again, but at least the principles have already been tested).

Now when somebody tries to sue based on the "unconstitutionality" of the GPL or comes up with all other kinds of crazy ideas that the GPL is legal BS, you can simply show them SCO and a graph of their stock price after they filed their lawsuit, and mention that SCO is one of the most heavily shorted stocks ever in the history of NASDAQ. The only reason their price goes up at all is because people are trying to "cover" their short sell, which requires actual purchase of shares.

Send such a graph to major investors of a company suing based on the GPL, and I'm sure they will stand up and take notice. The only possible reason to keep something like that going is if (like SCO) the investors are from other companies who don't care if the "investment" goes straight into the toilet and have other political goals in mind.

The last word about the SCO lawsuit has yet to be written, and this is going to be very interesting where it will go once SCOX is delisted and the SEC gets into the mess. I'm sure they will at some point.

Re:SCO still exists? (2, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620039)

It's a shame that groklaw.net seems off-line right now. Look for the records there on how Microsoft is helping keep SCO afloat by sponsoring "partnerships" with other Microsoft companies. It's also amusing how the money is just enough to keep SCO afloat: this weakens Linux with all the nonsense being spewed by SCO, but also keeps SCO from being able to do useful work with their own UNIX licenses.

It's certainly more desirable for Microsoft to interfere with both markets than to help either side win.

Re:SCO still exists? (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620337)

The odds are that the reason that they're off line is because they're Slashdotted.

Is there something we can do to help? (4, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619427)

Counter sue?

Nah, I'll just call my Cousin Vinnie.

Baseball bat and umm...

You named SCO? I heard you're giving a friend of mine, PJ, some problems. Let's talk.

But Darl's got a gun. (3, Funny)

Jaywalk (94910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619873)

SCO's CEO has made a point of telling the press that he carries a gun [deseretnews.com] . So he's got lawyers and guns, but he's running out of money [lamlaw.com] .

Re:But Darl's got a gun. (5, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620289)

Why don't we just send Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner after him?

(and to the mod trolls, no it's not off-topic, reread the parent).

Re:Is there something we can do to help? (4, Funny)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620193)

With a username of AltGrendel, shouldn't you be getting your mother to do the dirty work?

why would she work for IBM... she works for me :) (5, Interesting)

theonlyholle (720311) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619437)

At least I've paid her a couple of times and I suspect others have done the same. There are some very convenient donation links on Groklaw and for every donation I have sent so far I have received a friendly "thankyou" email. But even if she *did* work for IBM, that wouldn't change the facts of the case and I would still enjoy reading the legal analysis, which is pretty sound once you take out the sometimes over the top OSS "fangirlism" that I occasionally find a bit annyoing.

Re:why would she work for IBM... she works for me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619481)

nce you take out the sometimes over the top OSS "fangirlism" that I occasionally find a bit annyoing
So, you prefer the OSS fanboyism found on slashdot?

Re:why would she work for IBM... she works for me (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619525)

Besides, if Pamela Jones is just just an internet pseudonym for someone else, then what good would tracking down people named Pamela Jones in public records, if you already believe that.

Re:why would she work for IBM... she works for me (1)

cute-boy (62961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619979)

And me too...

-R

Stupidest lawsuit in history? (5, Funny)

giafly (926567) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619449)

A Montana man has sued media giant Viacom, saying the MTV show "Jackass" plagiarized his name [power-of-attorneys.com] , infringed on the trademark and copyright of his name and defamed his good character. The plaintiff's name is Jack Ass.

An inmate in a Virginia penitentiary has filed a lawsuit against himself [assetprotectioncorp.com] , claiming that he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested.

When fans of eating can no longer trust their cheese-covered puffs boiled in oil to be healthy, it's more than sad. It's your ticket to millions. Meredith Berkman claims the secret fat caused her "weight gain, mental anguish, outrage, and indignation." [thewavemag.com]
Nope. Not even close. [google.com]

Re:Stupidest lawsuit in history? (5, Insightful)

Jaywalk (94910) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619713)

Yeah, there are a lot of idiot lawsuits out there. But how many have gone on for four years, cost this kind of money and involved this many people? SCO sent threatening letters went to 1500 companies, sued two of their own clients and three of their former business partners. And, as is becoming increasingly clear, they really didn't have any real evidence to start with.

Maybe you could find a suit based on a stupider premise, but I don't think anyone can beat SCO for the sheer scale of their stupidity.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit in history? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619755)

The novelty here is that Pamela Jones is the most self-important bystander to a lawsuit in the history of the world. What the hell are she and her claque of self-important fanboys going to do when this is over?

Re:Stupidest lawsuit in history? (2, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620461)

Hey, just because no one reads your blog is no reason to take it out on PJ.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit in history? (1)

try_anything (880404) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619985)

The first two don't sound stupid. They sound like an awesome combination of a sense of humor and a lot of free time.

Re:Stupidest lawsuit in history? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18620207)

filed a lawsuit against himself, claiming that he violated his own civil rights by getting arrested

Well that offers a new outlook on the old "social contract" theory, doesn't it?

IANAL, but surely.... (5, Insightful)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619469)

1. Are you legally obliged to make it easy for someone to subpoena you? eg. by replying to an email asking for that information.
2. Is it a particularly good idea to email an address on a website which may or may not go to the correct person asking "Hey, where do you live, we want to serve legal documents on you"?

Re:IANAL, but surely.... (4, Informative)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619553)

Well, this is for the New York City Civil Court [smallbusinessrescue.com] (your mileage may vary), but it would seem that it is up to the server to find the person to be served. I really don't think they can legislate that the person being served make themselves more available, sonce there's no real way to know who will receive a subpoena ahead of time.

Re:IANAL, but surely.... (2, Informative)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620095)

No, but there are tangible assets that can be dealt with in the case of an ISP or even a simple website. Certainly you have the domain "owner" that ought to have a legal address somewhere. You can at the very least trace the owner of the IP block, find out the ISP, subpoena billing records, and eventually trace it to the "owner" if they put something as their address for the DNS records as "somewhere on Utopia Planatia, Mars". You can be found.... although certainly it is not necessarily something easy.

And if you are a domain owner and allowing random people to use your website without the ability to find out exactly who they are, you are setting yourself up for a liability issue on that one point alone. Again, you don't have to go out of your way to disclose exactly who everybody is, but information about an individual is often available even if the website owner is not publicly disclosing that information.

If you are hyper-paranoid about privacy, you can connect to websites using an anonymous proxy and use a throw-away e-mail address from someplace like yahoo or hotmail where you register with fictional information. While not perfect (you are depending that the proxy logs are getting wiped regularly) it is possible. Unfortunately (or fortunate for most law enforcement types), most people are lazy and don't go through those steps. Especially if you use an on-line personna for any length of time, some personal details are going to come out one way or another.

Re:IANAL, but surely.... (4, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619787)

1. Are you legally obliged to make it easy for someone to subpoena you? eg. by replying to an email asking for that information.

IANAL (I do have most of a Paralegal degree, sans only Ethics.)

I am not aware of any statute that requires you to actively seek out a subpoena. However, if you do successfully avoid a subpoena, you'll just wind up with a court summons, or a warrant. Generally, if someone's subpoenaing you it's in your best interest to read that subpoena ASAP, get yourself a lawyer, and talk to the judge. Don't avoid judges; they don't like that, and you don't want to be in the court of a judge who has reason to dislike you.

Summons & warrants .... (1)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619897)

I don't think that the court will issue a warrant in a civil case. Also with a court summons, SCO would still have to provide the information to find her. Given what I have checked previously on how low the bar is, I don't think that SCO is looking very hard for her - in fact if they had tried to serve her earlier, they would have had a notice from the server on the steps they had taken to make service. No such notice has been presented to the court, so it's a fairly clear indicator that after 2 months they haven't tried serving her yet.

Re:IANAL, but surely.... (5, Funny)

LizardKing (5245) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619901)

IANAL (I do have most of a Paralegal degree, sans only Ethics.)

I gather that the difference between a Paralegal degree and a Lawyer one is that there isn't an Ethics course in the latter.

More Trouble (5, Interesting)

BCW2 (168187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619485)

Now PJ can file a civil claim and try to get what little is left of SCO. Better yet use discovery to find the individuals who have done this and file against them personally. Slander is possible. They have made a concerted effort to discredit her in the press and since their claims are all false it will be easy to prove. Don't sue a worthless shell, get the jerks and lighten their wallets, that will end this farce the quickest.

Re:More Trouble (2, Funny)

mikelieman (35628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620281)

Pierce that Corporate Veil! Yeah Baby!

Re:More Trouble (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620409)

There is no such thing as bad PR. In trying to discredit her, they've turned her into a rockstar. This may very well result in even more opportunities for PJ. Perhaps when she counter-sues, she should also send a thank you card.

OSDL funding (2, Interesting)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619513)

Hmm.. Big companies give money to OSDL, who then uses it for a variety of purposes, including paying Linus' salary, and, according to SCO, funding Groklaw.

Being a non-profit, who OSDL gives money to is public information.. so I don't really doubt SCO's claims that OSDL gave money to Groklaw. There's also some claims that the web server that Groklaw runs on is supplied by another non-profit, ibiblio.

IBM donates to both of them.

So yeah, sucks to be dragged into it, but when IBM says they don't give you money either directly or through a third party and they clearly do, well, hell, way to drop the ball guys.

Re:OSDL funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619819)

Company X funds sourceforge. Is X funding all projects that are hosted in sf?

Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (5, Interesting)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619529)

Clearly Groklaw is the biggest of the many sites that go over the minutae of the various SCO lawsuits, so they are probably quite correct in their assertion that it's materially impacting their business - and proves that you do indeed reap what you sow. So, SCO drags PJ into the lawsuit, probably knowing full well that it's almost certainly not going to get them anywhere legally, but that it will buy them yet more delays, something they really seem to like. IANAL, but from what I understand of US law free speech does not extend to those involved in a legal case being able to comment on that case, and that surely has to be the real goal here. By getting PJ involved in the case and getting really, *really* lucky, they might be able to effectively gag Groklaw, or at least limit what they can and cannot post.

Personally, I think getting someone with a detailed knowledge of the case, a legal background, additional protections through being a journalist and despises you and your company onto the witness stand is not a smart move, but then I think SCO & BSF have already proven beyond reasonable doubt that they are not smart. Desperate maybe, but not smart.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (2, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619705)

It is a good thing that the site is under creative commons license. If they do "gag" P.J., then magically, I'm sure, Groklaw2 will pop up and appear hosted by someone, with a different web master while P.J. gets a well deserved rest.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (-1, Troll)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619757)

Actually if they are really really lucky they will expose her as an IBM shill which damages IBM and knocks Groklaw off the moral high ground. I dont really care either way, SCO are assholes but PJ has been hugely evasive on this issue. I know few people actually want to appear in court but since she has so much to say re SCO why not just accept the supoena and nail them in the courtroom.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (4, Informative)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620043)

Why avoid it?

  1. 8 hours * $400/hour = $3200 for just the deposition, figure that again for prep time for the deposition. That's just the lawyers fees.
  2. Spending 8 hours of your life trapped in a room with a bunch of lawyers who's sole goal is to make your life miserable.
  3. Risking being dragged deep enough into SCO's legal battle to require that you no longer comment on it.

Those are the 3 that come to mind in the first 10 seconds of thinking about it.

Given the way SCO has treated it's previous deposees, I wouldn't do a thing to make their lifes any easier to find me. I don't need any more abuse in my life. If they can follow the rules & find me - so be it, if I can't quash the supeona, I'll show up. Until they follow all the rules - something they seem to be unable to do- I'm sitting on my butt laughing at them.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (4, Interesting)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620123)

PJ has been hugely evasive on this issue

Can you support that, in any shape way or form? I've seen her deny working for IBM, quite unambiguously too. On the other hand the only thing resembling support for the proposition that she works for IBM is that she hosts Groklaw in ibiblio, to which IBM have occasionally contributed money.

I'm with you as far as the "SCO are assholes" comment however.

since she has so much to say re SCO why not just accept the supoena and nail them in the courtroom.

Well...

Firstly, it's far from clear that she's deliberately tried to evade it.

Secondly, she wouldn't get to appear in court; deposition just means being grilled for hours by SCO's lawyers.

Thirdly she's trained as a paralegal, not an lawyer. Writing a scholarly paper on the martial arts will not turn you into Bruce Lee. Paralegal training doesn't imply skill in verbal debate.

Fourthly, it's her decision to make.

Fifthly, she's entitled to her privacy.

For points six and onwards, see point five.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (4, Informative)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620217)

PJ has been hugely evasive on this issue.

She has? She hasn't been evasive at all about this issue. She has stated quite clearly, on many occasions, that she does not work for IBM, IBM does not pay her, the fact that IBM contributes to ibiblio had nothing to do with ibiblio's willingness to host her site, nor her decision to ask ibiblio for hosting, and that she really is just a paralegal with a passion for open source software and nothing better to do with her time than groklaw.

You can believe that she's lying, if you want, but she certainly hasn't evaded the issue at all. IIRC, IBM has also publicly denied any support for PJ or Groklaw. And if you believe their fine attorneys would allow them to lie about anything like that, you're nuts.

I know few people actually want to appear in court but since she has so much to say re SCO why not just accept the supoena and nail them in the courtroom.

This statement implies that the has tried to avoid the subpoena. She says "No one tried to serve me that I knew about. No one informed me of any deposition date." Again, she could be lying, but her articles on Groklaw over the years indicate that PJ has a deep and abiding respect for the law and the legal process, and it seems very likely that had SCO or BSF used the e-mail link on her web site to let her know they were looking for her to serve a subpoena on her, she would have given them the information they needed.

Also, it seems very unlikely to me that a person who knows the law as well as PJ obviously does would do anything so foolish as lying in public about elements of a lawsuit related to her personally -- leave that to SCO. I'm sure she even cleared her disclaimer with her attorney before posting this most recent article, which deliberately doesn't say much, and points out that since she's personally involved, she can't say much.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (3, Insightful)

Teancum (67324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619831)

As far as "free speech", while there are technicalities all over the place and it does get complicated with judges also claiming that you don't "lose your rights" when stuff happens like this, I would have to agree with you on a practical level. Once you have a lawsuit filed, you pretty much have to shut up.

Of course there is explicit legislation that is designed to stop this sort of behavior by "activist groups" and others who are clearly on a political campaign and have previously been exercising their 1st amendment rights prior to a lawsuit that attempts to shut them up: http://www.thefirstamendment.org/antislappresource center.html [thefirstamendment.org]

While SCO here is screwed financially as it is, normally this is something that is dangerous as the group (like PJ from Groklaw) which is sued, as long as they are on the safe side of libel laws, can counter sue for incredible amounts of money. In the arena of public opinion, it is also a P.R. nightmare to lose a SLAPP suit, not to mention it may have serious negative consequences if you are involved with other legal matters.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (1)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619905)

Did you read the article and the filing? What SCO wants to do is DEPOSE PJ for things she's said, and that she is mis-representing herself as not being employed by IBM. She is not being sued or are any other legal proceedings being brought against her by SCO. SCO's lawyers just want to ask her some questions.

While she won't discuss the particulars of the subpoena relating to her deposition, she won't be gagged. In fact she said: "I can say this: SCO in its wisdom has just guaranteed that the judges in SCO v. IBM and SCO v. Novell will have to read Groklaw. So, welcome Judge Kimball. Welcome, Judge Wells. We've enjoyed very much learning about the law by watching you at work. SCO told you something that isn't true." A rather cavalier attitude.

Not quite right.... (2, Interesting)

tinkerghost (944862) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620427)

This motion is filed under SCO v IBM in order to get the deposition of PJ in SCO v Novell(when & if it happens) admitted to the SCO v IBM evidence.

SCO has already stated an intent to depose PJ for the Novell case, they just want to be able to add it to the IBM case. The general consensus is that it won't happen. Final discloures & depositions were supposed to be done over a year ago - adding this deposition will effectively re-open discovery after a year of waiting & the PSJ's have been argued.

Worse for SCO, all of the things they are arguing should allow this deposition into SCO v IBM all happened while discovery was open. In other words, it's not new it's between 2 & 3 years old and they had the oportunity to do the deposition within the proper scope of discovery & didn't. NYCountryLawyer may have better input, but from my understanding, weather the deposition goes forward or not, this motion is unlikely to be granted.

Re:Fairly transparent what their strategy will be (1)

seebs (15766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620231)

I comment on legal cases I'm involved with all the time. My lawyer hates it, because it can constitute statements against interest, but it's not ilegal or anything.

Slashdotting (2, Funny)

hey (83763) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619549)

Her server is withstanding the Slashdotting pretty well.
This proves "she" must really be IBM. (Joke.)

Seriously, I hope someday, somebody can write a short (one page) clear and simple
document explaining who owns the various *nix names and code.
I'd like this short document to be sued and win so make it "proven".

Unix "ownership" (3, Informative)

MathFox (686808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619881)

Seriously, I hope someday, somebody can write a short (one page) clear and simple document explaining who owns the various *nix names and code. I'd like this short document to be sued and win so make it "proven".
I hate it to destroy your hopes, but Unix ownership is a mess. AT&T sued several times, handled title to System V code to Novell, who settled with UCB. (That's where Free/Open/NetBSD got their freedom.) SCO claims to have received ownership on SysV from Novell, which is currently contested in Utah District Court.

Many of the commercial Unices have some AT&T code in their kernels and utilities. Most of the original AT&T code has been bug-fixed out and there is serious dispute whether copyright applies on the remaining fragments. Other Unix variants are based on BSD code and lack any code where (AT&T/Novell/SCO) may claim copyright upon. Sun is a special case, as they contributed to SystemV and have more rights than mere SystemV licensees.

Are you still with me or did you lose the plot somewhere?

Sorry, you can not sue a document. There has to be a lawsuit regarding a real conflict between two legal entities.

"Legally assaults"? (0, Flamebait)

g051051 (71145) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619567)

Who writes these headlines? Why not have at least a modicum of neutrality? It's like when I listen to "Media Matters"...they start out with a bit called Media Minutes that reports things that I'm interested in and concerned about, but they use such loaded language that it's impossible to listen to objectively.

break it down (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619781)

>SCO has just filed court papers saying that they were unable to subpoena PJ of Groklaw.

The papers were filed on 4/3, two days ago.

>While they apparently sent their crack team of process servers out looking for random people named Pamela Jones, it would appear that they were unable to locate the bright yellow envelope labeled 'Email PJ' on the Groklaw website to ask for directions to serve her in person.

PJ's whereabouts were unknown for some time as stated in the filing. It is also, settled by case law that you cannot serve someone by email unless you have exhausted all possibly efforts to serve them in person in order to affect a certainty of awareness of the subpoena.

>They're once again accusing her of working for IBM or Novell, and Groklaw is now hosting over 20 documents PJ claims were planted in the media in an effort to discredit her. As she says, 'And so the stupidest lawsuit in the history of the world just got stupider. And a whole lot meaner.'"

Its a subpoena for a deposition. Not an assault. PJ does this as a full time job. She has enough backing and friends to muster together a motion to quash the subpoena. Lets get it on so that the realities that each side is claiming can be settled by the facts instead of by amatuer pundits such as myself.

That way all can find out just how baseless and 'mean' SCO is and how independant Groklaw really is.

As for Groklaw being a legal website based upon the truth, one should be reminded of the words of former Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis: 'Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants'.

If stock price translates to authority... (5, Interesting)

dasunst3r (947970) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619619)

... then SCO should be tagged "funny." If you take a look at their stock (SCOX) since 2000, you will notice that they have gone from $94 to a mere $0.89.

Re:If stock price translates to authority... (3, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620147)

If you take a look at their stock (SCOX) since 2000, you will notice that they have gone from $94 to a mere $0.89.
As much as I love bashing SCO, that's hardly unusual for that period of time.


For example, in the company I work for, in the same period, our stock has gone from approximately 1000 (split-adjusted) to 19 right now -- and we're even making a profit now, and weren't back then. Irrational exuberance [wikipedia.org] indeed!

It's called the dot-com bubble, and lots of stocks did that.

Truth, Justice, and the American way (3, Interesting)

WorthlessProgrammer (895488) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619651)

I may have been the last serious Linux/GCC/Python user that has not visited Groklaw, but what the hey; it is 0625, I am still at work, and needed to "escape" to something unique on-line.

The lady noted "Forsooth, methinks SCO folk need to get better aligned with truth, justice, and the American way, as the saying goes. But that's the judges' job, so I'll end my comments about this here."

Was this hyperbole, or does she really have significant faith in the American justice system ? And this is not a rhetorical question. Others that read her often may want to answer.

As for me, I have not been certain about the meaning of the "American way" for several years. As a former U.S. marine and Libertarian, I had a tendency to believe that the U.S. Constitution represented the most realistic opportunity for "justice".

It now seems that the implementation does not meet the requirements of the abstraction.

Re:Truth, Justice, and the American way (0, Redundant)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619751)

The Aerican Justice system works very well when compared to other justice systems.
It's not perfect, but no justice system CAN be perfect.

the Libertarian party is rotting your brain. SOrry,but it is. IT's like reading about the JFK assassination and moon hoaxs and then you start to see 'patterns' even though there aren't any.

I don't mean that as flamebait or a troll, I am serious. They are a bunch or corpatists and don't even know it.

~doG oN~

Re:Truth, Justice, and the American way (5, Insightful)

lenski (96498) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620191)

PJ has been flawlessly consistent in her trust in the U.S. legal system. She says that it can produce imperfect results, as can any human-created system, but it has a strong tendency to work in the right direction.

In the SCO case, PJ has in her own inimitable way, contributed to this case going the right way: She brings the actinic glare of illumination onto a process that SCO, and others, have tried to accomplish.

PJ started her blog several months before the SCO case became public knowledge, in order to connect geeks with legal concepts. She believed then and still believes that we (the technologists) should be aware of the rules of the game in order avoid being steamrolled by it.

I've been reading the blog since early 2003, and PJ sounds like a gentle spoken (she insists on decorum) but very very intelligent paralegal. The truth justice and the American way language is backed up by consistent and finely honed research and argument. Plus one additional ingredient, a very angry hornet's nest: 10,000+ pissed off developers, some of whom have been around from the inception of UNIX and derived technologies. PJ, more than anything else, has brought us together to face the threat from SCO and folks like them, and for that alone her contribution is inestimable.

Re:Truth, Justice, and the American way (1)

HangingChad (677530) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620345)

Was this hyperbole, or does she really have significant faith in the American justice system ? And this is not a rhetorical question.

After following Groklaw for years, my feeling is she really believes that. There is a recognition that some people will cynically game the system but a belief that it will work right in the end.

As a former U.S. marine and Libertarian, I had a tendency to believe that the U.S. Constitution represented the most realistic opportunity for "justice".

Sadly that may not be true anymore. Today the "American way" is seen by the rest of the world as orange jumpsuits, military tribunals, shackles and cages at GITMO. As the Secret Service pushing protesters a comfortable distance out of sight, the FBI being used to investigate political opponents, rigged elections, spying on Americans in the name of the war on terror and generally treating the Constitution like it's just a damn piece of paper. An upside down world where incompetence is rewarded with promotions and being a capable fund raiser is more highly prized than being qualified for the job.

Re:Truth, Justice, and the American way (1)

sconeu (64226) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620395)

Yes, PJ really *does* believe in the US Justice system. When people complain about the length of time this fiaSCO has taken, she counsels patience and reminds us that it will work.

Some interesting points (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619665)

According to everything I've read, SCO wants to depose PJ for the Novell case not the IBM case. But they also want to include the deposition in the IBM once it is done. All depositions in the IBM case should have been done by now. They are trying to do an end-around the rules.

Time enough... (1)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619759)

Maybe if SCO had spent has much time developing their product as they do/did filing baseless lawsuits and trying to serve groundless subpoenas, they might have been able to create a product that was relevant. Instead, they have a product that has never been anything more than a footnote in the world of Unix.

I take that back...SCO is serving a useful purpose. This will be used as a lesson in all business and law schools. "How to fuck your business, destroy your company, and piss off your stock holders 101".

I've said it before, I'll say it again. Those who can, innovate. Those who can't, litigate. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Re:Time enough... (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620319)

Yes, but the people in charge are still pulling mighty tidy salaries (afaik), so for a business school, this would be a lesson of the opposite type. "How to milk a company with a nonexistant product and no chance of survival for several years while pulling down a 99.9% percentile income."

Correction! (3, Informative)

dremorbius (88643) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619839)

Just to correct the article, the 20 documents refered to as listed on Groklaw were submitted
by SCO as evidence that PJ/Groklaw have interferred with their Busines and to justify
deposing her.

Most of them seem to be net gossip/comment.

All Slashdot-ers with initials PJ.... (5, Funny)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619871)

Email SCO with your message " I AM P.J!"

For authenticity you should be wearing your Spartacus gladiator arm shield or Roman slave tunic while typing.

I have finally understood SCO's business plan (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619927)

Because it has been a business plot from the beginning:
They want to get cash from a hollywood movie with Julia Roberts

More Chewbacca defense... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 7 years ago | (#18619947)

...they know their real case is going straight to hell, so another distraction about how they've been wronged. If they actually had assets left, you'd probably want to file a anti-SLAPP countersuit but since they'll be bankrupt ten times over when IBM, NOvell and everyone else have gotten their money it wouldn't do much at all.

Probably Want to Sue PJ (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18619971)

They probably are trying to get a good lock on PJ's identity so they can sue her. They sued IBM for interfering with business relations and Novell for slander of title. Plus there are the rinky dink lawsuits they filed against Autozone and Daimler Chrysler. Sueing PJ for slander or damaging their business relations would be a way for them to shut her down. She likely can't afford the sort of litigation costs SCO dishes out.

Re:Probably Want to Sue PJ (2, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620275)

No... they are trying to get the judge to read Groklaw so that they can file for mistrial on the grounds that the judge has been tainted with "biased misinformation" about the case.

Re:Probably Want to Sue PJ (1)

Alioth (221270) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620377)

It's likely she can - no doubt a legal defence fund would be very rapidly forthcoming from readers of Groklaw. Being a trained paralegal, she can do most of the footwork herself and would need to spend less money with a law firm. It's also likely that SCO would be out of business long before they could ever get her near a court, after all they still have the IBM and Novell cases to get through yet.

This should be a movie, no, better, a book (1)

cute-boy (62961) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620201)

Under-cover hero's, evil corporations, running from the law, big money, corruption, here and there talk of guns and plots of murder... they should make this into a movie!

Well better than a movie, I hope Pamela Jones one day writes a book about this. I have always enjoy her perspective of the world, and while she may not be unbiased, in this case, she's pretty much right on the mark for how it actually is.

So I am glad PJ is back on the site more, after an absence. Unless she's on a witness protection program, I am inclined to believe her if she says she was sick, (rather than 'running' from the warrant officers).

-R

SCO = Some Commie Organization (0, Redundant)

swschrad (312009) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620333)

what is with those inept fools? darl must be channelling pure black evil.

groklaw slashdotted now (2, Funny)

random coward (527722) | more than 7 years ago | (#18620397)

Thanks slashdot; you crashed groklaw.
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