decoration decoration
Stories

GROKLAW
When you want to know more...
decoration
For layout only
Home
Archives
Site Map
Search
About Groklaw
Awards
Legal Research
Timelines
ApplevSamsung
ApplevSamsung p.2
ArchiveExplorer
Autozone
Bilski
Cases
Cast: Lawyers
Comes v. MS
Contracts/Documents
Courts
DRM
Gordon v MS
GPL
Grokdoc
HTML How To
IPI v RH
IV v. Google
Legal Docs
Lodsys
MS Litigations
MSvB&N
News Picks
Novell v. MS
Novell-MS Deal
ODF/OOXML
OOXML Appeals
OraclevGoogle
Patents
ProjectMonterey
Psystar
Quote Database
Red Hat v SCO
Salus Book
SCEA v Hotz
SCO Appeals
SCO Bankruptcy
SCO Financials
SCO Overview
SCO v IBM
SCO v Novell
SCO:Soup2Nuts
SCOsource
Sean Daly
Software Patents
Switch to Linux
Transcripts
Unix Books
Your contributions keep Groklaw going.
To donate to Groklaw 2.0:

Groklaw Gear

Click here to send an email to the editor of this weblog.


Contact PJ

Click here to email PJ. You won't find me on Facebook Donate Paypal


User Functions

Username:

Password:

Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New User

No Legal Advice

The information on Groklaw is not intended to constitute legal advice. While Mark is a lawyer and he has asked other lawyers and law students to contribute articles, all of these articles are offered to help educate, not to provide specific legal advice. They are not your lawyers.

Here's Groklaw's comments policy.


What's New

STORIES
No new stories

COMMENTS last 48 hrs
No new comments


Sponsors

Hosting:
hosted by ibiblio

On servers donated to ibiblio by AMD.

Webmaster
Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 12:51 PM EDT

I am not now and I have never been a chair thrower. No, seriously. In my entire life, I've never once thrown a piece of furniture at a wall. For that matter, I have never in my life said that I would blankety-blank kill anyone, the way a sworn statement in the Google/Microsoft/Dr. Lee litigation says Steve Ballmer has.

I'm not saying I've never been angry. I know how to feel angry, but in my biggest quarrel ever, I can't recall even thinking about throwing furniture. For that matter, I can't remember my biggest quarrel ever. It takes a lot to make me mad, so it's a rare event.

So, imagine my surprise to learn from Daniel Lyons' article in Forbes that I hate MySQL for entering a partnership with SCO, and I summoned its CEO, Marten Mickos, to appear before a "Stalinist show trial" here on Groklaw, which he felt obliged to endure, "cackling" fanatic commenters and all, in hopes of restoring his reputation. As it happens, Marten and I were just discussing which day to publish an article he has written for Groklaw, so we were both surprised.

So, naturally, I asked Marten if what Forbes published about him was accurate, particularly whether he said, as Lyons reported, that "kowtowing to the open source 'community' is the price of doing business in the open source world". Marten has provided a statement, correcting the Forbes misinformation. Lyons wrote things that are not true. Why?

What Really Happened

When SCO announced the partnership with MySQL on September 4, Groklaw didn't even report it, let alone comment on it. I didn't see it as a significant story. We reported on the Google-Microsoft-Dr. Lee case instead. You can verify that for yourself, either by going to Search and using the keyword "MySQL", and on the dropdown list choosing "Stories." Or just go down the list on the Archives page.

The first reference to the partnership on Groklaw was a passing reference to it, without commentary, on September 8. If I cared about the business deal, I surely wouldn't have kept silent. I didn't care.

But I did have questions in my mind about the details. I'm sure you did too. Was this a situation where money would flow to SCO to enable them to prolong the litigation? Were there SCOsource licenses involved? No one knew. Then Marten made a statement about why he decided to do the deal. I didn't like a statement Marten made to the press about the SCO partnership. I wrote about it. I didn't write about the partnership with SCO as being the issue; it was the statement about it, the way he spoke about it.

Next, I interviewed Marten. One of the questions I asked him began like this: "I don't think that anyone feels at all bothered by you supporting their customers. Most in the community believe in this, as do I."

Isn't that clear? How can that in any honest way be twisted into me "denouncing" him as a "traitor" because he "dared to make a deal with SCO Group," as Lyons implies?

I didn't even initiate the interview. Someone at MySQL contacted me and asked if I'd like to do an interview with Marten. I accepted the offer. I don't think Stalinist show trials were set up that way, were they, with the defendant asking to appear?

So I agreed to do the interview, and as I clearly wrote in the article, I tried to ask questions that I thought readers would want me to ask. Marten answered very honestly, and as a result, many, including me, got our questions answered. It was Groklaw that broke the news that no money was going from MySQL to SCO, that rather, it was the other way around. Forbes' account, while mentioning the fact of the money being paid by SCO, seems to use it as a counter to Groklaw's alleged position, without revealing that I broke that story myself here on Groklaw. Is that honest?

Here's confirmation from Marten that my account is accurate, as he responds to two of the worst false statements in the Forbes article:

Forbes.com quote 1: "Mickos apparently hoped this Stalinist show trial might restore his reputation."

I don't feel like I have been on trial or before a tribunal at Groklaw. I volunteered to be interviewed by PJ. I did get some very specific questions and I gave some very specific answers. That's the way it is in the open source world. People are passionate and they want to dive deep into the subjects they care about, and I appreciate that sort of genuine interest.

Forbes.com quote 2: "Mickos says kowtowing to the open source 'community' is the price of doing business in the open source world."

Until yesterday I did not know what the word "kowtow" means and it is not part of my vocabulary. Having looked it up on answers.com I can state that this is not what I said in the interview with Forbes. I said that as part of doing business in the open source world, you have to listen to the community and show respect for it. Many times this input influences your decisions, but the decisions are always your own. It is simply a question of mutual respect.

Mutual respect. Does that match what you read in Forbes? So, the bottom line is, what Lyons wrote was not true. It was a distortion of what happened and what was said, and while factually incorrect, it was written in such a way as to cause Forbes' readers to think less of me, Groklaw, the Open Source community, and even Mr. Mickos, if you think about it. Now, I have a question for Forbes and particularly their lawyers: Does what Mr. Lyons wrote meet your journalistic standards?

How wrong does Mr. Lyons get to be in a story before some editor sees the need to pull him back from the edge? Don't you do fact-checking any more at Forbes? The editors could have seen by simply reading the Groklaw articles that what Lyons wrote about them wasn't true. Lawsuits are made of this, as I'm sure the lawyers will recognize immediately. I believe a correction is in order and I'll hope to see one. Surely if Fox News can issue a correction when they make a mistake, there is no reason Forbes can't also do the right thing. I hope they do. And to Sys-Con, which immediately spread the misinformation, I believe a correction is in order as well.

As for comments, Marten read and responded to them. I asked him to let me know if there were any over-the-top. There was only one that he thought wasn't polite, and I wrote to the commenter and asked him to rephrase his comment politely, which he did. That is one comment out of almost 700 comments. As for the alleged quotation about Mickos saying that a Groklaw comment said he had to obey the community, I can't find any such comment. I haven't read all the comments, but I searched by 5 different keywords, taken from the supposed quotation, and I can't find it.

Groklaw has a comments policy. It is our policy that you can't leave mean-spirited ad hominem attacks on anyone. It reads in part:

The Groklaw goal has always been civil speech and devotion to the truth, even when discussing those to whom we are opposed. Especially then....We don't need hatefulness, or crudity, or venom. The truth is enough.

That is what Groklaw is known for, actually. I get lots of email about it, and what most people tell me is that they enjoy Groklaw's polite atmosphere, and that it is unique on the Internet. Why then does Lyons wish to portray matters as a bunch of wild-eyed fanatics who loudly and rudely attack? Well, you are free to speculate. But ask yourself this: can you think of any companies that have, in recent history, attacked the community in the same or similar terms?

Want to See a Real Fanatic?

Would you like to see a real fanatic? Can you imagine what Lyons would do with this incident, if a FOSS person ever wrote such intemperate remarks? (Warning: bad language.)

The context is this: Cory Doctorow wrote on BoingBoing about Norway's public broadcaster putting 20,000 video clips and 12 radio stations online, but releasing them exclusively in Microsoft's DRM format for Windows Media Center. He wasn't happy about that decision, and he wrote about it.

A Microsoft employee, Cort Fritz, wrote what he later apologetically described as a "low quality and low tone" blog entry in reply, in which he called Doctorow some unbelievably unpleasant names, such as "liar" and "Communist". What is it with these people, throwing such words around? Don't they have lawyers to explain what defamation is and how to avoid it? An apology is certainly welcome, but why is that part of the incredible blog entry still there? An appropriate response is a correction and an apology. You can't call someone a Communist if they are not one, you know. Well, you can, but they can sue you for defamation, if they feel like it.

With the warning about language, you will find the blog entry educational as to Microsoft's culture. I hope the Norwegian public broadcaster notes one sentence in particular: "Microsoft could even shut itself down and take it's video codec ball home and stop everyone from playing." Precisely. *Now* do you understand why Massachusetts insisted on open formats, open standards?

The employee is not a worker bee, by the way. This page says he is "lead Architect Evangelist for Microsoft's Media and Entertainment group". There are no readers on Groklaw who can hold a candle to his display of overbearing, nasty, and inappropriate ad hominem language. If I were unfair, I could make it a headline ("Fanatical Microsoft Employee's Outburst Raises Firestorm "), instead of just a paragraph to illustrate my point, which is that some elements in the media are not playing fair. They don't write about an incident like this, while religiously combing the Internet, trying to find fault with everything and everyone FOSS, making big issues of trifles to paint the FOSS community as if they were out-of-control zealots, while ignoring entirely over-the-top language from Microsoft.

Let me show you an example of what I mean. Here's a Sys-Con article, "Linus Torvalds Outburst Sparks Fierce Debate: Does Open Source Software Need Specs?" about a comment Linus made on LKML. Read it for yourself, please. Does it read like an "outburst"? Do you see any "fierce debate"? Particularly when you compare it with the Cort Fritz display, I think we can agree that there is no "outburst" meriting a headline in Linus' case. Certainly nothing on a par with the Microsoft employee's performance. No one is called any names. And no chairs were thrown. Some folks had a discussion about the best way to write software. That is all. It qualifies for a headline in no way, unless you are itching to find any little thing to try to make Linus look bad. The same with the Lyons piece. It's a character assassination, nothing less. And already some are showing that they think what he wrote is true, because they quote it as if it were true, so my reputation indubitably was negatively impacted by Lyons' article, which is why a correction is appropriate.

Here's the bottom line. The FOSS community is built on an ethical foundation. Compare, for example, the IBM attorneys' behavior in the SCO v. IBM litigation with that of SCO's attorneys. Do I have to say one word? Compare this article with what Lyons wrote about me. Do you think my politeness in return is because I don't know how to do what he does? No. I remain polite because I want to. And you know what? The reason people flock to Groklaw in such numbers is, I believe, because my readers know I won't do to him what he does to me and to the community.

The interview with Marten was done to play fair, not to attack him, as he has testified, to give him an opportunity to express himself. It's the Open Source way to discuss concerns openly, because our work is done in public. You can compare discussions like the one on MySQL or the specifications with a kind of shareholder meeting. Everyone speaks and expresses what they feel is the appropriate direction, but everyone is working toward a common goal. One FOSS goal is to play fair, despite any disagreements, and that, to tell you the truth, is what Microsoft really needs to worry about.

Where FOSS really beats Microsoft as a business proposition is on values. There is real business value in values, in trust. In business, your reputation can bring you business or cause you to lose it. SCO is Exhibit A.

The funny thing is, though, even a dishonest businessman appreciates knowing that a business partner can be trusted not to steal, not to stab him in the back, not to be tricky or change the terms of a deal midstream, to play fair. And that is really what differentiates not only FOSS from Microsoft but Groklaw from Forbes, in my opinion. People know I'm doing my best to publish the truth. What do you make of this paragraph in this Forbes article?

Moglen’s comments would be easy to dismiss, except for the woe he’s already caused the software industry. For nearly a decade, Moglen has been the chief legal officer at the Free Software Foundation, in charge of defending the General Public License, a subversive bit of lawyering that turns property law on its head by prohibiting the users of open-source software from charging money for it.

That isn't factually true. You can charge money for GPL software. Period. It isn't nice, either, of course, but let's just stick to facts and whether Forbes gets its facts right. It's comical, of course, because Microsoft users can't charge money for Microsoft software, last I heard. I guess when you are stretching the truth, it's hard to keep track of what you are writing.

If you can't get true facts from a journalist, is he still a journalist? How about if it happens over and over and over? How about if it happens every time Linux or FOSS or Groklaw is the subject? And if there is no correction, even when facts are provided, what do you think now? When you are looking for information, will you trust that source? If we apply Winston Churchill's definition of fanatic --"A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject" -- between us two, who is the fanatic in this picture?

So, the next time you read some bile about me or FOSS from Mr. Lyons' pen, just consider the source, look at his record, and then you'll be able to evaluate what you read. That's my advice.

And to my fellow journalists, please don't repeat his innuendo-laced tall tales as if they were true, not without checking with me first. Character assassination only works if the slur is spread.


  


Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL | 303 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Lyons the judge...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:07 PM EDT
"for which SCO holds some copyrights"

So, how was he able to ascertain that SCO holds "some copyrights"?

This is just one example of where an editor should have said, "Hey Dan,
what proof do you have that SCO holds these copyrights?" Oh, you have
none? Then you must say "allegedly hold..."

Forbes just lost ALL credibility in my book...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: Minsk on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:09 PM EDT

See the Clickable link example below the comment form, and remember to set the post mode to HTML.

(Deleted my previous link, hopefully did not mangle anyone's legit OT. I misread a date line)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Let's all kowtow the Open Source community
Authored by: clark_kent on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:11 PM EDT
If I had a choice between the Open Source community and Steve Ballmer, I would
kowtow the Open Source community. Anyone that wants to get anywhere with
Microsoft, has to kowtow Steve Ballmer or Bill Gates!

kowtow (from Answers.com) - To kneel and touch the forehead to the ground in
expression of deep respect, worship, or submission, as formerly done in China.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections, if any are needed...
Authored by: wood gnome on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:11 PM EDT
Did I truly get here first?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Just a little word to the wise
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:11 PM EDT
The more time you spend defending yourself instead of just ignoring these
trolls, the more credibility you give them.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Next Interview Idea's
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:18 PM EDT
Im sure the Groklaw community would love to add to your interview question list.
Maybe a "10 questions you would like to ask" before interviewing say,
Steve Ballmer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is this an attempt to locate PJ?
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:26 PM EDT
By writing and having this story published, is Lyons trying to get PJ, or Mr.
MIkos, to sue for slander? Any such action would have the result that PJ would
be exposed, either as the plaintiff or a material witness. Of course, I do not
know whether Mr Mikos could bring an action what with Forbes being a US
publication and he being a "foreigner". An action in a Swedish court
might, however, be very interesting.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections
Authored by: darkonc on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:27 PM EDT
Corrections thread. Just in case humans are fallible.

---
Powerful, committed communication. Touching the jewel within each person and bringing it to life..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Authored by: Groklaw Lurker on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:32 PM EDT
Forbes lost all credibility on the subject of FOSS and Open Source long ago, due
in large part to Mr. Lyons. He is either grossly ignorant about FOSS and Open
Source or unforgiveably biased against it and the community - unforgiveable
until he elects to change his ways and approach the subject with an open mind
anyway.



---
(GL) Groklaw Lurker
End the tyranny, abolish software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Forbes gets it wrong again; work for free, no way
Authored by: Chris Lingard on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:40 PM EDT

Here is a paragraph from the article that Forbes published:

Moglen's comments would be easy to dismiss, except for the woe he's already caused the software industry. For nearly a decade, Moglen has been the chief legal officer at the Free Software Foundation, in charge of defending the General Public License, a subversive bit of lawyering that turns property law on its head by prohibiting the users of open-source software from charging money for it.

This is a piece of ill informed reporting, typical of the low standards of present day cheap journalism. Though using the word journalism is an insult to the many professional writers, that check source and facts, and write a well-informed article. It would be better if we could ignore such low standard work, but it is subsidises by advertising, so people might think the author knows what he is talking about.

Do I work for free? I do not. Do I give away programs? I do not. The GPL gives everybody the freedom to use other peoples source. Is this person payed to write this rubbish, and if so, by whom?

And why should a user charge money; users generally pay money to use. Or does Microsoft pay people to suffer their systems?

The user does not have to pay to use software; but often pays for support, or for implementation. Of course the user has the option to do this work themselves, and not pay anyone.

You can buy proprietary software, and pay for everything; and have no choice or options to get what you really wanted. You can dumb down your business, and not need any skilled staff, pay everyone the minimum wage, and use propriety software.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Forbes Loves Money
Authored by: Mark Levitt on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:52 PM EDT
"except for the woe he’s already caused the software industry."

This is why Forbes keeps printing Lyon's articles.

The companies, bankers, investors, journalists, etc. who've collectively made
countless millions from the recent invention of selling bits of data in little
boxes for lots of money are terrified of it all going away.

I suspect the steam engine and sail making companies felt the same way
when the world changed underneath their feet as well.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Strike that Jolly Roger, you Cad!
Authored by: Fogey on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 01:57 PM EDT
For nearly a decade, Moglen has been the chief legal officer at the Free Software Foundation, in charge of defending the General Public License, a subversive bit of lawyering that turns property law on its head by prohibiting the users of open-source software from charging money for it.

Hold on here! If a "user" charges money for your software, isn't that what they call "PIRACY?" Are the defenders of capitalistic righteousness at Forbes seriously saying that by granting license to use your IP you must grant each user unrestricted status as a distributor?

I, for one, am glad to have someone like Mr. Moglen defending the rights of those of us who believe in the validity of Copyrights. I am shocked, shocked, I tell you that Forbes would support blatant IP piracy!

---
Old age and treachery ALWAYS
beats Youth and enthusiasm!

[ Reply to This | # ]

FOSS is capitalism not communism.
Authored by: kawabago on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:02 PM EDT
The idea of a corporation was invented by the Dutch to share the risk of sending
ships to sea. That way if a ship is lost you only lose what you invested and
not your whole fortune. The basic premise is that people can accomplish more by
pooling resources than they can working alone.

With FOSS, the cost, or work, of developing and maintaining the software ship is
spread across many users. Once it's built, anyone can use the ship to transport
their product to the customer. Even peole who don't contribute but only are
users in fact help the project by increasing the user base and thus the
potential pool of customers. FOSS projects are usually maintained by a
corporation, albeit a non-profit one, but still a corporation.

So the only difference between a Forbes 100 company and a FOSS project is the
way the profit is generated. The object is still profit so it's still
capitalism.


---
TTFN

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:06 PM EDT
I wonder what ballmer calls his customers when they decide not to buy something
from them.

Ballmer = LOL

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sys-Con - no surprise
Authored by: cmc on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:14 PM EDT
Is it just me, or does this have the same exact feel as the Sys-Con / LinuxWorld
/ MOG fiasco? Given that, it comes as no surprise that Sys-Con would
immediately spread the misinformation reported by Lyons. All they care about
are page hits. They don't care why, how, or where they come from.

cmc

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Authored by: geoff lane on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:15 PM EDT
It looks like Lyons doesn't like to be interviewed himself.

---
I'm not a Windows user, consequently I'm not
afraid of receiving email from total strangers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Follow the money
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:17 PM EDT
I believe it is time for the SEC to get involved and investigate whether there
is stock manipulation going on with the folks over at Forbes, perhaps in
conspiracy with others.

My understanding is that Journalists aren't allowed to knowingly report
inaccurate/misleading information for the purpose of affecting stock prices;
either for their benefit, or the benefit of a co-conspirator.

A functioning SEC should be able to figure out fairly quickly if someone
deserves jail time, or the opportunity to turn and implicate others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

PJ et all - Beware of trolls (that is what Lyons is now)
Authored by: eamacnaghten on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:22 PM EDT
I do not know what the readership of Groklaw is, nor do I know what how many people read Dan Lyons' articles, however, it would not surprise me if Mr Lyons drools at the concept of getting Groklaw readers to read his articles.

Remember - it pays him to get hits to his stories. If he can stir things up so his pages get the readers, that comments and emails fly to him, then I believe he is laughing all the way to the bank. I do not believe it concerns him how accurate or otherwise his articles are - there is no evidence of him trying to be accurate certainly.

Beware of this kind of trolling. Remember - the best way to treat trolls is to ignore them. Perhaps we should really be ignoring Dan Lyons now.

Web Sig: Eddy Currents

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reputation
Authored by: rp$eeley on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:23 PM EDT
After a while it becomes obvious that Mr Lyons cares not one iota about
reputation, but one would think a publication like FORBES certainly would.
Whenever the occasion presents itself, I always point students toward PJ and
Groklaw as examples of good journalism. Thank God for good examples!

[ Reply to This | # ]

On Throwing Chairs
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:28 PM EDT
Unlike PJ I love to throw a chair now and again. But I try to throw chairs
responsibly. I first make sure there is no one in the way of the flying chair,
then I make sure that it isn't heading close to any lamps or windows. I only
throw chairs that I personally own or have gotten permission to throw from their
owners. Everyone should try chair throwing - it is very cathartic. Maybe then
we could petition the Olympic people and it could be an official event. Like
Syncronized Swimming [my apologies to the Sycronized Swimming fan(s) out
there].

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Authored by: blacklight on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:56 PM EDT
"Would you like to see a real fanatic? Can you imagine what Lyons would do with this incident, if a FOSS person ever wrote such intemperate remarks? (Warning: bad language.)"

Cory Doctorow is a man after my own evil, black heart - a soulmate, in a matter of speaking and a match in heaven or hell depending on whether heaven or hell is your favorite place. The two of us should have a field day going at each other by the rules of the Marquis de Sade rather than the Marquis of Queensberry, but not on PJ's forum and certainly not in her living room. Those who knew me well at Columbia University would say that I always react like a civilized human being. But the ones who really knew me would warily ask: "Did this rat [aka "me"] tell you which civilization he had in mind?" I am lucky that my late mother knew only one side of me, although she suspected that there were other sides of me as well - all of them bad. The one thing I dreaded was anyone bringing their grievances about me to her. Then I knew I was done for.

Having said that, let me emphasize that as a guest of her site, I do respect (with occasional lapses) the right of PJ's to run her own site as she sees fit.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 02:58 PM EDT
I don't think Forbes has that much of a reputation. It would be crazy to trust
anything that's printed there. I don't know who buys it and why.

[ Reply to This | # ]

ad hominem, tu quoque, post hoc, etc.
Authored by: CraigV on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:09 PM EDT
There is a marvelous book, "Attacking Faulty Reasoning" by
T. Edward Damer, that clearly explains the difference
between proper and improper means of discussion. In
short, you must first be ready to accept that your
pre-conceived ideas might be wrong. Then you must
substantiate your initial ideas and honestly rebut the
counterclaims without using irrelevant means (ad hominem,
etc.). In any case, all participants must bear in mind
that the ultimate goal of a discussion is to sort out fact
from fiction and to try to zero in on a correct conclusion
or course of action; the goal is NOT to "win" the
argument.

This is probably old hat to the legal and scientific minds
of Groklaw, but might be helpful to others.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Funny thing about Syscon and Forbes
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:12 PM EDT

Personally, I rate them in the same category as the "supermarket tabloids". You know the ones. Everyone has seen them. They have such titles as:

    Three headed baby born to an Alien, Elvis is the expecting father.
There's no evidence of course. All the articles are being "covered up" by one group or another. Somewhat amusing and always strikes the same thought: that poor author needs to seriously get a life.

Google should have a check box when you're searching through news items: "Show supermarket tabloid articles!". Ah well, I'm sure you get the point. After having read the articles from some of the "authors" that fill Syscon and Forbes, I no longer give them any clicks at all.

RAS

[ Reply to This | # ]

Irony
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:37 PM EDT
PJ has no business complaining about ad hominem attacks by Microsoft employees.
She did her fair share of ad hominem attacks against people she dislikes. Did
everyone forget about the evil yahoos already?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • Probable troll.... - Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 04:04 PM EDT
    • Example, please? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 05:02 PM EDT
      • Irony - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 06:38 AM EDT
      "we license WM codecs to Linux"
      Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:47 PM EDT
      Link

      Really? So when my boxed set of SuSE 10 arrives, it will be able to play WM material, will it?

      Or does that only happen if SuSE/Novell pay a lot of money and/or violate the GPL? (I can't see that happening, Novell are playing very fair from what I have seen.)

      And in any case, how do they (I assume he means the Criminal Monopoly) licence anything to Linux, since Linux is neither an individual nor a corporate body? You can't, as yet, licence anything to a concept, or a specification, or a name, or a kernel, or anything else inanimate, although apparently dead men can and do vote.....

      Does anyone know what the position really is?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      I Have Read The Forbes Article and.....
      Authored by: mondo on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:48 PM EDT
      I call troll.

      Not even a good troll, he is hoping to be bombarded by open source fans so he
      can say that "just by speaking my mind, the OSS fanatics have tried to shut
      me down".

      My suggestion: PJ, write to his bosses with a firmly worded letter pointing out
      the errors in the article (or, for brevity, the correct bits) and request an
      apology.

      Maybe, one day, he'll be found out.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Steel gauntlet challenge
      Authored by: AllParadox on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:48 PM EDT
      In the days of the personal duel, when one's honor had been impugned, you
      removed your gauntlet (a sort of long leather glove), and slapped your opponent
      across the face with it. Everyone knew it as a challenge to a duel, that only a
      coward would refuse.

      Earlier, of course, full sets of plate armor had steel gauntlets ("and So
      the Knight in Rusty Armour rode, to her aid", tum de dum de dum).

      So let us make this a Steel Gauntlet Challenge.

      On Groklaw, and almost nowhere else in the world, is there civil discussion.

      On Groklaw, as an affirmative act, the subject of a story can be asked if any
      posted comments are offensive and incorrect. Anywhere else, you have to find
      journalists and publishers, or moderators or site administrators, and tell them,
      and most other places cannot be bothered to respond, much less deal with
      offensive material.

      On Groklaw, PJ deals with it.

      The consequence is credibility. In the long run, fear the credible.

      ---
      PJ deletes insult posts, not differences of opinion.

      AllParadox; retired lawyer and chief Groklaw iconoclast. No legal opinions,
      just my opinion.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Stretching the truth
      Authored by: wvhillbilly on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:49 PM EDT
      Better be careful how you do that. Stretch it too far and it's liable to snap
      back on you!

      ---
      What goes around comes around, and the longer it goes the bigger it grows.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      The Print Media is having to resort to Tabloid Journalism
      Authored by: John_Doe#1 on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:50 PM EDT
      The Print Media is having to resort to Tabloid Journalism because their ship is sinking and what better place to start than to pick a fight with the electronic press.

      Just like Video killed the radio star, the internet is replacing a now obsolete form of news delivery.

      Forbes realized they were on the losing end of the battle when after mass mailing the Cue Cat and choking up the mail box of every subscriber with a useless peice of computer hardware that didn't inspire people to scan their little barcodes that would redirect them to Forbes advertizers.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Language and style on Groklaw
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 03:51 PM EDT
      PJ:
      I think your language and style is more humilitating than name calling or
      displays of violence (like chair throwing).
      I'm sure it is already very embarrashing to the M$ shills of various kinds, and
      they so far are unable to handle you properly.
      Way to go!
      Hope you'll be able to cope with the forthcoming attacks both mentally and
      monetarily!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Yossarian on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 04:03 PM EDT
      > So, imagine my surprise to learn from Daniel Lyons'
      >article in Forbes that I hate MySQL for entering a
      >partnership with SCO

      OK PJ you made your point; Lynos's article is baseless.

      The thing I don't get is the motive to publish such
      a baseless article.

      Any guesses?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Iceberg!
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 04:29 PM EDT
      If Mr. Lyons is so wrong about this subject, what other subjects is he wrong
      about?
      If Forbes is so biased here, what about there?

      The MS groupies, even as they applaud this story, will discount Forbes as an
      information source. (If we can get this trash in print, so can those folks...)

      Journalism lives and dies on trust.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 04:30 PM EDT
      Well...I had a free subscription to forbes...just emailed them and told them to
      cancel it. Told them if they are going to print Daniel Lyon's lies and not
      retractions even after being proved wrong their rag was not worth getting..not
      even for free.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      "Sys-Con, which immediately spread the misinformation"
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 04:50 PM EDT

      Sys-Con, Sys-Con ... rings a bell.

      Didn't they have another unfortunate misinformation episode a few months back,
      with one of their contributors bad-mouthing Groklaw, PJ and the entire free
      software community on a fact-impaired basis?

      Who was it? MEG, MAG ... no, that's it, MOG.

      Just a coincidence, though, I'm sure.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      he might be creating an artificial conflict
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:00 PM EDT
      To me this smells like Lyons is creating and nuturing a conflict to get more
      people to read his articles and raise his profile. The coverage on Groklaw and

      elsewhere - even though negative - has got to be sending some significant
      traffic to his articles at Forbes.

      It also strikes me that he is using words and descriptions that are imprecise
      or constructed in a way that while giving an incorrect impression, are
      generally not literally or demonstrably wrong.

      I understand the temptation and sometimes need for correcting information
      that is wrong. But advances are more generally made by promoting good and
      correct information - there is just too much stuff out there that is wrong. So
      I
      would not give this guy more attention than necessary.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      • Perhaps - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 04:00 AM EDT
      Question for PJ and Mickos
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:15 PM EDT
      Did Lyons contact either of you for comment before
      publishing his article?

      Darkside, not logged in.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:35 PM EDT
      Again, quoting (as best as I recall) Scott Adams, who so succinctly described
      the nature of such “journalists.”

      “A reporter can spend hours painstakingly researching the facts about a story,
      or just write what someone says. Both approaches pay the same.”

      Dan
      IANAL, Heck IANAAA

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      The Cort Fritz Blog Entry
      Authored by: tredman on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:52 PM EDT
      "An apology is certainly welcome, but why is that part of the incredible
      blog entry still there?"

      Actually, I'm in complete understanding of the way Mr. Fritz eventually handled
      it. In his reply to Cory's response, he admitted that he got out of control.
      He also states the reason that he's leaving the original tirade up was because
      he was owning up to his less than stellar behavior. Alot of people could have
      deleted the post and denied that little part of history (just ask how much the
      Wayback Machine irks SCO in that regard). But he fessed up, admitted he got
      carried away, and the debate goes on, albeit at a much lower volume level.

      He may not have apologized for the content of the message, but at least he did
      for it's delivery.

      Through it all, you still have to give much credit to Cory for taking the high
      road, not allowing the fracas to deteriorate into unbridled mayhem. In fact, it
      was most likely Cory's level-headed delivery that made Cort take pause. Many of
      those in the corporate community could learn a great deal from him.

      ---
      Tim
      "I drank what?" - Socrates, 399 BCE

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Setting the record straight...
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 05:58 PM EDT
      Is Forbes likely to make a retraction? I think not. Apology? never. They cater to the money hungry people that just can't get enough, and they feel that there is no money in FOSS so they enjoy putting it down all while worshiping those getting rich off of proprietary software.

      What they don't know is that many people are making a good living while embracing FOSS. So, give them what they want! Some journalistic person could write a story for which discusses, and actually demonstrates, how the FOSS movement can be a cash-cow for those willing to embrace it. Not only does FOSS save BIG bucks, but it also creates many service related markets that did not exist just ten years ago. The world and many markets in it are changing rapidly so they need to learn how to get on board with it or they will definitely loose out in the future.

      I know there are those out there that don't want the FOSS system to be exploited, but building an economic system that is actually in support of it is a win-win situation for everyone! And even the proprietary companies can survive as so long as they understand the shifts in the marketplace coming over the next few years. Right now I think Forbes owes a favor, and publishing a factual article on this topic could straighten things out a little while boosting the idea to those who might invest in our cause. And if Forbes won't do it, then maybe a competitor to Forbes will!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 07:45 PM EDT
      Interesting, informative, sensitive, thoroughly researched and well written.
      This kind of reporting is why I keep coming back to Groklaw.

      Thank you, PJ.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      "bad language"???
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 07:54 PM EDT
      Unless it's been altered since PJ wrote about it, I find it difficult to see any
      bad language in Cort's blog entries. He uses a two letter abbreviation for
      bovine manure twice, and he kicks a donkey once. Is that really so bad? Mind
      you, that doesn't mean that I agree with him!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 09:43 PM EDT
      Daniel Lyons is a known Microsoft shill, as virtually everything he has ever
      written about Linux or anything else related to OSS has demonstrated.

      This guy is about as much a "journalist" as Judy Miller at the NYT.
      She is a propagandist for the neocons and he is a propagandist for Microsoft.

      Both of them need to be fired - which will never happen because both the NYT and
      Forbes are run by people with stakes in the related powers that be.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, October 18 2005 @ 10:44 PM EDT
      I just got reading the Forbes article. The style of writing looked hauntingly
      familiar -- like Maureen O'Gara's style. *GASP* Could it be that Mr. Lyons is
      a pen name for MOG? I dunno, Halloween is approaching. But then again, this
      could just be another conspiracy *wink, wink*.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Compare this:
      Authored by: DaveJakeman on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 08:51 AM EDT

      (the Forbes article) to this

      The difference? Mine was a joke.

      There is a small grain of truth in the Forbes article and that is what was required to try and make its other nastiness stick. That grain of truth is the roasting Marten received here. It seems Marten has come through it unscathed, but at least whilst it was occurring, myself and I think some others felt uncomfortable about what was happening. (At least one of those posts is gone now.)

      But then, visit almost any forum on the internet and you will see different viewpoints on the smallest of things, disagreements even, expressed passionately. That happens when communication can occur freely within a large group. Different people have different data, experience and viewpoints. The larger the group, the greater the probability of a disagreement occurring. And Groklaw is big.

      What comes across strongly in the Forbes article is its bias, twist and denigration.

      The Forbes article is a one-way flow. It's just: "here it is". It doesn't offer the reader the chance to bite back. Imagine posting an article like that here at Groklaw.

      ---
      Should one hear an accusation, first look to see how it might be levelled at the accuser.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      PJ, Stick To Your Strengths
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:50 AM EDT
      I've enjoyed reading Groklaw to get very detailed breifings on SCO, and other,
      stories. I am not at all interested in the 'mud slinging' events on the side.
      Focus on your strengths PJ. Your strengths are; attention to detail, a
      knowledge of the law and the ability to do great research. I'm sure you have
      many other strengths as well but, this other stuff could tarnish your
      credibility.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: The Cornishman on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 12:26 PM EDT
      Hey! How would calling someone a communist attract a defamation suit, and would
      calling someone a democrat or a monarchist be taking a similar risk? It's not
      illegal to be a communist, I believe, not even in the USA. In other parts of
      the world, much bigger and more important than the USA, it's the only way to get
      on.

      ---
      (c) assigned to PJ

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 12:41 PM EDT
      I was going to respond to Cort's blog, but you need a .net passport to post.
      More Microsoft lock in. Wasn't worth the trouble to give up privacy to respond
      to, no, I'll refrain from the word "idiocy", how about a policy that
      tends to deprive you of the fair use of material you have purchased. And I do
      mean purchased, not leased or licensed. If it wasn't purchased, then I wouldn't
      have to pay taxes on it!
      I have to shut down, my blood pressure is climbing.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 12:46 PM EDT
      "...Moglen has been the chief legal officer at the Free Software
      Foundation, in charge of defending the General Public License,..."

      Sounds like a pretty important fact to me. I really appreciate Eben Moglen's
      hard work. He has brought the open software movement a long way!!!!

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      No, Really, Steve Ballmer's never thrown a chair, either.
      Authored by: crythias on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 04:20 PM EDT
      "I have never, honestly, thrown a chair in my life," Microsoft's CEO said in a morning keynote at Gartner's Symposium/ITxpo here.
      From ZDNET : Ballmer: Trusting Vista, battling Google.
      Just being fair. And peculiarly astonished about equal statements between our gentle host and the symbol of much anguish on these boards. Within the span of less than 24 hours, no less.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Rosenberg chooses to let it die rather than make it right
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:42 PM EDT
      It has been two days since this weblog was published and it still fraudulently portrays PJ and Groklaw as on the wrong side of this issue. Only by reading the comments following the blog does he admit to being duped by Forbes and Lyons. What gives that would place someone at OSDL to "let it die" rather than:

      a) correct his own blog about the issue
      b) contact Forbes about the untruths by Lyons

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      You don't get it
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 04:16 AM EDT

      Forbes is in business to make money by selling mags (and selling advertising in those mags). Its revenue depends on how many it sells. Sensational lies sell more mags than sober truth.

      Therefore Forbes will print sensational lies. Get used to it.

      There was a time when something called "editorial integrity" influenced what the media published. No more. Success is measured solely in $.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      could anyone explain to me...
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 09:00 AM EDT
      ...what does the second sentence below have to do with the first?

      "The FOSS community is built on an ethical foundation. Compare, for
      example, the IBM attorneys' behavior in the SCO v. IBM litigation with that of
      SCO's attorneys."


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Forbes once exposed false journalism
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 09:16 AM EDT
      I watched a movie called "Broken Glass" a year or so ago about a
      writer at The New Republic, Stephen Glass, who fabricated entire articles and
      covered his tracks using extreme subterfuge for years until he was called out by
      the Forbes Internet department. The Forbes reporter got suspicious regarding an
      article Glass wrote regarding a hacker convention that didn't exist. Basic fact
      checking by the Forbes people led to the discovery of dozens of fabricated
      articles in past issues of The New Republic.

      Even though the humorously-named "Lyons" is merely a commentater and
      not a fact-reporting journalist and thus is "free" from ethical
      considerations a journalist must adhere to (unlike the "blogger" PJ
      who holds herself to a higher standard when it comes to the facts she comments
      on) basic human decency should dictate a policy of not bearing false witness.

      It took the outsiders at the newly-formed Internet division of Forbes to expose
      the corruption at the once-regarded New Republic, so it is not surprising that
      it is up to PJ to blow the whistle on Forbes.

      But, will there be an apology from Lyons' editor and publisher? Not sure.
      However, media consummers have a way of passing judgement where the media
      players won't -- I reference CBS and Dan Rather.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 10:08 AM EDT
      PJ:
      He called Doctorow some unbelievably unpleasant names, such as "liar" and "Communist"...

      Communist is only an derogatory term is some countries.
      While I have no doubt it was meant as such by Cort Fritz. Your post makes it seem like you agree that communism is evil.

      Considder following example:
      He called Doctorow some unbelievably unpleasant names, such as "liar" and "brunette"...

      A person who might not be a brunette, but more of a dark blonde may feel kinda ambivalent about such a sentence.

      Sorry about nitpicking.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Correcting Forbes' Untrue Account About MySQL
      Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, October 20 2005 @ 10:12 AM EDT
      You can't call someone a Communist if they are not one, you know. Well, you can, but they can sue you for defamation, if they feel like it.

      Hey! Not everyone thinks "communist" is an insult, comrade!

      Besides, doesn't defamation consist of more than name calling? Doesn't a defamer have to allege something more-or-less provable? If I call you a "feeble-minded Linux supremacist", is that actionable? (I didn't, but hypothetically.)

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw © Copyright 2003-2013 Pamela Jones.
      All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective owners.
      Comments are owned by the individual posters.

      PJ's articles are licensed under a Creative Commons License. ( Details )