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So. What Now?
Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 02:38 PM EST

I took a few days off from writing any articles, partly to try to make a serious dent in transcribing the Comes v. Microsoft exhibits. We're in the home stretch, and a quiet weekend, marking on a curve, is perfect. I know there's lots going on, other than work.

I also needed to take some time to think about the recent discovery about Novell taking money from Microsoft and contractually agreeing to show up at Open XML standards meetings and events. Should Groklaw stop helping people like that, I asked? Is it time to shut Groklaw down? If not, is there a way to carve out helping Linux and FOSS, which is what we are about, from helping self-interested executives and board members so that in essence we end up being used by them so they get larger piles of money because we worked ourselves to the bone and then they repay the community with such a deal as this?

Yes, I'm furious. Or I was. I always tell you the truth. And the truth is I felt used and abused. How could Novell enter into such a deal? Then top it off with selling 882 patents to a Microsoft-organized consortium? Why do I bother, I wondered? More seriously, I asked myself should I ask you to help? We're all volunteers here. No one pays us, and I feel a responsibility not to ask you to do anything that isn't worth doing. So I had to think this through.

If you note the dates in our Archives, March is when we were staying up 'til 4 in the morning covering the second SCO v. Novell trial in Utah, which started on March 8, and that same month Novell entered into this humiliating deal with Microsoft, agreeing to get paid in part for showing up for a contractually set number of OpenXML standards meetings and events. It was signed on March 29, the day before the jury ruled that Novell did not transfer the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights to Santa Cruz in 1995. Reading the excuses from a couple of Novell employees after the news of the work agreement broke justifying the deal makes me even more furious, because there is nothing they should say except, "I'm sorry we made the community look like we sell out for money." And they are not sorry.

I don't wish to help people like that.

But I love using the GNU/Linux operating system, and I'm offended by the scurrilous attacks on it. So, how to help Linux survive the rape and pillage the forces behind SCO intended when there are folks in the community doing such harm, whether intentional or not?

Is it intentional? Or does the heart find ways to justify what people want to do because they personally benefit? I leave that part to God. I can't read hearts. I analyze behavior only. But I see results. It's depressing to find out that community members are so easy to buy off, which is how I view it.

But, there we are. They are. And let's face it. There has always been a segment of the community who thought getting business involved in FOSS would be a good thing, even if some compromise had to make it possible. In some ways, it has been helpful, but in others, it's the problem. If there is one thing that covering the legal news for the FOSS community for nearly a decade has taught me, it's that most corporations in the IT field are a teensy bit disgusting, don't you agree? So when they join the community or at least seem to, they bring their ugly baggage with them, their way of approaching things. It's not the community's way at all. Novell is Exhibit A, and they aren't even the worst. Wall Street seems to have no ethics that I can discern. They seem to be willing to destroy anything if there's money in it, including the entire world's economy for their own short-term benefit, so why am I surprised? Being a public company means you have to deal with Wall Street, after all, and they are the way they are, so it no doubt was a complicated situation for Novell once Elliott made a play. Was Microsoft behind that too? Other dark forces? I don't know. But would it surprise you?

I watched an author recently talk about a book on Calvin Coolidge she's just written, essentially saying he was a better president than people think. Why? He believed in small government and he reduced the budget.

Calvin Coolidge. Lordy. If there is a top ten list of worst presidents in the history of the nation, might he win the top spot? He is definitely in the top ten.

On the same channel, I also saw an author, Ted Gup, talk about his book, A Secret Gift, the subtitle being How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression, which is about his grandfather, who gave away money during the Depression, in the most pure way, anonymously. Not even his wife knew he had done it. He had put an ad in the local Ohio paper, saying he'd give 150 families $5, in those days worth about $100, and if they had a need, they should write to him and let him know they needed the money. His grandfather was not a wealthy guy, but he had a heart and he saw so much suffering he wanted to do what he could. And he did, without asking for anything back. The letters brought tears to my eyes, literally. What people went through during the Depression is tragic, and Coolidge is the guy, after all, who was president when it happened because when government does nothing, people suffer terribly, because greed is not good. Heartlessness has real-world effects on real people who suffer in real ways. And they really did. Such letters!

So the fundamental question facing us is, now what? Is it worth bothering to do Groklaw? Hearing the author talk about A Secret Gift resolved the question for me. Being a decent person is always worthwhile, in all circumstances, no matter what others do or fail to do, and it's not about a reward.

There's a SCO appeal pending, after all, and just between you and me, the 10th Circuit is what people used to call "special", in that they do things no other circuit does, and I assume there could be more weird decision-making afoot that we'll need to cover to finish the entire saga. I hate not to finish after all we've done so far, but I'd rather cut off a thumb than help Novell cross the street at the moment, frankly. And while our motive isn't to help any particular corporate interests, the truth is, in this case, we can't help but help them because the facts and the law are on their side and always have been. So any evidence or information we dig up can only help Novell.

So here we are, in the midst of real life and at a fork in the road, and like so many decisions in life, it's complicated. But for me, I've decided to complete our journey. I didn't start Groklaw to get anything personally. I don't do it for money. I don't do it for fame. I do it to be effective. I saw a wrong, and wanted to help. If others misbehave, what is that to me? I didn't start Groklaw to cover SCO, after all. It was just a perfect case to use to show you how the law works, and that was my goal, so that geeks can help when cases come up where technical knowledge can help get things right.

So I'm going to keep going. I can't predict how much our work can matter. I've been amazed at all we've accomplished, way more than I ever dreamed of or planned for. And that's worth doing, no matter what others do. First, it's worth doing in the most pure sense of doing good because you want to. Second, spreading knowledge is always worth doing, even if, like teachers around the world, you don't ever know how your work will bear fruit years from now or even if it will at all.

We're in the Library of Congress, and we need to finish, I believe. It's in that spirit that I'm back to working on the Comes exhibits until it's done. So if there are no articles for a bit, that's the reason why, but Groklaw will continue. I'm disappointed in Novell, but I didn't start Groklaw for Novell, so I need to get over it and focus on the issues that matter to Groklaw, which have not changed just because Novell has made it harder to succeed. That's the bottom line.

Please help with the Comes exhibits, if you have moment. Go to this page and then click on the link, the third one in the list. I've finished the first page and should finish the second today. So move from there, find one that isn't done and post your work in a comment, ideally HTML in a plain text comment so I can copy and paste. If you find an exhibit that's too long, and you only have a moment, just describe it. That way if someone wants to find all exhibits on a particular topic, they can at least find out which exhibits to check out further when they search for keywords.

I know some of you are slipping away from relatives and hiding in the upstairs office or the basement to get away from the holiday activities for a bit, so why not take just one exhibit and do it as text for us? I'd appreciate it if you can.

Thanks, if you can. If you can't, I'll just keep doing them until they're done. But I know you'll help. You guys, at least, have never let me down yet. And I hope vice versa.


  


So. What Now? | 388 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
So. What Now?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 02:43 PM EST
Don't shut Groklaw!
Instead show the world what happens in the closed chambers.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Corrections here please, if needed
Authored by: tiger99 on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 02:45 PM EST
.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 02:46 PM EST
Please remember PJ's posting guidelines, and try to make clickies where they
will be useful.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspick discussions here please
Authored by: tiger99 on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 02:48 PM EST
Please remember to indicate which Groklaw newspick item you are referring to in
the title of your post.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So. What Now?
Authored by: Arthur Marsh on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:07 PM EST
I don't want anyone to be under any illusions as to how Microsoft has influenced
and attempted to influence others to achieve its own ends.

Full searchable text publication of the Comes vs Microsoft documents should have
been ordered by the court when the exhibits were obtained rather than relying on
the labour of volunteers now.

Novell may be imploding, but everyone affected by software should know what
Microsoft and other proprietary vendors have done and are doing, and what Free
alternatives exist, so that we can become free from the dominance of proprietary
software.

The deception of SCOG and those supporting SCOG needs to continue to be
documented to its end, and the efforts of proprietary software companies to
achieve customer lock-in and/or monopoly status also need to be made plain to
see so that people and governments no longer fall for the traps of proprietary
software (and for that matter proprietary hardware).

---
http://www.unix.org/what_is_unix.html

[ Reply to This | # ]

COMES goes here
Authored by: gmargo on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:23 PM EST
Happy Holidays

[ Reply to This | # ]

What Now.
Authored by: vruz on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:38 PM EST
"When you want to know more but don't know where to look".

You're right that it was never about Novell, but it never was about SCO or
Linux
in particular either.

Companies, just like software, computers and computer networks are tools. Tools
are necessary and an important part of our professions and everything we do, but
they are not our core beliefs, not our aspirations for the future, not our
ethical code: not our truth.

Microsoft is a traditional and recurring character in our industry, but there's
a number of new resourceful aspiring evil companies working hard every day and
there's no shortage of attacks on the rights of digital citizens all over the
world.

As we have seen very publicly in recent weeks, the quest to keep truth in
well-hidden dark drawers outside of the public view -especially: away from
public understanding- is the currency by which the powerful breath, eat and
nurture themselves.

"What now" is -I believe- a self-explanatory answer.
We do know where to look.


---
--- the vruz

[ Reply to This | # ]

What is Groklaw?
Authored by: tyche on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:49 PM EST
Groklaw is a blog (well, that was obvious). But it is a blog that was started for a purpose, and that purpose was to show people how the law works. At first it was just an attempt to show computer people how the law worked and what it needed and to show lawyers what computers were all about. But then it dragged in a whole bunch of lay people with no legal or computer training who simply wanted to know what was happening in a particular sector of life that affected everyone. It succeeded.

Groklaw is also the personal opinions and experiences of one person – one that is capable of reaching out to others in both the computer and legal sections of society to gain more knowledge for herself. The personal opinions are expressed in such a way that they allow, not just the computer people, but the average lay person to understand where the law is going at any particular time. They also allow the legal community to see where the computer community is coming from. Those opinions are, in part, based on the experiences of the author of the blog. There is nothing wrong with this, nor anything biased in doing so. Those opinions are based on cold, hard fact and, like any GOOD editor, are simply extrapolations from what currently exists at that particular time. In fact, very often multiple future possibilities are expressed in order to show that there isn't just one direction that the future can hold.

Groklaw is also the basis for numerous awards, including a professorship for the author and the inclusion of the blog in the Library of Congress. Groklaw has grown beyond its roots of being just a blog. It is a source of information to some, a teaching tool for others, and an unbiased representation of an entire period of computer and legal history filled with evidence of what went on. It exposes the faults of both sides of the issues and praises the benefits of both sides. It is a court of public opinion where the author has become both the prosecutor and defense and leaves the positions of judge and jury to the public. In many ways Groklaw is more open and transparent than government or any corporation. It is also more honest in it's approach in that, though the author may have a particular side she would like to see win, her opinions are kept very separate from the facts and observations. Groklaw has established itself as more than just a blog. It has become a feat of legal and computer journalism with higher moral and ethical values than any news-reporting organization in the visual, audio, or print formats.

Groklaw has nearly reached the end of one battle in an ongoing war between those who would build and those who would rape and pillage what has been built by others. The battle may nearly be over, but the war goes on and will continue to go on long after people have forgotten Novell, The SCO Group, Microsoft, or even IBM. The war will continue as long as there are greedy people who want to exploit work that is not their own for solely the benefit of the greedy. There is a purpose for Groklaw, should its author wish to continue the fight. But no one could or would blame the author should she decide to retire from the effort to, say, write a “This is how I did it” book and make oodles of money. Certainly she's earned a rest, along with the respect of all of us who have followed this “blog” over the last 7 years.

The real question isn't “What is Groklaw?” but “What is Groklaw to YOU?”.

This has been written using LibreOffice Writer RC2 and is released under the Creative Commons License BY SA

Craig
Tyche

---
"The Truth shall Make Ye Fret"
"TRUTH", Terry Pratchett

[ Reply to This | # ]

So. What Now?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:54 PM EST
Here's a BBC story that seems appropriate to the decision.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-12043294

[ Reply to This | # ]

So. What Now?
Authored by: Thalaska on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 03:57 PM EST
PJ, It sounds like you have hit the burnout that comes with a sustained
volunteer effort that takes a lot of self investment and you see too much. I
have been involved with Emergency Medicine as a field responder in a small town
for 34 years now, and I have seen too much. I have burned out at least twice
doing what appeared to be a thankless job, and you were never sure what effect
you had on peoples lives. Each time I came back because of the rare person who
would stop me on the street and thank me for something that had happened during
a response that I forgot about. Each time this happened the feeling that I had
made a difference in someone's life for the better was overwhelming. PJ, Thank
you for explaining and clarifying what is a very confusing subject for me.

THL

[ Reply to This | # ]

That Novell took Microsoft's Money Isn't Important
Authored by: DaveAtFraud on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:01 PM EST
Yes, we all hate to see someone involved in FOSS help out the evil empire. If
Novell hadn't agreed, Microsoft would have upped the ante or found someone else.


What is important is revealing that Microsoft has to *BUY* friends. Revealing
that Microsoft's Open XML or whatever can't stand on it's own merits is
critical. It speaks volumes about both Open XML's technical shortfalls and
Microsoft's business practices that the only way they can get support for their
initiatives is to buy that support. It's sad that Novell was the patsy but,
hopefully, they'll use Microsoft's money to support open source.

Cheers,
Dave

---
Quietly implementing RFC 1925 wherever I go.

[ Reply to This | # ]

So. What Now?
Authored by: jjock on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:05 PM EST
"So the fundamental question facing us is, now what? Is it worth
bothering to do Groklaw? Hearing the author talk about A
Secret Gift resolved the question for me. Being a decent person
is always worthwhile, in all circumstances, no matter what
others do or fail to do, and it's not about a reward. "

PJ, you captured the essence of what your site means to me in
this one short paragraph. It isn't ultimately about whether
Novel was less than honorable and that they let the community
down, it was about the fact that all that has happened is a
matter of record because of your dedication to covering the
story of Linux with all the trials and tribulations.
We all know that any truthful information that was unfavorable
relating to MS and SCO was rapidly disappearing from the
internet, but your Groklaw site has created a repository that
captures this record for all time.
The fact that Novel did not measure up to our standards of
honesty and decency, is disappointing, but all that does, is show
that company ethics are non existent, and even knowing this will
help those who will be dealing with these companyies in the
future.
In short, I think you have done, and continue to do a wonderful
job of writing the story of Linux, and have been an important
factor in keeping Linux from being captured by the likes of SCO.
Bob

[ Reply to This | # ]

So. What Now?
Authored by: old joe on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:10 PM EST
I've followed this blog for years and contributed a little (though not much). I
didn't do it for Novell or for IBM and I don't think you did either.

The great thing about Groklaw is that the legal arguments and the facts and the
analysis iare all available here for all to see, forever. IBM and Novell can use
this info but they do not get to decide who else has access to it, no matter
what is agreed in some final settlement.

This is a really big deal and I believe it will help educate free software users
and developers about the law which will mean they are less likely to make stupid
mistakes and will mean they are less likely to be taken in by bullshit claims.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Breaking your own rules?
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:19 PM EST
ill second that :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw must survive ... And Merry Christmas to all
    Authored by: ftcsm on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:45 PM EST
    First, I wish Merry Christmas to all. Even for those that do not believe in
    Jesus, but this date has extrapolated it's chritian meaning to a much broader
    one, where all people can wish the good for eeryone else. In that sense,

    Now for the "should Groklaw be shut down" question ... Simple answer:
    no.

    Long answer.

    Taking Jesus as an example, he too had his talks, miracles, lessons and even his
    sacrifice used for other purposes than what he intended. But even then, he won
    by showing his angle, his beliefs and they have overcome the alternate histories
    that have been told.

    Sure it's always a deception when we work so hard to show the light, which is
    used to help someone, and the person/entity betrays us. But showing the light
    over the dark alleys sometimes ends revealing more than we are prepared to. Who
    cares! The dark alley is not dark anymore, no rat can just keep walking there
    and be protect by the dark. We can now find the crack on the wall where they
    hide and it's just a matter of time to close that crack or kill those rats.

    Let us keep our eyes open and bringing light to the dark alleys. Who knows if we
    end find a bunch of rats and attract the eyes of the pest terminators?

    Flavio
    Brazil

    ---

    ------
    Faith moves mountains but I still prefer dynamite

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now? - The enemy of my enemy...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 04:59 PM EST
    Let is focus on what is important.

    SCO threatened Linux. Novel blocked that threat. Not taking Novel's side was
    not an option.

    During that period of time the threat of patents became more important than the
    threat of copyright.

    The patent wars are our next front.

    It would seem to me that by this time, some of those patents ought to be in a
    position to be expired.

    SCO is not done. In my personal opinion, Groklaw is not done.

    However no one is going to complain if you decide to take a break, you've helped
    everyone tremendously.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The truth
    Authored by: Winter on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 05:17 PM EST
    After the fall of Apartheid in SA, the only cure was found to be the truth.

    Telling the truth is the only thing that matters in the face of lies and
    deception. The worst thing that could happen is that the lies are
    perpetuated.

    Rob

    ---
    Some say the sun rises in the east, some say it rises in the west; the truth
    lies probably somewhere in between.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    hope
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 05:30 PM EST
    PJ, you left one off the list. Hope. For those out here like me, the little
    guys working on little projects. Groklaw gives, and has given for the better
    part of a decade, some sense to what seems so chaotic and patently (no pun)
    unfair. I come to Groklaw like to communion. I go away refreshed and inspired.
    It has become an integral part of my spirit. PJ you have given us all a gift
    beyond measure.

    Peace to your heart, good woman,
    dpa

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • hope - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 01:07 AM EST
    • hope - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 10:25 PM EST
    Ethics
    Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 05:40 PM EST

    From one point of view, we don't have any choice. The ethics of the situation
    require that we do the right thing. Sometimes this means that we even have to
    support Microsoft (ugh). Sometimes it means we have to support Novell.

    But at the same time, we can push, and push hard for ethics in business. By
    letting companies know that we won't buy from them unless they act in an ethical
    manner, we can pressure them to change. By letting them know that we will tell
    everyone when we catch them doing something nasty, we can hopefully push them
    into making the ethical choices.

    A while back someone was putting together a boycott (not in IT) and the company
    in question issued a press release stating that a boycott wouldn't really help.
    A couple of months later, they were suing for peace. The boycott did force them
    to change.

    Arguing for ethical action is always the right, if not convenient thing to do.

    And one of the things I've always liked about Groklaw is that you try to do the
    ethical thing.


    ---
    Wayne

    http://madhatter.ca/

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Ethics - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 02:52 PM EST
      • Ethics - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 09:31 AM EST
        • Ethics - Authored by: kattemann on Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 04:49 AM EST
    Novell's goal
    Authored by: argee on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 05:40 PM EST
    Novell's goals in all of this was simply to reserve UNIX
    for themselves and not have SCO Steal it. So far, so good.

    But we are not UNIX people. We are Linux people. UNIX is
    only tangential to us.

    We need to concentrate on severing connections with UNIX. A
    good place to start is to change the API and BPI. Linux
    eclipses UNIX in installed base, why have an interface that
    *could* at some point run into legal hassles?

    Rather than wait for the ax to fall, we should really,
    really take a hard, long look at what SCO was trying to
    do, and preempt it. Trying to keep "our own way" by
    legal maneuvering or court victories is risky.

    We can win a string ... 8 years of litigation ... and then
    one day they (SCO) win something, and we are toast.

    ---
    --
    argee

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Twitter Warning
    Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 05:51 PM EST

    No, I don't have a link, I'm reporting what I've seen.

    Spammers on Twitter have taken to using scripts, so that if you go to their
    page, and select 'report as spam', and don't close the page immediately, you
    will suddenly be following them. I've watched this happen several times, on one
    page I tried it a dozen times, and it always happened within a couple of
    seconds.

    If it does happen, mark the user as spam again, and immediately close the page.
    Then go to your page, and make sure that you are not following them. If you are,
    you'll have to go back and do it again.

    If you have problems with your reflexes get a kid to help. They move faster than
    us old folks.



    ---
    Wayne

    http://madhatter.ca/

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    If not Groklaw then who?
    Authored by: jvillain on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:00 PM EST
    Does any one remember the stories coming out when SCO first started out on their
    seek and destroy mission? Let me refresh your memory. It went some thing like
    "Linux is a line by line copy and SCO has the proof". If PJ and the
    Groklaw community wasn't here contributing then that would still be the story.

    How many patents has the community contributed towards busting? Even the
    companies paying multi-million dollar settlements still think the patent and
    copyright systems are working just great. There aren't many that can and will
    speak for FOSS that have as deep of an understanding of how the law works as
    PJ.

    The work like the full documentation of the SCO trial, The Comes exhibits etc
    are going to be paying off for FOSS for years to come. Yes Novell did us dirty.
    But they were going to do that any way. But if it wasn't for Groklaw I wouldn't
    have known about how dirty it was. Nor would many others.

    FOSS had a rude wake up moment when SSH went closed source and many things
    changed in the community after that. Oracle thinks they have pulled a fast one
    over there. But their prize is slipping like sand through their fingers. The
    mood of the community is finally starting to change towards Canonical. Miguel
    has some serious 'splainin' to do. Maybe his acolytes will finally wake up.
    Monty has been trying for a second bite at the golden apple and no one is
    buying. Has any one done more to point out why he shouldn't be trusted again
    than PJ?

    If Groklaw wasn't shining a light into the dark recesses of the world and
    letting us know what is there then who? The Wall Street Journal? ZDNet?
    Puhleeeeze.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: celtic_hackr on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:29 PM EST
    Well, PJ, I'd like to offer my views.

    I will sorely miss Groklaw if it shuts down. I completely understand your
    misgivings. Personally, I'm surprised you've lasted this long. I think, in the
    end you have done a great and wonderful thing. Lord knows you've outlasted any
    effort I could have made. I rank you with those few, those very rare and gifted
    few, of my friends and acquaintances who seem to have a gifted ability for
    taking on megalithic tasks and conquering them. I regret, I have never met you
    in person. Much to my own loss.

    I think Groklaw is a worthy task, and I think you have the support of several
    worthy helpers. I, sadly am not one of them. Oh sure, I have helped here and
    there, but rarely. The work being done here is worthy and there is no way that
    it will not be abused from time to time. We have done much to help Novell, but
    in the end it was a battle to bring out the truth against SCO. Novell merely
    rode along for the ride and took advantage. It may not have been intentional, or
    even inevitable. Business is business, and not the way business was ever meant
    to be. A certain moral fiber has deteriorated over the centuries.

    I think it is still worth while doing, but it is a task that could drain even
    the purest soul. I am battling a rather bad virus now, but will do my best when
    I get better, to help work on the Comes documents more, as long as there are
    ones to do.

    On the subject of Calvin Coolidge. I'm not so sure it was a fair analysis. He
    left office in 1928, before the Big Depression. It is true he did nothing in the
    area of regulation, on a national level. But that is because he believed as did
    many in his time that it was a state's responsibility to do. One should look to
    his work while a Governor to see where he truly stood on the issues. He did much
    as a Governor, to reign in corporations. There is no doubt his lack of clamping
    down on regulation on a federal level laid the foundation of the Great
    Depression. But the blame could equally go to the states. But the seeds go back
    much further than that. Thomas Jefferson saw the dangers that corporations
    posed, but few listened.

    The risks of a free economy and a democratic government are that you will not
    always, or even often, be blessed by the best minds leading, and that over time
    you will develop a Good Ol' Boys network. Eventually you need to wipe the slate
    clean and start over again.

    Which might not be bad advice for Groklaw. Novell, is water under the bridge.
    Let it roll past and begin again. Let go of your anger. Hard as it can be. I
    wish You the very Happiest of Christmases, and a Very Merry New Year. And to all
    of those here at Groklaw too.

    With Peace and Love,
    Celtic Hackr

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Breaking your own rules?
    Authored by: TB on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:31 PM EST

    I, too, would be much interested in knowing what was so bad about Coolidge. I'm not putting forth my own political opinions here, but there aren't any presidents I'm aware of who didn't make any mistakes in office.

    For that matter, what does the topic have to do with Groklaw, anyway?

    ---
    I'm a pragmatist, not a zealot - I didn't come here for a sermon.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • I like Coolidge - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 04:18 PM EST
    Relax. You're not helping Novell.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:39 PM EST

    SCO's fate is in the hands of the courts. The courts (I hope) don't pay the slightest attention to Groklaw and never have done so. Your mission (I hope) hasn't been to influence them, but to inform the public about the illegitimacy of SCO's claims. By now, there's no longer any real public debate on that issue. Years ago, there was, and one of the effects of advocating for your point of view might have been to help Novell's business indirectly. Not now. Whatever is going to happen in the courts will happen regardless of what you do. So don't worry about helping Novell, which in any case will soon cease to exist as a distinct entity.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: cjk fossman on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:43 PM EST
    I think Groklaw has always been about the truth, not about supporting one
    company or another.

    Sometimes the truth leads you to unexpected places, even places you would rather
    not be.

    But the truth, and its close relative, ethics are still worth pursuing.

    Thank you for all you've done so far.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • So. What Now? - Authored by: Erbo on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 10:13 PM EST
    • So. What Now? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 12:17 PM EST
    So. What Now? - refocus
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:47 PM EST
    I thought Groklaw was about finding out the truth, rather than rooting for any
    one champion, be that Novell or Apple.
    Even though I think your support for Apple has been over the top, your legal
    analysis was (unfortunately) spot on.
    As to Novell, the big picture is SCO vs. IBM, the world and its dog anyway.
    Novell may have sold out, that does not change Groklaw's worth.
    Still, it's not hours and hours of my time I'm advocating you spend.
    Thanks, and best wishes. Hope you stay.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Opting out of a private economy?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 06:56 PM EST
    How do you opt out of a private economy? My house value is down 42% in two years
    because of your glorified free (and crooked) market. I can't opt out of that.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 07:16 PM EST
    PJ,

    Take a step back and look at what you are trying to accomplish. If you are
    trying to stay unbiased, "just the facts", then don't worry whether
    you are supporting (or not) Microsoft, Novell, etc.

    Report the facts. Give your analysis. Throw in your opinion if you want. Let
    the facts speak for themselves.

    Everybody has skeletons, and your friend today may be your enemy tomorrow. If
    you stick with reporting the facts, you can let others - and history - be the
    judge.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw: Providing insight into the law for GeeksFOSS.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 08:07 PM EST
    I have always thought of Groklaw as providing insight into the law for Geeks and
    helping FOSS and the ppl who create it.

    I think you have had a disproportionate effect helping dispelling FUD and
    helping us see the underlying facts.

    The help you have given to companies is an incidental byproduct of this, your
    main mission.

    I don't think the betrayal by Novell hit me as hard as it has yourself for a
    number of reasons... the main one is that you have worked so hard and been so
    passionate about this case... living and breathing it for years.

    For me I red flagged Novell mentally after that first deal with MS... so no
    great surprise to me when it was confirmed.

    Although to find them prostituting themselves in such a way :-( Well even the
    cynic that I am winced.

    So Groklaw performs a great service to the community and is valued highly.

    Please continue :-)

    Silverwave not logged in.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    PJ, I thought you were winning
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 08:15 PM EST
    Not sure about your funk today, but from where I sit, it looks better to me than
    it seems to you.

    Novell is dead. It paid the price for partnering with Microsoft, as have so many
    others. Hovsepian will get his golden parachute and leave the place a shambles,
    just as we knew he would.

    In short, Messman's Novell won, Hovsepian's Novell lost. That seems like justice
    to me. And Dan Lyons, Laura Didio, Maureen O'Gara and Wallace are on the rubbish
    heap of history, along with Novell. Alex Brown seems to feel worse than you do
    these days. And OpenOffice has broken free of Oracle and is thriving under a new
    name. The place is littered with the dead reputations of GPL opponents.

    Android is unstoppable. I still think Google will have to expand its defenses
    against Oracle to software patents per se. Software patents haven't been
    defeated, but neither have they won. That battle is not lost.

    The Nazis lost the war 65 years ago, and there are still Nazis around. There are
    even French royalists, too. Louis XX anyone? Let's hear it from those who can
    tell us who are the current Shah of Iran, czar of Russia and emperor of China?
    That's where proprietary software is headed.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 09:20 PM EST
    The value of Groklaw does not depend on Novell.

    Novell is a big corporation, and it behaves like it. The behaviour of
    corporations can be very similar to how psychopaths behave. No concience, no
    guilt, no shame, no empathy, only self-interest. Why? One factor probably is
    that what you see is not the behaviour of a single person, it is the aggregate
    behaviour of quite a number of people with conflicting opinions influencing
    decision processes of which you only see the end result. Another factor is that
    people at work are supposed to work for the company's interest. The willingness
    of people to put their private ethics aside and replace it with a set of
    corporate ethics during working hours has more than once surprised me. They work
    for the benefit of the company, and as a result the company as a whole works
    only for its own benefit. People who work in a very competitive environment will
    be influenced by that as well, and the higher up in the hierarchy the more
    competitive it gets. I don't say that people should not care about the company
    they work for, I say that they shouldn't stop being true to themselves in the
    process.

    One example from my personal experience was when a shopkeeper was murdered in
    his shop, opposite my work place, which was a six story office building where
    hundreds of people worked in a busy town center. The body was discovered after
    working hours on a friday night, well after the majority of employees left the
    office. It was pretty high profile, the police urgently called for witnesses on
    national television (small country). Back at work on monday I noticed that
    practically no-one realised this happened across the street, and many hadn't
    heard about the murder at all. It seemed to me we had a building full of
    possible witnesses most of whom weren't aware they might have seen something
    important. I called the department responsible for putting notices on the
    intranet (or whatever the way of communicating was back then) and suggested it
    could be helpful to alert everyone to the fact that this didn't happen somewhere
    else. A high-up manager happened to be standing next to the person I spoke to,
    and he immediately decided to do nothing. Not his responsibility, he was not the
    police, I could hear him say it. Later that day, when I spoke to another high-up
    manager, I asked him what he thought of that reaction. He wasn't going to
    interfere with another department's decisions.

    In my view this had no relation at all to the company's interests, this was
    about being a responsible citizen doing a very small thing that might (or might
    not) be extremely useful and important to others. I very much doubt if these two
    managers would have reacted the same way if this happened in their private
    lives, by flat out refusing to tell their neighbours about it for example. But
    in their role within the company they seemed to reduce themselves to nothing
    more than that role. That night I called the police, was put through to the team
    investigating the murder, explained what happened, and said that if they thought
    it would be useful to point out to hundreds of potential witnesses that it
    didn't happen somewhere else they would have to ask for it. They never did that,
    as far as I'm aware, hopefully for good reasons. They also never found out who
    the murderer was.

    I'm quite a number of years older and hopefully wiser now, but I still look at
    it the same way I did then. People I told this story to over the years usually
    understood perfectly well why these managers reacted the way they did, and
    explained it to me in terms of responsibilities and sensitivities within the
    organisation. I may have a huge blind spot for this kind of situation, but what
    I really think is that the blind spot is with the people who think it's all
    right to reduce yourself to a role, thereby more or less changing into someone
    else; who think that your normal ethics don't apply anymore; that people out
    there don't matter anymore. In my perception this goes a long way towards
    explaining why corporations can be so ruthlessly detached from anything but
    their own interest.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • summation - greed - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 09:30 PM EST
    • So. What Now? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 10:59 PM EST
    So. What Now?
    Authored by: rebentisch on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 09:25 PM EST
    The questions raised here hint to a development of sustainable platform building
    and defense methods.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Not a surprise.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 09:42 PM EST
    "It's depressing to find out that community members are so easy
    to buy off, which is how I view it."

    I told you, in a private conversation years ago, that these Novell people were
    not friends of the community. They never viewed themselves that way, and
    certainly not as members of it. The whole focus and mindset is different,
    this is the organization that spawned Caldera... same people, different day.

    But, that is not what Groklaw is about. It's not about helping specific
    people or organizations, it's about protecting the works of the community.
    As you know that requires a clean and straightforward legal framework with
    useful precedents and backup. Don't become confused by which side of the
    table a particular party is on when attacks happen, it says nothing about
    their larger goals and intentions.

    So now, what are your goals and intentions?
    Just. Never. Stop. Because they never will.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Not a surprise. - Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 11:58 PM EST
    My opinion on helping
    Authored by: GreenDuck on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 10:03 PM EST
    My opinion is that as long as people you care about benefit from your
    contribution then you shouldn't worry about people you dislike also
    benefiting.

    I remember in Debian's DFSG, there is talk about how your work could be
    used by iranians building nuclear weapons, neo-nazi apologists, etc.
    Providing something for free means accepting that people will benefit from
    your gift that you don't like, anything less means you're not providing free
    software.

    Returning to Groklaw, think of the phenomenal good that you have achieved:
    educating free software enthusiasts about the law, educating the general
    public about free software, leading by example about the benefits of moral
    standards and so on. I'm sure that people who make you angry will have
    benefitted from Groklaw, and I think that's fine.

    So my suggestion is to stick to serving those people you care about, and
    forget about the rest. Don't try to cut them out, because doing so will
    inevitably cut out people that you do care about.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Keep the faith!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 11:00 PM EST
    This is a battle, and the opponents of Linux are fighting using every means they
    have. As we saw with SCO, they have deep pockets and often actually enjoy being
    underhanded and dishonest.

    Please don't let them conquer Linux by their attempt to divide the community. As
    the old saying goes, keep the faith!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    To Whatever End
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 11:26 PM EST
    Théoden: "Who am I, Gamling?"
    Gamling: "You are our king, sire."
    Théoden: "And do you trust your king?"
    Gamling: "Your men, my lord, will follow you to whatever end."
    Théoden: "To whatever end."
    We did not choose our enemies. It is true, sometimes they hide among our friends. But if we do not fight, who will?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The future of Groklaw is a team
    Authored by: vb on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 11:47 PM EST
    PJ,

    Like every company started buy a single founder, you need to think about
    succession planning. I don't mean passing the torch to another individual whose
    energy might also flag.

    The future to Groklaw should be a leadership team. That is the only type of
    organization can can endure when the demands can be draining. Some people flag
    while others gather stream. The people who flag are given time to recharge.

    PJ, you can be more than the Groklaw leader, you can be the Groklaw team leader.
    And Groklaw will endure.

    My $.02,

    vb

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Random thoughts on why Groklaw should continue.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, December 25 2010 @ 11:50 PM EST
    Knowledge is subject to the use and value that individuals apply to it.

    Should we have abandoned the further development of mathematics, in the
    thirties, because humans were developing nuclear fission weapons?

    Limiting access to knowledge is and always has been the primary means for a
    small group to control larger populations.

    Without Groklaw considerably more people would believe the propaganda spewed
    from certain organizations. Also, Groklaw has helped computer users, amateurs
    and professionals, understand the need to protect themselves and the companies
    that employ them from attack. While it is true that a few of the undeserving did
    gain financially, there are probably many more that are better prepared and
    protected than they would have been without the information presented here.
    Novell would have prevailed with or without Groklaw. The rest of us most likely
    would have remained in the dark without Groklaw.

    Just because knowledge is used for evil purposes in battle does not mean that
    the war against ignorance should be abondoned.

    I would be dependent on the news media's interpretation of what it determines is
    important for me to know. Groklaw allows me to verify facts by providing links
    to as many of the documents as possible. Without Groklaw, I would never be able
    to find them (although I am better equipped to do so now than I was in 2002).

    Please do not give up in the darkest of hours.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Two Roads Diverged In A Wood
    Authored by: TheBlueSkyRanger on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 12:20 AM EST
    Hey, PJ!

    I won't blame you if you skip my post here. I don't know how much I have
    actually contributed to things here, or how much I've helped. You know none of
    this is really my area of expertise (I know, I still owe you some comic books).

    I don't know if you believe this, but I know exactly how you feel and what you
    are going through. It's the whole, "Is this really worth it? Am I
    accomplishing anything? Is there anybody worth helping in this world?" I
    can't make the decision for you, I only seek to show you your situation in a
    different light, one that will help you reach your conclusion, whatever it might
    be. You still have to do what is right for you.

    I'm going to shoot straight with you here -- there is a reason you do Groklaw.
    And it isn't to educate or to chronicle deals or anything.

    You do it because you are compelled to.

    I've run into that situation many times myself, where I look at politics and the
    people plucking the strings that hold the world and wonder why I should even
    bother. People at large don't want to know the truth. They want to tune in to
    the cable news station that reflects their biases and stand up for people they
    can say are the good guys, regardless of their actions. They want a very
    hands-off life, where they don't really need to get involved, someone else will.
    And if they get rooked, well, that's politics, politicians do that, what can
    you do? There's an acceptance to getting conned, and then they wonder why it
    keeps happening.

    Eventually, I just wonder why I bother when no one wants to care. And I take
    off for a while. And then, a while later, something pops up that violates my
    sense of fairness and order and justice and integrity and...and I jump right
    back into the fray again. I know sometimes the right side wins, but oftentimes,
    the wrong side wins. So why do I disregard that?

    Because I'm compelled to.

    A person who reads my personal blog asked me why I keep slamming M$ as much as I
    do. Not because M$ is good, he knows better than that. He wanted to know why I
    act like this is news and have to trumpet it every chance I get, like I'm
    telling people something they don't already know. I thought about it, and told
    him that I have to. My mind, my heart, will not let me just keep quiet about
    it.

    Such instincts, such motivators, are great. They are a force for positive
    change. But they still need someone to harness them.

    Personally, I don't think you have it in you to truly give this all up. You can
    teach people and motivate them and guide them to make the world better. You
    know this. You've seen yourself do it time and again.

    And you're also burnt out. While I suspect you always thought Novell was simply
    doing what it had to from a business sense standpoint, you did not expect the
    treachery to run that deep (even I, cynic though I am, was shocked by that).
    There are businesses that play fair and are upstanding, like Red Hat. And it
    takes so little effort to simply do the right thing. Why can't people do that?
    It hurts, because it shows humanity as broken and unfixable, and why should I
    bother?

    I don't think you need to give up Groklaw. I think, even if you did, you would
    soon regret it because you have so much more to say, new battles to fight, and
    this is your best forum, where you already have the tone and mentality for what
    needs to be done.

    May I suggest a little break? A decision like this should not be made when
    pressure is on and frustration is high. You have worked tirelessly, even
    through illnesses and invasions of privacy, all to keep the world from spinning
    into darkness. An angel trying to save good people from those who have
    surrendered to temptation, embraced the very things that make them inhuman.

    It is ultimately up to you whether you fold Groklaw or continue it. I don't
    want to push you one way or another, although I think it's obvious how everyone
    feels. It is your decision to make. I just worry that the solution you are
    considering is not appropriate to the problem you face. It's like asking
    someone what the weather is like in Kansas, and they tell you about corn
    production -- you sort of get an idea what the correct answer is, but not with
    any clarity, all you have is an answer to something beside what you want to
    know.

    No one will think less of you after the Hell you have marched through (I know, I
    know, there's that angel metaphor again). But just consider that, yes, Novell
    made a horrible deal a long time ago. You may not want to help Novell. But you
    have also helped with a lot of things that worked out, and they were for good
    people and companies worth supporting.

    I have had to deal with some people very close to me stabbing me in the back,
    people close enough to me and the betrayal high enough in my mind, I wondered if
    I wouldn't be better off just closing myself off from other people. But you
    know what? There were still other good people to meet, other good people to
    help. They are out there. It took me a while to pick myself up and dust myself
    off, but I eventually did. That horrible year will always be in my mind, but I
    move on. I have to. I want to be with and help these other people.

    Please do not assume that, just because one group of people was not worth
    saving, that no one else is.

    Sincerely,
    The Blue Sky Ranger
    forever in your corner

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: ilde on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 12:32 AM EST
    PJ,

    Your goals have always been very high. Your moral authority goes very far beyond
    most companies' and their managers. So, you need not worry about these guys
    using your work for their own benefit, same as RMS does. I think RMS is well
    aware that even Microsoft can benefit from looking at free code and
    incorporating it into their own, but he is all for freedom.

    Best regards.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    People Will Remember Groklaw Long After Novell
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 01:40 AM EST
    I vote for Groklaw to continue and forge attitudes
    for the IT community.

    Many Web sites link to Groklaw as an authoritative news
    source.

    Many techies rely on Groklaw to teach them how the U.S.
    legal system works.

    But, darn it, people just want the good guys to win and
    the bad guys to get punished.

    Following Groklaw is watching the arcs of societal
    evolution driven by technology.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    One Paralegal to Another...
    Authored by: Shadow Wrought on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 01:51 AM EST
    Keep going. You didn't do what you did for Novell, you did it because SCO was abusing the process and lying. It had nothing to do with the company itself. Microsoft may be one of the most Evil corporations out there, but if a patent troll was suing with falsehoods that you knew to be false, you'd come out with the information. Not to support Microsoft, but to support the truth.

    I've been in the litigation arena as a paralegal for over a decade now. I've helped companies fight frivolous suits, and, I've helped companies pursue suits that I felt were meritless. In our profession we are paid to be advocates. Most of the time we're able to believe in our advocacy, but not always.

    This is your chance to decide for what you will advocate. For whom is an easy label, but it really is about the what not the who. And you have that control, you have that voice, and you have the power to keep it going.

    Of course there will be some who abuse it. That's going to happen no matter what. So instead of focusing on the potential of that abuse, focus on the positive. Focus on the good you have done and continue to do for the community.

    As long as you keep fighting, I'll keep with you. I know I'm far from vocal, but I think there are far more of us who quietly root for you and applaud your efforts than you know.

    Best wishes and good luck.

    ---
    "It's a summons." "What's a summons?" "It means summon's in trouble." -- Rocky and Bullwinkle

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Bah!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 03:42 AM EST

    Give yourself a promotion. Edit, moderate, and let some of the other
    nerds do the heavy lifting. If it doesn't get done, you can complain
    and fire everybody. It's fun being the boss. Sure, not everything that
    you publish will be exactly as you would have done but that compromise
    is worth the benefit in peace and tranquility.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: dodger on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 03:49 AM EST
    That we live in a corrupt world should not surprise. Money
    has occupied the seat of the 'root of all evil' for some
    time now. Money brings power and power corrupts absolutely.

    I always saw the open source movement and Richard Stallman's
    efforts to create an open environment as fresh air. GNU
    opened the door to an alternative universe that could face
    off with the monsters.

    In your own way, PJ, you too have faced off with the deamons
    of our universe. Groklaw is fresh air.

    We have a small problem going forward: the planet is dying.
    Money and the power it brings continue to stall progress. We
    need a reform in law as much as in our knowledge bank. We
    need new, alternative ways of moving forward. That Novell
    sold out is surprising, but not unimagined. Can we rewrite
    the rules of the game to prevent predators from fixing the
    game for their own benefit? So long as there are politics,
    money and power, it is a difficult task to mandate the
    straight and true.

    I cannot say as the others have that PJ should keep Groklaw
    going; that's like telling Don Quixote to charge a windmill.
    It's his decision, not mine.

    Is Stallman crazy? Most reports of the man seem to suggest
    he is. Would PJ be crazy to continue with Groklaw even
    though the star champion of the SCO battle and hope of the
    free world has just sold out to Microsoft? Should PJ
    reevaluate her position or should she continue to fight for
    Microsoft and others to reevaluate their position?

    Me - I'm a programmer and a hack. I am crazy. I don't accept
    the status quo. There are problems and I try to confront
    them or I go into major denial. Back in the dark ages when a
    c compiler had a bug in malloc, I wrote my own malloc. I'll
    never forget the lady in support saying, "Oh yes, we know
    about that bug. But I can't tell you when or if we are going
    to fix it." I think she summed up why Stallman started GNU
    in the first place.

    Tyranny anyone?

    Dear PJ, if you go look at 24 Dromore Road, off of Central
    Avenue and next to the Nature Center in Scarsdale/Hartsdale,
    you will see the house where I grew up. And if you end up in
    the loonie bin, we can be neighbors there too!

    Here'sh looking at you, schweethart.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    It was never about Novell
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 04:22 AM EST
    To me, Groklaw was never about helping Novell, IBM or anybody else. It has been
    about shining a light on truth.

    Companies come and go. Some are good, some are not. Some start out good, then
    change. In the end, if the truth comes out, some good will be done.

    Thanks, PJ, for all the work you've done. It has benefited many people and was
    certainly not wasted.

    God bless and Happy Christmas.

    Michael J

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tell it like it is.
    Authored by: Ian Al on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 06:27 AM EST
    The first great depression appears to have come after a period of expensive
    warfare in Europe after which the national coffers were empty. The traders
    started to speculate in government debt and everyone from the middle classes to
    royalty were to be swept up into a fever of speculative investment which ended
    in the bursting of the South Sea Bubble. The second great depression appears to
    have been similar; war in Europe and then speculation fever ending up with the
    American Depression (more correctly called a Western Depression). Then there was
    the 'Tech Boom' which was speculation on the stock of companies that were called
    tech, but were really just investment vehicles. Then there was the recent
    depression which is interesting because it was speculation on speculation as
    well as speculation on speculative investments called 'property' which were
    little better that the 'tech' investments that proceeded them.

    There were not enough folk around to tell it like it is.

    From the 1960's to the naughties there was another financial scheme that was not
    based on empty speculative ventures. That was computing and Information
    Technology. For once the foundation of the financial scheme was something of
    massive value and importance to the world. The financial scheme was to obtain
    and abuse monopolies on this valuable technology. The two planks of the scheme
    were, and are, the laws protecting intellectual property and the laws of
    contract. At first, the thin line between acceptable trading whilst protecting
    trading investment was not crossed. IBM crossed the line early on with their
    main-frame technology. Microsoft are so far across the line, now, that I doubt
    they will ever discover fair trading. There were others. Don't forget AT&T.

    I feel sure that a GrokBubble, a GrokTech, a GrokHouse and a GrokDerivative
    would have reduced the disasters down to manageable damage. However, the Groklaw
    technology has taken ten years to become effective and was not strong enough,
    early enough to ameliorate those disasters.

    The keystone of the Groklaw technology is getting the community to identify what
    is important and then telling it like it is.

    It is not about one company, although it has felt like that with SCO. Look at
    all the companies we have considered; SCO, Novell, IBM, HP, Sun, Oracle,
    Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, i4i, TomTom, AT&T, SGI and so many more.
    See how they have appeared in many different stories. Those stories were
    tremendously varied like Turbohercules, Psystar, MySQL, OpenOffice, ODF, Java
    and more. They were not details from a single picture. In so many cases one or
    other of the companies has attempted to use the law of intellectual property and
    contract to manoeuvre financial advantage.

    One thing I have noticed is the 'I hate PJ' effect. Folk on other sites have
    fallen out of love with PJ and love to challenge what she says. They feel
    obliged to do that with detailed research and rational argument. Often, members
    of their own community bring back that wonderful work and share it with us. It
    is how it is and it is told.

    The Groklaw technology is essential to show when the line between fair trading
    and market abuse has crossed the line. It cannot succeed by selecting winners
    and losers. It will succeed by identifying what is important and then telling it
    like it is.

    ---
    Regards
    Ian Al
    SCOG: Yes, they hit the ground. The lawyers are now taking them to the centre of
    the Earth. The 'centre of the Earth' is irony.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Whoa, lass. Whoa!
    Authored by: The_Pirate on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 07:04 AM EST
    Please keep your calm, PJ.

    Groklaw has done, and still do, what you set it out to be: a site where law and
    geek meet and learn.

    Do not let something like this stun you. It is all a part of a long battle. And,
    just like in a battle, you don't always know who your friends are, you don't
    know where the enemy is hiding...

    Yes, it is worth helping Novell, even if they are a bunch of (something you
    won't allow)!
    What is the greater good? In the SCO saga, it's without doubt to help Novell.
    That they turn out to cooperate with MS... that's another battlefield.

    The sideeffect of Groklaw is very much like the purpose of Wikileaks: to create
    more transparency, and make it more difficult for the bad guys to manipulate and
    control the rest of us.
    By shining a light on the going-on's you force them to more openness, more
    honesty.

    Feel abused? How do you think the EFF people felt, when they had to file an
    Amicus brief on Microsoft's side? Again, it's for the greater good you sometimes
    have to ally yourself with somebody you really don't like.

    Courage, PJ. This is going to be a long war. And your - Groklaw's - service is
    bitterly needed. If you throw in the towel, the baddies have won a victory.

    There is hope ahead. May i quote Winston Churchill: "This is not the end.
    It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the
    beginning."

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Tell it like it is.
    Authored by: Ian Al on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 07:15 AM EST
    The first great depression appears to have come after a period of expensive
    warfare in Europe after which the national coffers were empty. The traders
    started to speculate in government debt and everyone from the middle classes to
    royalty were to be swept up into a fever of speculative investment which ended
    in the bursting of the South Sea Bubble. The second great depression appears to
    have been similar; war in Europe and then speculation fever ending up with the
    American Depression (more correctly called a western depression). Then there was
    the 'Tech Boom' which was speculation on the stock of companies that were called
    tech, but were really just investment vehicles. Then there was the recent
    depression which is interesting because it was speculation on speculation as
    well as speculation on speculative investments called 'property' which were
    little better that the 'tech' investments that preceeded them.

    There were not enough folk around to tell it like it is and there was no
    suitable forum or technology for that to happen.

    From the 1960's to the naughties there was another financial scheme that was not
    based on empty speculative ventures. That was the Computing and Information
    Technology financial scheme. For once the foundation of the scheme was something
    of massive value and importance to the world. The financial scheme was to obtain
    and abuse monopolies on this valuable technology. The two planks of the scheme
    were, and are, the laws protecting intellectual property and the laws of
    contract. At first, the thin line between acceptable trading whilst protecting
    trading investment was not crossed. IBM crossed the line early on with their
    main-frame technology. Microsoft are so far across the line, now, that I doubt
    they will ever discover fair trading. There were others. Don't forget AT&T.

    I feel sure that a GrokBubble, a GrokTech, a GrokHouse and a GrokDerivative
    would have reduced the disasters down to manageable damage. However, the Groklaw
    technology has taken ten years to become effective and was not strong enough,
    early enough to ameliorate those disasters.

    The keystone of the Groklaw technology is getting the community to identify what
    is important and then telling it like it is.

    It is not about one company, although it has felt like that with SCO. Look at
    all the companies we have considered; SCO, Novell, IBM, HP, Sun, Oracle,
    Microsoft, Google, Apple, Yahoo, i4i, TomTom, AT&T, SGI and so many more.
    See how they have appeared in many different stories. Those stories were
    tremendously varied like Turbohercules, Psystar, MySQL, OpenOffice, ODF, Java
    and more. They were not details from a single picture. In so many cases one or
    other of the companies has attempted to use the law of intellectual property and
    contract to manoeuvre financial advantage.

    One thing I have noticed is the 'I hate PJ' effect. Folk on other sites have
    fallen out of love with PJ and are determined to challenge what she says. They
    feel obliged to do that with detailed research and rational argument. Often,
    members of their own community bring back that wonderful work and share it with
    us. It is how it is and it is told.

    The Groklaw technology is essential to show when the line between fair trading
    and market abuse has been crossed. It cannot succeed by selecting winners and
    losers. It will succeed by identifying what is important and then telling it
    like it is.

    ---
    Regards
    Ian Al
    SCOG: Yes, they hit the ground. The lawyers are now taking them to the centre of
    the Earth. The 'centre of the Earth' is irony.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Microsoft is the most corrupt business that I know of.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 08:16 AM EST
    Groklaw exposes the corruption that Bill Gates and Ballmer live in, breath in,
    and love.
    Novell became corrupt years ago. Tthe instant Mickeysoft bought the executives
    .

    Why quit !

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 10:02 AM EST
    I'm happy to hear you will keep going!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Has everyone forgotten about Mono and Novells patent deal?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 11:24 AM EST
    I don't know about the rest of you...but myself I must say that Novell's true
    color has been known since they started with Mono and made patent deals with
    Microsoft that only benefited their direct customers.

    It is given that Novell has made a number of decisions that was beneficial to
    FLOSS and the general public. It would be strange if they never happened to have
    a compatible agenda. Still, just like with Oracle you make the evaluation based
    on those cases when the is no natural alignment between the agendas.

    With other words, there is nothing new here and no company should be safe from
    being on the receiving end from Groklaw exposure if they take steps to hurt
    FLOSS.

    Keep the good work!
    /Fiery Spirited

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 11:51 AM EST
    Groklaw must continue to shine light on the goings-on in the FOSS and ip world,
    it will give people like the execs at Novell a much more difficult time in the
    future, as it will become easier to see the patterns of behavior and shine a
    light on them.
    Groklaw allows the average person to see how the wool is being pulled over their
    eyes, it helps bring into sharp relief the trolls, their machinations, and their
    goal to feed off the labour of others while doing no productive work themselves,
    all while espousing that better laws are needed to protect them from ip theft.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 01:37 PM EST
    Should Groklaw stop helping people like that, I asked?

    Yes.

    Is it time to shut Groklaw down?

    I hope not, but Groklaw is yours.

    How could Novell enter into such a deal?

    Greed.

    Why do I bother, I wondered?

    You bother because you care. We read Groklaw becuse we care, too.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    My $0.02...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 03:14 PM EST
    Hi, I logged out for this post due to the anecdote I plan to tell. I'm posting
    from a static IP, PJ can look up who I am if she so desires.

    I read Groklaw for both education and truth. As a tech geek I'm much indebted
    to how far PJ and the community as a whole has taught me about how the legal
    system works. I find it fascinating.

    But a large part of what I come here for is to get a realistic picture of what
    is going on not only in the FLOSS world but to get a good insight into the
    corporate world as well.

    Truth is Truth, and it is sometimes ugly. You sometimes find out things you'd
    rather not know.

    For example: for years I've been on a friendly though not close basis with a
    neighbor. He always seemed a good guy, and has never done wrong by me. A
    couple years ago however a news story broke that featured him and some of his
    activities. Things that some folks - including myself - would consider
    dangerously close to war crimes. Certainly activities not in the spirit of the
    Geneva Convention, IMHO.

    Well first of all, one important thing I learned here is the mass media rarely
    get a story all the way straight. I know some aspects of the story match up
    with what I know (when he was out of town for extended periods, at one point
    nearly giving his life for his country, etc.) but other aspects of the story
    sound embellished. I have no way to know for sure.

    Do I want to know the details for sure? I don't know. Do I wish I had never
    seen those news stories? Sometimes yes. Ignorance is bliss and certainly makes
    one's life simpler. However do I wish those stories had never been published?
    To the extent they are true, I absolutely believe they needed to be made public.
    People in this country need to know what their government is up to. Yes, it
    leaves me in an uncomfortable position with respect to my neighbor. I like him
    as a person, but if I assume the reports are true then I don't like what he was
    involved in. Years later I'm still trying to sort out in my mind how I feel.
    (Note my neighbors in general don't know how I feel - my household is definitely
    at odds politically with most of the families here, so I stay out of political
    conversations. That that in itself may be a disservice is by no means lost on
    me.).

    My point is that while the things we find out in the pursuit of truth may have
    uncomfortable or irritating consequences for us personally, the truth still -
    and IMHO always will - serve the larger community far better than ignorance.

    Please please PJ keep up the great work. I think it's work that is very
    valuable and very worth doing.

    Thank you.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonomous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 03:49 PM EST
    If I decide to act ethically even though it costs money and loses opportunity,
    nobody can sue me for doing so. Even my creditors have no direct recourse,
    unless and until I become bankrupt. Even then they cannot attack my
    pre-petition decisions.

    If a corporation decides to act ethically even though it costs money and loses
    opportunity, the stockholders may sue the directors and officers. If much money
    or much publicity or much rancor is involved, a stockholder lawsuit is almost
    inevitable.

    There is no practical and viable process whereby the stockholders of a public
    corporation can direct it to act ethically. All of the law, history, custom,
    and culture that has evolved in support of corporations assumes that their
    owners want them to be as greedy as possible.

    Historians may eventually conclude that the most destructive invention of our
    modern western civilization is not the mechanized army, the oil-burning vehicle,
    or the nuclear bomb; but the limited-liability partner.

    I hope that eventually humanity will develop the means to control and harness
    the power of corporations, just as we control and harness the natural tyranny of
    government. I anticipate that this will require an amount of social engineering
    roughly equivalent to the development and popularization of representative
    government.

    For now, though, the only brake on corporate nastiness seems to be exposure.
    Every public corporation will behave as wickedly as possible unless somebody
    shines an arc light on it. The arc light is a metaphor for revealing, proving,
    and publicising behavior that the corporation would perhaps rather keep secret.

    The campaign of P.J. and Groklaw -- calling attention to the destructive
    behavior of corporations -- goes far beyond aiding the victims of today's evil
    plots and guiding today's lawyers find justice. It plants a signpost pointing
    to the next several centuries of human development: civic responsibility in the
    private sector.

    You can't just get up one day and decide not to do this.

    -Wang-Lo.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • So. What Now? - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 11:09 PM EST
    Systems need users... but at least thankful
    Authored by: YurtGuppy on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 04:32 PM EST
    I don't work the documents, I don't go to court. I have no worthwhile opinion
    that bears on the situation.

    But I've learned a lot (and contributed a miniscule amount of $$)

    So..

    Thanks to PJ and the folks who actually contribute something of value. I
    appreciate. I'm thankful.

    That said, don't keep killing yourself for my entertainment. If you want/need
    to do it I'm glad. But it has to be important to you. I can't pay you what it
    is worth because I'm ignorant and don't know what the stakes are and I don't
    have that much anyway.

    So gratitude is about all I've got and all you are likely to get from me. If
    that is not enough then don't feel bad. Spend your life on the stuff that is
    important to you.




    ---
    just swimming round and round

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 05:24 PM EST
    Im an ex busybox contributor, i suspect i know how you feel about "helping
    your enemy". I enjoy a bit of philosophy now, and offer you the following.

    "The best anyone can do is to do what they think is right."

    i.e. choose your actions based on yourself, not your enemy. If they have to
    adjust their behavior to yours, then you have won.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: globularity on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 05:54 PM EST
    For me Novell's CEO's local self interest was no surprise but their self
    interest in helping bury SCO was useful. Just accept that organisations have
    different goals sometimes aligned with ours sometimes not. Also those goals
    change to fit the environment and that management is far from perfect.

    That said Groklaw helped bury SCO and make life more difficult for the evil
    empire. It may have discouraged a few copy cats along the way, you will never
    know. Look at how the patent troll tracker was making the rats in the patent
    scam industry squirm. The best defense against scammers is information and
    exposure and this site is an inspiration for people seeking to expose such
    people.

    ---
    Windows vista, a marriage between operating system and trojan horse.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Smoke Screen
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 06:17 PM EST
    If you note the dates in our Archives, March is when we were staying up 'til 4 in the morning covering the second SCO v. Novell trial in Utah, which started on March 8, and that same month Novell entered into this humiliating deal with Microsoft, agreeing to get paid in part for showing up for a contractually set number of OpenXML standards meetings and events. It was signed on March 29, the day before the jury ruled that Novell did not transfer the UNIX and UnixWare copyrights to Santa Cruz in 1995.
    I always worried about a smoke screen with SCOx

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    My random thoughts...
    Authored by: jmc on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 06:39 PM EST
    SCO -v- Novell: I won't believe it's over until the fat lady in the shape of the
    10th Circuit CoA denies the appeal and the SC won't hear the case and then the
    IBM case gets finally buried.

    I am not optimistic that the appeal won't end up in a half-baked way like they
    did last time. I'm sure that Singer made quite sure that Kimball's decisions had
    to be mentioned just so it would give him a foothold in the appeal. The guy has
    absolutely no professional scruples whatsoever.

    Even if that does go right it'll take a good while to get the IBM case going
    again unless Cahn finally caves in.

    As for Novell's other activities, they are doing what they think is right for
    them. It's always naive to think "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"
    and the actors in this drama don't stick the whole time to white or black hats.
    Sometimes the hats are grey of various levels of murkiness.

    Now isn't the time to be shutting shop here. We've been here for nearly 8 years
    and I think we to see it to the end.

    And people will be interested to see the outcome of the Oracle -v- Google and
    Paul Allen -v- Google + world bogo-suits.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    It's the law, MiLady ...
    Authored by: Wol on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 07:03 PM EST
    How could Novell enter into such a deal? Then top it off with selling 882 patents to a Microsoft-organized consortium?

    Over here, we often have people doing things where your immediate reaction is "how could they". Like one of our local Churches was sold and turned into a mosque.

    Unfortunately, all too often (especially with charities) it is ILLEGAL to take anything other than a purely mercenary, money-grabbing attitude, when disposing of assets :-(

    It's been said before, but most organisations have a sociopathic nature because the law obliges them to behave that way. Novell are no exception.

    Cheers,
    Wol

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: charlie Turner on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 07:31 PM EST
    I just re-listened to the recording of your acceptance speech for the EFF award,
    and I can only say: "More steam, Watson! Darn the torpedoes (and the argyle
    socks), and full speed ahead!!!"

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 07:55 PM EST
    During World War II, it turned out that the most effective convoy strategy in
    the North Atlantic was to try to maximize the number of ships that made it
    through to Britain, rather than trying to maximize the number of U-boats sunk.
    This must have felt very unsatisfying ("You mean I don't get to focus on
    killing them?"), but it was most effective at winning the war.

    PJ, I think that you have started to focus on *defeating* the foes of FLOSS,
    rather than on protecting FLOSS against attacks so that it has an environment
    where it can flourish and grow. But there's always going to be people who are
    attacking FLOSS, because it looks like this free stuff that can be exploited to
    make money. You can't get the number of enemies down to zero. If you make that
    your goal, you're going to burn out, feeling like a failure.

    Instead, think about the start of the SCO saga. You were pretty much the only
    one (at least initially) saying that the law didn't work the way SCO said it
    did. You gave people confidence to go ahead and use Linux despite SCO's
    attacks. It's easy to look around and be discouraged because SCO is still here,
    and others are rising up to join them. But those who started using Linux in
    2004 are still here, too, and they're not going away.

    Your efforts have not been in vain. New trolls arise, but your efforts have
    still not been in vain.

    MSS2

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 08:42 PM EST
    The short answer here is "Keep going."

    The longer answer is this... We don't know the full details
    about (or behind) the deals that Novell made. For all we
    know, the Elliot Group was going to sell the patents to
    everything to Microsoft (or someone worse). For all we
    know, the patents that the consortium is getting relate to
    stuff that Novell hasn't even worked on in years (and the
    Open Source community never showed any interest in).

    And, for all we know, Novell may have negotiated the
    agreements in a way that benefits Open Source as well.

    Microsoft has done some bad things, but they have done some
    good things too. Granted, I can't think of any right off-
    hand (and they probably did them only when it suited their
    interests--and that of their shareholders), but that doesn't
    mean they haven't. The point is, any company that is
    publicly traded will do things to benefit their shareholders
    over everyone else. Why? Because their shareholders are the
    ones pumping money into their coffers (along with
    customers).

    One thing that I'm finding irritating (not just here, but in
    every site that discusses Linux and Open Source) is the
    bashing of companies. IIRC, the Ubuntu Code of Conduct that
    I signed says to "treat everyone fairly and with respect."
    and that you have to respect their choices--whether you
    agree with them or not. That seems to fall by the wayside
    when people discuss Apple or Microsoft. I see crap like
    "Microshill" and "M$".

    Tell me something, anyone...

    If you were an average Windows/Office user, and you were
    considering a switch to Linux/Open Source, would you make
    the switch if you saw comments that were badmouthing
    Microsoft and Windows--especially in forums designed for
    helping people? Or would you consider it, if the comments
    you saw were respectful for people's choices?

    Ultimately (and I've gotten way off track here), it boils
    down to choices. Companies like Apple and Microsoft want to
    take the choices away (because it risks their profits). We
    need to keep showing people the benefits of those choices--
    in a positive and respectful way.

    (How this ties into this article)

    Groklaw is one of the methods of showing people these
    choices. Where some companies are spreading FUD about the
    legality of Open Source, Groklaw is showing the people the
    truth behind whether or not it's legal. It doesn't matter
    if you're doing it to benefit Novell (or any other company),
    and it doesn't matter what those companies are doing.
    Because in the end, you're doing it to benefit People.

    Have a great week, and Happy New Year everyone :)
    Patrick.

    P.S. Sorry for the rant. I get on this tangent once in a
    while.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Now is the time for all good people...
    Authored by: Rubberman on Sunday, December 26 2010 @ 09:00 PM EST
    PJ, you have my highest regard and admiration for the work you have done on this site for so long. As others have commented, you can't do this forever, so let's consider how the work of shining light under the rocks of open source software and the software business in general can continue without you turning into a burned out wreck! I have been working in the software engineering field for some 30 years and have "seen it all" with regard to egregious behavior on the part of corporate management, along with some shining examples of ethical behavior by others of that ilk. In any case, the work you have been doing is, in my opinion, essential if the FOSS movement is to survive. If not by you, then someone. I am sure that the folks at the FSF and EFF are of a similar mind. Together, we can make a difference.

    Best wishes, and a happy holiday season to you. As my sister would say (she lived in London for 25 years), keep a stiff upper lip and don't let the bastards get you down!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Don't let the B*s grind you down
    Authored by: complex_number on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 03:26 AM EST
    If you give up PJ, then the dark side has won.
    FM (the latest Troll to rise to the top of the cesspit) must be rubbing his
    hands with glee at the site he berates at every opportunity could be going
    dark.



    ---
    Ubuntu & 'apt-get' are not the answer to Life, The Universe & Everything which
    is of course, "42" or is it 1.618?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    on the war of words between truth and deception
    Authored by: nb on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 03:38 AM EST
    PJ,
    You have my highest respect for what you have been doing here, and I certainly
    encourage you to soldier on. I think that your work of telling the truth, to the
    extent that information on the relevant facts is available, is not only
    extremely important, it can in some respects be compared to warfare. No
    responsible government makes the decision to use military force lightly, but
    there are situations where any other decision would be much worse. The current
    attacks on Free Software and the principles which underly the Free Software
    movement are a situation where it is necessary that the might of the written
    word should be used in the fullness of its power not only by those who would
    tell lies, but also by those who seek to tell the truth.

    Now when I compare the unfortunate side effects that can occur when working on
    telling the truth (namely, that this sometimes helps those who don't deserve to
    get helped and who would use any strength they get through this to make
    dangerous deceptions of their own, harming the side of the truth) to the
    unfortunate side effects of military warfare (innocent people getting killed),
    my conclusion is that if there are (thankfully, rare) circumstances that can
    justify the use of military force, certainly it is well-justified to participate
    on the side of truth in the war of words related to certain attacks against
    FOSS.

    I have a request though: Could you please avoid using the deceptive marketing
    term "Open XML"? As an alternative I suggest to use the abbreviation
    "OOXML". Otherwise we're unintentionally supporting Microsoft's
    efforts aimed at undermining the effectiveness of demands for the use of open
    document and data formats.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Growlaw is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!
    Authored by: TiddlyPom on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 06:19 AM EST
    PJ, Groklaw is absolutely necessary! Please don't shut it down. You have
    worked really hard on this for years and there are plenty of us who will help
    you if/when you need help so keep the light burning :)

    Now that Linux is starting to gain real traction in the market, the proprietary
    companies are fighting back by playing as dirty as they can. Groklaw provides a
    valuable service by highlighting when this happens and by cutting through the
    FUD from Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other proprietary companies when they try
    and cover up the truth.

    They ARE frightened now - if Linux and other open source software/technologies
    gain real market share then it means a complete change in business models and
    the way that things are done and they don't want that.

    You have given us all hope, PJ, so lets keep on fighting!

    ---
    Microsoft Software is expensive, bloated, bug-ridden and unnecessary.
    Use Open Source Software instead.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What now for Groklaw
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 07:42 AM EST
    Expand it's coverage to the technology sector in general, paying special
    attention to legal, intellectual property and patent litigation matters. Allow
    members to post suitably vetted original articles. Contrary to claims by some
    anonymous trolls that no-one reads it, I bet GL is the first post of call for
    the legal departments of the various litigants. PJs analysis and dissection of
    legal matters would leave many so-called professional journalists in the shade.

    And it's because GL is all volunteer we can be assured opinions expressed
    therein are totally unbiased and un-paid for. There is another tech site that
    shall remain nameless, that has gone totally lukewarm even since it started to
    accept advertising revenue from certain parties. The chief exec even blocks
    comments on 'controversial' subjects.

    'honestly though, this place has become too full of itself. that's ok, no one
    will read this. and even if they do, they'll be all like "you're
    trolling"`, anonymous troll

    And that's why you keep on coming back here :)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: NigelWhitley on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 07:51 AM EST
    Do what your heart tells you.

    Before I expand on that, may I wish a happy Christmas (or Hannukah, Yule or
    whatever as you choose) to all at Groklaw and particularly PJ.

    Returning to the topic at hand, according to the sources, even the figure whose
    birth is celebrated at this time of year was betrayed by someone he treated as a
    friend. It happens. It is up to us whether we allow that betrayal to diminish us
    - whether we close ourselves to the possibility of pain and in doing so deny
    ourselves the pleasure of helping others.

    This pain will pass. It is the bitter disappointment of the unfaithful lover.
    The truth is we never loved them : we loved what we hoped they were, what we
    believed they could be, the dream they have torn away.

    Novell were devotees of the proprietary approach to software when Linus was in
    short pants. Their prominence was based on selfishness and their interaction
    with FOSS saw them strongly support proprietary solutions (take a bow Miguel).
    Their interests aligned with the GNU/Linux world when SCO began agitating, but
    IMHO it was simply that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They were still
    (IMHO) positioning for vendor lock-in but leveraged the values of FLOSS to make
    it seem like they were offering choice. Should we forget that their patent deal
    with Microsoft applied only to Novell's own distribution?

    The reverse is also true. It is beneficial to FLOSS if SCO's claims are
    demonstrated as unfounded and false. In the current court cases that means that
    it is good for Novell to win. PJ has also explained how Novell's release of the
    "disputed" kernel code under the GPL effectively immunizes the
    community from similar predation. So we naturally hope Novell win and it's also
    better if the good guy wins. Unfortunately, in this case, it seems we only have
    a bad guy and a not so bad guy. I still want Novell to win the case.

    But there's another reason why it's important for SCO to lose and therefore for
    Novell to win : Truth. PJ has always remained faithful to the tagline she chose
    for Groklaw : Digging for Truth. That capital letter is important. For example,
    it may be true that there is Unix code in the Linux kernel, but the Truth is
    that the kernel does not breach SCO's rights. That's what courts have repeatedly
    found. That's what PJ set out to investigate when she needed a case to follow
    while she shone her torch under the rock of the legal system. And look what she
    has allowed all of us to see, because she had the patience, the courage and the
    strength to keep holding the rock up.

    There will always be those who want the stone set down again, to turn off the
    light and let everything return to darkness. There will always be times (too
    many I fear) when it will be tempting to give up, to let the creepy-crawlies
    back in and regain dominion over the rich earth. But PJ has sown a seed, seen it
    take root and flourish. The Library of Congress has taken clippings so that
    everyone will see how this plant grew and how much tending it took, from PJ and
    many others.

    As always, I am grateful for all that PJ and her allies have done and will
    support her decision as to how she can best apply her time and energy to
    preserve her health, sanity and happiness. But my hope today is that you let the
    slimy things slither off to their dark places and take the time to treasure this
    beautiful flower. Just like thousands of us do every day.

    Please don't be too upset because one seed fell on barren ground - it's a big
    garden and PJ helps us see how wonderful it can be. I believe this has been a
    fine start.
    --------------
    Nigel Whitley

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Lazarus Long had it right.
    Authored by: Steve Martin on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 08:32 AM EST

    PJ, I understand your disappointment. But perhaps I can help you to see things in a slightly different light. Robert A. Heinlein (perhaps my favorite author of all time) once wrote a series of novels featuring a character called Lazarus Long (which I highly recommend). In one of the novels, Lazarus Long dictates some throw-away remarks into a collection of bits of "wisdom" (which title he strongly opposed). One of these read:

    If you are part of a society that votes, then do so. There may be no candidates and measures you want to vote for... But there are certain to be ones you want to vote against. In case of doubt, vote against. By this rule you will rarely go wrong.
    (ref: "Time Enough for Love") While it appears now that we were supporting Novell at a time when they were snuggling into bed with Microsoft, I choose to think that we were at the time helping to address wrongs as we saw them. Those wrongs deserved to be addressed, regardless of what Novell had going on back in the kitchen. So please center your attention on the good we have done, rather than on how Novell acted. That good in itself deserves to stand on its own merits. And you (and all the hard-working contributors to Groklaw) deserve to feel good about that work.

    ---
    "When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffe, "Sports Night"

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Don't care
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 08:49 AM EST
    Look at it that way. I am a strong anti-militarist and I know of at least one
    instance of a program I wrote that is installed and used within the army. They
    are allowed to as I put the program under the GPL.

    I long thought about using a license excluding military. But what about gangs,
    the Mafia, child abusers, the boss having fired the wife of a friend of my
    cousin?

    It's even no guarantee that no other programmer uses the code in his proprietary
    code. I think of the one who called me a thief because I didn't allow him to
    use my code in his proprietary program to make money.


    cb

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 08:59 AM EST
    maybe some people should rethink their lifes. Their paranoia
    is completely out of control.

    Novel is not good. Novel is not evil.
    Microsoft is not good. Microsoft is not evil.
    IBM is not good. IBM is not evil.

    They are all businesses. And they do what they think is best
    for them. Nothing else. But for a lot of people here you are
    either a GPLv3 loving extremist or a traitor who must be
    erradicated.

    Get a life people. Or at last: stop the paranoia and start
    thinking.

    And remember: without Novell SCO would have won.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: sciamiko on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 09:43 AM EST
    PJ,

    This site is essential reading for anyone who starts to use FOSS seriously. It
    gives them, as it did me, an understanding of the legal ramifications of the use
    and development of FOSS which is necessary to get the best out of it.

    It also gives the rationale for why it is necessary to fight against what John
    Kampfner has called "authoritarian capitalism" (Freedom for Sale,
    p250), the general method of government control in the world today, by allowing
    the wealth acquirers (not the wealth creators) to strongly influence the legal
    structures. This is a struggle that will never end. You are showing us what is
    needed and how to use the tools available to continue to strive to control our
    own lives.

    Your teaching has application beyond the SCO case and the murky players in it.
    No business can ever be fully trusted, because an ordinary individual can never
    control who the directors will be.

    s.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Very glad you're continuing
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 10:09 AM EST
    I for one am very glad you're continuing your work with Groklaw. The FOSS
    community needs it now, more than ever. As a (non-practicing) attorney and FOSS
    advocate, I can say that your well written & legally grounded articles are
    an encouragement to the community. Too often, the major news agencies fail to
    report important news related to FOSS, or give it the slant of a press who is
    beholden to advertising interests. You dig deeper & provide the analysis
    that is too often lacking. Keep it up & know that your labor of love is
    truly appreciated.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: markonhawthorne on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 10:20 AM EST

    Take heart Pam. We expected something like this.

    Novell fought the good battle with SCO and won,
    but they also hitched their wagon to Microsoft. It is
    unfortunate that they didn't have the guts to operate as
    a true open-source/free software company, but they did
    perform a noble service to the world by defeating SCO.
    It was apparently their swan song.

    A lot of people care about what you're doing, Pam
    I'm one of them. Keep it up.

    Mark

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Crying out in the desert
    Authored by: theMutant on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 11:37 AM EST
    "Wall Street seems to have no ethics that I can discern. They seem to be willing to destroy anything if there's money in it, including the entire world's economy for their own short-term benefit, so why am I surprised?"
    PJ. You are right. No one should be surprised about this. However, we have been trained to separate ethics from economics and "business" for more than a century. We expect people to be moral while justifying the most atrocious behavior with the platitude of "it's just business." We gloss over the inconsistency out of habit. That is why we are surprised when we are forced by events to confront it. The decision makers in these companies are not the people who actually work in them - they are not those who have anything other than money invested in the companies. Their only consideration is profit because that is their only interest in the company. Their only interest in employee and customer satisfaction is its impact on profit. Therefore, when an opportunity for greater profit comes along, they are quick to toss aside those things. I am not against profit, but it is - it must be - subordinate to the moral considerations.

    Back when Jack Messman ran Novell, I was a proud supporter of the company. A long-time NetWare administrator, I was pleased when he took the company in the direction of Linux and Open Source and I had hopes that they would eventually release the code for NetWare and eDirectory to the Open Source community once they had worked through any legal issues related to existing contracts. Mr. Hovsepian dashed those hopes into the ground, and yet, I cannot really blame him for he merely works for the Board that fired Messman for not going further than he predicted he could with the Linux business when Novell first switched over.

    In answer to your question, "What now," please continue to do the work that is necessary. I believe that Open Source is an important tool in the task of restoring sanity to business and economic life in the world. There once was a time when the economic life of nearly all Europe worked on similar principles as those espoused by the Open Source community. That time has been greatly mischaracterized by those who don't want us to accept anything other than the business model of huge monopolistic corporate interest. The success of Open Source and companies like the Mondragon Cooperative prove that these principles are not incompatible with the modern technologies - they are not just throw-backs to the agrarian age.

    In my opinion, Groklaw's importance in this struggle cannot be adequately described. Please don't give up hope, and don't give up.

    Sincerely,
    David W. Cooney
    Contributing Editor, The Distributist Review

    ---
    David W. Cooney
    the Mutant o)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    The future...
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 12:08 PM EST
    I say the future is bright for FOSS...

    Given recent decisions by SCOUS and Federal courts, the significance of
    Microsoft Windows and Microsoft patent bullying are in decline.

    Computing technology continues to move quickly and Microsoft is quickly becoming
    an anachronism. Developers ignore the OS and obtain interoperability by
    concentrating on Web and mobile applications. Virtually all IT projects will
    soon be Web apps while most personal apps will be mobile-social-based.

    Web app developers use an IDE, HTML(5), javascript, connectivity code such as
    PHP, database, and administration tools. All of this has a strong FOSS
    foundation and only the most Luddite corporate culture would pay Microsoft $40K
    per seat to replicate FOSS with proprietary code.

    So yes, Groklaw has provided a significant role in showing the power of FOSS.
    There is a lot more FOSS out there and more legal battles to come.

    "Novell-duplicity" will be a label that other FOSS computer software
    service companies will avoid at all costs (with Canonical being a possible
    exception).

    Bravo PJ! BRAVO!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "Amazon patents procedure to let recipients avoid undesirable gifts"
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 12:10 PM EST
    linky thing

    "The online retailer has quietly patented a way for people to return gifts before they receive them, and the patent documents even mention poor Aunt Mildred."

    No discussion in the article about whether or not this is actually patentable or not. Me thinks not, but the USPTO doesn't seem to closely examine much these days.

    z!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "I always tell you the truth. "
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 12:59 PM EST
    ;-)

    and the only truth.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Trust in the heart of the Law P.J.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 04:10 PM EST

    You've carried that trust for a long time even through such situations that have made others of us question whether or not we're even civilized.

    There's a reason even someone actually guilty of a crime deserves a proper defense. It wasn't so very long ago that mob mentality decided lawful issues. And with what's been happening with regards the Iowa Supreme Court, it appears we haven't quite become civilized enough to move away from mob mentality.

    It's even more imperative that someone distasteful be defended when there's sufficient evidence they didn't actually do what they are accused of.

    I'm a very firm believer that no one should be punished for what they didn't do and should only be punished for what they did do.

    We can't uphold that fundamental truth of being civilized without doing what's right even if it means helping someone we find distasteful. We don't have to like helping them. But if one considers oneself civilized and it is within one's potential to help, there's a certain amount of honor that makes helping a duty.

    The fact that we've done right easily outweighs any distasteful tasks that may lie before us.

    BTW: a late Happy Holidays to all!

    RAS

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 04:54 PM EST
    Rule #29: The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy, no more, no less. (From a
    wonderful webcomic www.schlockmercenary.com)

    We can all be very confused by people who helped us in one way refusing their
    help in another, or in this case by people whom we've helped in important ways
    being traitors about related situations. We already knew that Novell was
    protecting their fiscal interests with various recent deals with Microsoft, and
    was leaking vital personnel (such as Jeremy Allison) who were upset about their
    Microsoft deals.

    This is also why Novell isn't going after more fundamental legal issues in the
    SCO case, such as the way SCO is in direct violation of the GPL. They're
    protecting themselves: as such an enemy of our enemy, it's reasonable for us to
    support them in that issue. But let's make no mistake that as a company, they're
    protecting their own *short term* interests.

    PJ, your work has been very helpful in revealing truth behind all sides in these
    cases. Your fondness for digging up and publishing the actual documents and
    facts has been invaluable for allying the FUD I deal with, monthly if not
    weekly, by the kind of business school fool who sees the software patent
    lawsuits as a business model. As such, I hope you continue to publish the facts,
    and your opinions about them.

    I'd rather trust your opinion than a stack of sworn briefs from *any* of the
    attorneys or litigants in these cases, because your opinion has consistently
    been backed up by verifiable facts.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 05:52 PM EST
    So, now I respect you even more. In fact, I feel like hugging you. It must be
    the holiday spirit. Even if I'm not really celebrating them. I don't know what's
    gotten into me...I think you touched a sensitive spot - I'm inclined to say 'for
    me', but I would hope people suffering is something everyone is sensitive about
    - except psychopaths and corporations (figures those get along so well). I just
    wanted to thank you. Thank you for continuing. Thank you for being and going
    over being a decent person. I hereby pledge to try and help Groklaw out to the
    best of my ability.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Disillusionment with Novell
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 07:09 PM EST
    I used to be a fan of Novell stuff, but over the decades
    they have made many boneheaded decisions, which led to a
    love-hate relationship that many people have had with the
    company.

    I gave up with Novell back when the "peace in our time"
    agreement was signed. I was livid. I posted on John
    Dragoon's blog how disappointed I was and how I believed the
    community would see through the prevarication over what was
    in the contract and eventually desert Novell because of its
    alliance with Microsoft.

    I was rather foul mouthed on Slashdot at the time, and Bruce
    Perens noted:

    "I have never come upon a post which makes its point so
    excellently, and also contains so many F-words."

    --
    BMO

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Go on! Show them what they realy are (like SCO)
    Authored by: tomw on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 07:27 PM EST
    Hi

    Please don't quit now. Show them that with new information you will adjust your
    opinion about them. You cannot know everything in advance. Only with hindsight
    everything is easy. The Novel Microsoft deal was suspect when it happened but
    that was kind of lost in comparison to the actions of SCO.

    You may lose faith in a good outcome every now and then. But your integrity
    matters most, and that is where they lose.

    Tom


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    I have seen the future
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 10:15 PM EST
    ...and it is a boot on the human face, forever. Factor this into your decision
    to continue or not.

    I hope you do, but things are not going to get better in the world.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Ya know what, PJ?
    Authored by: inode_buddha on Monday, December 27 2010 @ 11:10 PM EST
    Ya know what, PJ? If there's one thing that you've accomplished in the last 10
    years, it would be this: You restored my faith in humanity. At least a bit
    anyways. Thank you.

    ---
    -inode_buddha

    "When we speak of free software,
    we are referring to freedom, not price"
    -- Richard M. Stallman

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Really? It took you this long?!?!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 04:50 PM EST
    Several years ago I commented on some article that fawned all over Novell. I
    basically said that they are a corporation and do not care about Linux one bit -
    They will eventually sell out the community.
    Of course, this being Groklaw, I was branded as a troll for having a different
    opinion.

    Now you are whining like a little child because they did exactly that. Grow up!

    You made something out of Groklaw - You can kill it if you want - and no one
    else can take that away from you.
    So what if Novell sold everyone out? It's a corporation - They don't care. Maybe
    you are taking your belief in the law too far - Despite what the supreme court
    said, corporations are not people. They don't have feelings and they don't know
    right from wrong.
    Get over it - Either continue Groklaw or do not, but don't blame anyone else for
    that decision.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Kudos
    Authored by: reiisi on Tuesday, December 28 2010 @ 11:57 PM EST
    Kudos for the work you've done.

    Kudos for taking the time to check yourself. (Very important step!)

    Kudos for deciding not to let the cynical "business is business" crowd
    derail your efforts to help people understand the interface between law and
    technology.

    Keep up the good work.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 03 2011 @ 02:15 PM EST
    Did you honestly expect anything different? Money is what makes the world go
    'round. As long as Microsoft has it and OSS doesn't, things will continue this
    way. Sentiment is nice, but people need housing, food, and health care, and
    those willing to forgo such things for sentiment are rare.

    Something said often about those who expound propaganda is that they begin to
    believe their own. Your comments seem to indicate you're believing the
    Stallmanesque tripe about ultimate OSS victory. A healthy dollop of realism is
    required here. You can defend Linux or OSS by exposing flaws in the opposing
    argument. You cannot prevent capitalist entities from engaging in
    self-interested transactions. At least not with a blog.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • So. What Now? - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 03 2011 @ 03:07 PM EST
    No Justice, Just US.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 03 2011 @ 05:43 PM EST
    PJ, theres an old political activist saying that goes "There is no Justice,
    Just US".

    We can look to the kings of commerce for help, and sometimes they might come
    down and help us, but as we've learned from the Novel & Oracle/Sun betrayals
    , we mustn't rely on them. Not even IBM. We can never be sure that one day IBMs
    management wont get rolled in a take-over and turned dark on us.

    But we can rely on each other, the geeks and our friendly legal-eagle allies who
    have proven true and strong to stick by the community. It was never the
    corporations that prosecuted this revolution against unfree software, it was the
    people.

    It might just end up us alone , outnumbered and outmanouvered, but should we
    fail, than at least we can say we failed honestly, and thats a guarantee of
    guiltless sleep the buggers at Novel & Oracle will not be able to rely on.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now? Now
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 03 2011 @ 10:09 PM EST
    If there's one thing I've learned over the short 14 years I've been using Linux,
    it's this: You can trust a community. You sure as hell can't trust a
    corporation. I gave up on Red Hat years ago, not because of the weird things
    that happen in their distro as time went by (or suddenly charging large amounts
    of cash for what was a free installation), but because Debian's concept of
    "community" was about as close as I could get to the idea that you
    could trust a group of people to generally "do the right thing". I
    "let go" of Novell/SuSE a long time ago as well... for similar reasons
    to what you are facing now. SuSE is good, but Novell is polluting it (poisoning
    it?) slowly, and it's only a matter of time before it falls off the end of the
    world from a complete lack of interest.

    You've done the impossible for so long, I can only wonder if the next thing
    you'll do is sprout wings and fly. What you've done is amazing! Don't dispair.
    Don't give up. And whatever happens, don't let the bastards get you down. If
    anything, keep a secret smile on your face - the smile that you get from
    thinking about how just one person, you, was able to divert the attention of
    thousands and thousands of "us readers out there" to the shady things
    going on behind closed doors in smoky rooms. We're paying attention to what
    you're showing us, and we're making decisions with our wallets - including not
    purchasing at all.

    And that's the real power of Open Source. It's not the code, it's the
    community. We know when we see "bad", and we know better than to feed
    "bad" with our dollars. If anything, people will intentionally starve
    the "bad", to ensure that it can't grow or spread.

    Having a wonderful guide to point out "bad" has made all the
    difference in the world. And that guide is you.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    "Intellectual Property"
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, January 03 2011 @ 11:27 PM EST
    My brain does not beholden to slavery or indentured servitude.

    Groklaw is a template. The humanitarian and philosophical issues discussed here
    are not just about software and the legal aspects of FOSS. Everything discussed
    also applies to other areas of "Intellectual Property" such as
    modified seeds for agriculture and patenting the human DNA.

    Mr Gates is Warren Buffet's poster child for billionaire philanthropic
    biomedical giving. How does the saying go about not trusting Greeks bearing
    gifts? Gates might not be of Greek descent, but I'm sure there's more than a few
    hidden "IP" strings attached.

    I think Vandana Shiva could find synergies here as well as others. (ref ISBN
    81-88965-17-0)



    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 04 2011 @ 04:35 AM EST
    We now surprisingly live in a time where the impact of individuals can actually
    make a significant difference.

    There has been a kind of pervasive numbness, a moral disconnect that people have
    long indulged in, comforting themselves with the mistaken belief that their
    sins would go unnoticed and in the end couldn't make a dent in the world. That
    time has passed. The power of information, and the amplification of human
    thought, has made it possible for a remarkably small group of people, indeed
    individuals, to rape a planet, and nearly bring the world's largest economy to
    it's knees. It is now possible for people of little compassion or conscience to
    gut the future.

    There is a balancing force. People committed to a future worth living in. A
    future that honors the human spirit, that demands integrity, love, and a growing
    personal sense of responsibility. You are a public figure, and clearly you are
    such a people. You inspire others to honor their greatness. In the end, the
    circumstances are the circumstances and all we get to carry into eternity is the
    answer to the question "What did I use my life for?" If you can pass
    from this mortal coil content that you delivered what you were born to
    contribute to life and living, then you can truly say my life was worthwhile.

    Have no doubt, your life is worthwhile.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    So. What Now?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, January 04 2011 @ 06:07 AM EST
    Your work was/is appreciated, useful and contributes to understanding of complex
    issues for all.

    You've shown the talent and objectivity sorely lacking and needed more today
    than when you started. Fighting for what you believe in will always be
    necessary.

    Information needs to be free and the folks who pass it to us deserve rewards
    too. Please continue and if this means ads.. and donations great.. worth it.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

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