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PJ Responds to the Smear Campaign Against Groklaw
Friday, March 05 2004 @ 05:46 PM EST

As you know, Darl McBride, Blake Stowell and now Rob Enderle have stated as if it were true, that IBM sponsors Groklaw. McBride said it in the ZDNet interview by Dan Farber (at at around 19:15 - sorry no link, Geeklog won't accept it without a www in it), Blake to LinuxInsider, and today Enderle picks up the SCO line, as usual. ZDNet has published my reply.

Here is the short version: IBM does not sponsor Groklaw and it hasn't given equipment or anything else to Groklaw. Groklaw is independent of any outside influence. It's a noncommercial site. Groklaw is me and a world full of volunteers who believe in what we are doing. The truth is there isn't enough money in the world to get me to do Groklaw. It's a labor of love.

You can read the rest on ZDNet, because they were nice enough to correct the record, and it's nice to give them hits. You can click on their ads too, if you feel like it.

I never link to Enderle, because I don't want to support him in any way because I have found his work lacking in veracity and accuracy, and in case you feel the same, here is what he wrote about Groklaw today, so you don't need to go there:

"SCO did, however, have to develop a unique strategy with regard to Linux due to the unique nature of the Linux license and community. This uniqueness allowed IBM to position the Linux community against SCO and distance itself somewhat from the less-agreeable parts of the war and, hopefully, conceal the connection between the IBM decision maker and the resulting problem. These moves were incredibly well-orchestrated and apparently included donated equipment for sites like Groklaw. This unprecedented effort by IBM supports the position that IBM actually knows it misacted and is at extreme risk. No other explanation fits this massive and unique effort to destroy a vastly smaller firm."

Don't bother writing to Enderle to defend me, please. That's another way he could "prove" that he has a wide readership, and there are some other ugly possibilities.

Decatur Jones' Dion Cornett, in his latest report on SCO, says "SCO may have bitten off more than it can chew" and one reason he mentions is Groklaw:

"Investment Considerations:

  • 1Q04 results were weak with revenue of $11.4M vs. our estimate of $14.2M and a pro forma loss of $.41 vs. our estimated $.10 loss;
  • Revenue guidance of $10M-14M is below our previous estimate of $14.4 causing us to further reduce our estimates and target price to $2;
  • New end user lawsuits likely to have negligible near-term benefit;
  • Vast resources now stand aligned against SCOX, including a recent phenomenon called Groklaw;
  • We reiterate our Underperform rating.

". . . .SCO probably misjudged, but then again who knew about Groklaw? Groklaw . . . . tracks the day-to-day events surrounding SCO and provides a forum for thousands of registered users and guests to provide insight. Like Open Source software, this community of volunteers often does intensive work that lawyers and analysts would otherwise have to do themselves. . . . Groklaw volunteers also routinely attend trial hearings, transcribe documents, gather news tidbits from around the world and piece together missing history from direct first hand experience.

"Never before has so much quality legal work been done for free The net effect is that SCO and its attorneys now find themselves facing an army of volunteers that quickly dissect and gather related information on virtually every public comment that SCO, its attorneys and its management make. Given UNIX’s 35 year history and involvement by thousands of companies, the magnitude of this benefit cannot be overstated. To put the numbers in context, the site routinely receives more than 1.5 million hits a week and a typical posting generates more than 60,000 page views and hundreds of comments. . . . Thus regardless of the validity of SCO’s claims, SCO surely faces a more expensive and difficult legal challenge than if Groklaw did not exist."

Might this explain the smear campaign?

I just noticed that analyst Amy Wohl posted this in response to my letter on ZDNet:

"Groklaw is Invaluable

"Groklaw provides an invaluable service to the Open Source community. Not only does it provide a single place to find all of the documents in the SCO brouhaha, it also serves as a central place for any member of the information community to share their knowledge or comments. I've found more about Unix and Linux reading Groklaw, than I've found in all of my other sources combined!

"Posted by: amywohl    Posted on: 03/05/04"

Thank you so much.

One of Groklaw's many talented volunteers found out some additional clarifying information in this older article about Ibiblio:

"Beyond the money, [Paul] Jones counts on technology grants from companies such as IBM, which in 2000 committed to give $250,000 worth of equipment to ibiblio. Jones says ibiblio collaborates with IBM on some research that might be applied to future IBM products.

"'We share some research stuff with IBM. They're interested in self-healing software, and we don't fail all that much,' Jones says."

The article has one other point of interest:

"Ibiblio got its start in 1992 as SunSite. A press release that October announces the official launch of SunSite, a joint project of UNC and Sun Microsystems Computer, that 'will act as a central repository for a collection of public-domain software, shareware and other electronic material such as research articles and electronic images.'"

UPDATE: Here's NINA: "Microsoft Corp. is a client of the Enderle Group, the consulting firm headed by Rob Enderle." Groklaw reader ra found it.

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