One of the jewels hidden amongst the enormous list of exhibits IBM filed with its summary judgment motions now awaiting the court's rulings is one I decided it would be a pleasure to do as text myself, titled:
"Persons or Entities Whose Relationship with SCO IBM Is Alleged to Have Interfered with, Such that SCO Was Damaged, that Are the Subject of SCO's Claims against IBM - Identified by Mr. McBride at Deposition", marked as Exhibit No. 1035 to the December 2, 2005 Deposition of Darl McBride
It was submitted by IBM as Exhibit 51, one of the 597 exhibits we've taken to calling IBM's Greatest Hits.
It's, to me, the SCO litigation in abbreviated form, with all the over-the-top paranoid kookiness and panache in full bloom. Groklaw is listed as one of the entities whose relationship with SCO IBM supposedly interfered with. Naturally, that came as a shock to me, since I have never had a relationship with SCO, nor do I desire one, hence there was nothing to be interfered with. And I may state for the record without fear of contradiction that no one needed to inspire me to view SCO's activities as I do. My own heart and brain were able to parse that out with no outside influence at all. Brainiac that I am.
When I started Groklaw, here's how many IBM employees I knew: none. If you read the first article I ever wrote about SCO back in mid-May of 2003, SCO Falls Downstairs, Hitting its Head on Every Step , I believe you'll find my lip already sufficiently curled.
The title says it all, but here's a snip:
Some have said that if SCO is successful in its litigation, "it could undermine one of the basic tenets of the open software movement, of which Linux has been the most successful example. Linux is a Unix
Pardon my curled lip.
Regarding SCO's claims, first, Linux , the kernel, is not a "Unix derivative". It was written from scratch....
What is so weird about the SCO position is it has avoided specifying exactly what code they claim is allegedly copied. They say they'll show it at trial, which is obviously a long way off. Meanwhile, they are causing a lot of PR damage.
The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is...
Hmm... you don't suppose? ...
How weirdly coincidental: Recently Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Linux "customers will never really know who stands behind this product."
Why, that's exactly what SCO is saying it its complaint. It is known that SCO is having money troubles. Could it be... ??
...The consensus is that, while no one but the parties can yet know the true facts as to the contract dispute between IBM and SCO, as far as the Linux kernel is concerned, there probably isn't anything to fear but fear itself.
And that, in a phrase, may be exactly what this is all about. Good Olde Fud takes another turn around the block.
Was I right or was I right?
But my point is, there was nothing for IBM to do. I already had analyzed the litigation, and while in the early days I had no idea who was right about the contract issues, and said so, I thought it was likely a bogus lawsuit from the very beginning as far as the kernel and any copyright infringement was concerned. Thinking isn't proving, so Groklaw set off on a quest to find the truth, and everything we found we posted, so you could verify it for yourself. That is because my view of FUD is that it can't stand the light of day, like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz, who melted to death on contact with water. If this was to be a FUDfest, I thought, the solution was facts and more facts, and that is exactly what Groklaw did, present facts from our group research. If it proved SCO wrong, over and over and over, so be it. We didn't create the facts. We just dug them up.
So, when I read this exhibit, I laughed. Not only is Groklaw listed, in a class by itself, but it seems IBM interfered with SCO's relationship with IBM Japan. Um. Huh? And with Rob Enderle and Laura DiDio, although they mispell her name. Also listed is the Free Software Foundation. I believe there was no love lost there already. And "a Certain NY Taxi Cab Company". Ah! The endless mysteries of SCO.
IBM interfered with SCO's relationship with Red Hat too, it seems by this list. Hmm. I'm thinking SCO's announcing to the media that there was day of reckoning coming for Red Hat might have been enough, without any IBM contribution. You think? The court in Delaware thought so, judging from this 2004 ruling:
c. Plaintiff Red Hat, Inc. ("Red Hat") has alleged that defendant SCO is engaged in a campaign to create fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the LINUX operating system, with resulting direct harm to Red Hat. Moreover, Red Hat has submitted multiple press releases which indicate that SCO, in fact, has embarked on a campaign to protect its proprietary interests in its UNIX OS, particularly as against the LINUX industry which, SCO claims, is illegally appropriating its UNIX source code. ... Although SCO chose as its first adversary International Business Machines Corporation ... nevertheless, SCO has publicly stated that it has issues with Red Hat, that it will likely file a new suit or amend its controversial lawsuit against IBM to target other companies" like Red Hat in the LINUX industry, that "[t]here will be a day of reckoning for Red Hat," and that "chances for negotiating with such companies [as Red Hat] appear to be slim."
d. Under these circumstances, the court concludes that SCO's conduct has created a reasonable apprehension of suit.
Get it? It's SCO's own conduct that created the problem. Yet to SCO, IBM interfered with SCO's relationship with Red Hat. Oh, and SCO's relationship with the members of United Linux too, to hear SCO tell it. If SCO would just sit down, with their head resting on one fist for a second, like the Rodin statue, and ponder their own behavior, they might find themselves hit on the noggin with a cluestick as to why folks would prefer not to have a relationship with SCO. If you declare Linux massively infringes Unix, sue a Linux end user and Unix licensee for alleged copyright infringement, declare that there could be legal dangers to distributing or using Linux, might that get the members of United Linux in a tizzy, without IBM having to lift a finger?
See, that's SCO's problem. They lack introspection. I have a relative like that. Whatever happens that is negative, no matter if she has caused it all by herself, it's always someone else's fault, in her eyes. It's never her. She gets really mad too, which is kind of funny or kind of annoying, depending on one's mood. However, at least she sees a psychiatrist, so there's some hope for her. SCO's divine comedy interpretation of events, that it is the sad victim of outside forces, is a harder nut to crack.
As you know, the list from SCO kept changing and a lot of the entities and folks on this list got dropped, including -- I think -- Groklaw, as you can see from the transcript of the hearing on IBM's motions for summary judgment on SCO's interference and unfair competition claims. But here it is, a funny and annoying Groklaw moment in the SCO saga, immortalized and searchable in plain text.
Anyway, the exhibit is priceless, so it seemed worth it to transcribe this beauty of paranoia -- or cynical pretense -- depending on how you look at it, so we have something to show folks in the future who ask us, why did SCO do it? What was it all about? If they are techies, we already have plenty to show them, but if they are not, I was thinking we could just show them this document, SCO in a Nutshell.
So to speak.
And we can tell them, it was much ado
about nothing. Thin air. Nonsense. FUD. The stupidest lawsuit in the history of the world.
But it damaged a lot of decent folks. For absolutely nothing. Including me. That is the part that isn't so funny.
PERSONS OR ENTITIES WHOSE RELATIONSHIP WITH SCO IBM IS
ALLEGED TO HAVE INTERFERED WITH, SUCH THAT SCO WAS
DAMAGED, THAT ARE THE SUBJECT OF SCO'S CLAIMS AGAINST IBM
-- IDENTIFIED BY MR. MCBRIDE AT DEPOSITION
Set 1: Members of United Linux
The United Linux Organization
Set 2: Customers
A Certain NY Taxi Cab Company
Set 3: Third Party Software and Hardware Vendors
Set 4: Industry Event Companies
Entity Above a Certain OpenSource Business Conference Company Sponsoring John Terpstra's OpenSource Conference
Set 5: So-Called "Chicago 7"
Set 6: Industry Analysts
Rob Enderle (with Gartner)
Laura Dido (with Yankee Group)
Set 7: Project Monterey Group
Set 8: Standards Bodies or Companies Related to Standards Bodies
Free Software Foundation
Set 9: SCO Investors
Set 10: Media