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03.13.10

Latest SCO-Novell Drama in a Nutshell

Posted in Courtroom, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Novell, OSDL, SCO, UNIX at 7:38 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Alcatraz

Summary: How SCO orchestrated attacks on Groklaw and other takes on the trial against Novell

WE generally cover the SCO case only when there is a major development. One new post that we found particularly curious is titled “Blake Stowell Email to Maureen O’Gara: ‘I Need You to Send a Jab PJ’s Way’” (SCO also paid O'Gara, who carries on lying about the case).

This shows how corruptible the press really is, but then again it’s Sys-Con [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], which is far worse than Fox. Microsoft also used Maureen O'Gara to send a jab in the Linux Foundation's way (OSDL at the time). Microsoft didn’t do this directly. In order to reduce the risk, it used its main PR agency (there are several), Waggener Edstrom. Anyway, here is what Groklaw writes:

So. Now I know. Now we all know.

Blake Stowell, then the PR guy for SCO, sent an email to Maureen O’Gara, saying “I need you to send a jab PJ’s way,” and then right afterwards she wrote that invasive so-called expose, in which she revealed, or at least intended to reveal, things like who I called on my phone. A la the HP scandal. She got fired for doing it the way she did, and the then-publisher apologized to me publicly, but she says in the deposition she’s not sorry a bit.

We learn this by reading excerpts from her deposition, previously under seal, attached to a letter [PDF] SCO’s attorney sent to the court. SCO doesn’t want the part of her deposition video played where she talks about me and Groklaw. It’s beyond eye-opening, however, despite her pretense, as I see it, that there is no connection between the two events.

They also don’t want the part about an email she sent to SCO, subject line, “I want war pay,” played. It’s allegedly humor. Just chatter. But you know, she is on the list of people SCO owes money to, now that I think of it, filed in connection with the bankruptcy. I wonder for what?

It isn’t acceptable, in my eyes, that SCO’s attorneys invariably smear Groklaw in every filing that mentions it. They don’t just say “Groklaw,” they say “the anti-SCO website, Groklaw.” One can say quite a lot in legal filings, and get away with it, but there is a line where it becomes libel, when it is gratuitous, and that language is gratuitous. There isn’t a media outlet that I can think of, other than Maureen O’Gara’s newsletters, that hasn’t criticized what SCO did. The Wall Street Journal was the first, actually, to suspect there was something rotten in Lindon, if you recall. Would it be acceptable to call it, in legal papers, the anti-SCO newspaper, the Wall St. Journal? I think not, and I suggest they are crossing a line.

Microsoft evangelists (on the payroll) are doing this to Boycott Novell and anonymous Novell employees too. Thus, they would be hypocrites to paint themselves as victims of bad publicity.

Our reader The Mad Hatter writes some more about the SCO case, calling it “SCOicide”.

Due to the interest in the case, Judge Kimbell told both parties to minimize redactions in the documents that they filed, and not to minimize the number of documents filed under seal. Because of this we learned that Caldera had hired people to investigate and prove the transfer of code, and that they reported that they COULD NOT FIND PROOF OF ANY TRANSFER. They filed their reports before the original lawsuit was launched. Darl, the CEO knew that he didn’t have any proof. None. But he went ahead with the lawsuit against IBM anyway.

Other coverage from the latest episode in this case includes:

1. Novell asks for further ruling on Motion in Limine No. 4

Novell has asked the Court to rule further on their Motion in Limine No. 4 [PDF; text]. The Court had previously issued a ruling [PDF] granting that Motion, but Novell now asks for further ruling, stating that “[t]he Court addressed this issue solely in the context of SCO’s covenant of good faith claim. However, Novell’s motion covered all of SCO’s claims, including slander of title. The Court’s prior ruling did not expressly address other claims, so Novell requests the Court to rule on the issue that was left open by its prior order.”

2. Attorney: IBM-Novell worked together to hurt SCO

Novell Inc. lied about owning the copyrights for the Unix computer operating system then collaborated with IBM to damage Unix owner The SCO Group, the latter’s attorney told a federal court jury Tuesday.

In the first day of testimony in a trial to settle a long-running legal dispute between SCO and Novell, SCO went on the attack by calling as its first witness the former CEO and chairman of Novell. Robert Frankenberg testified that despite Novell’s claims of ownership, his intent was to sell the copyrights in a 1995 deal that’s at the heart of the conflict.

The SCO Group claims that Novell “slandered” its title to the Unix system and caused it to lose as much as $215 million in revenue at a time when it was in a related dispute with IBM. SCO had accused IBM of improperly using Unix code for improvements that made the Linux operating system a commercial competitor.

SCO’s 2003 lawsuit potentially put IBM on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars. But then Novell late that year claimed that it, and not SCO, owned the copyrights, meaning SCO did not have a basis for its IBM lawsuit nor for demands that businesses using Linux pay licensing fees.

3. Novell, IBM accused of collaborating to hurt Unix owner, lawyer says

A trial in federal court that could have a major impact on the Linux operating system opened in Salt Lake City on Monday with The SCO Group’s lawyer taking aim at Novell and IBM.

4. Arguments begin in SCO v. Novell over copyrights

5. Day 2 of the SCO v. Novell Trial – Opening argument – Updated Repeatedly – 1st Witness, Frankenberg (more documents)

Would it surprise you to find out that it turns out that apparently one of the jurors might be related to one of SCO’s prior corporate officers? At any rate they have the same last name, and Salt Lake City is a big place, so perhaps not. Novell noticed the similarity in names, according to our reporter today, MSS2, only after jury selection was over.

MSS2 has just sent me his first report of day 2 of the jury trial in SCO v. Novell, with more to come. Today was opening arguments by both sides. And we have lots more goodies for you from two eyewitnesses, MSS2 and Tilendor. We begin with SCO’s opening argument by Stuart Singer. All I can say after reading it is maybe you needed to be there. Or SCO must be a slow learner or Mr. Singer never reads Groklaw, or … well, see what you think.

6. Day 1 of the Jury Trial, SCO v. Novell – Updated 2Xs – We Have a Jury

7. Jury seated in SCO lawsuit against Novell

A jury has been seated to hear the lawsuit in which The SCO Group is claiming Novell interfered with its ownership of the Unix computer operating system and cost it more than $100 million in business.

8. Last-Minute Filings from Judge Stewart, SCO, Novell

9. More Back-and-Forth on Proposed Jury Instructions/Verdict Forms in SCO v. Novell

10. Day 2 of the SCO v. Novell Trial – Opening argument – Updated Repeatedly – 1st Witness, Frankenberg

11. Volunteer Needed for Thursday Trial Coverage

The Salt Lake Tribune then published this somewhat controversial article (also posted here), which led to this rebuttal from Groklaw.

And on it goes until Friday:

12. Day 4 of the Trial in SCO v. Novell – and Novell’s Petition for Certiorari

13. Novell’s Motion to Allow Evidence: SCO Opened the Door

14. Day 5 of the SCO v. Novell Trial & Some Help for Journalists Covering the Trial

Some readers of Boycott Novell have sufficient knowledge about the case and they comment about it in IRC. But for well researched commentary regarding SCO, we recommend that people read Groklaw, which could use more volunteers.

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO approached by Microsoft

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2 Comments

  1. your_friend said,

    March 13, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Gravatar

    The “Unix Copyrights” are basically a big joke. Bell tried to crush BSD with copyrights for the better part of a decade and failed, making ownership of the copyrights worthless. Novell bought them as a trophy more than anything else. SCO’s abuse of the same copyrights, which they don’t even own, for yet another decade is an even worse joke. If that were not bad enough, SCO published most of the same source code under the GPL before it was captured by people best described as liars and thieves compared to which IBM at its historic worst looked positively angelic.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Regardless of the SCO case, it’ll be interesting to see where “UNIX” ends up if Novell is sold in chunks.

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