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04.11.11

Groklaw Defamed by Microsoft Boosters as Pamela Jones Steps Down Victorious

Posted in FUD, Microsoft, SCO at 3:52 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Groklaw and SCO ship
Image credited to Groklaw.net

Summary: Not even a day goes by and the mobbyists already engage in revisionism and distortion of the truth about Groklaw; Techrights responds

THIS is sad to watch. As pointed out to us by a reader last night (see IRC logs, which we have finally caught up with), now starts the revisionism about Groklaw and about Pamela Jones, its esteemed and talented editor. She won’t be able to defend herself and rebut the spin for much longer as her online presence is strictly in Groklaw (due to imposters). We have already attempted to set the record straight, but some people insist on echoing the words spread in a PR-esque fashion by all the usual suspects. Examples of the arguments to watch out for are: 1) Pamela encouraged IBM to sue using patents (they forgot to mention that IBM was provoked to do this by an agitator and disrupter which is partly owned by Microsoft) and 2) Pamela celebrated Red Hat’s patents (well, she actually celebrated Red Hat’s ability to settle litigation by patent trolls, even in a GPLv3-compliant way). This recently developed into somewhat of an argument we intended to put an end to, not to restart

In many ways, the FSF et al. adopted a similar attitude towards patents. Eben Moglen, for example, thanked the OIN for shooting down attempts by Microsoft to pass Linux-hostile patents to patent trolls. Richard Stallman will address the general subject very soon and here is the abstract of his talk:

Richard Stallman will explain how software patents obstruct software development. Software patents are patents that cover software ideas. They restrict the development of software, so that every design decision brings a risk of getting sued. Patents in other fields restrict factories, but software patents restrict every computer user. Economic research shows that they even retard progress.

Meanwhile, as Groklaw helped highlight back in February, Microsoft seems to be turning Nokia into a patent agitator and Muktware claims that the Elop-led “Nokia Confirms They Are Stabbing The Free Software Community”:

Nokia has finally confirmed that they are closing the recently opened Symbian platform. Why is Nokia closing Symbian, when it could have had great potential by being taken care by a wider community? Could there be Microsoft influence? I don’t know.

I am upset with Nokia as the company has betrayed the wider free software community which believed, trusted and invested in platforms like Maemo, MeeGo and Symbian backed by the company. The promises that Nokia made to the free software community have been broken. It’s shameful.

It is even worse if one takes into account the new patent strategy, which came along with Microsoft’s president, Elop [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]. They might choose to sue Android phone makers or even Google.

The bottom line is, Groklaw was always against software patents. It actively preached against them and recognised them as a threat. In several E-mails before the weekend I discussed this with Pamela, who clarified her position but permitted no direct quoting (I had not asked for permission). So for anyone who is still fooled by defamation of Groklaw, rest assured that her site strives to deliver an accurate assessment, even if that sometimes mean that discomforting views will get across to readers.

Groklaw not only criticises software patents. Patents in general are in doubt over there and in last week’s news we found an article which gives method for swinging on a swing as an example. It’s titled “Patently absurd system encourages litigation, not innovation” and it says:

For those tempted to laugh it off as the antics of Aussies, note that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office saw fit in 2002 to hand a 5-year-old from Minnesota the exclusive rights to use, sell or license a method for swinging on a swing. (It will surprise no one that his father was a patent attorney.)

These are silly examples that point to a serious problem: Patent offices around the globe are apparently only too willing to grant rights to inventors who haven’t done a whole lot of inventing. And businesses are only too ready to rush their claims to court to gain an upper hand in the market or draw revenue from dubious innovations.

How about “methods for enticing users to access a web site” as the Indian press put it some days ago?

The doodles that Google puts out are pretty familiar to regular users. A recent one relates to Harry Houdini’s 137th birthday, showing a cute cartoon of a suited magician in broken handcuffs. What users may not know is that this doodle stands patented. For a minute, when I first read that, I was pretty amused. “No way!” was my first reaction. However, I took a minute to investigate and sure enough, on March 22, Google was granted a patent titled “Systems and methods for enticing users to access a web site”.

I dreaded scrolling down to read the claims-section of the patent; however, this patent only had four claims. Claims are essentially the heart of a patent application, upon which legal rights are granted/disputed.

Hey, Google, what the heck? Et tu, Google? We stand by our initial evaluation of Google's patent policy.

Moving on from the subject of patents, Groklaw is being defamed in other ways, quite notably by Microsoft Florian. He recycles not only false material from Dan Lyons about Groklaw being “funded by IBM” (a lie which IBM rebutted under oath in the courtroom); now he starts with the very old lie that Pamela does not exist or that the site is composed by a group of people. Well, Florian never shied away from lies, so there he goes again. Watch him getting all chummy with Microsoft MVP Miguel de Icaza [1, 2] and with Microsoft spinner Rob Enderle [1, 2, 3] these days over at Twitter. He mostly speaks to Microsoft people over at Twitter and it’s truly telling. This quite rightly upsets friends of the Groklaw site and one reader suggests (by E-mail): “now that PJ is closing up Groklaw, you might explain what Techrights is about and invite people over.” A member of Groklaw, “spaetz”, noted last night that: “I don’t CARE if she is a woman, a man or a whole legal department.”

Recently we’ve been getting people from Groklaw in the IRC channels and they are very insightful, even eager to help. If Groklaw will no longer be active we sure hope to provide them with a service comparable to News Picks and also some analysis, which is not as legalese-oriented and courtroom-based as Pamela’s (we are neither qualified to do so, nor have we the access to court documents).

Groklaw has been invaluable to us; we could not do without it. Regarding the Novell/CPTN situation, for example, Groklaw noticed the following:

Maureen O’Gara quotes Florian too, of course, which tells you all you need to know, I suspect. But if Florian were correct this time, as opposed to all the prior times, and this deal was a foregone conclusion, so to speak, why would FCO write to OSI at all? And yet… they did. OSI sent their response on April 4th, raising some rather serious questions, and in each case saying that OSI lacks the ability to know the answers, but the FCO has the means and the authority to look into the issues raised. But by April 12th? Does Florian ever predict the future in a way that predicts anything but success for proprietary players any more? List the urls, if you have any. And, more significantly, did he predict that the terms of the CPTN deal would have to morph into the form that they have, thanks to OSI raising concerns with the FCO?

In short, I suggest you wait and see what happens. He doesn’t know. The FCO didn’t write to him, you know, or ask for his views.

For those who do not know what Maureen O’Gara (the fake ‘reporter’ [1, 2, 3, 4]) did to Groklaw, read this from the court (strong evidence, no speculations needed):

“A. [Maureen O'Gara:] PJ is the purported author of the Groklaw site.

Q. What is the Groklaw site?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] It is a website that follows the SCO case — I should say cases, maybe, but –

Q. And then you did, in fact, write a story about PJ or Pamela Jones, didn’t you?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] Yes.

Q. So, in 196, Stowell says in the subject line, “I need you to send a jab PJ’s way,” and that’s March 30 2005?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] Yeah.

Q. And 197 is your May 9 to 13, 2005 issue of Client Server News 2000, correct?

MR. JACOBS: Your Honor, Novell moves into evidence D-14.

MR. NORMAND: No objection, Your Honor.

THE COURT: It will be admitted.

(Novell Exhibit D-14 received in evidence.)

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] Yeah.

Q. And the lead story is Who is Pamela Jones?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] Yeah.

1665

Q. Right?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] Yes.

Q. Is there — is there a causal relationship between Blake Stowell’s e-mail to you and the appearance of the story in Client Server News 2000, May 9 to 13, 2005?

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] No.

Q. You did it independently? You did the story on PJ –

A. [Maureen O'Gara:] I have reason to do a story on Pamela Jones that has nothing to do with SCO.

Q. And, in your — in that article you said, “A few weeks ago, I went looking for the elusive harridan who supposedly writes the Groklaw blog about the SCO v. IBM suit.” “

Later on, Maureen O’Gara and the Microsoft/SCO gang would try to portray Pamela as paranoid. As though she had no reasons to be concerned… and now they try to pretend she never existed, either. SJVN rebuts as follows, and not for the first time, either:

During those years, she was frequently attacked by people who claimed she was an agent for IBM. Her privacy was attacked by so-called journalists. Others claimed, and still claim to this day, that there is no PJ. That’s utter nonsense.

Pamela Jones does exist. I’ve met her several times and she’s a friend. She’s also a very private person in her personal life and frankly she doesn’t trust SCO, or its friends, as far as she could throw them. Since she’s been stalked by them, I can’t say that I blame her.

SJVN wrote about him meeting Pamela about 3 years ago when the same old lies about her existence had bubbled up to the surface again, seeking to discredit and de-legitimise the messenger of course.

There are other inaccurate claims about Groklaw; it is not really “Shutting Down”, as some people put it; it does not need Byfield’s “Eulogy”, either (he has been critical of Groklaw over the years, dismissing the likes of Groklaw as "conspiracy theorists"). He wrote:

When I got up this morning, the news was all over Facebook and the free software news sites: Groklaw, the site that was influential in the SCO legal cases, will stop publication on May 16. It’s news that I hear with decidedly mixed feelings.

Well, mixed feelings, eh? So now he can more easily pretend that freedom fighters as “anti-corporations” and/or irrational. To put the situation more correctly, Brad adds that “The site will remain active, and its archives accessible. But no new commentary will be posted.”

Indeed.

For those who are new to Techrights, our aim is to fight FUD which is aimed at Free software (against Linux, Android, and so on). As we mentioned briefly the other day, Gartner is the latest with the FUD baton [via Pogson] and people in Twitter are currently linking to our Gartner FUD and misconduct wiki page because they too realise that we have FUD in our hands. Those who are new to the site may wish to start familiarising themselves with the wiki.

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14 Comments

  1. twitter said,

    April 11, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Gravatar

    Don’t turn away the legal people from Groklaw, they can provide Techrights with a whole new section to make up for PJ’s retirement. Groklaw has been around long enough to train dozens of people and the community is large enough to get people into US courtrooms around the country. If there’s someone at Groklaw who’s got the time and guts to do what PJ did, you should offer them an editorship and a subsite, Techrights Legal. Give them the Slashcode they are used to and let them keep roaring. PJ can give you some good guidance on who’s reliable and looking for more.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Don’t turn away the legal people from Groklaw…

    I did not rule out anything at all; au contraire — I invited anyone who can to join us as we keep growing and now have nearly 13,000 blog posts. If someone new wants to join our efforts, let’s chat in IRC.

  2. Will said,

    April 11, 2011 at 6:12 pm

    Gravatar

    FM has certainly been a busy boy the past day or two. Ever since the Groklaw announcement, he’s been all over the web, posting comments on several news posts about Groklaw–always harping endlessly about PJ’s relative anonymity (including whether or not “PJ” even exists) and/or trotting out his own supposed credentials.

    The thing he doesn’t seem to comprehend is that, the evidence and analysis provided by Groklaw should be judged on their own merits *regardless* of who or where it comes from. It’s like he thinks if he can just discredit one person’s identity somehow, he can discredit the entire legal archive at Groklaw–all the court documents, all the commentary by PJ and a multitude of others, everything, or something like that.

    Of course he’s been rebutted and/or outright slammed everywhere he posts, but I suppose as long as whatever compensation he receives keeps coming in, he’ll keep on spewing.

    Going by Twitter, etc, seems like several members of Team Apologista are openly celebrating this news.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Going by what I see in his Twitter account (the past 2 days alone), he dedicated over a dozen tweets just to Techrights and his Microsoft-loving chat buddies exceeded his numbers. He even tweeted me directly to say something along the lines of, now we can go after you. He has already threatened several times and he is not as polite as people who see his public communication may think; that’s why we call him mobbyist (like mob). He admits being a lobbyist for a corrupt club:

    http://lwn.net/Articles/437724/

    twitter Reply:

    Byfield also took a swing at Groklaw and Techrights, repeating his “conspiracy theory” slur of Groklaw and accusing Techrights of the same. He says he’s glad PJ is gone and seems to be happy to fling a little dirt on what he hopes is Groklaw’s grave. What a jerk.

    The attention given to Techrights should be seen as flattering. Techrights is a target because it is influential, careful, honest and out of Microsoft control. I’m still surprised by the swiftness and nastiness of the attacks but suspect there’s worse to come.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    FM has been harping about the Byfield piece like half a dozen times today. This is the type of people Byfield has fed, although not intentionally.

    Byfield loves to pretend to be the Fountain of Truth, but he is just like everyone else:

    http://techrights.org/2008/01/07/mistake-bruce-byfield/

    twitter Reply:

    I’m still not sure if Byfield is malicious or just has a big head. Either way, he has a tendency to trash talk a lot of good people in the free software community, often while pretending to praise them or hijacking their voice by recasting their opinion in silly ways.

    I wrote this about him at the time:

    Bruce Byfield * pretends to be reasonable but he exaggerates free software conflicts and throws mud on all sides. Slams of Groklaw and Boycott Novell speak for themselves.

    Defends OOXML, says bad things about Richard Stallman, Gnome, Boycott Novell, Pamela Jones of Groklaw and Alberto Barrionuevo of Foundation for a Free Information Infrastructure. It is only fair to link Boycott Novell’s answer. Same thing as above. Different date but less opinionated. Defends Novell/M$ deal and tries to characterize free software advocacy as irrational naivete. Classic “talking about open-source business is like talking about ‘compassionate conservatism’” FUD for Debian, much of which conflicts with the words of wisdom in the last reference.Free Software advocates who oppose M$ are part of a “culture of hate”, self important and scary fanatics.Richard Stallman and Bruce Perens pointed out a long time ago that freedom is a scary thing to talk about. M$’s court proven plots against their competitors and free software are scarier still to people soaked in the hundred billion dollar marketing machine. Only a real coward however will ignore these issues.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    It’s s shame really because Byfield’s technical articles are quite good and I cite them a lot.

    twitter Reply:

    This is probably the worst of FM’s ranting in that thread:

    How can PJ be a “reputable person” without ever having disclosed one past or current employer?

    It’s not about a “disdain for all things PJ”. The problem is that Groklaw has constantly tried to capitalize on many people’s desire for simple fairy-tale-like black-and-white views. Groklaw has, partly in its articles and partly in discussions, engaged in character assassination. The net effect of that big brainwashing effort is that some of the more credulous and less informed people now distrust a very smart analyst like Rob Enderle, very smart journalists like Maureen O’Gara and Dan Lyons, or a very smart author like Ed Bott, only because they comment on certain issues with greater sanity than Groklaw.

    I don’t have a problem if Groklaw cancels its plans and continues beyond May 16. My blog started a year ago, and most of the issues I analyzed aren’t even covered by Groklaw (other than occasional news picks at most). I just think that sites promoting black-and-white thinking and a shoot-the-messenger attitude do people a disservice.

    As PJ would say, “The gang’s all here.” It is amazing that Microsoft Florian would make his bed in the “nest of liars and thieves” so universally reviled by the people he wold claim to represent. I can only hope that whole thread was written by an imposter like Dan Lyons, but I’m afraid it was written by an even bigger imposter, one who pretends to be a lawyer and coder to advocate Microsoft and software patents as he pretends to be against them. Like any good troll, he complains about the very thing he’s doing character assassination. Florian deserves a special place in my Troll Zoo and Poison Pens collection. Because of the amazing influence the man has had on Slashdot, I’ve already got a draft troll zoo entry.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Somehow I missed that message (a long thread). This is fun to address. FM says:

    The net effect of that big brainwashing effort is that some of the more credulous and less informed people now distrust a very smart analyst like Rob Enderle…

    Who has worked for and with Microsoft. He pretends to be independent while spreading lies for a Microsoft-funded SCO, defaming Groklaw in SCO events, and comparing Linux people to 9/11 plane hijackers.

    , very smart journalists like Maureen O’Gara

    The lady who not only stalked and harassed SCO critics but also “planted” anti-Linux stories in coordination with Microsoft and to this date reposts all her biased opinion pieces as “PRESS RELEASE”, which is what Sys-Con is fine with because Google spamming and libel is what it does, and it got banned for it.

    and Dan Lyons

    An imposter, just like FM. Dan pretends to be a Steve Jobs (piggybacking one man’s glory), FM pretends to be a developer and legal professional, which he is not. Did he finish high school? Some years ago I read about him writing as a teenager, but I don’t know of any academic track record from FM, which is probably why he’s waving his thing in LWN, talking about people whom he merely met, not about measurable achievements. He acts more like a con artist and he reminds me of that megalomaniac Internet troll whom we had harassed us since 2009 (the ACCESS troll).

    , or a very smart author like Ed Bott, only because they comment on certain issues with greater sanity than Groklaw.

    No, it is because he has reasons for spinning and lying. He makes money from Microsoft’s work (books for example). The bias he has was caused by personal interests identical to those of Preston Gralla and Bott also received expensive gifts from Microsoft for being a mouthpiece, which is why I sometimes call him “Bot” or “Bought”.

    Mind you, FM openly chats with the above people, probably not just in Twitter but also in E-mail (at least some of them). Private E-mail is where the shady FM exists and where the core of the lobbying resides. FM is mass-mailing a huge number of journalists (unsolicited mail) in order to inject his name into their articles. It’s a brute-force operation he would rather people never found out about. 1% success rate would be enough for his ego-surfing and the campaign to legitimate his absurd spin that he is assigned (and paid) to pass as “truth”.

    FM is fine with becoming a lobbyist because he has no morals. He lost touch with that notion.

    twitter Reply:

    Yeah, this is FM trying to both rehabilitate Microsoft and smear PJ at the same time. All of the Microsoft journalists were technical idiots who ruined their reputations smearing people and acting offensive in general. I cataloged some of their behavior in my poison pen collection. Now here comes Microsoft Florian to pull a Mojave on the lot and pretend it was all PJ’s fault that people think these poor defenseless journalists are sleaze.

    That Microsoft Florian is chatting it up with the SCO gang pretty much proves that the above thread is really him and puts an end to questions about his character. Thanks for putting that together.

    twitter Reply:

    I have analyzed Florians’s message to Slashdot over the last year and have added him to both my troll zoo and poison pen collection. The level of attention Slashdot editors has given him is disgraceful.

  3. saulgoode said,

    April 12, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Gravatar

    Examples of the arguments to watch out for are: 1) Pamela encouraged IBM to sue using patents (they forgot to mention that IBM was provoked to do this by an agitator and disrupter which is partly owned by Microsoft)…

    If someone encourages software patent litigation then they are not “always against software patents” — the reason behind the exception is immaterial. This is simple English language comprehension at the grade school level. If you say you are always against homicide, it is a contradiction to then say “but it’s OK if you are provoked”.

    If you want to discuss what might or might not justify the use software patents, fine; have that discussion. But if exceptions are to be made then you are no longer talking about being “always against software patents”.

    … and 2) Pamela celebrated Red Hat’s patents (well, she actually celebrated Red Hat’s ability to settle litigation by patent trolls, even in a GPLv3-compliant way). This recently developed into somewhat of an argument we intended to put an end to, not to restart

    The Red Hat/Firestar settlement was a somewhat admirable attempt at being inclusive of all Free Software, but it was not even close to being 100% successful. In order to be covered by the protection of the licensing settlement, one’s code has to be either included in a Red Hat product, or based upon code appearing in a Red Hat product. As encompassing as this coverage may appear at first blush, there are Free Software projects that are not included in Red Hat, nor based upon software included in Red Hat.

    Similarly, the companies and projects comprising the Open Invention Network mutually agree not sue each other over software patents that are incorporated into the “Linux System”. Notably, the agreement does not cover BSD, Minix, OpenSolaris, or millions of other Free Software projects that are not part of the “Linux System”. Again we have an exclusionary patent agreement which purports to provide protection to a particular segment of the Free Software community to the exclusion of other segments.

    Does any of this sound familiar? Because I’m experiencing some difficulty reconciling your intention to put an end to debate on such things with the origins of this website, and the assertion made on your “About this Site” page that “The Web site covers not only the Novell deal (with Microsoft), but it also discusses similar exclusionary and questionable deals.

    Chris DiBona of Google recently estimated that there are 31 million Free Software projects indexed on the web. How many of those projects do you think are covered by the Red Hat settlement? How many of those projects do you think are covered by the OIN?

    Perhaps you would care to explain to those Free Software projects which have been excluded why their arguments should now be silenced while the arguments you’ve been presenting for the last five years about the Novell patent agreement were justified. Is your position not to discuss the OIN and the Red Hat settlement based on some sort of threshold of Free Software that is included in the protection? If so, perhaps you’d care to share what percentage of the 31 million projects need to be covered before we can reject the concerns of those that have been excluded.

    If you do not wish to talk about it then fine, don’t. But if you are going to defend the praise of exclusionary patent deals then don’t be surprised if you’re asked to defend your seeming hypocrisy by those who would denounce such deals. There are certainly those who relish the opportunity to point out inconsistencies, hypocrisy, and compromise in the positions taken by members of the Free Software community; but the solution to this is to discuss and address such problems, not to deny their existence. It is nothing short of impudence to suggest that all those opposed to exclusionary patent agreements — whether entered into by Red Hat, Novell, OIN, or anybody else — are motivated by anything other than full recognition that such agreements have a net effect that is detrimental to the Free Software community.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    saulgoode,

    I agree with your comment and should clarify a few things.

    If someone encourages software patent litigation then they are not “always against software patents” — the reason behind the exception is immaterial. This is simple English language comprehension at the grade school level. If you say you are always against homicide, it is a contradiction to then say “but it’s OK if you are provoked”.

    I was actually responding to arguments FM made, not the one that you made. The point being, IBM was not the real aggressor. So, I do agree with your point, which you made thinking that I had criticised your point. In this case, IBM is accountable too.

    Does any of this sound familiar? Because I’m experiencing some difficulty reconciling your intention to put an end to debate on such things with the origins of this website, and the assertion made on your “About this Site” page that “The Web site covers not only the Novell deal (with Microsoft), but it also discusses similar exclusionary and questionable deals.”

    I don’t think that Groklaw addressed this aspect of the settlement. As before (with IBM), the one to be held accountable is Red Hat, probably not Groklaw. I did in fact criticise both IBM and Red Hat for their patent policy. It is them who are not truly against software patents; if Groklaw commends a defensive action from them, this does not not automatically make Groklaw an endorser of all their policies.

    Chris DiBona of Google recently estimated that there are 31 million Free Software projects indexed on the web. How many of those projects do you think are covered by the Red Hat settlement? How many of those projects do you think are covered by the OIN?

    I have been a critic of the OIN too. I doubt it’s seen as a perfect solution by Groklaw. To attribute OIN’s attitude to Groklaw just because Groklaw sometimes praises the OIN is where we make ourselves vulnerable to misinterpretations.

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  26. Links 23/1/2015: Plasma 5.2, Manjaro 0.9-pre1

    Links for the day



  27. Microsoft is Dying Due to Free Software, Tries to Infect GNU/Linux With .NET and to Infect Moodle in Schools With Microsoft Office and OOXML Lock-in

    'Free' drugs (a proprietary software analogy) the new strategy of Microsoft in its latest battle against Free software, especially in schools where choice is a rarity (if not an impossibility), with the premeditated intention of forming dependency/addiction among young people



  28. Microsoft Symptoms of a Dying Company: More Boosters Depart, Back Doors Revealed, Microsoft's Outlook Cracked

    Bad news for Microsoft shortly before the marketing extravaganza served to cover much of it up



  29. The Collapse of European Patent Office Management Culminates With Resignations

    No blood is spilled, but even the management of the EPO is falling apart as the Director of Internal Communication is said to have just resigned



  30. New LCA Talk: Open Invention Network's Deb Nicholson on Software Patents and Patent Trolls

    Deb Nicholson's LCA talk is now publicly accessible


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