Summary: Although Techrights has been quiet by the appearance of the surface (especially in April and March), improvements are being made behind the scenes, so patience is required
TECHNOLOGY improves all the time and means of interaction advance accordingly. Techrights got involved in social networks and also fostered an IRC community because these work better than comments. Blogs in general are a poor form of CMS in which to organise data (reverse-chronological, no hierarchy, lacking structure), so we also added a wiki (for summaries/overviews which are concise for example, even regarding SCO) and recently we collaborated with OpenBytes to bring TechBytes to our readers. I was a smashing success with far more interest than we had ever expected.
If the site has been quiet recently, it’s because of BT and also because of maintenance work, undertaken to improve access to older articles. It’s an investment more than a waste of time. Tim and I spent 5 hours last night working to ensure that we can deliver future episodes of TechBytes also in video form (Ogg Theora and YouTube), in addition to 3 forms of audio.
“I code every day and I am aware of implementations of mine that violate one patent or another, e.g. the progress bars.”The other day we explained what the site is not, even though it gave visibility to some libelous claims which had been made against us (then rebutting them, without getting emotional or pointing fingers). Sadly, there is a lot of new libel against Groklaw; it keeps being spread right now (we only mention it in IRC, in order not to confuse regular readers). The funniest claims say that Pamela Jones is male, multiple people, or that she does not exist (contradicting the former claims, even from the same source!) or that she is paid by big corporations, which is of course a lie. The whole thing is comical at best. For what it’s worth, I do not need to be paid by anyone to oppose software patents and also write to the government or the EPO on the subject; I code every day and I am aware of implementations of mine that violate one patent or another, e.g. the progress bars. Groklaw is written from the eye of a paralegal, this site is not.
As a side note, the same source which slanders Groklaw has just brought to people’s attention this piece from ZDNet UK. I don’t know the author of this piece, but I appreciate what I consider to be a well summarised explanation of not just what was done to me, but also to Pamela Jones (even as far back 2003). It starts by stating:
From time to time, links will pop up on various Linux or open source related sites, pointing to articles written by Roy Schestowitz, mainly from techrights.org. The articles are very well written and all sources for the articles are documented. Sometimes the articles include references to highly confidential material. And so far everything I have read seems to be true with clearly documented evidence. The articles often involve controversial issues with open source, along with lawsuits and even happenings at Microsoft regarding its negative attitude towards open source. For instance, Roy has posted articles claiming to include internal memos within Microsoft that specifically state how they are targeting Linux head-on. When reading the articles and comparing to latest news, they actually coincide and make sense.
What I find more interesting though, is that there are posts and other articles written to try and defame or discredit him. And some use some very strong language. Simply doing a Google search for “Roy Schestowitz” comes up with some examples. What in the world is going on here, and why are people trying so hard to discredit him for his articles on techrights.org?
Well, they try to steer people away from the source of damning evidence by daemonising and defaming the messenger/platform; it’s a lot simpler than having to deny (in vain) leaked documents which highlight criminal behaviour and activities which Microsoft paid a lot of money (settlement out of court) to conceal.
One reader has suggested approaching or posting an “invite” on another forum to readers of Groklaw — an invitation which would describe the partial overlap between Techrights and Groklaw. There is a new article in Groklaw about the need to direct the community to some active forum where comments can be posted. Here is what Pamela wrote:
Now that I’ve announced Groklaw articles will end in May, a number of lovely articles have appeared, and some beautiful comments have been posted here and elsewhere, not to mention a blizzard of emails I’ve received. Thank you, every one of you.
Some of you have asked me to figure out some place where the community can go to continue the work, even if I can’t carry this work load any longer. I can’t announce anything, but I will tell you that I’m trying to figure something out, and if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be because I haven’t heard your concerns. I see your point, and while I have to change things personally, I agree that it is important to have a place on the Internet where the law is explained to geeks and tech to lawyers.
We hardly have any lawyers amongst us at Techrights, but if any are willing to help, IRC is the best place to start. We can always change focus and maybe even create another IRC channel. What Groklaw has done was a provision of peepholes into legalese in the context of Free software. Journalists need that for reference. Groklaw was crucial. A lot of people do not know this, but Groklaw almost came to an end 2.5 years ago (this was not publicly stated). Pamela Jones came back in a big way though, much to the disdain of those whom she criticised, including Novell at times.
Here are some more Groklaw-related articles that we found in the news recently (but have not referenced yet):
Jones chose to maintain a low profile but that is perfectly understandable and does not in any way diminish any credibility she had; she was subject to some nasty attacks by writers from the mainstream tech media in the US and thus one can understand her reluctance to come out in public and gain a profile for herself.
Much of the acceptance that Jones gained was because a great deal of the coverage of matters FOSS comes from groupies – people who exhibit uncritical acceptance of the genre and all that it involves. If is, of course, easy to argue that the attacks on FOSS justify this kind of coverage – in my book that would be tantamount to arguing that the terrorist attacks on the West justify the curtailing of fundamental freedoms.
The venerable Unix computer operating system entered a new phase Monday with its sale by the bankrupt The SCO Group of Lindon to a group of investors who are pledging to spend millions to upgrade and expand it.
Unix was sold to UnXis Inc., a Nevada-based company formed by Stephen Norris Capital Partners and MerchantBridge Group to buy the system out of bankruptcy court in Delaware.
Groklaw will stop publishing new articles May 16 — exactly eight years to the day after it was launched.
This is because its reason for existence is gone, according to founder Pamela Jones.
“In a simple sentence, the reason is this: The crisis SCO initiated over Linux is over, and Linux won,” Jones said in a blog post.
If you’re a regular reader of The Standards Blog, there’s an excellent chance that you already know that Pamela Jones – “PJ” to one and all – announced on Saturday that she would post her last article at Groklaw on May 16. Certain aspects of the site will remain available indefinitely.
It’s difficult to know where to begin in saying “goodbye” to Groklaw. What PJ and her many cohorts accomplished there has been unique in my experience. In many ways, Groklaw exemplifies the transformational power that the Internet has brought to law, society, technology, and the advancement of all things open.
Consider just a few of the core attributes of Groklaw: there were never any fees to access the rich investigative data to be found there. There wasn’t even any advertising. Yet Groklaw was the “go to” source for professional journalists, initially on SCO. As PJ’s credibility grew, journalists didn’t bother to replicate the research that they knew they could find, often instantly, at PJ’s site. And everything PJ wrote was made available under a Creative Commons copyright license. In short, Groklaw has always been about sharing for the public good.
For eight years, Groklaw was the center of the fight between Linux companies and interests and SCO’s efforts to build a licensing business on the back of open source. While Novell was legally the victor in the year-long legal fight by raising its hand and reminding everyone–including SCO, it seemed–that it was they, not SCO, who actually owned the UNIX copyrights.
Yeah, that was awkward. (But pretty funny.)
The not-really-surprised part comes from the fact that Jones herself hinted on Christmas Day that she was contemplating a change for her status on Groklaw. At the time, Jones seemed disillusioned that after all of the hard work performed on Groklaw by her and the über-dedicated group of volunteers, “Novell taking money from Microsoft and contractually agreeing to show up at Open XML standards meetings and events.”
In an ideal world, Groklaw would have a business model, or at least funding, for a small team to continue its work. PJ says that one of the reasons Groklaw is over is because its work is done and Linux has won — look at the mobile world, look at enterprise computing. Ah, if only. Microsoft still claims — and actively litigates for — IP rights in Linux, and Lord only knows how the Java/Oracle fun will end. We’re still in the woods. Groklaw will be most sorely missed, and I hope very much that others will take up the challenge.
Needless to say, Groklaw has another month to go and it already explains why UnXis/SCO is (probably not “are”) up to. Articles include:
Let me guess. UnXis doesn’t want Groklaw to retire?
Eric LeBlan says, “We foresee our software becoming a critical component of the new Internet highways currently being developed in the Middle and Far East, from Riyadh to Beijing.” New Internet highways? I hope they’re just kidding around. If not, don’t forget the tubes, guys. You need tubes for the Internets, y’all.
Well, maybe the plan is to sell where no one knows who SCO is and how they have historically treated customers.
UnXis, the entity that just bought SCO’s software assets, has a website up now, at unxisco.com, where its corporate page tells us what they say they will be doing. This is part of what they now are claiming:
UnXis has a proven “can-do” track record of over 30 years based on the heritage of The Santa Cruz Operation.
Considering that UnXis was just formed for this deal, I wonder at the grandiosity. It has no track record yet at all. Then again, that is for sure the SCO heritage. Remember Caldera changing its name to SCO Group and then saying it had been in business since the 1979, because Santa Cruz Operation started in that year? Well, here we go again.
We are already discussing this in IRC (morning and afternoon today). Ryan asks: “Why the hell would anyone buy SCO for their “UNIX business”? SCO UNIXWARE is laughably outdated. In fact, most proprietary UNIX systems are in that kind of shape, though maybe not as bad”
“[SCO's] “UNIX business” is “suing UNIX developers and users business””
–MinceRMinceR responds: “their “UNIX business” is “suing UNIX developers and users business” (well, more like “FUDding” than “suing” now, since everyone who matters knows they’re full of ****)”
Ryan responds with: “they claim the lawsuits remain with SCO and they only bought the UNIX business [...] anyone still using Unixware is doing it because they have legacy applications, not because they want to keep using it”
This discussion has carried on through the afternoon. To get involved, IRC channels should be considered the best route/channel for involvement. They are also logged to prevent information from getting lost. █