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Hans Reiser to Sell Company 583

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the will-order-bits-for-cash dept.
DVega writes "Due to increasing legal costs, murder suspect Hans Reiser is seeking to sell his company. His lawyer William DuBois said he is running out of money to pay for his defense. DuBois added, 'This is a unique opportunity for someone to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. We welcome all vultures.' This is a good opportunity to own a filesystem and rename it after your own."
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Hans Reiser to Sell Company

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  • Heh,, (Score:4, Funny)

    by aero2600-5 (797736) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:11AM (#17333892)
    AeroFS.. I bet that would bring a lawsuit from Microsoft..

    Aero
    • by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:28AM (#17333980) Homepage Journal
      and that's not pennies on the dollar. Oh wait, it's actually pennies.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jugalator (259273)
      AeroFS.. I bet that would bring a lawsuit from Microsoft..

      I believe Aero is simply a user interface branding, barely even software-related but more about design.
      While the filesystem would be purely software related. It could actually be interesting to watch. ;-)
  • Nice quote (Score:4, Funny)

    by aztektum (170569) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:13AM (#17333902)
    DuBois added, 'This is a unique opportunity for someone to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. We welcome all vultures.'

    There's one hell of a joke about lawyers being vultures themselves, unfortunately the fact that a lawyer of all people said this has rendered my brain unable to make it.
  • DHFS! (Score:3, Funny)

    by gardyloo (512791) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:13AM (#17333906)
    Death-Hallow File System, natch.
  • by iriefrank (41550) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:14AM (#17333908) Homepage
    CowboyNealFS?
  • Why pay for that? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:15AM (#17333916)
    er, couldn't you just fork it and rename it whatever you want for free?
    • Re:Why pay for that? (Score:5, Informative)

      by doom (14564) <doom@kzsu.stanford.edu> on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:25AM (#17333960) Homepage Journal
      Anonymous Coward wrote:
      er, couldn't you just fork it and rename it whatever you want for free?

      Provided you licensed it under the GPL, yes, you could do that.

      The copyright holder has additional options, however -- Hans Reiser says that he actually makes some money selling the right to use his file system without telling anyone else that they're using it.

      (Yes I know, but the corporate world is weird.)

      Also, if you RTFM, you'll see that they mention proprietary add-on products, such as a file compressor

      • by jarich (733129)
        Wasn't it Oracle that was buying up rights to database formats not too long ago... this kinda-sorta falls into the same category.

        But if an Oracle/MS type company bought it, it was just disapear or fork, then disapear. Too many alternatives.

      • Re:Why pay for that? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by igb (28052) on Friday December 22, 2006 @07:32AM (#17335608)
        Hans Reiser says that he actually makes some money selling the right to use his file system without telling anyone else that they're using it.

        (Yes I know, but the corporate world is weird.)

        I've got one of the machines that is covertly Reiser4 under the hood, I believe. I can see why a vendor would want to keep it quiet, too.
        • Firstly, the admission that you don't own the filesystem (in the sense of employing all the major contributors) is a worry for many customers.
        • Secondly, if you want to put your own secret sauce into the filesystem (perhaps hooking it more intimately into your product's volume management, or providing a shortcut API into your block level IO, or doing extra things for fast failover between control units, or whatever) then you don't want to have to pass this stuff out GPL'd.
        • And finally, if you want to use an otherwise-GPL'd filesystem linked into a non-GPL real-time executive like VxWorks (no relation to VxFS, confusingly) or QNX, having a non-GPL version of the filesystem probably saves everyone a lot of lawyers bills.
        I'm not sure I approve of this as a GPL enthusiast --- hey, I had code on the Emacs 17.61 tape! --- but as a customer I don't think I care too much. You don't get to have much oversight of the components used in products you buy unless you're entering into the wild world of source escrow, and buying a non-GPL'd version of a GPL'd product is no different to the OEM buying something completely closed, and in many ways better (I still get the many-eyes thing, up to a point).

        ian

      • What I'd like to see (Score:3, Interesting)

        by metamatic (202216)
        It would be cool if some sensible developers could get the money together, buy the company and Reiser4, and work with the kernel devs to get it made part of Linux.
  • by nacturation (646836) <nacturation AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:17AM (#17333926) Journal
    When Lucas makes a movie about this, be sure to wear your "Hans shot first" t-shirts.
     
  • by Nybble's Byte (321886) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:18AM (#17333930) Journal
    to make a killing.
  • by BigDumbAnimal (532071) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:20AM (#17333940)

    he's seeking to sell off his open-source file system company, Namesys, to help pay mounting legal costs.
  • This is sad ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:20AM (#17333942)
    If he turns out to be innocent, it will be just that much sadder -- he will have lost his wife and be ruined. A justice system that is so where money often plays such a key role in influencing the outcome is a very disfunctional justice system.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by cheekyboy (598084)
      If you win against the govt criminal charges, isnt the govt required to pay all YOUR costs and compensate you for the hassel?

      After all, if YOU LOOSE, you have to pay the government court costs.

      I know its like this for small petty charges in au, or is USA run by evil lawyers?
      • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by tonyr1988 (962108) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:47AM (#17334066)
        or is USA run by evil lawyers?
        You must be new here.
      • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by shystershep (643874) * <bdshepherd.gmail@com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:52AM (#17334082) Homepage Journal
        Um, no to both the first two (yes to the evil lawyer thing). You don't have to pay a dime of the government's court costs, win or lose. And you have a right to a free lawyer if you can't afford one.
      • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Freak (16973) <prius DOT driver AT mac DOT com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:40AM (#17334298) Journal
        As has been said, nope.

        Win or lose, you pay your own lawyer fees (which, if you go with the court-appointed attorney, is free,) and any fine. The fine is *NOT* considered paying back court costs, it is a deterrent.

        And you can only get your money back (and compensation for the hassle,) if you sue the government for wrongful prosecution and win. Basically, you have to prove that the government charged you when they knew you were innocent. (i.e. if they charge someone with murder, knowing full well that the accused didn't do it, because they know that the accused knows who did it. So they are charging one person with murder SOLELY to get that person to break and testify against someone else.) The trick, of course, is PROVING that the government KNEW that you were innocent. If they had even the slightest shred of circumstantial evidence, it can be hard to win one of these cases. (I was on a jury for one of these once. It was rather obvious that the government PROBABLY knew, but that wasn't enough to find against the government. The judge's instructions were very clear.)
        • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Informative)

          by oo (94735) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:51AM (#17334692)
          ...The judge's instructions were very clear.)

          Please don't forget that a judge's instructions are worthless and that you as a member of the jury have all the power and the final say. You have the power to decide whether a law is just or unjust and are free to ignore it and do as you wish. Anything that comes out of the judge's mouth means diddly-squat. What the law says means diddly-squat. You create the law if you're on a jury.

          Google for "jury nullification" if you want more info.
          • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Informative)

            by ComputerSlicer23 (516509) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:24AM (#17334814)
            I forget the legal term for it, but I believe a judge can set aside a jury verdict also. It's also leaving the judge open to review, and is likely to be grounds for a mistrial, retrial or appeal (whatever the appropriate legal term is). So it works both ways.


            Kirby

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kripkenstein (913150)
              IANAL, but as far as I know, it does not work both ways. A judge can set aside a guilty verdict that does not conform to law, but he cannot convict a defendant if an acquittal was not according to law.
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Obyron (615547)
              JNOV: Judgment Non Obstante Veredicto. Judges are not allowed to use JNOV to direct a verdict of guilty when the jury returns an acquittal. Once you've requested a jury trial, only a jury can convict you.

              Wiki it for more info.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LordKronos (470910)

            ...The judge's instructions were very clear.)

            ...
            Google for "jury nullification" if you want more info.

            That's one of those things that's always seemed so obvious to me (even before I learned the term for it), that I don't really know why more people never realized it. The judge deals with the law for a living. On the other hand, as a normal citizen, I'm only familiar with a few laws, and then the rest just comes from my "common sense".

            So, why would it make any sense to bring in a panel full of people who a

            • Re:This is sad ... (Score:4, Insightful)

              by Atzanteol (99067) on Friday December 22, 2006 @10:24AM (#17336540) Homepage

              Now seriously...which of those 3 seems most likely to be the founding fathers' intent?

              None of the above. Seriously. "The jury of your peers" is about keeping a ruling class from passing judgment on the masses. It's one of the last lines of defense against corruption in the legal system.

              Also, the judge explains to the jury the law involved, and the jury is allowed to ask questions about it. The jury is there to decide the truth, not the law.

    • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:42AM (#17334046)
      actually, I thought the opposite. It's sad that someone may be able to buy his way out of a murder conviction and walk away a free man.
      • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jesboat (64736) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:46AM (#17334348) Homepage Journal
        It's not sad at all that he should be able to buy his way out of a murder conviction if he's innocent.

        It'll be sad if he buys his way out of the conviction when he's guilty, but we don't know that he's guilty yet.

        It's saddest for you to assume that he's guilty and if he'd need to buy his way out of a murder conviction if he's innocent.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        >It's sad that someone may be able to buy his way out of a
        >murder conviction and walk away a free man.

        Well, money can't buy you anything more than a fair trial, but lack of money pretty much guarantees that you are screwed, even if the evidence against you is minimal. All that money does, is guarantee that your lawyers are competent, and that you have the resources to dig up evidence on your behalf.

        Now, there are other things you can do to get out of a murder conviction, like be a loved celebrity, or
    • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Informative)

      by powerlinekid (442532) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:06AM (#17334142)
      From the evidence it doesn't look like hes very innocent.

      Blood found in his mother's house and a sleeping bag found in his car match his former wife's

      Prior history of aggression toward her which led to a restraining order.

      A motive in that he has been trying to get custody of his children and they will not give them to him.

      And of course this gem from SFgate [sfgate.com]:

      Hans Reiser's Honda was missing its front passenger seat when police seized it Sept. 19, Cavness testified in an Oakland courtroom. After technicians removed the carpeting from the front seat area, they noticed that the floorboard had been saturated with water, Cavness said.

      Inside the car, police found a 40-piece socket set, Cavness said. The tools appeared to have been used to remove four bolts that had been used to attach the passenger seat to the floor, she said.

      Also found inside the car, according to police, was a roll of trash bags, masking tape, a siphon pump, absorbent towels and two books: "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," by David Simon, about the Baltimore police homicide squad, and "Masterpieces of Murder," by Jonathan Goodman, about notorious murder cases.


      All in all, I'd say its not looking good for him.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:20AM (#17334194)
        Also found inside the car, according to police, was a roll of trash bags, masking tape, a siphon pump, absorbent towels and two books: "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," by David Simon, about the Baltimore police homicide squad, and "Masterpieces of Murder," by Jonathan Goodman, about notorious murder cases.

        Apparently there was nothing in those books about disposing of evidence.

        • by networkBoy (774728) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:03AM (#17334434) Homepage Journal
          "Apparently there was nothing in those books about disposing of evidence."

          To be fair, it would appear that there was no direct evidence in the car. Problem is, like most ultra-super-uber-freaky_cool-keen-whazit geeks he attacked the problem programatically, and the circumstancial evidence was an unhandled exception. Talk about kernal panic!
          -nB
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by DrXym (126579)
          Apparently there was nothing in those books about disposing of evidence.

          File a bug. The pressure should have triggered him to flush his cache.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        That actually sounds really suspicious - the addition of the books is way too much.
        • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by powerlinekid (442532) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:34AM (#17334256)
          My thought exactly...

          Its especially interesting because hes supposed to be a smart guy. You'd think the last thing you want to do is purchase a book about homicide investigations when you think you're the main suspect in a homicide investigation.

          Yeah yeah, maybe he wanted to know how to procede and was honestly curious in a non-sinister way. It still looks extremely suspicious.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by The Bungi (221687)
            There's a difference between being clever and being smart.
          • Funny... (Score:3, Insightful)

            by thrill12 (711899)
            ...I read topics of people having various non-eating related cookbooks in their homes on Slashdot, and each time this is referred to as "innocent reading material" (or something along those lines) rather than a prelude to terrorism - even though the police could view it in that way when someone is arrested on related charges.
            The finding of this book (I'm not talking about other findings) and supposing any connection of this book to the murdering is therefore kind of not-Slashdot like : he could just have be
      • by ozbird (127571) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:00AM (#17334424)
        All in all, I'd say its not looking good for him.

        Are you sure? Try this Cluedo on for size: "Mr Ballmer, in the Honda, with the front seat."
      • Re:This is sad ... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by mabhatter654 (561290) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:28AM (#17334572)
        he knew for several days the police were going to investigate him...he had plenty of time to clean these things up! leaving sloppy evidence like book and tools in the car doesn't make sense. The wife was also known for playing very dirty also and milking it for all it was worth before the divorce was final(the sfgate news mentioned that earlier in the case) She did the usual "husband is beating me" routine but as they described it, it was almost fake (impression from news at the time)... but of course police take the report out on the MAN's fault, and because of that HE has to move out of his house, and HE can't have the kids.. even though everybody KNOWS the reports of abuse are fake or not fully true. She was cheating on him...in his house! and he had to get a new one. She was killed when the kids were with him... that almost points to the boyfriend as the suspect or a paid hit. It's almost like the OJ thing.. the setup evidence is almost TOO good... but pinning the suspect to the actual crime doesn't fit the time tables of where the POLICE say everybody was at. It's like the ex-wife did all the hard work to set the guy up as a bad guy for the divorce, but was living the wild life with somebody else... it's like a gift-wrapped mob hit and the police are falling for it while they have coffee with the real killer at the doughnut shop.

        I'm not saying he couln't have done it, but it's like the OJ case.. soon we'll be finding the police lab "embelished" some reports...mislabled where evidence came from...etc. once that happens, the police have failed to do their duty of running a clean show and you HAVE to let him go not knowing if the police lied, or just did crappy work. His reputation is stained forever, So they just bleed him dry with legal fees and call it good. Nobody gets BANNED from law enforcement for deliberately screwing up the trial!!! That's what's sick with the whole system right now.
      • by CoderDevo (30602) <coderdevo@hotmail.com> on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:19AM (#17334794) Homepage

        Also found inside the car, according to police, was a roll of trash bags, masking tape, a siphon pump, absorbent towels and two books: "Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets," by David Simon, about the Baltimore police homicide squad, and "Masterpieces of Murder," by Jonathan Goodman, about notorious murder cases.

        Lastly, a box containing the first two drafts of "How I did it," by Hans Reiser.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Omnifarious (11933) *

        I suspect he did it myself, but I'm willing to wait for the outcome of a trial to find out.

        In truth, though I think OJ was guilty, I also think the verdict was a just one. The LA police completely flubbed the whole thing. I think they tried to frame a guilty man in large part because of the color of his skin, but also because of an attitude just like yours. They weren't willing to wait for a trial.

        So, though I have my opinion here, he needs to convicted by a jury who has heard all the evidence before I

    • Re:This is sad ... (Score:4, Insightful)

      by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:14AM (#17334498)
      The really sad part is that if he's found guilty, the system will still be just as broken, but people will think it's fair. Which is why the system remains broken.
  • by bubulubugoth (896803) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:34AM (#17334014) Homepage
    As a company owner, this thing is so sad. But on the techinical aspect, ReiserFS has better numbers in i/o, read and write that ext3, but many, many times, the way Hans conducts himself, lead to more and more people running away from ReiserFS.

    Novell have just switched from reiser to ex3 at opensuse 10.1 or 10.2, I can't remember well, and this was the last "mayor" distribution supporting it. Any way, his company was loosing value, even more, his company is more like a one man company that a group of people. I doubt Namesys has CMMI, or follows any structured development strategy, so, buying a company whos best product is the sole creation of his owner is a very, very bad move.

    I hope he gets some money for his company.
  • by davmoo (63521) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:35AM (#17334016)
    Deep Shit File System
  • I think someone from slashdot needs to step up and confess to this murder. ReiserFS is a hell of a filesystem ... I would do it myself but I have an alibi. So who wants to be our patsy?
  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday December 22, 2006 @01:54AM (#17334094)
    Perhaps he might get more takers and a higher price if the proceeds from the sale were used to set up a trust for his kids. They don't have a mother and their father will probably be in prison until he dies. Human buyers will make a more emotional connection with helping his kids than they will helping the defense of a murder suspect.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by kg4czo (516374)
      Ummm.... It says he needs the money to help pay for his defense. I understand the "what about the children" concern, and I would normally agree with you. The article makes it pretty clear that his current concern is making sure he has a decent lawyer instead of a shit bag public defender that's less inclined to put up a fight. I suppose that if he does get off on a lack of evidence (no body), he would make sure his kids are taken care of, if he can. Child Protective Services would probably fight to keep his
  • by theMerovingian (722983) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:00AM (#17334122) Journal

    Reiser was arrested Oct. 10 after the Oakland Police Department found small drops of blood in his house and on his Honda CRX.

    I'm not sure I'd want to buy a company from someone driving a Honda CRX [wikipedia.org]...
  • by fishbowl (7759) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:32AM (#17334250)
    Can they actually prosecute a homicide with no body?
    What would happen if he were convicted, and then Ms. Reiser shows up?
    How can you claim someone is guilty of murder before you have declared the
    victim is dead? Or if the victim is dead, has life insurance been collected, for instance?
    I really don't see how you can have "murder" without a body, remains of a body, or some specific claim as to how the body was disposed of.

    On the other hand, I *can* see how you could justify holding such a suspect without bail, sort of.
    He should, at a minimum, explain where the seat from his Honda can be found. Seems like that might clear up a few things. (They locate that seat, find it isn't covered with blood and bone fragments or whatever they expect to find... That sort of thing would be pretty embarrassing to the prosecution, I'd guess.)

    Of course, if I were a betting man, my money would not exactly be riding on Hans' innocence. The car seat bothers me a lot. (The State of California is required to presume his innocence, but I am not, unless I happen to get called on his jury...)
    • If a body was required for murder, well hell it'd be rather easy to get away with murder wouldn't it? Just make sure the body was disposed of in a way such that it could be found and you'd never have to worry.

      It's called a circumstantial case and while it's the weakest kind and not what the prosecution likes bringing, it can be successfully made. Basically you show that all the circumstances point to murder, and that there's not a reasonable alternate explanation.

      Same kind of case they tried, and failed, to
  • by Trogre (513942) on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:33AM (#17334254) Homepage
    I can only add one comment to what's already been said with a quick prayer:

    Please not Microsoft Please not Microsoft Please not Microsoft Please not Microsoft Please not Microsoft
  • oh great (Score:5, Funny)

    by circletimessquare (444983) <<circletimessquare> <at> <gmail.com>> on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:44AM (#17334336) Homepage Journal
    here comes the GoldenPalace.com file system

    those guys will buy anything if it gets them a free bit of news/ pr

  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday December 22, 2006 @02:47AM (#17334352)
    The IToldYouNotToBotherMeWhenImCodingBitch file system.
  • by SeaFox (739806) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:04AM (#17334444)
    OJSystem
    .
    .
    .
    (for Open Journaled System, of course)
  • Paypal me! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Friday December 22, 2006 @03:13AM (#17334492) Homepage
    I'm collecting donations to buy reiserfs so I can release it under the GPL. Paypal me at mailto:slash@example.com [mailto]!
  • by haeger (85819) on Friday December 22, 2006 @04:57AM (#17334934)
    How much is it worth without Hans Reiser? He's the lead architect isn't he, the one with all the good ideas. Or is he a part of the deal. If aquitted he'll come work for you and if not you'll provide him with a laptop in his cell?

    .haeger

    • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday December 22, 2006 @05:50AM (#17335194)
      How much is it worth without Hans Reiser?

      Talk about unintended consequences.

      When your company's sole product is named after the lead developer, it makes it awfully difficult to convince anyone that there is much ongoing value in that product once the namesake is out of the picture.

      Reiser may end up on death row because he was unable to raise enough funds to hire a good enough attorney. All because he named the product after himself instead of something more generic. Who would have guessed that he might pay for that bit of ego indulgement with his life?
  • Jury selection... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gamer4Life (803857) on Friday December 22, 2006 @07:32AM (#17335612)
    I wonder if one of the questions will be, "What operating system do you use?"
  • Vultures? (Score:3, Informative)

    by AlHunt (982887) on Friday December 22, 2006 @08:22AM (#17335828) Homepage Journal
    Reisers attorney, according to TFA:

    >'This is a unique opportunity for someone to buy the company for pennies on the dollar. We welcome all vultures.

    "vultures"? Funny words from the vulture bleeding him in the first place.

Money doesn't talk, it swears. -- Bob Dylan

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