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SCO Asked O'Gara To Smear Groklaw 96

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "PJ of Groklaw has found some really interesting documents coming out of the never-ending SCO trial. Specifically, in SCO v. Novell, SCO doesn't want the jury to find out about the email Blake Stowell (then a PR guy for SCO) sent to Maureen O'Gara that asked her to 'send a jab PJ's way.' For those who don't remember that far back in the SCO saga, the 'jab' was when O'Gara wrote an inaccurate, rambling and irrelevant 'exposé' on PJ which got O'Gara fired for violating journalistic ethics after angry readers complained to the publisher — an act which caused Ms. O'Gara to tell SCO, 'I want war pay.' For those wondering how they can keep going after that final judgment against SCO over a year ago, it's hard to do the saga justice without glossing over everything, but the short version is that SCO ran to bankruptcy after they were mostly dead, but before becoming completely dead. That automatically stopped all the cases against SCO due to standard bankruptcy court rules, then SCO effectively re-litigated a bunch of issues via bankruptcy court rules. Currently, they're accusing Novell of 'slander of title' over copyrights that two different courts have ruled SCO does not own, and we're waiting to see if a jury will reach the same conclusion. They're also trying to use the company's lawsuits as assets and to sell them to various SCO insiders so that the legal wranglings can continue even if nothing is left of SCO. From the very start, SCO has always been the type to fight dirty."
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SCO Asked O'Gara To Smear Groklaw

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  • Zombie SCO (Score:3, Funny)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:23AM (#31463746)

    After 7 years, I invoke Rule 303.

    Rule 303, to the head.

    It's the only way to kill zombies.


    • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Arancaytar ( 966377 )

      Just nuke it from orbit.

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by GovCheese ( 1062648 )
      Once upon a time, SCO rented a car and the only improvement they made was to add a taxi meter. Because the SCO dispatcher was a zombie, and it was the only car in the fleet, the company died. The car is now driven aimlessly by the zombie dispatcher and the meter is still ticking. Nobody ever got into the cab but according to zombie law, somebody must pay.
    • Page moved permanently, to the head?
      • by bmo ( 77928 )

        You are now put on notice that you must rent "Breaker Morant" before the weekend is out.


  • by HangingChad ( 677530 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:30AM (#31463780) Homepage

    But the SCO fiasco is an outright fraud. This has to be one of the most blatant abuses of our legal system I can remember. Why didn't the SEC anal probe McBride and put an end to this charade? You'd think that was part of their job. There were certainly enough complaints filed.

    Pathetic this joke of a company is still alive.

    • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:39AM (#31463844)

      Bernie Madoff was pointed out repeatedly to the SEC and they did absolutely nothing.

      If I have learned anything from the SCO case is that regulators are mostly lazy asses that only go after "high profile" celebrities (like Martha Stewart) to make it *look like* they're doing something. Nailing the Ivan Boeskys of the world comes once every 15 years. In between, it's business as usual.

      Real thieves wear shiny suits and everyone looks the other way.


      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hitmark ( 640295 )

        i suspect that as long as some big corp is not making an embarrassment of the government in the eyes of the general public (and SCOs fight over unix is anything but mainstream) the regulators are probably told to be hands off so as to not disturb the "invisible hand" in action. These days, they are one and the same, as big corp get government elected, and government makes life easy for big corp, as long as big corp do not behave in a conspicuous way...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I realize I'm a jaded cynic, but nothing those asshats try even surprises me anymore. I'm sure there are a lot of other revelations just waiting to be uncovered.
      • Well, here's an interesting thing: one of their own witnesses brought to court with him yesterday a document he had "found in his garage" and turned over to the SCO legal team six months ago, which was not shared with Novell. It's an early draft of the very contract under contention. Surprise!
  • Ö'Gara fired? (Score:5, Informative)

    by klingens ( 147173 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:33AM (#31463800)

    How can Mrs. O'Gara be fired when her publisher touts her as:
    "Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media."
    at http://maureenogara.sys-con.com/ [sys-con.com]

    sys-con being the slimeballs^Wpublisher where the PJ hit piece was published 5 years ago and for which she was supposedly "fired".

    • I guess sys-CON means what I think it means.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dbIII ( 701233 )
      I suppose Amityville Horror puts her into the "most read" catagory but it's not exactly technology or even journalism even if she pretends it's real.
      I consider her just another confidence trickster that goes where the easy marks are.
    • Re:Ö'Gara fired? (Score:5, Informative)

      by M. Baranczak ( 726671 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:18AM (#31464040)

      Interesting - looks like they un-fired the bitch when nobody was looking.

      The announcement of her firing is dated May 10, 2005. According to Sys-Con's archive [sys-con.com], they did stop publishing her for a while, but she came back exactly one year and one day later. And it's also worth noting that the editors who forced her out are no longer working at Sys-Con.

    • Re:Ö'Gara fired? (Score:5, Informative)

      by hardburn ( 141468 ) <hardburn&wumpus-cave,net> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @02:47PM (#31465458)

      The fact that they rehired her later is no surprise. Back then, it was clear to everyone that SYS-CON had no clue why O'Gara's behavior was massively unethical, and only fired her because they got a lot of complaints (plus a claimed DoS, though their web sites never seemed to be down at any time). The editorial staff of the Linux branch of SYS-CON already didn't like her, and they all left over the issue.

  • Welcome to the world of Zombi Unlimited!

  • by migla ( 1099771 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:35AM (#31463816)

    SCO and whomever is behind (financing) this crap needs to be held responsible and pay, figuratively, they and their minions and overlords need to die (pretty much the case now) and then go to hell. By going to hell, I mean people and corporations/organizations behind this crap need to pay, lots. The legal system should make it clear you cannot play the system like this without suffering.


    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Read some of the back articles on Groklaw. While it hasn't been 100% successfully proven that SCO's financiers were Microsoft, they look like the most likely suspect.

      • by Fnkmaster ( 89084 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @12:00PM (#31464322)

        As I recall, it was proven that Microsoft arranged the Baystar investment by eWeek [eweek.com].

        As for whose money sits in the Baystar Capital investment pool, there is no public disclosure requirement of such things for private equity firms and hedge funds. And it's a large fund, so it's clearly not just Microsoft people's money, but given the nature of the relationship documented between Baystar and the Microsoft people who brought this deal to them, I can assure you there's some money from senior Microsoft people there, at the very least.

        In any case, the guys at Baystar realized they were pawns in a big game after a short while and pulled out what they could. See this story [cnet.com].

        Basically they wrote off $37M of their investment for some common stock in SCO (hahaha). Which went on to finance SCO's legal actions for several more years before they finally went kaput.

        Baystar, having invested over $1.5B in equity deals since inception, this was a relatively small write-off. Probably an annoying blip in their overall results, part of the price of cultivating their relationships with Microsoft senior executives.

    • by schon ( 31600 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:03AM (#31463946)

      whomever is behind (financing) this crap

      Look at the timeline. We know who financed it.

      August 18 2002, Michael Davidson finishes his code comparison for SCO. It's summed up with "we had found absolutely nothing, i.e., no evidence of any copyright infringement whatsoever,"

      August 28 2002, McBride said Linux does not infringe SCO's copyrights, and that they would not ever make such a claim.

      March 2003, McBride says the case is solely about IBM not living up to "contract violations"

      April 2003, Microsoft pays SCO $16M for "unix licenses" that it doesn't need.

      May 2003, McBride claims that Linux infringes it's copyright, and contains "millions" of lines of SCO code.

      August 2003, Microsoft arranges for Baystar to invest $50M in SCO

    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "Whoever is." When using who(m)ever, the subject is always "whoever," and unless the verb is "is" or another linking verb, the object is "whomever." Linking verbs like "is" take objects in the nominative form (the form used for subjects) because they refer to states, not actions. This posting has been brought to you by the International Union of Grammar Nazis. Enjoy your day!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        If you want to be really pedantic, 'whom' is a dative (indirect object, object of a preposition (ablative in Romance languages), and instrumental (separate case form for sweorda in many Anglo-Saxon texts)) form from the Anglo-Saxon 'hwaem'. The accusative (direct object) form was be 'hwone' which became 'who,' not 'whom'.

        So it's 'To whom did you speak?' and 'Who did you hit?' and 'Who hit you?'

        Or, you could shut the hell up and just accept that Modern English is already, and is still becoming, more and mor

  • can't we jab this vampire and release the evil? I have it, line the courtrooms with mirrors!

  • I'm not a lawyer so I don't know but I would hope she could.
    • As PJ is an old fashioned lady watching TSCOG burn is all the action she needs

    • by Fr33thot ( 1236686 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:08AM (#31463986)
      FTA: "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." That looks like a shot across the bow. If taking these things to court would solve the problem then that is where they must go--I have my doubts. Also FTA "[...] the then-publisher apologized to me publicly, but she [Maureen O'Gara] says in the deposition she's not sorry a bit.]" This is why our public dialog is so toxic these days. PJ is the honest broker in this. She has offered criticisms of SCO, their lawyers and the case--who hasn't. But she has also posted verbatim every public document she could get a hold of. That a presumed journalist would get so nasty and feel no remorse for the drivel she wrote to try to destroy an honest broker is telling. Anyone who hires her does so with full knowledge of her character and deserves to be tarred by this episode as much as she does.
    • If somebody pays you to knowingly and willfully make false and defamatory comments about someone else, that sounds like a pretty open and shut case if libel to to me. Furthermore, I doubt if PJ would have much problem getting pro bono attorneys to litigate this for her, just for the sheer fun of bitchslapping someone who is desperately asking for it. Come on PJ, take the bitch to court -- we'll all turn out in our red dresses to root for you!
      • by plover ( 150551 ) *

        Furthermore, I doubt if PJ would have much problem getting pro bono attorneys to litigate this for her, just for the sheer fun of bitchslapping someone who is desperately asking for it.

        What lawyer would voluntarily risk getting stuck to this tar baby? We've seen how SCO has been playing this for the last 7 years. I don't know that she'd get that kind of support.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by merc ( 115854 )

        Can she? Sure, you can effectively sue anyone you want in this country for just about any reason you can dream up. Would she win? Who knows. But the truth is PJ has way too much class and dignity to draw out a fight in the court systems for this. In every article she writes she always takes the high ground and always attempts to point out the FACTS of a case and uncover the truth. She puts a great deal of emphasis on truth -- taking great pains to uncover all details and facts of a particular argument

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          As a Mormon, I'm also appalled. Business and money seem to have gotten the best of these guys. "It's ok to lie", they must be thinking, "it's just business."
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      She won't, for one very good reason -- the safety of her friends and family.

      IANAL, but wouldn't PJ need to reveal her name on the court papers that initiated the suit against O'Gara? Even were that not the case, O'Gara's lawyers would stop at nothing to force her to reveal her identity (demanding the right to question her on the witness stand would probably be easiest, but I'm sure there are other tricks they'd try if that didn't work.) Given the level of ethics demonstrated by O'Gara, McBride, and others

      • by merc ( 115854 )

        Yes, that and she places a great amount of value on her privacy. People should try and respect that of course.

        What Maureen did was deplorable and for that she forever tainted her reputation as a journalist. The Internet never forgets.

  • There should be a vampire/zombie law, that should apply to cases like this: everyone still trying to make this case go forward, gets a wooden stake through their hearts, or the most likely places where the hearts are supposed to be based on general human anatomy.

    That, and then cut the heads off and burn them and then drop the ashes into 3 separate volcanoes.

  • by RichMan ( 8097 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @10:59AM (#31463928)

    In O'Gara's transcribed testimony she states that after she writes a story she destroys the notes that were used.
    That is not what journalists are supposed to do. What it indicates is that the "journalist" wants the story to replace the notes rather than the story be supported by the notes.

    Full deposition
    http://scofacts.org/Novell-OGara-deposition.pdf [scofacts.org]
    http://scofacts.org/Novell-OGara-deposition.txt [scofacts.org]

    Page 29
      1 O'Gara
      2 Q Do you have the notes of the
      3 short phrases still?
      4 A No.
      5 Q What is your practice of the
      6 short phrases, if you will, in terms of
      7 whether you keep them or not?
      8 A I throw everything out.
      9 Q When do you do that?
    10 A If not when the story is
    11 written, then every week, and I've been
    12 doing that since 1972.

  • by tomhudson ( 43916 ) <barbara.hudson@b ... u d s o n . c om> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:14AM (#31464026) Journal
    The MogTroll [slashdot.org]

    I *really* *hate* MoGTrolls.

    The WalMart down the road was selling Mini Maureen O'Gara Trolls (MoGTrolls) for 2 cents a piece. That was even less than the 5 cents a piece I paid for those damn monkeys ... so I figured "What have I got to loose?"

    So I bought 250 MoGTrolls for $5.00. I mean, what's 5 buck, right? What could possibly go wrong?

    I took my 250 MoGTrolls home. I have a big car. One of them insisted on driving. Its' name was Maureen O'Gara (all the MoGTrolls answer to Maureen O'Gara). It was retarded, even for a troll. In fact, now that I had them outside in the daylight, it was obvious that they were all "more than a few bricks short of a full load." I couldn't let the MoGTroll drive, so I kicked it in the head. It LIKED being kicked in the head! WTF? So I obliged it by kicking it some more. Soon, all the MoGTrolls were kicking each other and giggling like crazy, snot running down their ugly troll faces. This made it hard to drive, but we finally made it home.

    I herded them into the basement. They didn't adapt well to their new environment. They stopped kicking each other, and just sulked. Then they began pulling the hair out of each other. It quickly became a mess. Oh, and nobody told me that MoGTrolls aren't toilet trained. I googled and yahoo'd for "toilet training MoGTrolls", but all that came back was "lots of luck, sucker!" and "never been done."

    The novelty of having 250 MoGTrolls had worn off.

    The MogTrolls got out of the basement and kept trying to use my computers, even though everyone knows that MoGTrolls can't write for shit. They kept on, though, and started posting all sorts of weird, distorted stuff. I mean REALLY bent! So my ISP cut me off. I hate MoGTrolls.

    I had to find another ISP. And the damn MoGTrolls got me kicked off that one, too. I went from high-speed cable to adsl to dialup to - well, lets just say that TCP/IP over a clothesline really sux. I can only post when my neighbours are doing their laundry. I feel SO low having to steal bandwidth through their underware flapping in the breeze!

    Did I mention that I hate MoGTrolls?

    At least by now I knew why the MoGTrolls were so cheap - nobody would want one. All they do is sit around and make rambling random noise and emit noxious vapours, and excrete stuff that even the dogs don't want to sniff ... and dogs will eat their own puke!

    I didn't know what to do - I was at wits end. So I went out to the local Home Depot and bought some muriatic acid, the stuff you use on concrete. I took one of the MoGTrolls and dipped it into the muriatic acid. The acid turned into goo. I poored some on the sidewalk outside, and it quickly melted the ice. Unfortunately, it also completely removed the top inch of concrete. The city had to replace the sidewalk. I got the bill last week. I hate MoGTrolls.

    I decided to kill them all and throw them in the garbage. Do you have any idea how HARD it is to kill a MoGTroll? They're worse than cockroaches! You can drop a load of bricks on them, squish them flatter than a penny after the train's gone over it, and next morning they're back at it again, spitting, being mean, and just looking butt-ugly as usual.

    So I tried to have a garage sale. I TRIED to make them look half-way decent, but MoGTrolls are like SCO stock - no amount of lipstick will make that pig look good. Not only did I not sell a single MoGTroll; the police gave me a fine for disturbing the peace. All the kids in the neighbourhood are having nightmares, and the school has to have a psychologist on staff full-time to deal with all the trauma that being exposed to a whole herd of MoGTrolls can cause in young minds. I hate MoGTrolls.

    I tried to flush one down the toilet. It didn't work. It's still there. Then I had one wet gibbering MoGTroll, 1 acid-stained MoGTroll, and 248 dry MoGTrolls, and one blocked toilet. The MoGTroll won't come out of

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by h4rm0ny ( 722443 )

      Mod parent +8 Actually Fucked Up.

      Funny, mind you. :D
    • Hilarious.

      Walmart should have paid you to take the MoGTrolls.

      Idea: turn them loose on Y! SCOX. Plenty of troll food there. They should find it an ideal environment.
  • by dmgxmichael ( 1219692 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:29AM (#31464084) Homepage
    SCO: Posterchild for Tort reform. If this company's antics don't demonstrate how utterly broken the US legal system has become, nothing does.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by symbolset ( 646467 )
      Just wait. We're only seven years into this mess. Any day now the company will fail but the lawsuit was used on collateral on a loan for $2M last week - by a small investment group headed by Ralph Yarro. So they'll pull the lawsuit out of the ashes of the company and keep it going. We've probably got four more years before this is all resolved.
      • And if Novell actually loses those copyrights then all hell will break loose.

        I'm curious how SCO v. Novell will impact SCO's other lawsuits.

        And what's up with the trial court denying a stay so that Novell could appeal to SCOTUS?

        • Even if Novell is said to not own the copyrights, no one has anything to worry about because SCO released their own flavor of linux, which as the "owner" of the copyrights, means they released them under the GPL for those that wants to use them. So either they owned the copyrights, and have always owned the copyrights, and released them under the GPL, or they did not own them. Either way, they can't sue any linux end users without themselves being in violation of the GPL and thus have everyone counter-sue f
  • Not fired at all (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Salamander ( 33735 ) <jeff.pl@atyp@us> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:49AM (#31464236) Homepage Journal
    If Maureen O'Gara was fired from Sys-Con (http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20050510114214525) then why is she still able to spout disparaging crap there (http://cloudcomputing.sys-con.com/node/1318133)?

    Rackspace has picked up the Drizzle team that Oracle cast off when it acquired Sun ... Rackspace evidently wants its new boys, who were not the core pillars of the MySQL engineering team ... Kicked out of Oracle they say

    (emphasis mine) Each individual comment might be justifiable, but with that much repetition she's clearly trying quite hard to cast the Drizzle crew in a bad light. Why? Take a look at this gem too.

    The smart money is betting that even if a good number of high-volume web sites go down this route, an even higher number such as Facebook and Google will continue with relational databases, primarily MySQL.

    Uh, yeah. You mean the Google that created BigTable, and the Facebook that created Cassandra? How could someone write a story that's partly about Cassandra and still predict that Cassandra's creator would "stick with" MySQL? What would motivate such behavior? It's hard to avoid the conclusion that O'Gara will gladly smear whoever someone asks her to smear. The only question in my mind is: who asked this time? Serial plagiarist [aralbalkan.com] and SEO shop Sys-Con is clearly complicit too, and the idea that they would ever fire anyone for ethical reasons is just laughable.

  • Self-dealing (Score:3, Informative)

    by mysidia ( 191772 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @11:55AM (#31464282)

    The judge needs to nail SCO to the wall for abuse of process.

    They're also trying to use the company's lawsuits as assets and to sell them to various SCO insiders so that the legal wranglings can continue even if nothing is left of SCO.

    Two words: fraudulent transfer.

    An attempt to evade justice, or the ruling of the courts, by fraudulently transferring property after the case was initiated against them.

    This is just like trying to transfer your bank account balance and your house to another family member, after someone sued you for damages you caused them, or for not paying a huge debt.

    If the transfer occured after the case started, the courts can generally recognize it as fraudulent, unwind the transfer, and penalize you.

    It would definitely apply if you as an individual attempted to evade judgement in such a situation.

    The courts need to stop treating corporations as above the law, and apply the same rules.

  • Prison Might Help (Score:3, Insightful)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 ) on Saturday March 13, 2010 @12:05PM (#31464352)

    Nonsense legal postures taken by scum bags such as SCO might be much more rare if we had laws that would put people like this under the jail house for a few decades.

  • by merc ( 115854 ) <slashdot@upt.org> on Saturday March 13, 2010 @03:04PM (#31465596) Homepage

    Is that this case is now before a jury that knows absolutely nothing about SCO's past history (as is with any jury trial I guess). In the pretrial hearings SCO was asking that any juror that had a college degree be disqualified. What I think we are going to see here is a plaintiff that will tell a sob story about those mean Novell and IBM corporations that ruined their businesses and lives. How their stock price was driven down into the ground until they were delisted, how they lost all their customer base, how they lost their good name in the market, how they had to start eating ramen and mac everyday, etc. etc.

    The point being is that anyone who has observed this case from the beginning (and who is not paid by Microsoft or SCO) has mostly all come to the same conclusion: That SCO are corporate raiders looking to cash in on the success of Linux. Everyone, including some inside SCO have also come to the conclusion that no parts of Linux infringe upon anyone's proprietary code or was misappropriated.

    This trial is three weeks long. It disturbs me that those who have not had a chance to be privy to SCO's dishonesty and malice could possibly side with them.

The last thing one knows in constructing a work is what to put first. -- Blaise Pascal