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Groklaw No Front for IBM 206

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the killing-the-messenger dept.
A Groklaw Reader writes "After all the wild speculation SCO put forth about Pamela Jones, her alleged subpoena by SCO, and her recent vacation due to illness, we now have Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols writing to say 'Yes, there is a PJ.' In his own words, he says, 'Let me address this directly. Yes, Pamela Jones is a real person. I've met her several times [...] I consider her a friend. She is not a front for anyone.' Hopefully, this statement will be enough to put those SCO-induced conspiracy theories to rest."
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Groklaw No Front for IBM

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  • Subpoena issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @09:44PM (#18033574)
    OK, so now Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols will get subpoenaed :)

    But on a more serious note: Does anyone understand why SCO actually claims to have a need to talk to Pamela Jones? Do they *need* a pretense in order to subpoena someone for a civil case?
  • by mungtor (306258) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @10:52PM (#18034134)
    Of course being paid by IBM or associated with IBM doesn't change the validity or logic of any of her arguments.

    What is _does_ do, however, is undermine the idea that she is just a single person who is altruistically "fighting the good fight" to protect Open Source. That is the persona she works hard to present and garners a lot of support from the Open Source community by being "one of the little guys", ie. just like them. A valliant crusader fighting evil wherever it may be, etc, etc, etc.

    Even if she isn't paid directly by IBM, I'm sure that she is either a former employee or has some other tight ties to the company. If I remember correctly, she lives in a part of New York state where it is pretty much impossible to swing a cat without hitting and IBM employee. She's there to collect information and pass anecdotes of interest on to the actual IBM lawyers. In a way, they've open sourced their defense. They've put millions of eyes and brains to work on their behalf and then skim the cream off the Groklaw comments.

    Frankly, it's brilliant. It hardly matters that IBM doesn't need Groklaw to win their case. What matters is that they are wining it faster, decisively, and able to gauge the OS community reaction nearly instantly.
  • Re:Subpoena issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrJimbo (594231) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @11:14PM (#18034290)
    Yes, they need a pretext to subpoena someone. Otherwise politicians (and other people of interest) would be routinely subpoenaed for no good reason in cases they have nothing to do with.

    I suspect SCO has a twofold interest in subpoena-ing PJ now. First, she is on a break to recover her health. SCO is just the sort of pond scum that cannot resist kicking someone when she is down. I believe they really want to worsen PJ's health.

    The second reason is to delay partial summary judgment in the Novell case that would require SCO to put into escrow an amount equal to the funds they got from Microsoft and Sun for "Sys V" licenses. SCO no longer has that much cash on hand so if the PSJ is granted, SCO will go into casters up mode.

    SCO's sees this as a win-win. Either they further compromise PJ's health or she continues to rest up and they get yet another delay in the Novell case.

  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Thursday February 15, 2007 @11:20PM (#18034334) Homepage
    Can you issue subpoenas once the discovery process is over?
  • by dbIII (701233) on Friday February 16, 2007 @01:11AM (#18035062)
    This is as silly as that guy who is challenging the existance of AIDS in court at the moment.

    if she does exist but continues to not step forward

    If she does step forward some utter bastard will be focusing his efforts on discrediting her and reducing her to tears in court - see the Maureen O'Gara article for a minor taste of the nastiness they will inflict. If the same bunch were after me I would put a lot of effort into seeing how I can avoid this - amoral pretend Mormon rookie lawyers (Darl's brother is making millions out of this and is reposible for a lot of this garbage) look almost as scary as Scientologists to me.

    Remember these are the guys that made false allegations about being hacked, had all those mythical MIT experts etc etc - they have little or no integrity, seem to forget that fraud is a criminal offence so you would not want to be under their power in a court room unless the alternative is criminal charges.

  • by _Sprocket_ (42527) on Friday February 16, 2007 @02:42AM (#18035554)

    Just how is that the absolute gospel that she is real that Slashdot seems to think it is? King George swore up and down that Iraq had WMDs, did that make it so? If Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols announces "aliens are real, I've seen them" tomorrow, is SETI going to shut down on Saturday? If Bill Gates said he had met Pamela Jones, would the Slashdot community be so all-accepting?


    Cheap shots at bashing Slashdot and Bush aside... fair point. Its not enough to completely dismiss the possibility that "PJ" isn't... someone or something other than what they've claimed to be. Having said that...

    "Pamela Jones" could end this speculation quite easily. And until *she* does, each side looks just as silly as the other. In fact, in my opinion, if she does exist but continues to not step forward, then she is even more childish than SCO is.


    What drivel. Let's assume PJ is really (more or less) who she appears to be. She needs to step forward and abandon her carefully protected privacy because... what... some corporate agent and you have demanded it? Bah.

  • I wonder... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xenographic (557057) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:12AM (#18035678) Homepage Journal
    > It takes a good reason to get a judge to squash but it CAN be done.

    Well, I've heard unsubstantiated rumors that she got a restraining order against SCO (perhaps after the Maureen O'Gara stalking bit?), so that would sound like one good reason to me.

    Another would be that I *really* have to wonder what she allegedly knows about--everything she's found, she's put up on Groklaw that I've seen. The only exception might be some sealed filings that SCO somehow... mistakenly... made available anyhow. PJ was too honest to even read them, so far as I know. She mentioned that she knew about them, preferred to do everything honestly.

    Oh, and IANAL, but you quash subpoenas :] There's no 's' in quash. Alas, PJ never posted an article on how subpoenas work, so I don't know enough to know what she might do, but I suspect she'll get a lawyer to handle it for her whenever she finds out about it.
  • by ggeens (53767) <ggeens&iggyland,com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:49AM (#18035842) Homepage Journal

    SCO wants to discredit Groklaw. That's all.

    If PJ doesn't show up in court, SCO can go on claiming she doesn't exists. If she does show up, she's in for a very nasty examination. SCO will probably want to go into details about PJ's private life, connections to IBM and Novell.

    Most likely, they won't find anything. But they might succeed in cracking PJ by forcing her out in the open.

  • Sad (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:27AM (#18035992)

    It's sad. SCO are drowning. Darl is trying to take his nemesis PJ with them: she's old, tired and not well, let's put her through the legal (and thus financial) wringer before we go bankrupt. SCO get Lyons at Forbes to write another trash story (I think we can all guess who the "person close to the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity" is -- hint, Stowell has resigned). Vaughan-Nichols is outraged at the sly phrasing of the failed subpoena service (many legal documents to individuals don't get served the first time, especially when the server hasn't called in advance) and writes his truth in response.

    It's difficult to think what PJ, as an observer of the SCO shenanigans rather than one of the primary parties, could possibly know that is not hearsay. And why that should be so voluminous or complex as to require a deposition rather than a statement. Harassment by lawyers is my call. The only redeeming fact is that there was some doubt about Boise's professional ethics -- now there is no doubt.

  • by killjoe (766577) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:31AM (#18036000)
    Lets say PJ is a crack whore who gives blowjobs for drugs. Let's say SCO introduces this evidence in court. How does this help their case? What if she is an IBM lawyer how does this help SCO in the novell case?

    Note that I firmly believe that the american justice system is so insane and unpredictable that a judge would allow evidence of her crackwhoredom to be used in court. The american justice system is just a crapshoot, you are better off throwing dice then hoping to get a just or sane result from it.
  • Re:Subpoena issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tiny69 (34486) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:21AM (#18036204) Homepage Journal
    There is also another possibility. SCO could be trying to bait Judge Kimball into making a comment or statement about Groklaw that SCO can then use to claim he's biased. SCO would do almost anything to get the cases thrown out at this point. Why else would they make such a claim in the case that IBM is not a party to? Delay is the obvious reason. But my guess is they are fishing for more.

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