SCO's latest legal filing reveals the evidence on which the company bases its allegations that IBM is colluding with Groklaw blogger Pamela Jones, a claim she vigorously denies. The filing comes several months after Forbes reported that SCO was actively attempting to subpoena the Groklaw blogger. According to the filing, "the content and commentary of [Groklaw] (and other evidence) show that Ms. Jones is not an objective commentator, but rather a vehicle through which opponents of SCO have conducted their case against SCO in the court of public opinion, where no gate-keeper monitors the reliability of content."
In the past, SCO executives have used highly speculative and circumstantial evidence to support the perception that a relationship exists between Groklaw and IBM. SCO's director of corporate communications once pointed that that a PO Box address used by Jones is "less than ten miles from IBM's global headquarters."
In an attempt to support allegations of financial ties, SCO points out that Groklaw is hosted by ibiblio, which uses server hardware and funding contributed by IBM. IBM's loose affiliation with Groklaw's web host is hardly a smoking gun. Ibiblio is a massive project which receives funding from countless sources and hosts over 1,600 data collections including the Project Gutenberg public domain literature repository, open-source software developer Eric S. Raymond's personal blog, and the web site of the Tibetan Center for Conflict Resolution. There is no evidence in SCO's filing to indicate that IBM is in any way responsible for determining how ibiblio allocates its resources, and IBM's contributions to ibiblio through the University of North Carolina significantly predate Groklaw's existence.
The SCO filing also cites a blog entry written by Daniel Lyons on his own personal web site, which claims that OSDL (which counts IBM and Novell among its own financial supporters) provided considerable funding to Groklaw. Lyons, who has been accused of partisanship towards SCO and has been criticized by the Internet Press Guild and Pamela Jones herself for various journalistic deficiencies in articles about Groklaw, based his claims on information from an anonymous source, and provided no additional substantiation. To this date, there is no evidence to confirm that Groklaw received funding from OSDL.
Finally, the filing claims that "Ms. Jones has neither accepted services of the subpoena nor agreed to appear for deposition, but rather appears to have fled and evaded service of the subpeona," an allegation that Jones also denies. SCO also claims that "Ms. Jones's allegiance and financial connection to Novell and IBM… underscores her motivation to avoid having to testify in this matter."
As usual, SCO is heavy on rhetoric and short on real evidence. SCO's personal attack on Pamela Jones, which is only tangentially relevant to the ongoing litigation, appears to be little more than a cynical attempt to silence and intimidate critics by undermining the anonymity of a vocal blogger. SCO's conspiracy theories have long since started to wear thin, and the company has been scraping the bottom of the barrel for some time. If SCO wasn't in such dire straits, it might be tempting to try and turn the tables on the company's conspiracy theories.