Grokking SCO's demise

Groklaw key to SCO's demise.

The SCO Group 's US$5 billion threat against Linux is effectively finished. On Friday, Aug. 10, U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball ruled that SCO doesn't actually own the copyrights that it was using to threaten -- and in some cases, sue -- Linux users.

Of course, you already got that news, thanks to everyone from The Wall Street Journal to IT news sources.

And they all got it thanks to Groklaw.

It was the Web site Groklaw.net that broke the news and posted the complete 102-page ruling; after that, it was picked up by mainstream media and trade press. In fact, it's Groklaw that has covered every aspect of SCO's legal fights with Linux vendors IBM , Novell and Red Hat and Linux users Daimler­Chrysler and AutoZone ever since paralegal Pamela Jones started the site as a hobby in 2003.

It's Groklaw that has published every scrap of legal and technical information available on the cases -- every brief, deposition and ruling, along with press releases, technical documentation and historical information.

It's Groklaw's loose network of volunteers that has haunted the Utah courthouse, collecting paperwork, reporting on hearings and transcribing everything in sight.

It's that same crowd of volunteers that has picked apart arguments, dredged up old news stories and computer manuals, and generally followed the SCO lawsuits with the kind of enthusiasm usually reserved for rotisserie baseball or, well, Linux.

All that has made it easy for reporters, analysts and deep-thinkers keeping an eye on the lawsuits. We just filtered out the partisan crowd noise -- no mistake, this is a pro-Linux crowd -- and dug into that virtual mountain of legal documents. Everything was there, posted, transcribed, organized and searchable.

That's why we all picked up the ruling from Groklaw.

And that treasure trove of documents is how we know now that SCO is stick-a-fork-in-it done.

See, those of us who have actually read our way through the SCO legal saga over the past four and a half years have already heard the claims and counterclaims in excruciating detail, walked them past legal eagles and made sense of the minutiae along the way.

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Frank Hayes

Computerworld
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