CEO Darl McBride said that his company’s primary attorneys, Boies, Schiller & Flexner, are indeed trying to serve a subpoena for a deposition on Pamela Jones, the editor of, Groklaw, the legal IT news site.
McBride said that the idea for serving Jones came from the law-firm. “It’s my understanding that she has some material of importance to our slander of title case with Novell. I don’t know the exact details.”
This case sprang from Novell’s contention that it, and not SCO, owns Unix’s IP (intellectual property) rights. Novell claims that neither the APA (asset purchase agreement) of Sept. 19, 1995, which transferred Unix and UnixWare to Santa Cruz Operations, nor Amendment 2 to the APA gave SCO any copyrights to Unix. If Novell wins this point in Federal Court, then SCO’s case against IBM for placing Unix IP code into Linux falls apart like a house of cards with the bottom card knocked out.
SCO responded to Novell’s attack with a “slander of title” suit. SCO can’t simply claim that Novell is in breech of contract. That’s because today’s SCO isn’t the same company that bought Unix from Novell in the APA (asset purchase agreement).
To put it in layman’s terms, SCO is claiming that it should have gotten the IP rights — the title, as it were — to the Unix car, but SCO tacitly admits that it has never gotten the “ownership on paper” or “instrument of conveyance.” Therefore, SCO wants the court to order Novell to give it the title, the ownership of Unix’s IP rights.
McBride was not able to say what information Jones might have about the slander of title case. Jones has always posted all of her SCO case materials to her Groklaw site.
McBride remains not entirely convinced that Jones is a real person. He asked several times about the author’s meetings with her, and whether he believed that this person was indeed Pamela Jones, editor of Groklaw.
He went on to say that he hopes that the process servers will soon be able to serve the subpoena on Jones. He added, “We’ve subpoenaed hundreds of people for our cases. This is just another one.”
McBride concluded, “Pamela, if you read this, please, give me a call. We just want to chat.”
A version of this story was first published in Linux-Watch.