Groklaw's PJ Resigns From Open Source Risk Management
"Money is nice, but integrity is everything."
By: Jeremy Geelan
Nov. 21, 2004
"I kept coming back to the same thing. If my working for OSRM is doing harm by creating FUD possibilities, I need to remove that issue. Money is nice, but integrity is everything."
Thus "PJ" - Groklaw's founder and editor Pamela Jones - as she resigned from
Open Source Risk Management in response to SCO's repeated use of her employment
there to say that it proved that she believes there are substantial IP risks in
"That is nonsense, of course," wrote PJ yesterday at Groklaw.net It actually means the opposite, if anything."
"I was never involved in the insurance side of OSRM anyway," she continued. "But I take it seriously that they are using my work relationship for FUD purposes."
"There was also the Ballmer FUD to factor in. I have thought about it carefully for a couple of days and brainstormed some. There is a scripture that says the heart is desperate, meaning it wants what it wants and tries to find a way to justify what it wants, and I'm only human.
No one likes to separate themselves from an income stream if they don't have to. I tried to justify to myself maintaining the status quo. The FUD is unfair, but it doesn't matter. FUD is always unfair. One must simply deal with it. In analyzing my choices, I kept coming back to the same thing. If my working for OSRM is doing harm by creating FUD possibilities, I need to remove that issue. Money is nice, but integrity is everything. So, I have resigned."
"OSRM were extremely gracious about it," added Jones. "Down the road, when there's
nothing left of SCO but an old blues song, perhaps we'll be able to work together
again. But for now, I decided to try to find other work."
PJ's resignation from OSRM might not have been necessary, one observer commented, if OSRM had done a better job of rolling out its "patent indemnity" product.
"The right way to market the product would have to been to say, 'We've researched the risk of patent liability in Linux, including the risk of meritless claims, and we're prepared to quote a rate for indemnification to match what proprietary software vendors offer their volume customers.' This shouldn't have raised anyone's hackles, and it would have met a legitimate need. FUD potential would have been nonzero but small."
"It's unfortunate that PJ has to pay the price for someone else's mistake," added
OSRM - which calls itself "the only vendor-neutral provider of Open Source risk mitigation and warranty solutions" - has yet to comment publicly on whether it accepts the blame for having fanned the FUD flames by giving Microsoft and SCO the wherewithal to spread anti-Linux rumors when it announced that Linux may infringe some 283 (unspecified) patents.