[Update: March 22, 2:45pm IBM has provided a statement in response to this story, which is posted here.]
Groklaw, a widely read Web site that has sided with IBM in its legal battle with The SCO Group, receives free hosting from an academic research project that is in part funded by IBM, according to the project's director.
Paul Jones, director of the University of North Carolina's ibiblio project, confirmed in an interview that ibiblio provides free Web hosting services to Groklaw and that ibiblio is funded in part by grants from IBM as well as several other tech companies with a strong interest in the promotion of the Linux operating system.
"We have some sponsorship from IBM, although they're not our largest sponsor," said Jones.
Jones said he was unable to say exactly how much funding ibiblio receives from IBM. Inquiries to IBM on the matter weren't immediately answered.
Groklaw for years has been a thorn in the side of The SCO Group, which sued IBM in 2003 claiming that IBM's contributions to the Linux operating system contain computer code purloined from SCO. Since then, Groklaw has become an online repository of case documents and fierce anti-SCO editorializing by the site's editors -- including chief blogger Pamela Jones, who is not related to Paul Jones.
Through it all, Pamela Jones -- who is famously secretive regarding any details of her identity beyond her name -- has denied allegations by SCO that Groklaw is an IBM front or is receiving financial support from IBM. Groklaw editors also have denied SCO's claims that Pamela Jones doesn't exist and that most of the material on Groklaw is penned by IBM attorneys.
In a letter to technology news site ZDNet in 2004, Pamela Jones said SCO's claims are "based on the fact that they say IBM gave some computer equipment to ibiblio once upon a time."
ibiblio director Paul Jones, however, on Tuesday said that IBM's financial support of ibiblio is ongoing. He also said ibiblio receives funds from a number of Linux distributors, including Red Hat and VA Software.
Paul Jones said the funding from those companies didn't influence his decision to provide free hosting to Groklaw on ibiblio's servers. "We have a collection criteria, and Groklaw meets that critera," he said.
On its Web site, ibiblio states that the sites it hosts must be nonprofit and contain information on issues of "state, national, or international interest." The information also must "further the teaching, research, or public service mission of UNC."
Paul Jones, who said he isn't related to Groklaw's Pamela Jones, insisted that Groklaw meets those criteria, and added that "if someone wanted to start a 'SCO is great' site I would host that, too."
There was no immediate response to an E-mail inquiry sent to Pamela Jones through Groklaw seeking comment for this story. SCO's lawsuit against IBM is ongoing.