[Talk] SCO position, rationale and AUUG

Adam Donnison adam at saki.com.au
Fri May 23 14:49:05 EST 2003

I too have been watching from afar (as it were).  I'm wondering who
the audience of any statement would be?  If it were to go to the
general public then it might be worth condensing the comments from
Eric Raymonds paper which essentially would boil down to a press
release something like:

SCO resorts to dirty tricks to lessen Linux

SCO, in what they are hoping will be characterised as a David and
Goliath contest, have started procedings against software giant
IBM in an attempt to gain lost ground to the now well entrenched
Linux operating system.

In what can only be characterised as a farago of mistruths,
misdirections and outright fabrications, SCO is attempting to
claim that IBM, by its multi-billion dollar investment
in the free operating system Linux has infringed SCO's IP rights.

(short description of what Linux is, what the stakes are, what
the actual claim is).

The idea is to try and point out that SCO has alterior motives,
and is not the lilly-white injured party it tries to portray.
It has to be done in short sentences, and without too much
detail, in order to get it into the space requirements of most
publications, and also to get people to read it.  By all means
go on and explain the differences, but if it runs to more than
400 lines, forget it.

Just my 2c worth.


Enno Davids wrote:
> Hey guys,
> I've been watching this debate with interest and while I have no concerns
> about any of our groups expressing support or taking other advocacy roles,
> it seems to me we're not well placed to put our hands on our hearts and
> say that the allegations are untrue. (Especially absent any real details
> or concrete examples of where code 're-use' is alleged to have occurred.)
> Its especially hard to for us to credibly suggest that no one who ever
> worked on Linux ever had access to or made reference to the UNIX sources
> whilst they were making some improvement to the Linux kernel. Its
> extraordinarily unlikely, given the general attitudes of the Linux developer
> community, but we can't prove it never happened. (The old proving a negative
> thing I guess...)
> Given this I would have thought that the best we could do is to issue
> statements of support, note that the processes and opinions were such that
> it is unlikely that any such breaches occurred and perhaps express a
> generic view that we don't condone the unauthorised use of the intellectual
> property. (aka. sieze the moral high ground...)
> Enno.
> (It also seems to me that IBM in particular are masters at finding things
> that people who sue them are doing that infringe on some portion of their
> large patent portfolio and quite comfortable at using this to make law suits
> disappear in out of court cross-licensing 'partnerships'... I expect this
> case to go away with no other effect than Caldera/SCO having flushed a lot
> of money down that toilet labelled legal expenses.)
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Adam Donnison                                  email: adam at saki.com.au
Saki Computer Services Pty. Ltd.
93 Kallista-Emerald Road                        phone: +61 3 9752 1512
THE PATCH  VIC 3792    AUSTRALIA                fax:   +61 3 9752 1098

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