|| ||Leon Brooks <leon-AT-cyberknights.com.au>|
|| ||"Kieran O'Shaughnessy" <anz_info-AT-sco.com>|
|| ||I want to know what's actually for sale|
|| ||Tue, 20 Jan 2004 11:38:32 +0800|
|| ||Linux Australia list <linux-aus-AT-linux.org.au>,
SLPWA members <members-AT-slpwa.asn.au>, letters-AT-lwn.net,
Kate Mackenzie <mackenziek-AT-theaustralian.com.au>,
Sam Varghese <svarghese-AT-theage.com.au>, infocentre-AT-accc.gov.au|
The SCO Group in the person of Kieran O'Shaughnessy announced on 19
January 2004 that:
> The SCO Intellectual Property (IP) License permits the use of
> SCO's intellectual property, in binary form only, as contained
> in Linux distributions.
What intellectual property?
If SCO ANZ can't _specifically_ identify any significant portions of The
SCO Group's intellectual property in a timely manner in any of the
Linux distributions which CyberKnights deploy, we must assume that SCO
ANZ is making fraudulent claims and must in defense of CyberKnights'
good name vigorously pursue public acknowledgement of fault and
material redress from SCO ANZ.
Linux distributions which CyberKnights currently have deployed include,
so far, Mandrake (up to 9.2), Debian (stable and testing), Red Hat
(7.3, 8.0, 9.0 and Enterprise), Fedora (1.0), SuSE (9), Gentoo and
Knoppix (3.2, 3.3).
Take notice that even if SCO ANZ substantiates this somewhat nebulous
claim to ownership-through-contamination of software not designed or
written by them, a binary-only licence would be of limited use to me
since some deployments require the use of source code in rebuilding a
kernel, specifically for drivers whose intellectual property claims
appear to conflict with SCO ANZ's and whose evidence of ownership is
somewhat more substantial.
As a Director of CyberKnights Pty Ltd, I personally know and trust
several contributors to the Linux kernel, including the original
author, Mr Linus Torvalds. As of three days ago, Linus told me that he
knows of no substantial code in his Linux kernel source code tree which
could possibly be subject to ownership claims by The SCO Group.
Linus has been consistently truthful and unambiguous in all of the
accessible public and personal statements which I have been able to
locate. The SCO Group has a well-documented history of ambiguous and
often surprising claims, contradictions and retractions. On this basis,
I find it unreasonable to do other than prefer to trust statements by
Linus in favour of statements by The SCO Group or any of its branches,
agents or other minions.
In short, the burden of proof lies with The SCO Group. Unless and until
SCO ANZ demonstrates serious and specific substantiation of the claims
it makes in this announcement, CyberKnights Pty Ltd does not believe
that it is using The SCO Group's property at all, and therefore refuses
to even consider paying any licence fees.
> The SCO IP License is currently available at introductory pricing
> of AUD$999.00 per server processor and AUD$285.00 per desktop
This would more than double the customer's cost per server, including
the hardware, for most of the servers which CyberKnights installs, and
for no material advantage. In our eyes these properties make it an
If SCO ANZ were to demonstrate ownership of substantial Linux code, the
only viable alternative such pricing would leave CyberKnights is to
reinstall a system other than Linux on customers' machines - such as
FreeBSD - involving considerable disruption to customer services.
MS-Windows is too unstable, insecure and expensive, and opens privacy
and control concerns which are unacceptable to several of my customers;
SCO's own Unix offerings are pitifully feature-starved, too expensive,
and recent versions appear to include driver code stolen wholesale from
other authors without acknowledgement; Sun are a licencee of The SCO
Group and CyberKnights could not in good conscience use software
licenced from a company which appears to be unreasonably greedy,
unpredictable and apparently disrespectful of the intellectual property
> Forward looking statement safe harbor:
The weaselly disclaimer which followed does not provide SCO ANZ with a
safe harbour. Threatening letters demanding monies with menaces can
hardly be thought to be defused by statement to the effect that
enforcement of the unambiguous claim to fees is yet future and might
possibly not be followed through.
That this disclaimer is placed among the notes for editors well after
the content of the announcment is delineated with the line "ends" is a
fairly clear indication that it is not a part of the announcement
If CyberKnights has not recieved clear, precise and substantial
identification of the specific code which SCO ANZ claims fees from us
for by 01 February 2004, we will begin our defense by referring the
matter to the appropriate legal authorities, and vigorously pursue a
positive resolution from there.
http://cyberknights.com.au/ Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/ Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/ Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/ Past Committee Member, Linux Australia
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