|| ||Leon Brooks <leon-AT-cyberknights.com.au>|
|| ||Please forward this to Sandra Rossi (if I guessed the email address wrong)|
|| ||Thu, 26 Aug 2004 15:37:38 +0800|
|| ||sandra_rossi-AT-idg.com.au, letters-AT-lwn.net|
...and/or make it a letter-to-editor.
> It took us 25 years to build our business and it took [IBM] four
> years simply by stealing code and then giving it away free.
I'm pretty sure Kieran only does this for the sensation value, but this
particular piece of hyper-chutzpah needs to be answered.
* Linux *was* and *is* an enterprise-class piece of software,
even if you completely delete IBM's contributions to it;
* IBM didn't steal anything, they wrote their own software,
adapted one copy of it for OS/2, another for Monterey, and
later the OS/2 version of it again for Linux;
* The SCO Group have in fact been distributing circa 700,000
lines of IBM-written code without a licence to do so, since
at least the time they denounced the GPL until the 4th of
August this year and possibly later;
* Unlike The SCO Group's claims, the code stolen from IBM is
not vapourware, it is in fact listed in exquisite detail
in the court documents recently filed;
* IBM have not given away any code to Linux, they still own
it; what they have done is licenced others to use the code
that they wrote and own at no charge through the GPL;
* IBM are required to use the GPL licence if they wish to
modify Linux itself - as they have;
* There is no "us", the real Santa Cruz Operation is now
called Tarantella, with their name and a few of their
programmers essentially hijacked by a decapitated Caldera.
Neither Darl, Blake nor Kieran oversaw *any* of the core
development of any original Unix, let alone AT&T's
* SCO Unix is no longer an anterprise-class software system;
since their disclaimer of the GPL, the very software which
allowed UnixWare to stay within shouting distance of modern
software trends is no longer available to them.
> Early this year, O'Shaughnessy warned that SCO had prepared a
> hit list and would approach Australian Linux users to ensure
> they had an IP licence.
This is illegal, and since SCO-ANZ hasn't followed up on it, I guess
Kieran knows that. So why is he raising that empty threat again? Every
time he does so he opens himself to a fresh count of fraud.
> "Linux doesn't exist. Everyone knows Linux is an unlicensed
> version of Unix," he added.
Odd, then, that *none* of the expert testimony remaining in the case,
and *none* of the expert testimony Ken Brown of the Alexis de
Tocqueville Institute tried to raise along the same lines supports that
claim. Even odder that *all* of the non-hearsay testimony in both
places supports the *opposite* stance.
It's also worth considering in particular some of the expert testimony
submitted recently by IBM, from the people actually involved in AT&T's
original licence of Unix to IBM, all of which says that The SCO Group
has no case.
I don't need to defend IBM, they have their own lawyers and PR section
for that, but Kieran and his company are essentially accusing all of
the contributors to and deployers of Linux of stealing. Since those
claims are baseless, continuing to make them amounts to slander and in
some cases fraud against the Linux community, including me.
The only reason Kieran hasn't had a court order tossed at his feet is
because as an individual developer, I can't afford to do that and
defend myself against the inevitable legal consequences.
If you want to know how The SCO Group's economics are supposed to work,
you only ned to read some of Darl's early statements. What he wants to
do is turn a free road, built by others, into a toll road (all tolls
payable, of course, to The SCO Group and eventually Darl). Another word
for this business model is "highwayman".
http://cyberknights.com.au/ Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/ Vice President, Perth Linux User Group
http://osia.net.au/ Member, Open Source Industry Australia
http://slpwa.asn.au/ Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/ Member, Linux Australia
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