Subject: RE: SCO Drops Linux, Says Current Vendors May Be Liable (fwd)
From: "Barak Zalstein" <Barak.Zalstein@ParthusCeva.com>
Date: Sun, 18 May 2003 12:57:12 +0300

 Sun, 18 May 2003 12:57:12 +0300
Sometimes humor should be taken seriously.
At least after reading 
http://www.sco.com/scosource/quotes from leaders.html
I have a slight impression that everything you type may and will be used against you.

Barak.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Federico Lucifredi [mailto:flucifredi@acm.org]
> Sent: Saturday, May 17, 2003 6:19 AM
> To: Brian Behlendorf; Matt Asay
> Cc: fsb@crynwr.com
> Subject: Re: SCO Drops Linux, Says Current Vendors May Be Liable (fwd)
> 
> 
> At least someone is laughing at all this ;-)
> 
> http://www.petitiononline.com/mod perl/signed.cgi?scosueme
> 
> -Federico
> 
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Brian Behlendorf" <brian@collab.net>
> To: "Matt Asay" <masay@novell.com>
> Cc: <fsb@crynwr.com>
> Sent: Friday, May 16, 2003 9:03
> Subject: Re: SCO Drops Linux, Says Current Vendors May Be Liable (fwd)
> 
> 
> > On Wed, 14 May 2003, Matt Asay wrote:
> > > "Is SCO litigating itself into irrelevance?"
> > >
> > > By definition, one must be relevant before one can become 
> irrelevant,
> > > through litigation or otherwise.  (-;
> > >
> > > There may actually be some validity to their complaint (wrt IBM
> > > abrogating trade secrets in order to beef up the Linux 
> kernel).  It's in
> > > IBM's interest, but being in one's interest is not 
> exactly conclusive
> > > evidence.  I guess a super-competent judge will make that 
> determination.
> > >  Right.
> >
> > For as much as I think the courts make foolish judgements 
> from time to
> > time, I actually trust that most of the judges out there 
> can differentiate
> > between potential motive and proof of wrong-doing.  If 
> there is code in
> > the Linux kernel, and SCO can show it's unmistakably like 
> code from their
> > codebase, and that the contribution to Linux came from an 
> IBM employee,
> > IBM's in deep doodoo.  I don't think they'll have a case as 
> strong as
> > that, so even though there's a motive there's no smoking 
> gun and a judge
> > wouldn't find guilt.
> >
> > > Regardless, I'm disinclined to believe that a judge is 
> going to try to
> > > turn back history by finding against Linux in any way.  I 
> mean, this is
> > > the court system that found Microsoft to be a monopoly 
> and still refused
> > > to actually do anything about it.  What better way to 
> actually enforce
> > > their antitrust judgment than by letting Linux well 
> enough alone, so
> > > that it can beat up MS?
> >
> > Again, as much as I think courts make bad decisions quite 
> often, I tend to
> > think the courts do not play favorites or politics like 
> that.  Maybe at
> > the very top, where the Supreme Court judges have their own 
> political and
> > moral biases, does that matter.  At this level, I think 
> they'll rule on
> > the facts, just as they issued countless findings of facts 
> and judgements
> > in favor of MS over the last ten years.
> >
> > As for SCO's RIAA-like warning to the Linux community, I 
> think they'll
> > start getting heat from players claiming anticompetitive practices.
> > Again, if their claims have merit and IBM let SCO code leak 
> into Linux, I
> > think the judge will find that IBM has to compensate SCO 
> for the entire
> > current value of SCO's IP - but it would make it much 
> harder for SCO to
> > similarly litigate anyone else in the future, as the IBM 
> judgement will
> > probably have covered everyone else.
> >
> > But that's worst-case.  SCO's market cap is $30M.  Why 
> doesn't IBM just
> > buy them?  That would be far less than what IBM's legal expenses
> > will be on this.  Most likely it's because for IBM there's 
> a principle at
> > stake (settle with one, and everyone else will attack you 
> on frivolous
> > grounds too), and perhaps they've also done enough homework 
> and auditing
> > to know that SCO just does not have a case.
> >
> > > So, while SCO litigates itself into deeper and deeper irrelevance
> > > (ironically by tying itself to the one mast that the rest of the
> > > industry seems to be happily moving away from), I doubt 
> that it's ever
> > > going to get much satisfaction from it all, but for a 
> possible slap on
> > > IBM's wrist (if, in fact, IBM did anything wrong, which 
> is by no means
> > > clear).
> >
> > If there's a clear link - code verified as being SCO IP 
> that was released
> > in violation of SCO's agreement - then IBM's in trouble and 
> shame on them
> > for not keeping to their IP contracts.  If it were IBM on 
> the other side
> > of the table claiming IP infringement, their lawyers would 
> be ruthless.
> > $1B is a small fraction of the cash they have on hand (and a small
> > fraction of the benefit they've seen from Linux, too.)
> >
> > Likewise if there are patent issues around this - patents 
> that SCO owns,
> > licensed (even just mutually) to IBM, then IBM implemented 
> in Linux code -
> > IBM owns so many patents that to be favorable to them when 
> they violate
> > someone else's patents doesn't seem fair.  Perhaps that 
> would lead to IBM
> > calling for a weakening of patent law, ironically enough.
> >
> > What's more interesting is if there's a less clear link - 
> code that *looks
> > like* or *embodies some ideas from* SCO source code that 
> IBM licensed -
> > then you're going to find SCO asking the court to define a 
> new litmus test
> > for when software is a derivative work.  I think that will 
> be very heavily
> > swayed by IBM's pro-open-source stance, and the army of 
> people IBM can
> > bring in to help make that case.  I would wager that such a 
> result would
> > mean that many companies out there afraid of opening their 
> own code, or
> > using third-party code (open or not), will be much less 
> worried about the
> > potential legal risks of doing so.  Thus, open source, & the idea of
> > sharing code, wins.
> >
> > Brian
> >
> >
> 
> 
>