Subject: Re: the source, so to speak, of the SCO lawsuit
From: Taran Rampersad <cnd@knowprose.com>
Date: Mon, 19 May 2003 19:37:36 -0700

Chip Mefford wrote:

>On Mon, 19 May 2003 tony@egovos.org wrote:
>
>  
>
>>This cries out to be investigated by the FTC/DoJ and EC. They should open
>>up shop inside Microsoft like they did with IBM and look over every
>>transaction.
>>    
>>
>
>>From all outward appearances. There is no interest in the DOJ, or any
>other government agency to hinder MicroSoft in any way whatsoever
>any more. I thought they made that point very clear with the so-called
>appeal.
>
>I don't think this, or anything like this will ever happen.
>  
>
Well, here's the twist. Because of Microsoft's stature - 
*internationally* (something CONUS Americans forget, I think) - wouldn't 
any such suit in the U.S. be an international issue? Out here on this 
little island I am floating, we're sort of looking at this as an 
interesting prize fight - which we've been forced to bet on.

At least EU hasn't folded.

So - a stupid question: Is there international law regarding this? I 
doubt it. Maybe there should be.

Perhaps governments of other countries should start knocking on the door 
and asking questions. Nah. Won't happen with the foreign policy 
shenanigans going on now (right or wrong, they are shenanigans). eGovOS? 
I don't think that they would be interested in such things. I could be 
wrong.

Quite scary seeing all this paralysis.

Meanwhile... something you all should consider.... why would Microsoft 
license stuff from SCO, and perhaps encourage SCO to come up with this 
red herring (maybe a smoking red herring, we'll see)?

What does Microsoft have to gain? I've got a few dots... maybe they can 
be connected.

Since I kind of saw this coming with SCO, with MS in the background, and 
the fact that the 'leaked' internal memo from Microsoft stated something 
along the lines of "Linux must not win", and the fact that Microsoft is 
dropping prices in key markets (Latin America, for one, which includes 
the Caribbean, which includes the island I am on) to compete with 
Linux... Since I've noticed one Microsoft employee down here getting 
distros, and privately emailing me about kernel level programming... and 
considering the history of how Linux came to be... and that Longhorn has 
been downscaled in functionality (perhaps there's a black project at MS 
where developers are needed?)

If SCO wins any PART of this, and Microsoft licenses it/buys out SCO, 
then Microsoft is holding some key cards. The joke about Microsoft's 
Linux could become a reality. It looks like a possibility to me, but...

If SCO loses, and if what the GNU project did with Unix comes to the 
fore. I'm thinking about the quotes SCO has on it's site - one of them 
being RMS's 'quote' about the GNU project being a subversive hack... if 
Microsoft does it afterwards... or during... what then? FOSS Source code 
is an open book, and if there is one proprietary company that has the 
resources to do this if they chose to, this would be it.

Win-win from a Microsoft perspective. Meanwhile, they are maintaining 
market share, and advancing as much as they can... Linux and thus FLOS 
is getting dragged in the dirt... The Microsoft name becomes more 
concrete... well done.

The more I look at it, the more this isn't about Linux, or whatever. 
Seems to me that this is about Microsoft marketshare, and the fact that 
FOSS has got them so worried that they're pulling the stops out. They 
did it with Lotus, and many other companies. The U.S. legislature isn't 
too keen on legislating against one of the major exporters (and RIAA 
happenings also indicate this)... Consider  who is writing the Iraq 
Copyright laws... Rosen ( 
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/6/30441.html )...

Personally... after all of these roughly hewn thoughts thrown out 
here... I'd have to say that the U.S. legislature will turn a blind eye 
to most of this (at least under the present administration), and that 
because of foreign policy other governments as well. The only way around 
this that I see is education of governments external to the U.S. on 
these issues (we're trying where we are), and this going back to the 
philosophical issue.

Perhaps more focus on countries external to the U.S. is an important 
factor. Maybe not. I think it is.

That's my two cents from the peanut gallery. If anyone thinks I'm off 
course anywhere, let me know.  I don't claim to be perfick.

Taran
http://www.floscaribbean.org
http://www.knowprose.com