May 29, 2003
What to do about SCO?

In a news story with the good news that Novell challenges SCO's Unix claims - important since Novell sold whatever rights SCO may have to SCO - the SCO CEO is beginning to sound desperate:
McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds.
In short, they've now traded a possibly legitimate dispute with IBM for full-on berserk fear campaign (YOU could be SUED!!!)

So what is there to do:

  1. Stop using SCO products. Remember 'burn all GIFs day'?
  2. Wait for SCO come forward with explicit material they consider infringing (we're talking lines of code and specific designs). Only then can the possible damage be assessed and the march to remove that material to kill the issue for good begin. This is the content of Novell's action.
  3. If design principles are on the 'what is a filesystem' level - i.e. unix philosophy that cannot be removed without killing the system - then we must simply hope (and assume) that IBM can fight it out and win in court. The Novell statement (which seems unprovoked by any lawsuit against Novell) is important in that regard of course
  4. The open source community has to look at the bigger picture of corporate sponsorship of open source code. Whenever ideas arising in closed source environments migrate to an open source world this kind of issue could resurface dependent on the sponsors economic ability and willingness to sustain sponsorship and on any disputes over ownership of the original closed source.

Posted by Claus at May 29, 2003 03:31 AM
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