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SCO CEO Posts Open Letter to the Open Source Community

Slams fundamental flaws in Linux development and lousy business model

In an open letter to the OS community, Darl McBride writes: 'The most controversial issue in the information technology industry today is the ongoing battle over software copyrights and intellectual property. This battle is being fought largely between vendors who create and sell proprietary software, and the Open Source community. My company, the SCO Group, became a focus of this controversy when we filed a lawsuit against IBM alleging that SCO's proprietary Unix code has been illegally copied into the free Linux operating system...' Read the full letter here:

The most controversial issue in the information technology industry today is the ongoing battle over software copyrights and intellectual property. This battle is being fought largely between vendors who create and sell proprietary software, and the Open Source community. My company, the SCO Group, became a focus of this controversy when we filed a lawsuit against IBM alleging that SCO’s proprietary Unix code has been illegally copied into the free Linux operating system. In doing this we angered some in the Open Source community by pointing out obvious intellectual property problems that exist in the current Linux software development model.

This debate about Open Source software is healthy and beneficial. It offers long-term benefits to the industry by addressing a new business model in advance of wide-scale adoption by customers. But in the last week of August two developments occurred that adversely affect the long-term credibility of the Open Source community, with the general public and with customers.

The first development followed another series of Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on SCO, which took place two weeks ago. These were the second and third such attacks in four months and have prevented Web users from accessing our web site and doing business with SCO. There is no question about the affiliation of the attacker – Open Source leader Eric Raymond was quoted as saying that he was contacted by the perpetrator and that “he’s one of us.” To Mr Raymond’s partial credit, he asked the attacker to stop. However, he has yet to disclose the identity of the perpetrator so that justice can be done.

No one can tolerate DDoS attacks and other kinds of attacks in this Information Age economy that relies so heavily on the Internet. Mr Raymond and the entire Open Source community need to aggressively help the industry police these types of crimes. If they fail to do so it casts a shadow over the entire Open Source movement and raises questions about whether Open Source is ready to take a central role in business computing. We cannot have a situation in which companies fear they may be next to suffer computer attacks if they take a business or legal position that angers the Open Source community. Until these illegal attacks are brought under control, enterprise customers and mainstream society will become increasingly alienated from anyone associated with this type of behavior.

The second development was an admission by Open Source leader Bruce Perens that UNIX System V code (owned by SCO) is, in fact, in Linux, and it shouldn’t be there. Mr Perens stated that there is “an error in the Linux developer’s process” which allowed Unix System V code that “didn’t belong in Linux” to end up in the Linux kernel (source: ComputerWire, August 25, 2003). Mr Perens continued with a string of arguments to justify the “error in the Linux developer’s process.” However, nothing can change the fact that a Linux developer on the payroll of Silicon Graphics stripped copyright attributions from copyrighted System V code that was licensed to Silicon Graphics under strict conditions of use, and then contributed that source code to Linux as though it was clean code owned and controlled by SGI. This is a clear violation of SGI’s contract and copyright obligations to SCO. We are currently working to try and resolve these issues with SGI.

This improper contribution of Unix code by SGI into Linux is one small example that reveals fundamental structural flaws in the Linux development process. In fact, this issue goes to the very heart of whether Open Source can be trusted as a development model for enterprise computing software. The intellectual property roots of Linux are obviously flawed at a systemic level under the current model. To date, we claim that more than one million lines of Unix System V protected code have been contributed to Linux through this model. The flaws inherent in the Linux process must be openly addressed and fixed.

At a minimum, IP sources should be checked to assure that copyright contributors have the authority to transfer copyrights in the code contributed to Open Source. This is just basic due diligence that governs every other part of corporate dealings. Rather than defend the “don’t ask, don’t tell” Linux intellectual property policy that caused the SCO v IBM case, the Open Source community should focus on customers’ needs. The Open Source community should assure that Open Source software has a solid intellectual property foundation that can give confidence to end users. I respectfully suggest to Open Source developers that this is a far better use of your collective resources and abilities than to defend and justify flawed intellectual property policies that are out of sync with the needs of enterprise computing customers.

I believe that the Open Source software model is at a critical stage of development. The Open Source community has its roots in counter-cultural ideals – the notion of “Hackers” against Big Business – but because of recent advances in Linux, the community now has the opportunity to develop software for mainstream American corporations and other global companies. If the Open Source community wants its products to be accepted by enterprise companies, the community itself must follow the rules and procedures that govern mainstream society. This is what global corporations will require. And it is these customers who will determine the ultimate fate of Open Source – not SCO, not IBM, and not Open Source leaders.

Some enterprise customers have accepted Open Source because IBM has put its name behind it. However, IBM and other Linux vendors are reportedly unwilling to provide intellectual property warranties to their customers. This means that Linux end users must take a hard look at the intellectual property underpinnings of Open Source products and at the GPL (GNU General Public License) licensing model itself.

If the Open Source community wants to develop products for enterprise corporations, it must respect and follow the rule of law. These rules include contracts, copyrights and other intellectual property laws. For several months SCO has been involved in a contentious legal case that we filed against IBM. What are the underlying intellectual property principles that have put SCO in a strong position in this hotly debated legal case? I’d summarize them in this way:

“Fair use” applies to educational, public service and related applications and does not justify commercial misappropriation. Books and Internet sites intended and authorized for the purpose of teaching and other non-commercial use cannot be copied for commercial use. We believe that some of the SCO software code that has ended up in the Linux operating system got there through this route. This violates our intellectual property rights.

Copyright attributions protect ownership and attribution rights –they cannot simply be changed or stripped away. This is how copyright owners maintain control of their legal rights and prevent unauthorized transfer of ownership. Our proprietary software code has been copied into Linux by people who simply stripped off SCO’s copyright notice or contributed derivative works in violation of our intellectual property rights. This is improper.

In copyright law, ownership cannot be transferred without express, written authority of a copyright holder. Some have claimed that, because SCO software code was present in software distributed under the GPL, SCO has forfeited its rights to this code. Not so – SCO never gave permission, or granted rights, for this to happen.

Transfer of copyright ownership without express written authority of all proper parties is null and void.

Use of derivative rights in copyrighted material is defined by the scope of a license grant. An authorized derivative work may not be used beyond the scope of a license grant. License grants regarding derivative works vary from license to license – some are broad and some are narrow. In other words, the license itself defines the scope of permissive use, and licensees agree to be bound by that definition. One reason SCO sued IBM is due to our assertions that IBM has violated the terms of the specific IBM/SCO license agreement through its handling of derivative works. We believe our evidence is compelling on this issue.

The copyright rules that underlie SCO’s case are not disputable. They provide a solid foundation for any software development model, including Open Source. Rather than ignore or challenge copyright laws, Open Source developers will advance their cause by respecting the rules of law that built our society into what it is today. This is the primary path towards giving enterprise companies the assurance they need to accept Open Source products at the core of their business infrastructure. Customers need to know that Open Source is legal and stable.

Finally, it is clear that the Open Source community needs a business model that is sustainable, if it is to grow beyond a part-time avocation into an enterprise-trusted development model. Free Open Source software primarily benefits large vendors, which sell hardware and expensive services that support Linux, but not Linux itself. By providing Open Source software without a warranty, these largest vendors avoid significant costs while increasing their services revenue. Today, that’s the viable Open Source business model. Other Linux companies have already failed and many more are struggling to survive. Few are consistently profitable. It’s time for everyone else in the industry, individuals and small corporations, to under this and to implement our own business model – something that keeps us alive and profitable. In the long term, the financial stability of software vendors and the legality of their software products are more important to enterprise customers than free software. Rather than fight for the right for free software, it’s far more valuable to design a new business model that enhances the stability and trustworthiness of the Open Source community in the eyes of enterprise customers.

A sustainable business model for software development can be built only on an intellectual property foundation. I invite the Open Source community to explore these possibilities for your own benefit within an Open Source model. Further, the SCO Group is open to ideas of working with the Open Source community to monetize software technology and its underlying intellectual property for all contributors, not just SCO.

In the meantime, I will continue to protect SCO’s intellectual property and contractual rights. The process moving forward will not be easy. It is easier for some in the Open Source community to fire off a “rant” than to sit across a negotiation table. But if the Open Source community is to become a software developer for global corporations, respect for intellectual property is not optional – it is mandatory. Working together, there are ways we can make sure this happens.

Best regards to all,

Darl McBride
CEO
The SCO Group

More Stories By Jeremy Geelan

Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Most Recent Comments
fuzzywzhe 09/08/03 09:34:35 PM EDT

First:

I don't believe there ever was a DOS attack in August. I was able to ping the gateways during the alleged attack without any problem at all. It's also very odd that the "attacks" started at the close of business and ceased at 9:00 am when business started. It looks much more like SCO simply shut their web servers down and blamed the community as a way to generate more PR which we all know SCO loves to do. There is speculation that SCO did this also to delete embarassing pages, such as the letter that placed ancient Unix into an open source license available to to both commercial and non commercial interests.

Netcraft noticed this and so did Groklaw. Given SCO's inability to tell the truth, I believe them over anything that comes out of SCO at this point. SCO has lied about being able to audit AIX users, and it's intentions to do so - for example. They have been caught in a series of lies, starting with their initial filing against IBM.

Second: The "problems" of Open Source are no different than the problems of closed source. There is no way to prevent an unethical coder from including code from one proprietary product and putting it into another. There is also no mechanism to prevent an unethical coder from including code from a GPL product and putting it into a proprietary product. This was proven when SCO cited the BPF code as belonging to them at SCO Forum, when in fact, it came from Berkeley, hence the name "Berkeley Packet Filter". If SCO has no such mechanism, why should the Linux community?

The is one big advantage with open source though. If code is stolen from a proprietary product and put into an open source product, it's far easier to catch the thief since it's all done in the open. When such a theft has happened, you can then sue the individual thief into bankruptcy, and destroy his career. Why would anybody risk their livelihood to steal code from a closed product to put into a GPL product when they don't derive any benefit from it?

Furthermore, if there was code stolen from SCO and placed into Linux - why hasn't SCO sued that coder? Why hasn't SCO gotten an injunction against kernel.org? Why hasn't SCO tried to mitigate? Applying Occam's Razor - the simplest explanation is that SCO executives have agains been caught in a lie, and all of this has been nothing but an obvious attempt to be purchased via extortion.

The management of SCO is an embarassment to the state of Utah and the United States as a whole. They have shown a startling degree of not just hypocrisy, but a complete lack of ethics.

Mark Burgo 09/08/03 09:33:09 PM EDT

Well, first off if a commercial programmer removed the copywrite information from sysV code it appears that SCO could have a case against the coder.

Secon, If SCO can prove with exact copies of the code, as in source file and line numbers of the offending code then the linux developers I am sure can remove and re-engineer the code to produce the desired results. So show the proof.

Third, It appears that the law suit is to gain monitary funds to save a problem company started by another problem company. Look into the origins of SCO from the beginning.

Forth, Show me one software company that gives a warranty for the software. If I purchase something and it dies and causes a monitary loss to my company I have the right to recoup some if not all of the loss. Except if it is from a software company. In that case they will replace my CD or DVD with a new one but fail to accept responsibility for the development of the software that was flawed. At lease the Open source developers will fix the problem and assist you in getting your systems operational again. I know as I am an Open Source developer and have assisted many people when mine or other developers applications have caused problems with their systesm. It does happen from time to time. I can assist someone with Open Source I can not with proprietery software.

Logic then says that the enterprise is better off with Open Source which can be fixed by good developers.

David Pletcher 09/08/03 09:32:09 PM EDT

Mr. McBride is to be commended if he wishes to lead the charge toward intellectual property accountability. Why, he sounds almost noble in this missive against theft and impropriety. I presume he will now demonstrate his sincerity by removing all potentially tainted open-source code from SCO products, along with issuing an immediate worldwide RECALL and FULL REFUND for all SCO products containing such packages as Apache, Perl, PHP, Python, gcc and all other GNU software, Mozilla, Samba, PostgreSQL, MySQL, ... the list goes on for quite a while. Moreover, Mr. McBride should task his team of lawyers with the critical matter of determining whose intellectual property his company has infringed to this point through the use and distribution of that software, and make a generous settlement offer against any possible claims.

If Mr. McBride is willing to do the right thing, we should all give him a big pat and let him couch-surf after he's sold off everything he owns in partial atonement for his past intellectual property violations. But if he continues to distribute all the potentially infringing open source software advertised as features of SCO platforms, he's just a fraud and a hypocrite.

N.E. Daynow 09/08/03 09:29:58 PM EDT

Mr. McBride has a gift for sounding reasonable to people who don't know anything. I would suggest that he is not talking to the open source community, because we know too much, and he would not send this passel of lies and half-truths to us with any expectation he would be taken seriously. He's speaking to someone else, like the clueless sock puppets in the press, or the Courts, or to the public in general, or perhaps his money sources (M$, Sun). PR people proably understand this stuff very well.

Darl is Selective Quoting 09/08/03 09:21:07 PM EDT

Darl selectively quotes Perens/ComputerWire to give a misleading impression of what was actually said.

Perens did not admit System V code was in Linux. Perens did say there was an error, but only that. Perens also said Linux has a perfect right to use the code.

See the comment above by Norm beginning, "You really should read the things any SCO employee quotes yourself, before putting them in your articles."

There is a minor error in Norm's post (and in the original he refers to) in that his last paragraph, ain't there (it's earlier, not duplicated as suggested in Norm/GROKLAW posts - go back a couple of paragraphs) in the original articles. I assume that's just a double copy/paste error..

...but they key point remains - Darl is using Perens quote in a misleading way to imply almost the exact the exact opposite of what Perens actually said.

Incidentally SCO use selective quoting in their amended complaint court filing too. For example, they pick out a random sentence from later in a press release and place it next to other quotes, to make the quote give a different meaning.

==Begin copy from GROKLAW:==

Amended complaint:

http://www.sco.com/ibmlawsuit/amendedcomplaintjune16.html

Paragraph 91, looks to me, to quote from:

http://www.freeos.com/articles/2985

Paragraph 96, looks to me, to quote from:

http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2001/0814linuxibm.html

Paragraph 97, looks to me, to quote from:

http://www.crn.com/sections/BreakingNews/breakingnews.asp?ArticleID=39561

More quotes
http://www.sco.com/scosource/quotes_from_complaint.html

"e-Business Developer" appears to me, to be quoted from:

http://www.intelligententerprise.com/010810/412e_business1_1.shtml

IBM / Red Hat press release

http://www.webhostnews.com/press/august2000/15/0815ibm.shtm

== END QUOTE==

Paragraph 91 and 96 are classic examples

The IBM/Red Hat also appears in SCO's court filing. Note the 3rd fragment that SCO quote, is actually on an entirely different subject than te first two - it's a sentence in the middle of a random later paragraph.

Norm 09/08/03 09:03:36 PM EDT

SCO has stated out of 900 calls in one week, there were 300 valid calls.

Want to guess what the other 600 people told them to do, and where they could put the SCO license?

Take out SCO 09/08/03 08:42:45 PM EDT

This guy McBride has a lot of gall saying the open source community should work together with them to create a business model "that works".

And saying that large companies get the most value from Linux - what a moron.

McBride is just showing what an idiot he is. We are TAKING HIM OUT.

Wesley Parish 09/08/03 08:31:29 PM EDT

Darl McBride

Just a few comments.

Your logic seems to be faulty. You start out from valid premises, and then somehow lose the plot. Let me explain - you say, "Some enterprise customers have accepted Open Source because IBM has put its name behind it."

However, you then continue with:
"However, IBM and other Linux vendors are reportedly unwilling to provide intellectual property warranties to their customers."

And you finish with:
"This means that Linux end users must take a hard look at the intellectual property underpinnings of Open Source products and at the GPL (GNU General Public License) licensing model itself."

However, you make no valid connection between the three assertions. IBM has validated Linux and the Open Source community development model for enterprise customers, that is undeniable. That is because IBM is generally regarded as a cautious business-partner, willing to take risks but only when and where it has clarified them - its antitrust case and the PS/2 plus OS/2 debacle may be ascribed to undue arrogance, thus it is the exception that proves the rule.

Hoever, this fails to lead on to your assertion about IBM's unwillingness to provide "intellectual property warranties" to their customers. Would it help you understand if I said the relevant word in this case is "escrow"? The Open Source license operates as an escrow for the purpose of ensuring that a good piece of code never fails for lack of maintainers; the code's resulting openness serves as a warranty that any misappropriation of proprietary code will not go unnoticed. This same thing is possible with proprietary code only if and only when steps are taken to prevent it - case in point being the USL vs BSDi lawsuit. Which, for your information, failed when it became obvious that not only had AT&T been lax in maintaining Unix as a Trade Secret, but had also misappropriated BSD source code and incorporated it without due attribution.

(In relation to which, might I point out that UnixWare 7.1.3 has exactly the same developments in Xeon, USB, etc, support as UnitedLinux 1.0, which is essentially the same as Su.S.E. 8? And to support a new processor is not as trivial as developing a new device driver. I expect you will release UnixWare under the GPL soon - and since OpenServer now has USB support, and probably other similar developments, I expect the same for that as well.)

In short, the current copyright, patents and licensing regime as represented by the GPL in Linux, is working very well. But methinks you do protest too much.

Ricardo 09/08/03 08:25:55 PM EDT

SCO unix has been and still it is a VERY BAD OS, and tha's why SCO instead of making bussines whit its unix, is trying to make money the wrong way. Just as if it would belong to M$...
I can't believe that linux has taken "millions" of SCO's code lines. Should this be true, linux would be as bad an useless as SCO OS.

Norm 09/08/03 08:23:25 PM EDT

You really should read the things any SCO employee quotes yourself, before putting them in your articles.

This comment is cut and pasted from a post from the web site www.groklaw.com in the comments:

An open letter alleged to be from Darl:

http://www.linuxworld.com/story/34007.htm

From the above link, this quote:

The second development was an admission by Open Source leader Bruce Perens that UNIX System V code (owned by SCO) is, in fact, in Linux, and it shouldn’t be there. Mr Perens stated that there is “an error in the Linux developer’s process” which allowed Unix System V code that “didn’t belong in Linux” to end up in the Linux kernel (source: ComputerWire, August 25, 2003). Mr Perens continued with a string of arguments to justify the “error in the Linux developer’s process.” However, nothing can change the fact that a Linux developer on the payroll of Silicon Graphics stripped copyright attributions from copyrighted System V code that was licensed to Silicon Graphics under strict conditions of use, and then contributed that source code to Linux as though it was clean code owned and controlled by SGI. This is a clear violation of SGI’s contract and copyright obligations to SCO. We are currently working to try and resolve these issues with SGI.

This appears to be the ComputerWire article referred to

http://au.news.yahoo.com/030826/20/lfff.html

The paragraph in which the "error" quote reads:

The other SCO code snippet Perens walks through had to do with memory allocation functions in Unix System V and Linux. He says there was, in fact, "an error in the Linux developer's process," specifically a programmer at SGI, and he says while the Linux community had the legal right to this code, it didn't belong in Linux and was therefore removed.

I looked what Perens said in the original (referred to be ComputerWire)

Slides 10 through 14 show memory allocation functions from Unix System V, and their correspondence to very similar material in Linux. Some of this material was deliberately obfuscated by SCO, by the use of a Greek font. I've switched that text back to a normal font.

In this case, there was an error in the Linux developer's process (at SGI), and we lucked out that it wasn't worse. It turns out that we have a legal right to use the code in question, but it doesn't belong in Linux and has been removed.

These slides have several C syntax errors and would never compile. So, they don't quite represent any source code in Linux. But we've found the code they refer to. It is included in code copyrighed by AT&T and released as Open Source under the BSD license by Caldera, the company that now calls itself SCO. The Linux developers have a legal right to make use of the code under that license. No violation of SCO's copyright or trade secrets is taking place.

In this case, there was an error in the Linux developer's process (at SGI), and we lucked out that it wasn't worse. It turns out that we have a legal right to use the code in question, but it doesn't belong in Linux and has been removed.

If you are looking for other examples, of clever quoting styles (specifically in the amended complaint by SCO), please check the links I posted yesterday in the comments section. The quoting from the IBM/Red Hat press release as in amended complaint, and the quote from the freeos.com article I found the link to, I particularly recommend reviewing.

Attention PJ: I hope you write an article about this!
quatermass - SCO delenda est • 9/8/03; 4:23:14 PM

appologies to "quatermass", for the copy, but he said it much better than I could.

Pb 09/08/03 08:17:32 PM EDT

Darl, I'll be happy to take you seriously after you highlight exactly which million lines of Linux came from SVR4 or whatever, complete with documentation and evidence. I'll understand if it doesn't fit in the margin of your next press release, just let us know all about it so we don't have to be so darn skeptical about your ludicrous-sounding claims, and can start purchasing your GPL-infringing, binary-only licenses to not be sued over code that may or may not exist!

Really, Darl, we're potential *customers*. Tell me you don't treat your customers like that. What's that you say, you do treat your customers like that? Well, it's no wonder that your company has been going down the tubes...

Richard Rager 09/08/03 08:14:40 PM EDT

I love this qoute:

// QUOTE
“Fair use” applies to educational, public service and related applications and does not justify commercial misappropriation.
// END QUOTE

Fair use has been define for commercial use. Some examples of this are: movies reviews, book reviews, 15 sec of music, even software has held up in court. Lets look at Dbase problem. Since the first version was freeware any one could write a read/write Dbase format. Now look at Unix anything before the ATT vs BSD in 1996 was in the public domain. There for public derivative rights can be protected if we can find the old code any Linux code came from.
On the DOS attack, I can not condone these acts and believe we can not put all Open Source people into hacker that want to steal code.
But SCO has not yet come clean either, if you have a copyright complain you need to tell the people that are doing the copyright volition to remove the problem so we can control the damage. So what SCO wants is the rights to own Linux becuase their market plan is dead. If their code is in Linux it will not cause any harm to post it in public view.

Enjoy,

Richard Rager

John Sauter 09/08/03 08:08:35 PM EDT

Open source products are no more likely to improperly include someone else's code than closed source products. In my 17 years as a coder for Digital Equipment Corporation nobody ever looked over my shoulder to make sure I wasn't including some other company's code in the product I was creating. Indeed, if I had it would probably never have been discovered because the original author wouldn't have been allowed to see the source code. At least with open source products these errors are discoverable and therefore correctable.
John Sauter ([email protected])

Dave Steckel 09/08/03 07:48:39 PM EDT

Neither AT&T nor Lucent ever made money from Unix. (I know during my 17 years in their marketing organizations that neither Unix nor Inferno ever reached target revenue goals.)

SCO hasn't done much better. And they sold Unix products prior to their System V license which may be similar to the alleged violations of others!

Come on SCO. Take a leadership position. Make your mea culpas before it's too late. Join the coalition. Contribute what development you can and support the non-Windows movement. We need a strong Linux/Unix environment, not interal civil wars and pyramid marketing schemes.

Edward Macnaghten 09/08/03 07:43:23 PM EDT

Bruce Perens says (in his web site) regarding the SGI code..

In this case, there was an error in the Linux developer's process (at SGI), and we lucked out that it wasn't worse. It turns out that we have a legal right to use the code in question, but it doesn't belong in Linux and has been removed.

These slides [McBride's no 10 - 14 at ScoForum] have several C syntax errors and would never compile. So, they don't quite represent any source code in Linux. But we've found the code they refer to. It is included in code copyrighed by AT&T and released as Open Source under the BSD license by Caldera, the company that now calls itself SCO. The Linux developers have a legal right to make use of the code under that license. No violation of SCO's copyright or trade secrets is taking place.

This prooves that there is NOT a violation of copyright as Mr Mcbride claims in the article. Also the code has been removed so this is academic for 2.4 - 2.6 kernels (what SCO is claiming for).

There is a very good procedure to ensure copyrighted material is not improperly included in Linux. It is called Openness. If a developer includes copyrighted material here (or any open project) and it is not "trapped" by leaders thgen it is there for all to see, and when the propper owner objects and positively identifies and prooves the code it is removed and appropriate action taken. The same can NOT be taken for proprietory systems. Unix itself has had BSD code improperly copied to it in the past, and the belief is that it has GPL code copied to it more recently. No way can SCO show this has not taken place in their current model.

If SCO is genuine about protecting it's copyrights it would say which bit of the Linux Kernel was their's so this process could start.

Tom Adeltein 09/08/03 07:40:24 PM EDT

Darl,

I'm very sad for you. You do not know what you're talking about at all. Pointing to Bruce Perens as some kind of standard bearer for Linux is absurb. Also, whoever ran a DOS attack on you isn't Linux or the open sourc community.

None of your "hacker-counter culture" theories applies.

You came along late and need to gain a education about the issues instead of making claims that have little substance.

You're so far out in left field, it's sad.

You sound like a little boy throwing a fit in the kitchen cause you can't have your way about something.

I think you have gone too far over the line now to recover.

Sad.

gnutechguy 09/08/03 07:35:56 PM EDT

Mr. McBride's open letter is filled with downright lies. Caldera issued their Linux under the GPL. End of discussion. For McBride to deny that is to knowingly lie. Also, Unix is a trademark of the Open Group. SCO has NO LEGAL RIGHT to offer licenses for Unix or Linux. Linux is a trademark of Linus Torvolds. SCO's "Linux licenses" violate 2 other copyrights!
It is MsBride who is openly trying to steal software.

m clark 09/08/03 07:32:18 PM EDT

So instead of locating the offending code so it can be removed, they rant that they own linux.

These guys aren't for real - they are posers looking for money.

Alizarin 09/08/03 07:32:06 PM EDT

I know he'll never read this, but Darl, I'm afraid that you have it all wrong.

I remember reading somewhere (most likely Slashdot) that an issue over patented code did come up once regarding something submitted by an IBM developer. It turned out that IBM owned the patent and everything was kosher, but the point is that the code was addressed in a serious manner and resolved in a professional and ultimately beneficial way.

And if you were really acting in "good faith" as the law requires, all this mess would be over. Dragging your feet seems to be standard course for most lawsuits, but the main part of patent/copyright infringement is that you want them to STOP infringing. That means you have to tell the Linux developers WHERE the stuff is that infringes. You can't keep changing your story about how many lines or what you own and what you don't. The fact of the matter is, even if Linus and the gang remove any allegedly infringing code, it still doesn't change the fact that it was in earlier releases. It seems to me that you WANT "infringement" to continue, either based on the fact you have little or no merit to your case or you have no intention of resolving it other then spreading FUD and hoping for a settlement.

Which, by the way, isn't going to happen, sorry. IBM has deeper pockets then you could imagine. You are telling them they can't do business in a very profitable area, and they don't like that.

Neil Lewis 09/08/03 07:31:04 PM EDT

This is just sophistry, given that closed source software definitely has a rich history of IP infringement, and whether Linux has a greater or lesser degree of infringement remains to be proved. SCO us the money!

Ziggy 09/08/03 07:28:48 PM EDT

According to Darl, "...respect for intellectual property is not optional – it is mandatory." That is the case, IMO. Too bad he doesn't show this respect.

Grant Farnsworth 09/08/03 07:19:52 PM EDT

"It’s time for everyone else in the industry, individuals and small corporations, to under[stand] this and to implement our own business model – something that keeps us alive and profitable."

Is Darl suggesting that we all adopt the strategy of making inflamitory accusations which we refuse to adequately support, and then try to set up a protection racket by threatening spurious lawsuits?

Using PR and litigation to take advantage of easily persuaded investors is indeed a common strategy, and it has worked so far for SCO, which is really one of the linux companies that has failed to be "consistently profitable." SCO's apparent succes doesn't mean that if we all tried it, we could all get rich.

SCO's "business model" doesn't sound like a sustainable strategy to me, nor does SCO sound like a business that is "alive and profitable." It's more like a pyramid scheme.

romana 09/08/03 07:14:40 PM EDT

Darl,

attempting a 'sweet voice of reason' approach doesn't counter your laughable claims. Your examples have been exposed not only as a joke, but as a possible violation of the Berkley licenced code. Oh dear, dear Darl. You seem to forget the obvious nature of what seems to be a pump and dump scheme for what was a dying company actually renders your credibilty nil. That and your contradictory and often blatantly false claims.

Knock that crack habit Darl. Rejoin reality, ok?

But DO have a nice day.
r:)

ps you can invoice me. in fact, i would LOVE you to. because you will prise my GPL, open source, not your IP, Debian from my cold dead fingers, and I'll be damned if i'll pay you one red cent for the work of the open source community.

Bob Bigloe 09/08/03 07:10:23 PM EDT

I guess Open Source should just change it's model so I can have lots of money to hire really good lawyers so it can get its way. Even if it is not right....
Patent every thing you can, Copyright anything you can't get a patent for, Trademark everything else, Sue anyone who has anything that remotely resembles anything you have ever been involved with...

Devilman 09/08/03 07:10:12 PM EDT

SCO is dead and have been for some time...even before Novell. Does anyone actually use any of their products? Darl McBride is having his last few minutes in the media before SCO is forgotten as a worthless company providing no benefit to the industry.
It is far, far more likely that SCO has ripped other companies off and used open source in their products.
The Germans aren't taking it laying down and are telling SCO to shutup until (and if) they prove their case.
Isn't the SEC also investigating SCO?

Orac 09/08/03 07:07:59 PM EDT

McBride does not seem to appreciate that the open source community does not wish to "monetize" their software development process. That would be completely antithetical to the open source development model. The community does not need a "sustainable" business model; while I appreciate what Red Hat and other Linux companies contribute to Linux, Linux did and will thrive with or without them. If companies can make money around open source software, in a way that is compatible with the open source development model, that's great. SCO has made clear that they want no part of this model, so it is simply wrong for McBride to try to paint SCO as being on "our" side.

Joe Linxuser 09/08/03 06:49:53 PM EDT

SCO execs have found out that their plan to Make Money Fast doesn't work. IBM didn't buy them. The Open Source community stands united against SCO. Their claims about 'millions of lines' are bogus.

First explicit sign that SCO's generals were taken aback was that 'IBM conspiracy' BS they published. They really have lost chaining with reality. SCO is dead. And despite they try to resist, this fact is slowly sinking into their minds. Now they'll have to pay the prize.

There is no wording an open letter can deliver capable to save them.

Tazer 09/08/03 06:44:32 PM EDT

Didn't ESR say that he didn't know who the perpetrator was, but had reliable information that pointed to an open source associated person? Oh yeah, and the 'one of us' statement followed the word 'probably', in the original context.
(http://linuxtoday.com/infrastructure/2003082501026NWCYLL)

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