|By Jeremy Geelan||
|February 11, 2004 12:00 AM EST||
In his latest paper, available on the OSDL Web site, Professor Moglen makes the point that SCO "admits, by suing Novell, that its claim to exclusive ownership of the Unix copyright is in doubt."
"Now They Own It, Now They Don't: SCO Sues Novell to Stay Afloat" is available in PDF form here.
His argument is that no judge would hold an end user liable for intentionally infringing SCO Group's rights when SCO Group itself has cast doubt on what it owns and that - as a result - Linux customers have little incentive to purchase a license from SCO Group and instead can and will wait for a final decision on who owns the copyrights as between SCO Group and Novell.
Moglen makes a second point, too. Once the litigation is resolved, he maintains, and regardless of who prevails, customers will still have the right to use the Linux code in question without purchasing a license from either SCO Group or Novell.
Moglen points out that both SCO Group and Novell (who recently purchased SuSE Linux, a distributor of Linux) have distributed the Linux code under the GPL. Since the GPL allows licensees to use, modify, copy and distribute the Linux code freely, the results of the litigation will have no affect on those rights, and customers will have no obligation to purchase another license from either SCO Group or Novell to ensure those rights.
The report ends as follows:
"If SCO’s licensing campaign fails to generate the revenues SCO has been predicting for potential investors—because it turns out that SCO never owned what it claimed to be legally entitled to force others to license— SCO and its principals will have plenty to answer for, and not just to its shareholders, but to the SEC as well. It is not good practice to attempt to force people to buy from you what you may not own. It is even worse practice to mislead investors into thinking that they will benefit from such sales without disclosing that you may not own what you are trying to sell. Now that SCO itself has begun unraveling this aspect of the situation, the end is in sight. The winter of SCO’s discontent is likely to give way to a glorious summer for open source software."
[Editorial note: If the somewhat in-your-face title of the paper were not enough in itself to hint of Professor Moglen's predispositions, then a LinuxWorld reader points out that one needs always to bear in mind that Moglen's stated aim is: "Try to create freedom by destroying illegitimate power sheltered behind intellectual property law."]
|Daniel Wallace 02/16/04 06:18:55 AM EST|
When we examine the SCO v. Novell suit concerning
The asset purchase agreement between Novell and SCO
"Schedule 1.1(a) Assets (Page 1 of 4)
Let's look at Novell's own words:
Novell's now words become:
We have now identified "which" source code:
We now know the "restrictions" placed on that source
In case Novell cannot now identify these mysterious
The asset purchase agreement is a statement of transfer of
It is not the "slander of title" action that is most
This act was done in an attempt to interfere with and
There is *no* SCO legal ownership interest in Linux source
Thank God I am a physicist and not a lawyer.
|Tyler Jensen 02/15/04 02:12:44 PM EST|
I am not an attorney. Nearly made that mistake but at the last minute was saved from a life of boredom by the chance to intern for one.
|BSDProtector 02/11/04 10:15:04 PM EST|
Tyler Jensen wrote:
I have to agree with Mr Wallace here. What's there to disclose - he's the legal force behind FSF - everyone knows that (and it's written in footnote on page one of the paper). And, he's also a professor of law. Doesn't that doesn't make him an authority of some kind in legal matters?
If you are an attorney and you have a position, write a "position paper" and publish it. I'm sure people at Linux World will be glad to put it up.
As for the statement of Mr Moglen on the illegitimate powers of the intellectual property law, that's entirely debatable, of course.
|Daniel Wallace 02/11/04 07:45:10 PM EST|
"Unfortunately, I think, based on his comment, that Mr.
You are correct in saying that I did not grasp your point.
"But I am getting rather tired of the press quoting Mr.
Does this imply the "liberal" press is somehow favoring
I witnessed an article published this week in
A Google search [ "intellectual property" moglen ] returns
I do not think the press need re-iterate Mr. Moglen's
Mr. Moglen has worked tirelessly as pro bono counsel
My "what's there to disclose?" was merely puzzlement
|Tyler Jensen 02/11/04 06:45:22 PM EST|
Throw a stone into a murder of crows huddled in the storm and see how they squawk and caterwaul. It is naive to believe that reading the filings on the SCO case on the groklaw site will lead you to the truth. Truth is not the objective of either side in this case. If you want the truth, go to church. If you want justice meted out as best that any flawed human system can hope to accomplish, then take your case to court in America. It is no insult to point out a person's self-stated beliefs and bias, but labeling anyone clueless without at least pointing to some supporting evidence seems to be not only insulting, but, well, clueless.
|Tyler Jensen 02/11/04 05:34:25 PM EST|
Thank you, LinuxWorld editors. I am glad that my point was taken correctly by you. Unfortunately, I think, based on his comment, that Mr. Wallace did not. Such a knee-jerk reaction is all too common in this debate, resulting more often than not in making the author of the comment appear fanatic, lacking the requisite deliberative intelligence to productively contribute. I'm sure that the FSF appreciates Mr. Moglen's service, but one does not have to leave his own site (http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/) to form an opinion as to the personal motivation behind such service. And it is that specific information that I wish journalists would point out in their writing when quoting Mr. Moglen. I hope that clears up my meaning for anyone who did not grasp my point earlier.
|Stormkrow 02/11/04 05:18:25 PM EST|
It's okay to insult Moglen when he actually makes sense but not anyone else in this matter right? I think not; as much as SCO has been ramping things up in the press with all their FUD and not having a copyright to begin with is criminal in my opinion. By the way only 3 companies have paid for IP licenses; thats it 3. Why dont you, Mr Jensen take a peek at groklaw.net to actually learn what the TRUTH is and quit jumping on the band wagon with the rest of the cattle. By the way what about the oft quoted Ms.DiDio of Yankee Group? Now if you can find someone more clueless than her I'd like to see who they are (aside from Boies and McBride). And somehow she still has a high paying job. In my opinion whatever Ms. DiDio or McBride say then the complete opposite is true.
|Daniel Wallace 02/11/04 04:46:32 PM EST|
"But I am getting rather tired of the press quoting Mr. Moglen as an expert on the subject without really disclosing his extreme bias in the matter."
Professor Moglen is pro bono counsel for the Free Software
|Fecal Extrusion 02/11/04 01:48:04 PM EST|
Who is actually stupid enough to pay SCO a licensing fee for
I think SCO should sue Microsoft instead, for misleading SCO
I'm sorry, but based on the rules of the GPL, if ANY judge
|LinuxWorld editors 02/11/04 12:19:11 PM EST|
A very fair point. We'll add this to the story, as it is clearly germane.
|Tyler Jensen 02/11/04 12:13:28 PM EST|
Mr. Moglen has spent far too much time in the classroom spouting his extremely liberal ideas about the law as judicial absolutes and not nearly enough time in the courtroom practicing the law before a judge required to consider both sides of an issue. Frankly, I think SCO's claims have weaknesses, as any such case would given the long and tangled history of the Unix IP. But I am getting rather tired of the press quoting Mr. Moglen as an expert on the subject without really disclosing his extreme bias in the matter. Consider his primary research aim: "Try to create freedom by destroying illegitimate power sheltered behind intellectual property law." (http://emoglen.law.columbia.edu/research-agenda.html) Read his agenda for yourself and then ask yourself why the press, itself a beneficiary of intellectual property law, does not disclose the bent of this oft quoted expert.
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