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Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 12:21 PM EDT

Dear Mr. McBride,

Recently you wrote an "open letter to the open source community" published September 9, 2003 by LinuxWorld. [Cf. letter.] This reply is from a group within the open source/free software community. Because you addressed your letter to our community-at-large, we thought we should answer you ourselves.

Our community isn't organized hierarchically like a corporation, so it has no CEO or overall leader in that sense, except that Linus Torvalds leads Linux kernel development and Richard Stallman leads the GNU Project and the Free Software Foundation (FSF). We have written this letter together on the website, Groklaw, which is a research and news site currently dedicated to covering developments in the news about your company.

Quite a number in the group are software engineers, including contributors to the Linux kernel. Others are proprietors of Linux-based businesses or executives or employees of Linux-related businesses. A few of us are lawyers, one is a paralegal, one a stockbroker, at least one is a physicist, a couple are journalists, one is a retired policeman, another a retired truck driver, others are in or have been in the military, and some work or have worked in government. We also have experienced UNIX programmers among us who personally witnessed the history of UNIX since its inception, participated in its development, and know the software well. One of us is a non-technical grandmother who installed GNU/Linux herself recently and fell in love with the software. We are a large, international and varied group of people, which is appropriate because GNU/Linux is developed and used worldwide and the open source community to which you directed your letter is both global and diverse.


Our first purpose in writing to you is to draw to your attention that there are consequences to violating the GNU General Public License, the GPL.

You have continued to distribute the Linux kernel, despite alleging that it contains infringing source code. Simultaneously, you are attempting to compel purchase of "Linux Intellectual Property" licenses for binary-only use, the terms of which are incompatible with freedoms granted under the GPL.

According to the GPL, any violation of its license terms automatically and immediately terminates your permission to modify or distribute the software or derivative works. Note the wording of the GPL:

"4. You may not copy, modify, sublicense, or distribute the Program except as expressly provided under this License. Any attempt otherwise to copy, modify, sublicense or distribute the Program is void, and will automatically terminate your rights under this License. However, parties who have received copies, or rights, from you under this License will not have their licenses terminated so long as such parties remain in full compliance.

"5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it."

Releasing software under the GPL is not the same as releasing it into the public domain. Authors retain their copyrights to software licensed under the GPL. Even when authors assign their copyrights to someone else, such as to the Free Software Foundation, the copyrights remain valid, but with the new owner. Therefore, subsequent to termination of your permissions under the GPL, you are in the unhappy position of violating the copyrights of the software authors, if you continue to distribute their software. Under copyright law, you are not allowed to distribute at all without their permission -- and they have chosen to grant that permission only by means of the GPL.


With regard to the invoices you have said you will mail out by October 15, we caution you that we believe that any such action will expose you to civil lawsuits under both federal and state consumer protection laws, as well as to possible criminal prosecution and penalties should state and federal agencies, attorneys general, and district attorneys decide to get involved, which we fully intend to ask them to do upon receipt of any invoice from you.

For just one example of state consumer protection laws, we suggest that you read Article 22-A of New York's General Business Law, Sections 349 and 350. Similar laws are on the books in other states. The Linux kernel developers also have copyright law to rely upon to protect their rights. Linux-based businesses may also avail themselves of other commercial laws, such as trade libel law.

Should we receive invoices from you, we will initiate civil actions under the anti-fraud and consumer protection statutes wherever we live, according to our respective circumstances. We also intend to contact our state attorneys general to request that they seek criminal as well as civil penalties against you, in addition to injunctive relief. In addition, we will file complaints with the FTC and other federal and state agencies, as appropriate. Some individuals have already sent letters to legislators in their respective states and in Washington, DC.

We purchased GNU/Linux software in good faith, and we chose it precisely because it is released under the GPL. We will not accept your attempt to charge us a second time for a product that we have already bought and paid for, most of us from vendors other than yourself. Furthermore, we accept no license other than the GPL for GNU/Linux software. For one reason, it is the permission to modify our software that we treasure. Here is how the GPL FAQ explains the value of being able to modify software: "A crucial aspect of free software is that users are free to cooperate. It is absolutely essential to permit users who wish to help each other to share their bug fixes and improvements with other users." This is one key to the justly renowned stability and security of GNU/Linux software, and we have no intention of reverting back to the Dark Ages of binary-only software permissions, having already made the conscious and informed decision to escape from and avoid such like the plague.


Despite the false impression you attempt to paint in your letter -- that we are a lawless community that doesn't respect copyright law -- we wish to inform you that we do believe in copyright law. It is the legal foundation upon which the GPL is built, and we rely upon it to protect our rights. If the Linux kernel developers didn't believe in copyright, they would have released their software into the public domain instead of choosing to license it under the GPL.

You are required by law to respect the Linux kernel authors' copyrights, as well as the license they chose to use, the GPL. It is hypocritical to complain of alleged violations of your copyrights and licenses while at the same time disregarding the equivalent legal rights of others.


You have refused to show us, much less prove, any infringing source code. If you showed source code that proved to be infringing, it would be immediately removed. Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, and the FSF's attorney, Eben Moglen, have each told you so repeatedly as men of honor. You refuse to let that happen. Why? It appears to us it is because you have no infringing source code to show.

Your most recently filed 10Q shows your UNIX business declining, even as Linux continues to grow in market acceptance. If you are refusing to show the source code to prevent its removal because you wish to charge a perpetual toll, in effect riding on the coattails of the more successful GNU/Linux software, that is a shameful tactic. You cannot compel Linux developers to retain your source code, even if any infringing code existed. An alleged infringement is curable by removing the infringing source code. If you can identify any infringing source code, please do so, prove it is infringing, and let us remove it, because we surely do not want it.

Even more shameful would be to try to destroy, co-opt, or make proprietary, the labor of thousands of good-hearted volunteers who did not volunteer to work for you, do not wish to be exploited by you for your monetary gain, and have already chosen to release their creative work under the GPL.

If your concern is that evidence will be removed before your claims against IBM and its counterclaims against you can be heard in court, that is a baseless concern, because the Linux source code is and always will be publicly available for review by any court. Secrecy is not an option under copyright law. If you make allegations of copyright infringement, you must offer proof.

We do not need or want your legacy UNIX source code. It would be a violation of the GPL to accept proprietary source code into the Linux kernel. If there is proprietary source code in the kernel, we want it removed just as badly as you do, perhaps more so, because we believe in the GPL. Just because people will not walk through your front door to buy your software, you have no right to compel them to pay you through the back door for what they did not voluntarily choose to buy. You must, therefore, try to find a viable business model without our compelled participation.

Any claims you may have against IBM are between you and IBM. It is a contractual dispute to which we are not parties. If you have any valid contractual claims, they will be settled in a court of law, but your remedies in that dispute lie with IBM and IBM alone, not with Linux users. Even if some misappropriation were to be established, you cannot collect twice for the same transgression. Further, we note that to date you have filed no copyright claims against either IBM or Red Hat.


Since the beginning of this year, you have claimed that there is infringing source code taken from your version of UNIX and illegally donated to Linux. But when two examples were shown at SCOForum, neither supported your allegations. For six months, we have listened to analysts say that some source code appeared similar, if not identical. Yet what both they and you failed to investigate and determine is where that source code originated, how and by whom it was added to the software at issue, to whom it now belongs, and who is allowed to use it.

There is BSD source code in Linux which is legally there, and it will, of course, be identical to or similar to BSD source code in your software. The BSDi lawsuit revealed that the AT&T source codebase includes a great deal of BSD source code. Caldera itself also later released "Ancient UNIX" source code under a BSD-like license. Consequently SysV contains substantial amounts of source code that SCO and others have already licensed for use and that the open source/free software community may legally use.


It took only a day or so for the source code shown at SCOForum to begin to be identified by members of the open source community. If we do not police source code effectively, as you claim, why were they able to so quickly identify the code? You, in contrast, had no idea where that source code came from, or to whom it belonged, or you surely would not have used it to attempt to prove "infringement" of "your" source code. The evidence indicates it is your due diligence system that is broken, not ours.

If the legal departments of corporations represent to Linus Torvalds that they have ownership rights to source code they donate, what more can reasonably be expected? Do you have methods in place to prevent GPL source code from being improperly inserted into your proprietary software? Would you be willing to allow us to check for such violations? We particularly wish to check your Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) source code. We suspect that there may be GPL source code taken from the Linux kernel and used in LKP without authorization, and we challenge you to prove this has not happened by showing us your LKP source code, throughout its complete development history to date.

Any proprietary software company can police its own source code in Linux by checking the Linux source code. The Linux kernel is open to the public. If you see any source code that you believe is yours, you have only to speak up, and it will be immediately removed, upon confirmation that it is infringing. That is what you should have done. It's a superior feature in the open source method that all you need to do is your own due diligence. Any interested party can verify that no copyright infringements are taking place, simply by looking at the published source code. This creates strong incentives for honesty and provides far greater protection for copyright holders than your proprietary system, where source code can be misappropriated and hidden and no one can check for it, short of a lawsuit. Perhaps that is why proprietary software companies are so often locked in legal battles, something you rarely see in the open source / free software community.

With regard to broken systems, how could it happen that while working with the Linux kernel source code for years -- and your company did -- you never noticed any infringing source code? And how do you explain that you released the allegedly infringing source code in your own distributions of Linux for years without noticing it was in there?

If Linux did contain infringing UNIX source code that you failed to notice for years, or noticed but did nothing to prevent, despite the fact that the Linux source code was freely available at any time for your review, it raises questions about your internal processes and procedures for protecting your copyrights rather than demonstrating any purported "breakdown" in the open source methodology.


Anyone considering surreptitiously inserting proprietary software source code into Linux knows they would be quickly discovered and identified by name. That is your indemnification and your protection. We believe our system for policing source code is far more exacting and successful than your own.

On the subject of indemnification, we note that the software license which you propose to sell does not offer indemnification from lawsuits brought by other companies. And we think we should inform you warranties are permitted under the GPL: "1. . . .You may charge a fee for the physical act of transferring a copy, and you may at your option offer warranty protection in exchange for a fee." We do not feel we need it; the open source method protects us sufficiently, but it is certainly negotiable if we wish to pay for it.

Proprietary software companies regularly file lawsuits against each other for copyright infringement, patent and trademark violations. Microsoft has been found guilty recently in several cases, but despite the fact that the GNU Project was begun in 1984 and Linus Torvalds began the Linux kernel in 1991, there has never been a claim of copyright infringement that we know of in all those years, let alone a finding of guilt. The record shows which method has done a better job of policing source code, which reveals that your call for indemnification is, to put it bluntly, FUD.


With regard to your talk of having experienced a DDoS attack and your request that we aggressively police the community, your request is like us asking you to police Microsoft to ensure it never again breaks antitrust law or never again violates anyone's patents, trademarks, or copyrights.

Just because you are both proprietary software companies, it doesn't follow that you can control what Microsoft does or should be criticized as if you condoned their actions just because you are in the same proprietary camp. Whether it is individuals or companies that break a law, it is wrong, but it reflects only on the individual perpetrator. We expect you to make that distinction for us, as we do for you.

There is a legal process for such matters. Not everyone accepts as established fact that there was an attack. The doubt is based on the fact that your employees were quoted as saying that reports of an attack were untrue and that you took your servers down for maintenance yourself and then had trouble getting them back up again. We observed that the "attack" kept business hours, Utah time, for much of that week. If the information your employees provided was false and there was in fact a network denial of service attack on your servers, we naturally abhor such behavior. Your implication that we would feel otherwise is deeply insulting and offensive.

We would think, however, that a capable information technology company that sells web services software would have the technical know-how to handle a DDoS attack, if that is really what happened. Most such companies do handle them without being brought to their knees for a week. We are glad that you say you have since learned technical steps you can take to protect yourself in the future.


Kindly bring up-to-date your concept of the people and organizations that make up the open source community. Your letter attempted to portray us as a counter-cultural fringe element. On the contrary, the truth is that our community is very much in the mainstream already and includes many of the largest and most successful businesses today, including IBM, Red Hat, Merrill Lynch, Lucent Technologies, Unilever, Verisign, Dell, Amazon, Google, Dreamworks, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the US Department of Defense, the US military, and many other federal, state, and local governments and governmental agencies, including, by the way, the town of St. George, Utah.

You can read a list of companies and governmental agencies that use GNU/Linux at Linux International's "Linux Success Stories" webpage . The Linux Documentation Project also has such a webpage, called "Powered by Linux!", as does the Linux in Business website. The Linux Counter calculates there are currently 18 million users of GNU/Linux software.

With so many businesses, educational institutions, governmental organizations, and individual users switching to our software, we must be doing something right.


Your inability to make your Linux business a success, while unfortunate for you, parallels your company's failure to make your UNIX business a success. Perhaps the problem isn't Linux, the GPL, or the open source business model.

Economist Amy Wohl is of the opinion that "The Open Source Community Has a Business Model" and one that is successful. Ms. Wohl is an analyst who has been covering IT for nearly 30 years and who currently comments on the commercialization of new and emerging technology. Here are her comments, which we include with her kind permission:

"As an economist, let me assure you that Open Source has a business model. It simply isn't one that a traditional company like SCO, which expects to be paid for source code, can figure out. There are still lots of companies that can charge for source code, but only when the source code they are offering is valued by customers because it is unique or convenient or offers other recognized value. Other companies (IBM is a good example) charge for their Linux-compatible middleware source code, but honor the Open Source community by supporting it with technical and financial assistance and by strongly supporting the open standards that permit customers to choose to use Open Source code when they prefer it and purchased source code when they find it, for whatever reason, more valuable. Then, as many posters have noted, IBM extends its business model into the future by providing services to help customers plan, design, implement, and customize whatever combinations of hardware, open source, and proprietary code the customer prefers.

"That is the new business model and it seems to be a very successful one."


We suggest that you ask your attorneys to explain the Lesser General Public License to you . If they are not familiar with the LGPL, contact the Free Software Foundation, and they can help you to resolve your misunderstanding and confusion about the GPL and how it works and can explain to you how the LGPL can help your business to thrive, should you insist on continuing with the old proprietary software business model. Companies such as MySQL distribute software simultaneously under both open source and proprietary licenses, a practice that is acceptable, if not ideal, under the GPL.

It is not a violation of the GPL to sell software released under that license. As the GPL FAQ points out, "The right to sell copies is part of the definition of free software." The "free" in free software refers to freedom, not that you can get it gratis. Many of us have paid for our free software, simply because it's more convenient than downloading it or as a way to thank the wonderful folks who developed and shared it with the world. If you're looking for a successful business model, you might consider the tried and true model of satisfied customers.

We have prepared a research document with links to evidence supporting our position and other resources that you may find helpful, including information about the GPL and the LGPL and how they work. The Inquirer is making our research document available online.. We hope it will help you understand our position better and prove a useful resource to you and others interested in this controversy. We also believe it demonstrates that we have right on our side and that we will win.

Thank you for writing to us. We appreciate the opportunity to answer your letter. We trust you will give our response due consideration. Thank you for your time.


Members of The Open Source/Free Software Community at Groklaw

Copyright © Groklaw, 2003

Verbatim copying of this letter is permitted in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.


Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride | 337 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: shaun on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 12:28 PM EDT
PJ you are beautiful, graceful and intelligent. If you do accept your real life
marriage proposal I know he will be one luck man.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: fidget on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:00 PM EDT
This has already been picked up and reported on by The Inquirer.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:00 PM EDT
The quality and professionalism of this letter truly lend credit to the Open
Source Community; however, the method in which it was written is what really
represents the ideals promoted by the GPL and Creative Commons. Its a milestone
for what we all hope the Internet will become. Bravo.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Alex on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:23 PM EDT
Press releases have been released. Hopefully this will start showing up on other
media soon.


[ Reply to This | # ]

with grace and dignity
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:30 PM EDT
A very well done letter. Stated with confidence and competence. No
argumentative rough edges. Looks like all of the important points are covered.
My thanks to all those who worked on this from a 60 year old PhD who does (among
other things) numerical software on Linux boxes. Lets see what happens.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Alex on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:39 PM EDT
We're now up on Slashdot and Newsforge too.

Yee Haw!!


[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 01:59 PM EDT
Magnificent. Simply magnificent. This is by far the best letter to SCO, and the
one that I think represents the Open Source/Free Software community the best.
Thank you very much!

[ Reply to This | # ]

high praise and a wee typo
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 02:40 PM EDT
Bloody marvelous, in style, in content, in every way. One tiny typo: grep for
"website website".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: greg_T_hill on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 03:26 PM EDT
Absloutely beautiful and well worth the wait. I admire the the restraint in the
letter. I hope this gets the coverage it deserves. Wall Street Journal would be
Make sure Yankee and Gartner get copies, OK?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 03:35 PM EDT
Great work PJ! Thank you!

Only downsite ... it's Saturday!
Hope Inquirer, Slashdot, Newsforge put the link back on top on Monday.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: kpl on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 03:46 PM EDT
Go PJ!

mv sco /dev/null

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 03:58 PM EDT


Couldn't SCO be compelled to disclose any infringement during discovery, rather
than waiting for a trial?

Stuart Thayer

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 03:58 PM EDT
Super letter! What I like about it is you don't just defend, but you attack
SCO, like pointing out how its own procedures for checking code ownership are
sloppy. That is good, the main dynamic so far has been Darl attacks, Linux
defends. It is much better to be the attacker and put the other side on the
defensive (did you learn that working in the legal profession?)

One correction: "the US Department of Defense, the US military"
second part is redundant.

[ Reply to This | # ]

The letter and the judge for the RH case
Authored by: Sri Lumpa on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 04:19 PM EDT
That's a good response you've all done here, congrats.

While I am at it I was wondering if we had any information on the judge
appointed over the Redhat vs SCO like we had a while ago about Judge Kimball for
the SCO vs IBM suit.

It would be interesting to know who he (or she) is and what his previous
experience of copyright law is, how he ruled on similar issues before (if he had
a similar case anyway)...

I have no idea how to research that myself (except maybe going to Delaware to
check court records but I guess the plane ticket from the UK would be
prohibitive) but given that nobody seems to raise the point I thought I would
ask the question.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 04:27 PM EDT
It would be great if Redhat, Suse, Mandrake, Debian and other Distros put this
response on their website too.

Great research everyone.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: shadowman99 on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 05:27 PM EDT
Awesome! I bet Perins and Raymond are out there wondering how they missed so
much that you nailed. If the IBM and RedHat lawyers are serious about winning
this case, they should be reading this site.

Keep up the outstanding work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 06:04 PM EDT
Simply awesome.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: kevin lyda on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 06:05 PM EDT
great work but it's only 10% done. it needs to make it to the mainstream press
- no, sadly doesn't count. can anyone help? this letter needs to
make it onto prnewswire, and the business pages of the wsj or the ny times.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Julio Monroy on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 06:11 PM EDT
Eloquent, authoritative and thorough. Kudos to the authors!

I must make the observation that Darl McBride is very good at manipulation, and his prior open letter to the community is startling evidence of such. He attempts to put a spin on his claims, such that the lay technical person would believe he is absolutely credible. It's not to hard to see why non-technical "analysts," such as the infamous Laura DiDio, would be convinced by Darls spew. The average layman would drink his Kool-aid too.

This open-letter retorts every one of his half-truths, innuendoes and uncertainties. It covers all important points quite thoroughly, and is not openly insulting (although, I loved the dart about "[..] Most such companies do handle them [DDoS] without being brought to their knees for a week. We are glad that you say you have since learned technical steps you can take to protect yourself in the future. [..]")

One thing I did find insulting in McBride's recent interview with ComputerWorld. He actually had the gall to state, "We believe we've got the moral high ground." If most readers recall, Eric Raymond stated almost the same thing in this statement to the open source community. This is a great example of how he takes other peoples words and manipulates them to his own benefit. This guy doesn't have an original bone in his body.

GROKLAW, et al, thanks for your due diligence.

Visit my "SCO Antics" web page:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Sauja on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 07:19 PM EDT

I expected this to be good. But this exceeds even my high expectations.

You've blown me away.

PS: "PJ, I like you".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 08:38 PM EDT
Two words - well written - but only reactive.

If you set up a list of signatures, i'll sign it, though.

But - this is all not longer enough for me. Being a freeware author myself, i have my pride and my righteousness, and i do not longer accept being insulted and incriminated by Mr. McBride and his corporate criminal "amigos" at Microsoft and Sun for nothing.

Personally, i want to see Mr. McBride down by law for his deeds. I do. He is a criminal, now doubt. He is definitely trying to steal a community work and he definitely bearing false witness on the freeware community as a whole, and on every freeware author personally and intentionally. Enough is enough. I'm fed up.

US-american's law is apparently scary weak, or plain injustice in not even protecting original authors agains lies, attempted theft, incrimination and insult, nor their users against extortion - or why else isn't there any US lawyer stepping up, a man, a woman, or an artifical intelligence enough to handle this case, by writing down a HOWTO-PUT-MR-MCBRIDE-IN-JAIL? Will this continent being lost for plain juristical incompetence? I definitely hope not.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Fighting back
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 08:58 PM EDT
Great response to McBride & Co. - great Job. Just a thought; pj would you be
interested in using your strong writing skills to do the same kind of letter but
this time addressing the Bar association. I think we should try to cause some
heat for Heisse & Boies. Their legal arguments are so outrageous ( and
irresponsible ) that their regional Bar associations ethics comittee might
listen. These lawyers are trying to make Linux code public domain (not caring
about the rights of the developers). Their legal argument that the GPL is
invalid because copyright only allows for one backup would be laughable if it
didnt make me sick to my stomach. They cant possibly use that in court. Equally
absurd arguments is their motion to dismiss Red Hat's case because their was
never an intention of suing Red Hat and that they are exercizing their 'freedom
of speech'. This kind of stuff is why lawyers are equated to rats. I think PJs
gift with words could make a legal ethics comittee take notice. Coupled that
with a bunch of online signitures which I'm sure would be in the thousands
couldnt hurt either ..

Just a thought

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 09:06 PM EDT
I'm very proud to be part of the open source movement. I have recently needed
support for learning a new language. That support was given freely by people I
don't know, and someday I wish to do likewise for those that come after me. The
ethics of OSS are some much more pure that commercial organisations can ever
hope to be. If we have transgressed (by accepting proprietary code - unbeknown
to us) then you can see our leaders and fellow workers will esponge such blight
from our workmanship.
It would be good if we could find out whether SCO has infringed on our

[ Reply to This | # ]

Sooo I sent this e-mail...
Authored by: plungermonkey on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 09:16 PM EDT

This letter, in my opinion, was outstanding! I bow before the greatness of this group and especially PJ. I can hear Romanian folk songs sung about her for generations to come :o)

Oh, and I took the liberty of forwarding a link to the letter to the Yankee Group's Media Relations Crew through one Kim Vranas. Here's what I wrote:

Hi Kim,

Lately the Yankee Group has been making a lot of noise regarding the SCO/IBM/Linux debacle. Most of which, in my opinion, is either wrong or distorted. Perhaps before letting Ms. DiDio write another article regarding this subject, you should make sure that she has her facts in order (just a suggestion). Anyway, the point of this e-mail is to forward this link to you in the hope that you'll pass it along to Ms. DiDio.
With her being a Senior Analyst for the Yankee Group and covering the SCO situation, this link might be of some interest to her. I strongly suggest that you impress upon her the importance of getting all the facts prior to committing fingers to keyboard, if for no other reason, than to prevent herself from looking the fool (a general impression of her by the Linux community) and to protect the integrity of your organization.

Thank you in advance for your time regarding this matter.

Dunno if I'll get a response, but who knows. Somehow it was just too tempting to let the urge go :op

An ignorant person knows no better, a studid person knows better and still does what is wrong. Which one are you?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
Authored by: jeanph01 on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 10:08 PM EDT
Hi PJ,
Thank you for taking care of our many (and often contradictory) comments in the
open letter. It's truly a community response and I'm proud to have my little 2
cents in it.
It's a great piece of work.


[ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 10:14 PM EDT
    on behalf of the many outraged open source/gnu linux users &
    supporters, thanks to ALL who participated in this have
    given our anger a clear, concise, and outstanding articulation.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: romana on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 10:26 PM EDT

    I have just sent the following to IT section editor:
    This letter, authored by many in the Open Source community outraged by SCO's recent actions, is garnering a lot of support and publicity. I urge you to visit this, as I believe it is worthy of comment.
    [link to groklaw]

    If each of us does this with a few news sources, imagine the publicity!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: rand on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 11:22 PM EDT
    Finally had time to sit and read the whole thing, including the latest comments.
    PJ, it's smooth, easy to read, and to the point. Kudos, kudos, kudos...

    The Wright brothers were not the first to fly...they were the first to LAND.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    We Made Linux World
    Authored by: Alex on Saturday, September 20 2003 @ 11:47 PM EDT
    Linux World is now carrying our letter.

    We've now made:

    The Inquirer
    Linux Today and
    Linux World


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Hear The sucking wind blow.
    Authored by: Clay on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:00 AM EDT
    From: Clay Graham <>
    Subject: Contact from
    Date: Sat, 20 Sep 2003 20:54:41 -0700

    Ok, so what open source religion do the governments of China, Korea, and Japan
    belong to? Maybe its the religion of good sense. Their governments are
    collectively spending millions to provide a open source Linux based solution for
    their government data centers, replacing NT, has that sunk in yet? The plan is
    to remove their dependence on opaque proprietary solutions and control the code
    base themselves. Over a billion people go that way, you feel the sucking wind
    blow, hey maybe they got something.

    Guess what...the three industrial power houses of Asia are bellying up to the
    bar for "free beer". Look, this isn't about "religion",
    or hippies wanting their "freedom" its about good economics and
    complete control of mission critical systems. When you get it you'll
    you are backing the wrong horse.

    newObjectivity, Inc. supports the destruction
    of all software patents.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Thank you for helping with the letter, everyone
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:16 AM EDT
    I do want to say thank you so very much to everyone for all the input. It was
    so enjoyable working on this letter together. Thank you for the compliments
    <blushing> but really, this was a collaborative work, and that is where
    its power comes from.

    We did send press releases to places like Wall St. Journal. If anyone knows a
    particular journalist they feel would like to read this, particularly business
    writers, please let me know and we'll make sure to send the press release and
    the letter there too. Or just write to them yourselves if you wish.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Arrowsong on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:25 AM EDT
    No less than Outstanding to All! I've seen a lot of Linux/OSS community efforts
    over the years and this is one of the best.
    I sincerely believe that the Groklaw Letter to Mr.McBriBe/SCO not only makes
    "great sense" but, just might be the beginning of a
    "standard" of sorts, for why when & how the community can &
    should pool ideas, opinions, legal aspects and "Truths". Addressing
    such issues, especially high profile attacks of outright slander & extortion
    such as the community is dealing with at present with the SCO scandal, in an
    intelligent and well balanced manner is by far the right & correct choice.
    Even when dealing with ignorant back water wanna-bes like Darl and company.
    Great Job Folks! {& PJ!} Bet they never saw this coming. <Got the backend
    covered, Roger That!> Semper Fi

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Fired off a note to the Washington Post TEchnology Editor
    Authored by: mac586 on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:47 AM EDT
    I just sent an email to the Washington Post Technology Editor with this page's
    url. If I hear anything back, I'll post a message.

    I just got my electricity back after 50+ hours of hurricane Isabel, and the
    "Letter to Darl" was shimmering on my monitor.

    For today, I was appreciative of electricity. For tomorrow, and many years yet
    to come, I will be VERY appreciative of Groklaw and this Open Letter. Thanks to
    PJ and all of her supporters here at Groklaw.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 01:09 AM EDT

    To all involved in crafting this letter: superlative work! Your demeanor,
    consistency, and courage were exactly what was called for.

    Tnank you,

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Off Topic, Interesting POV
    Authored by: Alex on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 01:20 AM EDT

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: D. on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 01:51 AM EDT
    L. Metler, Esq. thought so highly of the effort, that he posted it on his site
    with minimal infammatory commentary.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Trying to get some of that momentum stuff.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 02:41 AM EDT
    Just to let you guys know so they don't end up with 50 similar emails monday
    morning, I just sent the following to Rob Enderle, Laura Didio and Bill
    I'll mention any follow-up I get as a reply to this post.

    Subject: Newsworthy URL regarding SCO vs OpenSource community

    An open letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride is currently making the rounds on
    several sites. Here's a link to it:

    So far, the letter has been picked up by The Inquirer, Slashdot, Newsforge,
    Linux Today and Linux World.
    The overwhelming majority of comments posted for the letter seems to agree that
    this letter does a great job at representing the open source community
    This letter comes with some research material that documents every claim it
    makes, available at:

    I apologize if this is a duplicate, but this seems like something you should be
    aware of since you have covered the SCO controversy in the past.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: ZeusLegion on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 02:48 AM EDT
    I was surfing around to see if other sites had posted it and ran across THIS old Q&A with McBribe from June. It puts a lot of things that we know now into perspective.

    According to McBribe's own comments, all of this seems to have originated last fall with SCO trying to bleed IBM for money and when that failed they whipped out the "IP infringement" card and were shocked when IBM slammed the door in their faces and threatened to stop doing business with them altogether.

    Instead of taking the hint that this was the wrong path, they instead when to IBM's old nemesis, Microsoft, who "saw an opportunity" (as Dear Darl puts it) and got their money that way.

    He even admits that SCO approached Microsoft first.

    I can only hope that McBribe is criminally prosecuted and spends a good number of decades in prison what with all the harsh realities that entails.

    That or in addition to it, he flees the country as a fugitive and thus allows interested parties to hunt him down and bring him to justice -- and all the harsh realities that entails.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • Sideline - Authored by: PJ on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 05:01 AM EDT
    • Sideline - Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:04 PM EDT
    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 02:53 AM EDT
    Excellent Letter. Just goes to show what a united community can do. Reminds me
    of the motto "United we stand, divided we fall"

    Thanks for all the hard work that everyone put into this Letter!!!

    P.S. - Can someone also please send a copy to InformationWeek and e-Week, since
    these are commonly read by the business community (including CEOs and CIOs).

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    How about UnitedLinux?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:12 AM EDT
    Did you forgot to mention SCO's participation in the
    UnitedLinux consortium -- by participating in it, they
    even happened to distribute the kernel that was in
    UnitedLinux 1.0, which, AFAIK, contains the code, which
    they believe is "infridging" and which they showed at the
    SCOforum. Just have a look at the kernel which they were
    distributing then -- in also contatined JFS and XFS,
    which, they also believe, violates they IP.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 05:02 AM EDT
    Dear friends at Groklaw and all members and supporters of OSS.

    This is by all means the best letter ever to represent the views of the
    community. And I am one of the thousands of people on the net who admired the
    style and the approach marked by it.


    There are too many people out there who don't speak english (my wife including
    :). This material is so important that it needs to be translated to as many
    languages as possible for the major impact throughout the world.

    Thank you very much for supporting the software revolution!

    Best of luck to all.
    OSS supporter

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 05:12 AM EDT
    Submitted to the following sites:

    Will draft a template email to try and get some bigger fish from the pond. : )
    Good job everyone!

    -Bill (Audioslaved)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Great letter, but there is a typo.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 07:33 AM EDT

    Under the section "WE RESPECT THE LAW" it says

    With regard to your talk of having experienced a DDoS attack and your request that we aggessively police ...

    instead of aggressively.

    Perhaps that should be corrected before more news sites make reference to it.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 07:59 AM EDT
    Charles (To hell with login).

    Great letter, interesting research.

    IBM Predates Unix by more than 30 years.
    IBM was registered in 1911.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 09:44 AM EDT
    I may not have an account at Groklaw (yet) but couldnt wait to make one to have
    this comment posted.

    I read the WHOLE letter word-by-word, line-by-line absorbing it to the
    itsy-bitsy detail and enjoyed it more then my morning cup of hot steamy black

    Great job !! In my humble opinion this is by-far the best letter (yet) that
    represents our Open Source community's beliefes and ideals.

    One Humble Open Source comrade


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's copyright notice on the research/footnotes
    Authored by: tamarian on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 10:23 AM EDT

    As everyone said, that was the best open letter so far!

    I noticed the reference to the research associated with the open letter is
    posted at:

    Unlike the open letter, it contains no copyright notice, and most importantly,
    no permission to distribute verbatim.

    Just thought I'd bring it to your attention, in case it was not by design, as
    I'm sure other Linux sites would like to mirror it for the record, when it's
    no longer accessable on the inquirer.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 10:43 AM EDT
    Tact - The ability to punch someone in the nose, and make them feel like you did
    it out of love.

    Do you think SCO feels the love? hehehe

    A masterpiece!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: dpfalls on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:09 PM EDT
    I posted this in the wrong place as anonymous a few mins ago. Sorry.

    I think this reponse by the open source community makes a lot of sense. My
    opinion is that SCO is trying to get 'money for nothing.' SCO's parent
    company (Canary is it's name I believe) has a reputation for this sort of
    dubious practice. It is also my opinion that SCO and it's parent company should
    be driven out of business by legal means. SCO's business conduct is unethical
    and ,I believe, ultimately criminal. SCO is waging what is ultimately a
    terrorist campaign against the open source community in general and vendors and
    users of Linux in particular.

    Are the actions undertaken by SCO not business terrorism? Or are their actions
    extortion? SCO is threatening lawsuits over an issue not settled in court. SCO
    is threatening end users of linux. Once this issue is resolved in favor of IBM
    and the Open Source community, SCO AND Canary needs to be sued out of existance.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    FLOSS is proprietary software: "proprietary software" --> "Software Manufacturing"
    Authored by: russellmcormond on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:52 PM EDT
    While people think they know what you you mean by proprietary software, the use of this terminology has actually been very harmful to our community by suggesting our software is not protected by copyright.

    Proprietary software is simply software that has an 'owner' , or many 'owners'. From a copyright standpoint that means any software that is not released into the public domain either by the author or by the software reaching the term of copyright. While the term of copyright is 50 years or more depending on the country, software being distributed separated from hardware is a concept that is younger than that and thus no software has had the term expired (that I am aware of -- I am interested if people have an example).

    It is important to remember, as you indicate yourself in your article, that FLOSS is just as proprietary as non-Free/Libre software is. In fact, we often have *more* owners for a given project given our developers are most often allowed and encouraged to retain their copyright, rather than be forced to give up their creative rights to their own works as part of employment ("work for hire", "contractual rights", and other forms of copyright theft... ;-).

    The difference between us is not whether our software is proprietary or not, or whether we rely on copyright law, but what business models we use and what rights we offer to (or revoke from) our customers/users.

    The term I have used to more correctly identify those companies that rely on per-unit (per-copy, per-user, per-CPU, per-*) royalty fees are "software manufacturing". These are businesses that rely on legacy Industrial era manufacturing business models for software (an intangible) which has no reason to have such arbitrary limits imposed on it.

    Prior to the 1960's software was always bundled with hardware, and thus the only possible business models were those for tangibles. Hardware is manufactured, distributed, and sold on a per-unit basis for obvious physical limitations related to being a tangible.

    Once software was distributed separate from hardware, a historical split occurred. Some companies continued to treat software as if it were a tangible and treated it as being manufactured, distributed, and sold on a per-unit basis. Other people do not accept these legacy and arbitrary limitations, and the success of the FLOSS movement is the inevitable success of these more advanced thinkers.

    BTW: Canadians wishing to get involved in these issues should look at:

    Russell McOrmond, FLOSS Consultant

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Please Release this as a press release!!!
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 12:59 PM EDT
    Currently this document if falling on deaf ears. No one but the open source
    community is hearing it. I checked my etrade account and did a lookup for news
    related to SCOX and there is nothing but positive SCO news. Unless these
    counter claims are released to press release agents they will NEVER be heard by
    SCO's investors.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Getting ready for upcoming FUD: the 2.6 kernel
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 02:57 PM EDT

    An excellent debunking piece. We need to do more of these: as many of you know, the linux 2.6 kernel is going through its final testing and tweaking throes before being officialy released. It's still a while before that happens, but I am sure than SCO already has a FUD piece (disguised as a "press release") in the works. It would be a mighty good idea to do a press release along with the 2.6 birth which is FUD-proofed (or even anti-FUD) as much as possible.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: brenda banks on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 03:30 PM EDT now has us on their site


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:05 PM EDT
    Here is my response to a recent InfoWorld article. Enjoy.

    Regarding the InfoWorld article titled "Linux users face uncertain future
    if SCO wins", and published on September 19, 2003, at URL:, I believe
    everyone is panicking over nothing.

    A problem I notices, in the article, is that everyone mentioned (and I am
    surprised that Eric Raymond made the same mistake, since he should know better)
    is ignoring the fact that the GPL also has a derivative works clause. See

    If the US courts interpret derivative works in favor of SCO, SCO loses. No; I
    did not just commit a typo. Allow me to explain:

    If the US justice system is so negligent as to adopt SCO's interpretation of
    derivative works. The net effect is that Linux gets declared infringing on SCO
    property, and SIMULTANEOUSLY, SCO OpenUnix 8 gets declared GPL'ed software,
    which would have the immediate effect of GPL'ing the entire disputed System V
    code base, since that is the foundation upon which OpenUnix 8 is built. This
    would be as a result of the derivative works clause in the GPL. SCO has tainted
    their Unix so badly that they cannot escape this enormous irony.

    Recall that OpenUnix 8 contains what SCO refers to as the Linux Kernel
    Personality (LKP), which reproduces Linux functionality, and also contains a lot
    of GPL'ed products. Therefore, if a court is negligent enough to conclude that
    neither a "clean room" implementation of a function nor
    independently (without SCO code) implementing a product then linking it with a
    SCO product is sufficient to escape a derivative works claim by SCO, then the
    court must also find that such an interpretation holds true for GPL'ed

    Furthermore, since Solaris, AIX, and many other major Unix operating systems are
    also based on System V code, those operating systems would then have to be
    declared free from any claims from SCO, since it would be difficult for SCO to
    further claim infringement if, and as a consequence of the courts' negligent
    interpretation of derivative works, SCO has inadvertently GPL'ed the entire
    System V code base.

    Also you can imagine from my statements above, the resultant effect would be
    that SCO's claims would be immediately invalidated - an outcome SCO obviously
    must not suspect. And if SCO does suspect such an outcome, they are obviously
    hoping the judge, jury, and the public (in general) are not sharp enough to see
    the other side of the argument, and thus the obvious flaws with their suit.
    This may very well be the reason why SCO is so desperate to have the GPL
    invalidated – and even a successful attack on the GPL would severely backfire.
    As you can see, SCO’s suit is self-defeating.

    This then leaves only one possible [sane] interpretation of derivative works,
    and it is the only one that has any hope of being favorable to SCO, contingent
    up the interpretation of the AT&T agreements. Precisely, if the AT&T
    side-letters (amending the original AT&T-IBM contract) acknowledging IBM's
    ownership of IBM derived works are for whatever reason found to be invalid, the
    question becomes: are the IBM (independently or jointly) developed and owned
    technologies such as SMP, RCU, NUMA, JFS, etcetera, derived directly from System
    V code? If not, then SCO has no case.

    It should therefore be apparent that, even if there is a derivative works issue
    to contest, it is highly unlikely that SCO can win under a “proper”
    interpretation of derivative works. It should also be apparent that SCO will
    lose, because of the GPL, if an interpretation of derivative works is too broad
    as to favor SCO’s interpretation. The SCO claim of Unix methods in Linux is
    equally easily defeated. The adage, if something seems too good to be true, it
    probably is, could not ring truer for SCO and their claims.

    Interestingly enough, the InfoWord article simply demonstrates the depth of
    ignorance that presently abounds. It is that ignorance, and only that
    ignorance, that could allow SCO to succeed. SCO is hoping to pull a fast one in
    court – a danger when you have a jury trial. Therefore, it is absolutely
    imperative that IBM and Red Hat legal counsel lay bear this obvious hypocrisy in

    People in the media need to understand that the facts in the matter are not in
    SCO’s favor. The media needs to do better research and ask tough questions -
    especially when they find their sources in disagreement or contradiction.

    Remember that it is SCO who has the vested interest in this matter, the open
    source community’s interest is really as a reaction to the threat; therefore,
    every claim SCO makes should be researched and tested against available facts.
    For some additional research, here are some places you may want to start:

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    No new articles until Monday
    Authored by: PJ on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:12 PM EDT
    Hi guys,

    Because of the importance of this article, I'm leaving it first on the page
    until tomorrow.

    There is action on Pacer, and I'll post what it means tomorrow evening. It's
    not important enough to bump this story.

    I just thought I'd explain so you'd know not to look for any new article from
    me until tomorrow, although new comments will continue.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    re: Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride (dated 9/21/2003)
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:18 PM EDT
    " Because a decision on the declarative judgments may take a while, Szulik
    wants SCO to cease its negative P.R. campaign, including the "veiled
    threats" that Linux users may face legal liabilities. "We've asked
    the court to issue a permanent injuction" that stops SCO from airing its
    grievances in public."

    Anybody have an idea how soon they could get the permanent injunction?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: dr_drake on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 04:49 PM EDT
    Someone please make sure that Bill Thompson has seen this - his email address

    and he writes occasional columns for BBC news online - they sometimes get onto
    the front page. He might be receptive to this article. He
    wrote an ill-informed piece a while back and might be prepared to put the other
    side now.

    I'd do it myself but my email is out due to a power failure!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: shaun on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 06:41 PM EDT
    I just sent a copy of the letter to Reuter's as well as a link to Groklaw.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Interesting Comment found at /.
    Authored by: shaun on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 08:03 PM EDT
    I wish that people would stop equating OSS with communism, because it is not the
    same thing at all. OSS is actually a development of capitalism, where the brutal
    facts of reality have converged:

    * Operating systems are not rare.
    * It costs very little to reproduce software.
    * It costs relatively little money to develop original software.
    * Capitalism says competition will drive price down.

    I would say that OSS is the ultimate result of capitalism: lowest cost goods.

    Reality is that OSS software is simply where the old artificial property economy
    (read: INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY MONOPOLY RIGHTS)has failed. Darl is much like the
    monkey (or single celled organism) where OSS is simply species link or two up
    the evolutionary chain.

    Value is generated in IT by deploying a technology configuration to achieve a
    goal, such as reduced costs or enabling higher capacity. Software is one
    component of that value. Hardware is another. And the ability to converge
    technology, people and process to yeild value is where the real money is at. OSS
    lowers cost and provides better tools for building value. Period.

    $G = salesgeek (263995)

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 08:39 PM EDT
    Press release should go to NPR.

    my suggestions are:

    All Things Considered:
    The Connection:
    Talk Of The Nation:
    TOTN:Science Friday:

    but there are many more.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 08:55 PM EDT

    Is it too late to spell out FUD in the last para about indemnification? or to
    put fear, uncertainty and doubt in parentheses?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: shaun on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 09:35 PM EDT
    I just sent a copy of the letter to Deanne LeBlanc as well. Still looking to
    send it to more places as well.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: brenda banks on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 10:16 PM EDT

    another site has us on it


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, September 21 2003 @ 10:22 PM EDT
    Google News has a link to the Inquirer article about the letter:

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: tamarian on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 12:10 AM EDT
    Off-topic, but important. Linus Torvalds and Alan Cox have sent an open letter to the members of the European Parliament, re: Patents.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    A Note on Posting eMail
    Authored by: PJ on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 12:24 AM EDT
    I would be very grateful if no one posts email from a third party without
    their express consent, and please send me a copy of that consent for my
    records first. Thank you.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Still one typo remains.
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 01:06 AM EDT

    Once it is removed the letter will be perfect.

    Under the section "WHO MAKES UP THE OPEN SOURCE COMMUNITY TODAY?", in the second paragraph, it says

    ... as does the Linux in Business website website.

    The word website is repeated.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 04:20 AM EDT
    PJ you may want to check into this. I was looking over the SCo site to see if
    they were releasing any new FUD when I cam across this.

    My questions are numerous but what is the real story on his previous background
    at SuSE? Could we find out?

    I just find it hard to believe anyone would jump ship from SuSE to SCO.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 05:54 AM EDT
    Quote "IANAL. I am a paralegal, so if you have a legal problemand want
    advice, this isn't the place. Hire an attorneyinstead. Research is, however,
    what paras do, so hereI am sharing things I have found in my research. "

    *IANAL* ??? MYSB! (Maybe You Should Be). If I were SCO, I'd be shocked and
    taken-aback. Your argument is so coherent and well worded, and seems to leave
    no room for retort. You tell it straight that we will not be defeated by SCO

    Well done all.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 06:38 AM EDT
    Excellent work. Should be carved in stone!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 07:21 AM EDT
    Here is a very misguided individual, whose letter appeared in Computerworld:

    SCO's Rights

    Perhaps the silent majority in the IT world is not behind SCO President and CEO
    Darl McBride, but most businessmen who place a value on intellectual property
    and the capitalist system probably are. Most of us like to be paid for the value
    of our efforts. Any company that develops software that provides it with a
    competitive edge is unlikely to be happy if that information shows up as
    open-source. If their employees have any sense, they will be unhappy as well.

    Mark Stephens


    The Stephens Group Inc.

    Charlotte, N.C.

    Mr. Stephens website is at He needs to read an
    official copy of the response to Darl McB's letter. This is typical of the
    "nitwittery" that I have heard from some quarters.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Sydney Morning Herald
    Authored by: tcranbrook on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 08:24 AM EDT
    It's appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Thanks Re original Open Letter to Open Source Community - accusations parallel McCarthyism?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 09:19 AM EDT
    Thank you for this very good letter clearly and thoughtfully presenting some
    nice arguments.

    Further thoughts: It seems almost that the documented social manipulation
    strategies used by the public proponents of McCarthyism are being used again
    here as a blueprint strategy against the GPL and the Open Source Community.

    According to one commentator of those very hysterical former times a common
    strategy was to jump from one wild accusation to another without ever addressing
    the need to document the substance behind the accusations or to refute any
    counter arguments that might from time to time surface.

    If that is one of the 'textbook cases' being used as a blueprint, a reasoned
    response to your well-crafted letter would be unlikely to appear in the short
    term or medium term at least. Instead, a more likely response would be a new
    catalogue of names of current or potential influential opinion-shapers who are
    allegedly contaminating the public forums with the idea that our right to choose
    to know exactly what is in the code source being run on our own computers is
    somehow an extremely bad idea.
    How can that ever be a BAD idea??


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    SCO *did* transfer some copyrights - to FSF
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 10:44 AM EDT
    Attention PJ and team!!

    Remember how often McBride/Sontag/Heise have said that copyright transfers must
    take place in writing (ignoring the fact that you can GPL or otherwise license
    code that you can retain copyright on).

    Well, it turns out that SCO did transfer some of their copyrights, in writing,
    to FSF!

    == START QUOTE ==
    "Indeed, FSF holds documents from SCO regarding some of this code. SCO has
    disclaimed copyright on changes that were submitted and assigned by their
    employees to key GNU operating system components. Why would SCO itself allow
    their employees to assign copyright to FSF, and perhaps release SCO's supposed
    'valuable proprietary trade secrets' in this way?
    == END QUOTE ==

    IANAL, but I guess that might mean as well as wanting the court to disregard the
    AT&T letter on derivative works (mentioned in BSD settlement), parts of
    Amendment X, parts of the Asset Purchase Agreement with Novell (where Novell can
    over-ride SCO's claim to terminate licenses), possibly the BSD settlement,
    possibly the GPL ... SCO also will want to discard this copyright assignment

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    sun at it again
    Authored by: brenda banks on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 12:32 PM EDT


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • sun at it again - Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 01:40 PM EDT
    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Alex on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 12:39 PM EDT
    We are now up in three more places, none of the big, but every little bit

    There are probably another dozen sites that are linking to one of the big Linux
    sites where the letter is covered.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Authored by: brenda banks on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 01:35 PM EDT
    i was sitting here thinking about what we all contribute and was astonished that
    anyone thinks this is special just for posting urls.but this is the way the
    community functions.we all have a little talent and we contribute what we can.i
    always refer to myself as a cheerleader on the sidelines,but encouraging and
    trying to keep the waterbucket full
    thanks for allowing me to be a part of the community


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    • URLS - Authored by: shaun on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 04:35 PM EDT
    • URLS - Authored by: RoQ on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 04:57 PM EDT
    • URLS - Authored by: Harry Clayton on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 01:58 AM EDT
    • URLS - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 03:04 AM EDT
    Silverman Heller Associates?
    Authored by: fb on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 01:49 PM EDT
    Following up a query on the Yahoo SCOX message board -- who are Silverman Heller
    Associates? -- a quick Google leads to this:

    Apparently an IP litigator.

    Silverman Heller appear to handle "investor relations." An
    interesting thread not yet followed?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Linux Distribution on Unixware?
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 03:53 PM EDT
    In looking at the press release SCO created on

    for their LkP addition to UnixWare 7, I had to find humor in the statement,
    "The LkP feature doesn’t contain a Linux kernel, and therefore to the best
    of our knowledge, there should be no infringement issues. If the prior statement
    were proven inaccurate, SCO would take appropriate steps. In the meantime, the
    LKP feature is available to assist customer migration from Linux."

    This has been precisely the stance that the open source/linux community has
    taken with SCO, and SCO has thus far refused to comply with.

    Additionally, the statement, "With the exception of the Linux kernel,
    however, the entire Linux distribution is installed in a /linux

    Please help me understand. Is the Linux kernel protected under the GPL/GNU
    license, or is the entire distribution? Has SCO, by releasing GPL/GNU released
    code with its proprietary operating system, broken the copyright laws it is so
    vehemently fighting for?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Tim Ransom on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 05:54 PM EDT
    Now that you have crucibled all this energy into the most perfect rebuttal of every point in SCO's case and countered all FUD thus far with your immaculately verbose research, there's nothing left for a poor fool to write about!
    Blog Industry Doomed!
    Thanks again,

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Shouldnt the Linux Kernel Personality really be called...
    Authored by: salimfadhley on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 06:09 PM EDT

    How can they call it a Linux anything if it blatently is not Linux. It's just
    another OS built around the GNU toolset with yet another kernel. Sure it
    probably has bits of Linux hidden inside it, but it still isnt a linux anything,
    let alone a personality.


    [ Reply to This | # ]

    SCO's tainted code, JFS and other snippets
    Authored by: Scott_Lazar on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 07:53 PM EDT
    Rather than sitting back, just watching all of the fine work being done by those
    of you here, I started doing a little investigation on my own and hopefully have
    come across things that bear some semblance of value.

    Came across an interesting article from 06/11/2002 and while I don't remember
    seeing it posted here (doubtless it probably has), will make a reference to it:

    In it, Caldera Vice President of Corporate Development Benoy Tamang comments
    among other things, about:

    "All the initiatives we're undertaking still involve the open source
    community, and we're dependent upon them for new releases, updates ... things
    the community as a whole does. ... We also have open source contributions made
    by our own developers, on their professional and personal time. This isn't a
    one-way street; we're giving and taking simultaneously."

    Regarding TSG's claims regarding JFS, while I believe I've read here somewhere
    that they might be backing off on their claims, there is some relevant
    information posted on their website from 05/30/2002:

    On page sixteen of this UnitedLinux whitepaper, it documents specifically as to
    ownership of JFS.

    Third, came across a reference to (then) Caldera's pricing plan for
    UnitedLinux, as of 01/30/2002:

    While I'm sure I'm comparing apples and oranges, I find it ironic that at that
    time, TSG wanted to charge $249 for OpenLinux server, and $99 OpenLinux
    Workstation (both of which included online and email support), but now, a
    RUNTIME license is $699-$1400.

    Unrelated items all, and probably just rehash of others who've posted before
    me, but I *DO* appreciate TSG making this information easily accessible.


    LINUX - Visibly superior!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    What will be really interesting is how many will travel to the trial location(s)
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 10:46 PM EDT
    I can't imagine not having folks who worked many nights without sleep coding
    ... in order for this dream to live - that, they will not travel to the court
    houses and rally loudly against SCO. The jury will hear their loud pleading
    every minute of these trials (as they have heard them this week, and all the
    weeks before this week)!

    This is not a court room battle, it is a world war that SCO has declared against
    the many who have slaved to make LINUX a reality.

    Defeat at the hand of the likes of SCO is not acceptable.
    There is nothing to fear, but fear itself.
    We will find out what code is infringing and it will be fixed... and during that
    process most likely you will see a fix to the license in such a way that the
    copywrite holders all rally in such a way that SCO will feel regret for their
    actions. As they may be left out in the cold without access to any future
    opensource code by an open and obvious decree made by the holders of IP rights
    that SCO is now using for free!

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, September 22 2003 @ 11:07 PM EDT
    Why was Rob Enderle's post removed? Did he say something we should be afraid
    of? If not then why wasn't it left so we could reply to it?

    [ Reply to This | # ]

    Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
    Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 02:40 AM EDT
    Just my 2 cents about this situation in regards to the media: with the exception
    of obviously biased individuals who buy the MS/Sun propaganda hook line and
    sinker, I think many if not most journalists are open to hearing both sides of
    the story, and being swayed by good arguments and sound logic. What definitely
    is not helpful is flaming these individuals, or coming across as a fanatic.

    IMHO, alot of these journalists just need some education in regards to Linux,
    OS, and the changing operating system market. Reading explanations nicely
    phrased goes alot farther in changing opinion than rants and flames. Save those
    for Darl McBride- anybody have his e-mail address? <G>.

    [ Reply to This | # ]

      Slashdot's Down...
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 02:51 AM EDT
      Slashdot is down, at least I can't get to it. Is anyone else haveing any
      problems reaching it?

      I wonder if they'll be able to trace the problem back to SCO?

      One can only hope.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      No new article until tonight
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 03:34 AM EDT
      Just letting you know that because our letter made the Washington Post and a
      number of other newspapers, I feel it's best to leave the Open Letter up until
      tonight, before posting another article, because the links are to the home page.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 05:23 AM EDT
      Two things

      First - congrats on a job very well done, PJ!

      Second - I've just checked the comp.unix.sco.programmer newsgroup, and

      1. it seems to be abandoned - no new postings
      2. it's got an efflorescence of virii postings rather like an algae bloom, so I suspect it has been abandoned.

      I would say that with SCO yanking its support for its SCO distribution channels, the programmers decided to jump ship, even the long-time loyal developers.

      Sic transit gloria mundi ...

      finagement: The Vampire's veins and Pacific torturers stretching back through his own season. Well, cutting like a child on one of these states of view, I duck

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: shaun on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 06:21 AM EDT
      PJ I know the web site is basically your's and Bryan's baby but I would keep a
      perma-link to this letter in the header area so that people don't have to
      search for it when they come to the site for the first time.

      This way we can get back to posting news, commentaries and research material.
      Though I'm really waiting to see how SCO will respond, if it all.


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Now picked up by Computerwire...
      Authored by: bob on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 09:14 AM EDT
      In this morning's edition of Computerwire's Computergram newsletter, there's an item titled "Open Source Community Challenges SCO". This is big-time because a lot of news outlets subscribe to Computerwire for the content, and the story will be popping up everywhere, at least now including Computer Business Review (CBR isn't responding to my browser at the moment, but here's a yahoo link). Yahoo is also carrying the Washington Post's Filter column.

      It's not a problem until something bad happens.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      • Ars Technica too - Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 11:20 AM EDT
      Open Letter in PDF available at my Yahoo Group
      Authored by: shaun on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 09:53 AM EDT
      Gotta love OpenOffice 1.1 I used it to make a PDF file of the letter and it is
      availble at

      PJ If you can make use of the PDF format in anyway please do. I did add the web
      site address at the bottom below copyright notice as well.


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: Sauja on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 12:42 PM EDT
      <a href=
      >Here's the Computer Business Review link</a>

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      new URL to me
      Authored by: brenda banks on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 01:33 PM EDT
      has a couple of good articles that are old news on sco but interesting
      it is refreshing to find that not all were buying sco's claims to begin with


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      [O/T?] Means to allow/force them to show "infringing" code...
      Authored by: inimicus on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 02:17 PM EDT
      Good letter...

      Perhaps the folks here who contributed to it would have some insight on a question that came up while I was trying to explain the SCO/Linux situation to a friend, regarding their unwillingness to show infringing code.

      Their main argument against doing so was that the Linux Kernel folks could "launder" the code before it came to trial, yes? Is there any reason that they (or a hired/disinterested third party) couldn't make a copy of the kernel code-trees (from's archives), and either enter it as evidence, or prep it (mailing in a SASE, or something similar - if it's good enough proof for the court cases where it's been used in the past, why not here and now?) so that it would stand up in court as being a legally-unassailable copy of the codebase as of a given time?

      If so, wouldn't that render the argument re: code-laundering moot, and allow them to let the kernel folks get on with removing any code that might turn out to be SCO's?

      Does that make any sense at all?

      And would there be any way to coerce them into doing so?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Back to Basics ?
      Authored by: brenda banks on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 02:43 PM EDT
      we all have ideas that might be what sco is up to
      but the best of the ideas was looking at their own words and analyzing what they
      say.they keep giving little hints to things as we have shown in the is
      so strange that people are able to connect why M$ might have a legal reason for
      the license fee but then we started to look at all of this as possibly being
      tied to the at&t vs bsd case.we dont lose sight of other things but possibly
      the sealed papers might have things we dont have access to.not saying that it
      would effect linux except as it efects the unix license holders and their
      contributory code.from what i have read about IBM documentation procedures i
      doubt there are going to be any hidden bombs for them but maybe sgi does have a
      weaker link?
      i really believe that sco hasnt researched their own case enough and went off on
      a rant without full justification and and are now having to live with the hand
      they dealt themselves.but the bsd case does still have sealed documents that
      could possibly do what?
      just something to think about?


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: BigTex on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 04:17 PM EDT

      Computer Business reviewOnline UK

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: brenda banks on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 08:03 PM EDT
      interesting story


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 08:28 PM EDT
      Another issue: a couple of months ago Novell exercised Unix rights it retains
      and pronounced it was enjoining SCO from continuning to claim, if my memory
      serves me right, derivative rights over IBM code.

      Nonetheless, SCO has kept making these claims. So is Novell going to take court
      action, or will it just let them go on doing this?

      Maybe somebody could contact Novell and ask them what is going on with this.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: brenda banks on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 09:18 PM EDT
      this was the first one that talked about sco possibly going after all the
      different OS

      here it is
      ""But what about BSD?" I asked. Sontag responded that there
      "could be issues with the [BSD] settlement agreement," adding that
      Berkeley may not have lived up to all of its commitments under the settlement.


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: brenda banks on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 10:27 PM EDT
      so all this does is open more questions?
      i guess i need to see what all is available on that case


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 10:27 PM EDT
      If you want to see a sample of what the people we are trying to reach read and what exposure to the SCO - LINUX issue they get, take a look at


      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Poll: What SCO response do you expect?
      Authored by: ra on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 11:17 PM EDT
      In the next few days we'll probably have the answer, so we'll be able to see
      who among the Groklaw posters has the most talent at predicting SCO's actions
      in this campaign to introduce fear, uncertainty and doubt to prospective
      customers. I think the FUD campaign is nothing more than an attempt to prevent
      companies from moving away from Unixware, Windows and Solaris.

      I'm of the opinion that the letter is well enough written that it will get the
      ultimate compliment of never being directly mentioned by SCO.

      Various spokespeople, including the CEO, will deliberately distort the positions
      in this letter but we will not see a direct quotation or anything that might
      lead a journalist or interested party to the letter itself.

      In other words, we'll read statements like "The open source community may
      think ... but that's wrong" where the ... will be the distorted version
      of something in the letter.

      We won't read statements like "There's a letter at Groklaw that says ...
      but that's wrong" because that would lead interested parties to type
      Groklaw into google where they would find the letter which is pretty damaging to
      SCO's campaign.

      One of our first testaments to the quality of the letter is the Enderle hasn't
      found any statement to directly attack. If Enderle hasn't I'm pretty sure SCO
      won't be able to either.

      What do you think?

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Letter's Tone and Content Reinforce SCO's Strategy
      Authored by: Rob Enderle on Tuesday, September 23 2003 @ 11:54 PM EDT
      FUD needs to be answered but not like this; it is all in the method and tone you take. This response is clearly preaching to the converted and will, in my opinion, work against the effort the way it is written. The answer should come from someone with the appearance of impartiality, sound more even handed (in other words maintain that appearance - this has too much "in your face" in it), and make the strongest points (not try to make every point). When you try to make every point, the temptation for someone like me to pick it apart is incredibly great and way too easy. For instance, against the comment that Linux has never been challenged and is inherently protected from IP risk, the SCO action itself and indications that Microsoft (and likely others) will use the case law that comes out of that action to take their own are solid counterpoints. There is a huge IP problem right now, regardless of whether the code is OSS or proprietary, there are simply too many patents for even the well funded companies, like Microsoft, (pointing out Microsoft can't do this either does not make me sleep more soundly) to deal with. I just don't think any sane person can write off the IP risk, and by doing so in this way it puts the entire document in question. (As a side comment, I still feel that the OSS community is being way the hell too cavalier about this - it remains one of the two things I think could kill OSS in its current form). In my experience, it is wise to concede some of the points because that adds credibility; it creates the impression of moderation. For instance, "Yes there is IP risk, with the proliferation of patents and questionable practices everyone has this risk, and this is how you mitigate it...". A response should never create the impression that Linux users are cannon fodder from the OSS perspective (SCO can threaten them; you should come across as a group trying to protect, not expose, the Linux users - listing them was a mistake because it increases their risk). One thing you learn never to do in this business is use a client's name in a press release (which this kind of is) without their permission. Marketing people in companies like Dell and Merrill Lynch can shoot IT managers who put the company brand at risk and most of the companies listed husband their brands very closely. (Not to mention corporate legal which may see this as the equivalent of waving a red flag at SCO, trust me none of these guys likes to be sued). I've never seen a case where it is IT's place to threaten litigation, at least not in a large branded company. In battle, particularly like this, the fight is for those who are in the middle: Judge, Jury, and people who are thinking of using an OSS product. To me, the tone and content of this letter work against that goal. This is the kind of letter an engineer (or a defendant) would like to write, it isn't one that a top flight attorney (or marketing expert) would write. I've read so many letters like this from losing plaintiffs and defendants that it just seems a shame that people who should know better don't. Honestly, both sides almost always believe strongly that they are right and that belief has little to do with the outcome. Arguing the points like this over and over again just raises the specter of risk higher and higher. People are currently afraid of being sued, not of losing in court, the career and business cost of the litigation itself needs to be mitigated. There are 1,500 companies (unless something has changed) that should be concerned. These firms can be handled individually (and have already deployed the product), your goal should be to make this into a non-issue (which it kind of is) for everyone else. Focus on removing the cloud not putting the biggest spot light in the world on it. Seriously, if you did nothing, momentum remains on your side. SCO might win a couple of skirmishes and may beat IBM, but, right now, they can't really hurt Linux or OSS (nor do they even really want to). But, the OSS community does have the power to do serious damage to both efforts. Frankly I'm getting really tired of writing post-mortems on how promising efforts self destruct. For what it is worth, I think the OSS community should either do this strategically, and right, or not at all. In an effort like this you don't just need to be heard; you need to make a difference.

      Industry Analyst

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      re: Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride (dated 9/21/2003)
      Authored by: MathFox on Wednesday, September 24 2003 @ 03:28 AM EDT
      From a previous comment by BigTex: Also look that this article: 3.htm
      And this: htm

      MathFox gets rabid from SCO's actions.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

      Groklaw's Open Letter to SCO's CEO Darl McBride
      Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, October 01 2003 @ 08:01 PM EDT
      > MySQL distribute software simultaneously under both open source and
      proprietary licenses, a practice that is acceptable, if not ideal, under the

      Um, I think you should be more careful here. I know "Dual
      Licensing" is being used, but it is unclear that it is actually legal when
      GPL is one of the options.

      Here's the senerio...

      To offer under a "Dual" license is either

      1) To offer under some unified legal theory that is some form of interpreted
      combination of both licenses. This, however, fails on the basis that the
      propriatary side will almost certainly conflict with the GPL's prohibition on
      "additional restrictions".

      2) To offer under a choice of licenses. In this case, the code bases fork
      almost immediately into a GPL side and a propriatary side. Here's why...

      Under the GPL, which I may so choose, I can cut and paste code from, say, Linux
      into MySQL. I need not hold copyright to the Linux code in question to legally
      do so. Now, not being the copyright holder, I am surely not authorized to grant
      MySQL rights to distribute other than the GPL (as would be the propriatary

      Now, MySQL may try to hold that submissions to a dual licensed code base are
      implicity, or explictly, licensed under the terms specified -- but that leads
      you back to (1) the fact the "Dual-license" contraption IS NOT GPL
      in any respect.

      To clarify, let's take the story in reverse. If I choose "GPL"
      rights to MySQL for my work, I can cut code from there INTO Linux. Does my act
      grant MySQL the right to produce a propriatary form of Linux?

      I know this is a problem, since many that use these dual license contraptions
      extol the virtues of "unified code bases" and lack of
      "forks". Failing to recognize the first, most trivial, legal
      causallity suggests a suspect overall interpetation of reality.

      [ Reply to This | # ]

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