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"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Tuesday, May 18 2004 @ 11:31 PM EDT

More laughable "probabilities" alleged about Linus in this quote from ADTI's Gregory Fossedal, "a Tocqueville senior fellow", about their book, which we reported on yesterday, attacking Linus and Linux, due out on the May 20:

"'Among the conclusions is that there is a high probability that Linux is a derivative work, based on previous operating systems -- including, but not limited to, Unix and Minux,' Fossedal told NewsFactor."

He probably meant MINIX. Minux is a very small Linux, which fits on a single floppy disk. (Try that, Microsoft.) Linux is obviously not a derivative of Minux. Vice versa, if anything. And if Linux was legally a derivative work of UNIX, would SCO be falling downstairs, hitting its head on every stair in the Utah courts?

Note the phrase "a high probability", and then think about today's IBM filing, the Memorandum in Opposition to SCO's Motion to Amend Scheduling Order, in which they tell us what SCO has yet to show after a year of claims of infringement:

"More than a year after it filed suit, however, despite repeated requests from IBM and in disregard of two Court orders, SCO still refuses to identify the specific code from UNIX System V that IBM is claimed to have misused, either in violation of IBM's licenses for UNIX System V with SCO's alleged predecessor-in-interest, AT&T, or the UNIX System V copyrights SCO claims to have been assigned."

Maybe the forces that wish to stop Linux will present us with a new derivative theory on Thursday now that SCO is going bonk, bonk, bonk down the marble steps. Or maybe they will attempt to prop up SCO's most unique theories on what constitutes a derivative work.

As for MINIX, take a look at this page, which belongs to Andrew S. Tanenbaum, in which he tells us rules for using MINIX code:

"Although MINIX is supplied with the complete source code, it is copyrighted software. However, the copyright owner has granted everyone the right to redistribute or sell it, with or without source code, in unmodified or modified form. For all practical purposes, MINIX can be treated as if it were in the public domain."

Or just read the license. It is also a well-known fact that Linus wrote a new operating system because he wasn't happy with MINIX and couldn't afford UNIX at the time. In turn Tanenbaum sneered at Linux, and you can read all about the differences he saw between the two kernels in that now-famous "Linux is obsolete" email. But don't get me started on these ADTI people. Not today, anyway. May 20th I will swing back around.

I do note the date of this story is today, which, in my mind, raises the probability that Mr. Fossedal probably was interviewed today, which would be after ADTI probably was notified yesterday by many people that there is a high probability they are wrong. You need a password now to read the article on ADTI's site, by the way, which you didn't need yesterday. If I were Linus, I'd probably make note of that detail about the date of the interview. Of course, knowing Linus, he'll just laugh it off.

So, let's. Scott Lazar found this story inspirational, of course, and here is his latest parody. There is a high probability you will figure out who he is parodying, but you may wish to note also the headline of a recent SCO press release, because it also provided inspiration:

"SCO® Releases Secure User Identity Management Solution for UNIX® and Windows® Through Microsoft® Active Directory®".

Count the Rs in that sentence. How comical. They have, of course, dutifully complied with the law, which says to put the trademark symbol after the first use of the protected mark. Talk about straining out the gnat and gulping down the camel. They are trying to steal the hard work, copyrighted work, of thousands of Linux authors, while carefullly sprinkling trademark symbols on every possible word in that sentence. You can read aaaallllllll about Microsoft's trademark guidelines, if you love detail or wish to zone out. Here is why it is so vital to put the mark after words like Microsoft, in Microsoft's -- ooops, Microsoft's® -- oh no, I can't use it with an apostrophe s ("Microsoft trademarks should never be used in the possessive or plural form, but should be introduced as a proper adjective followed by an appropriate descriptor") -- primer.

Hang it all. That's still not right. Let me try again: Here is why it is so vital to put the symbol after trademarked words, as explained in the Microsoft® primer [whew]:

"The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft. This page contains detailed information about how to reference Microsoft trademarks in different scenarios."

They don't tell you you only need to do it on the first or most prominent use of the trademark, but that is the way it is, and you'll note they follow that practice themselves on the page.


Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers
~ by Scott Lazar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Dr. Bernard Writey-Forpey, executive director of the prestigious Institut des Études Propriétaires Régressives has announced the results of a decade-long study which at its root casts doubt upon the authenticity of such works as the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the constitutions of more than thirty European and Asian countries.

"Over the decades and centuries of modern existence, many of the world's nations have looked on with envy and consternation at the political and economic successes of such countries as the United States, Great Britain, Japan and in particular, Finland," Writey-Forpey reports. The gestalt upon which he bases his claims rest in the writings contained within the pages of the 1604 compendium "A Table Alphabeticall", compiled by author Robert Cawdrey.

"It's clear that many of the words found in these documents and in almost every modern legal document produced by governments of the world were taken directly and without attribution from Cawdrey's work. Non-English speaking governments have even gone as far as to obfuscate the origins of their words by translating them into their native languages."

Ironically, it was the filing early last year of an obscure lawsuit in the United States which has prompted Writey-Forpey to release his findings. "Just as in the American case of SCO Group vs. IBM, a family of paper makers in the now nonexistent country of Greedonia became in 1609 the successors-in-interest to Cawdrey's works, both published and unpublished. Their distant progeny and heirs have tried for years to negotiate an equitable solution to what they rightly believe is outright thievery of their property at the hands of these governments."

Said Maxim Tawdry, the current CEO of L'un VÈritable Fabricant De Papier: "These® are® our® words® I'®m® talking® about® here®.® There® will® be® a® day® of® reckoning®, and® the® price® will® be® astronomical®.®"®®.

Forpey, who admits to having purchased a "Language Intellectual Property License" from Tawdry's company, claims that all evidence will be shown in his upcoming book, "The REAL ABC's and 123's -- They're Mine and You Can't Use Them for Free".[Patent pending.]

The study, which Forpey also concedes was at least partially funded by Tawdry, is an accurate account of an early example of illegal derivative works. "The story is a compelling one. Tawdry's ancestors sought to combine the economic value of both words and paper. They saw the value early innovators such as Gutenberg foretold," said Writey-Forpey. "Some, but not all, of the Founding Fathers were shockingly disrespectful of other people's intellectual property rights. These letters and numbers legally belong to the Tawdry family, and they should be compensated whenever they are used." The book will be available for purchase beginning June 1st.

Source: Institut des Études Propriétaires Régressives

Copyright © Scott Lazar


"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar | 205 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Correction Here
Authored by: bsm2003 on Tuesday, May 18 2004 @ 11:50 PM EDT
For PJ

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, May 18 2004 @ 11:56 PM EDT
too funny...


[ Reply to This | # ]

"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: bsm2003 on Tuesday, May 18 2004 @ 11:59 PM EDT
Excellent Keep up the great work.

[ Reply to This | # ]

URLs and other links here please
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:01 AM EDT

[ Reply to This | # ]

If it wasn't so sad I'd laugh
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:20 AM EDT
It's so funny how, as you exaggerate the principles of IP law they almost seem
to defy logic and illustrate a world that no person in their right mind would
want to live.

Good work Scott(r)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: inode_buddha on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:27 AM EDT
First a (giggle) th.. th.....heheheee thanks for a much (gasp) needed laugh Hoo! Hoo....

And on a more serious note (snicker) another poster said it much better than I in a previous thread: "How do you steal an Open Standard ???".
Whoops, I'll probably face massive fines for infringing on this IP by using the alphabet in this post

"When we speak of free software, we are referring to freedom, not price." -- Richard M. Stallman

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:34 AM EDT
And if you've ever had to deal with font copyrights, you're no doubt crying by
now. Probably aloud, for morphine, "vitamin H", and valium.


[ Reply to This | # ]

"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: dex~ on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:43 AM EDT
This is for those of us who are deficient in our French language skills.

Institut Des Études Propriétaires Régressives = Institute Of (or for) The
Studies of Regressive Owners.

P.S. now I have done it, I translated it into my native language.....;-)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Funny but are we that far from it ?
Authored by: tizan on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:46 AM EDT
Taking IP and patent to the extreme is going to get us what Scott is parodying
here. Sadly its getting closer...I can almost sniff it in the air about scroll
bars or click twice on a button are patented ideas...or drawing a rectangle
14" x 6" has been appropriated by company X.
Isn't it what a lot of the software patents are about...and what about patented
structure or similar non-sense ...soon 'ls' will be patented as "using
letter l and s to list the content of a directory on a computer
filesystem". Isn't it what some are already alluding to in their statements
that Linux is a Unix derivative ?
Surely i don't want to be around when people are making money not by producing
something but by making others pay
to think about something...

tizan: What's the point of knowledge if you don't pass it on. Its like storing
all your data on a 1-bit write only memory !

[ Reply to This | # ]

Another Study
Authored by: dracoverdi on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:49 AM EDT
Would you believe an Alice B. Toklas Scholar who says that Microsoft wasn't
started by Bill Gates?

Pizza is an acceptable breakfast.
Just think of it as a large pepperoni danish

[ Reply to This | # ]

Microsoft Primer?
Authored by: ujay on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:07 AM EDT
The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services.
Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft.

Okay, let's play spot the lies;

Line 1: 3

  1. High Quality Computer Software

    ( need I really say more? ). Let me count the ways
    • Internet Explorer and or Outlook Express
      the most openly successful software duo in the entire computing industry for the active distribution and installation of third party software ever developed.

    • MS Word
      a highly compentent scripting language, again used to distribute and install third party software.

    • Active X
      the highly successfull internet implemtation of code structures to allow for the ease and simplicity of third party software installation.

    • Get The Facts
      the highly successful distribution center for the wide distribution and sampling of factual information as pertains to anything that MS does not agree with.

  2. hardware products
    Last time I looked, I have not found an MS computer. Oh, wait, I have a Microsoft mouse! How technical. Odd thing, it works quite well in Linux, pity I can't say the same thing about it's operation in Windows.

  3. Services
    Have you talked to your MS rep yet? I had to do a manual activation of an XP box recently. Getting the numbers from the MS support site was a nightmare. Phone in, listen to a computer asking questions. Asked if I was at the computer. I said no, expecting to write the numbers down and enter them when done. Was asked a bunch of other questions, lasting approximately 5 minutes, then told 'you need to be at your computer - please call back when you are at your computer'. I called back and lied.

Line 2: 3
  1. trademarks are extremely valuable
    Mark this off to Intellectual Property fog.

  2. represent ... standards of excellence
    Hmmm, where to begin...( reference point 1, Line 1 above ).

  3. consistent quality
    I'll give them that, their quality has certainly been consistant, not that it's of a level that is desirous of bragging.

Programmer: A biological system designed to convert coffee and cheesies into code

[ Reply to This | # ]

The Tocqueville Vaudeville!
Authored by: IMANAL on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:29 AM EDT
And now over to something completely different.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Andrew Tanenbaum on Linux today
Authored by: futureweaver on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:46 AM EDT
Whatever AT thought in 1992 (you can read that whole debate here), his opinion today is :
What do you think of Linux?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Linus for producing it. Before there was Linux there was MINIX, which had a 40,000-person newsgroup, most of whom were sending me email every day. I was going crazy with the endless stream of new features people were sending me. I kept refusing them all because I wanted to keep MINIX small enough for my students to understand in one semester. My consistent refusal to add all these new features is what inspired Linus to write Linux. Both of us are now happy with the results. The only person who is perhaps not so happy is Bill Gates. I think this is a good thing.
taken from his FAQ, my emphasis.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Every day I learn something new
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 02:30 AM EDT
"The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and
hardware products and services. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable
because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality
associated with Microsoft. This page contains detailed information about how to
reference Microsoft trademarks in different scenarios." (sic)

I have been involved with technology for many years now and I always thought the
name "Microsoft" is synonymous with "virus", "computer
crash" and the "three finger salute".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 02:43 AM EDT
It's funny to see that a boring article like this also gets boring reader

[ Reply to This | # ]

Single floppy ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 02:56 AM EDT

Minux is a very small Linux, which fits on a single floppy disk. (Try that, Microsoft.)

Erm... I think Windows 1 fitted on a floppy didn't it?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Magna Carta
Authored by: PM on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 03:02 AM EDT
'The gestalt upon which he bases his claims rest in the writings contained
within the pages of the 1604 compendium "A Table Alphabeticall",
compiled by author Robert Cawdrey'

The Magna Carta is OK, the nobels forced King John to sign it at Runnymede in
1288, whereas Robert's work was published in 1604.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Brown thinks imitation is a "problem"; but what does Ritchie think?
Authored by: futureweaver on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 03:08 AM EDT

Brown is quoted thus :

"To this day, we have a serious attribution problem in software development, because some programmers may have chosen to unscrupulously borrow or imitate Unix."
A "problem"? Only because he has chosen to problematise it. Dennis Ritchie, for example, is quite happy that Linux builds on his work :
And the Big question about Linux. Have you ever used Linux? Well, If so, what's your opinion of it?
I haven't actually used it for real--in the sense of depending on it for my own day-to-day computing--, I am afraid to admit. My own computational world is a strange blend of Plan 9, Windows, and Inferno. I very much admire Linux's growth and vigor. Occasionally, people ask me much the same question, but posed in a way that seems to expect an answer that shows jealousy or irritation about Linux vs. Unix as delivered and branded by traditional companies. Not at all; I think of both as the continuation of ideas that were started by Ken and me and many others, many years ago.
from a LinuxFocus interview in 1999, my emphasis.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: wllacer on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 03:29 AM EDT
Maybe i'm wrong ... this (R) IIRC means "registered trademark".
Well, I went to the USPTO web site ( , and I searched for the
SCO trademark.
The search gave 32 hits most of them unrelated.
If i haven't missed something Caldera ONLY owns the trademark of the logo (the
tree and the letters SCO ) (serial nr. 75054198, reg nr 2064732)
The acronim SCO (serial nr. 73801197 reg nr. 1578766) is STILL owned by
Tarantella (original Santa Cruz), as the rest of the hits somehow related.
I found it some months ago (and i think i posted it already) As there is no
published SantaCruz->Caldera transfered assets list, i thougth at first it
was just a proof more of the sloppy management of Caldera. But, as they haven't
corrected it yet (yes we know YOU're watching Groklaw) Is it probably it wasn't
transferred either ?

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • SCO (R) - Authored by: bonzai on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 04:28 AM EDT
    • SCO (R) - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 04:34 AM EDT
Where's Batman when you need him?
Authored by: gbl on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 04:48 AM EDT
Years and years and years ago I bought a Batman comic containing a story in
which The Riddler or The Joker had copyrighted the alphabet and Gotham City was
reduced to chaos because all the street signs etc had to be removed.

I've never been able to find the story again. None of the Batman related web
sites I've found list any plot that is similar.

If you love some code, set it free.

[ Reply to This | # ]

A few words from de Tocqueville himself
Authored by: futureweaver on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 04:48 AM EDT
From them you can see that the Institute's statement demonstrates the truth of his acerbic observations on American ways, rather than aligning with his own views about what was right.
The best laws cannot make a constitution work in spite of morals; morals can turn the worst laws to advantage. That is a commonplace truth, but one to which my studies are always bringing me back. It is the central point in my conception. I see it at the end of all my reflections.
In no other country in the world is the love of property keener or more alert than in the United States, and nowhere else does the majority display less inclination toward doctrines which in any way threaten the way property is owned.
As one digs deeper into the national character of the Americans, one sees that they have sought the value of everything in this world only in the answer to this single question: how much money will it bring in?
I know of no country in which there is so little independence of mind and real freedom of discussion as in America.
If he was still here, he'd probably be having a quiet chuckle about the scribblings of this eponymous Institute, not to mention the hypocrisy of using his name to promote views he didn't hold.

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Tain't funny McGee"
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 07:26 AM EDT
It's a bit late. They rewrote the history books 30 years ago to sho how eveil
the fouunding fathers were. Those of us over 50 got a much different view than
the under ~50 folks. Now everybody was evil because they had slaves and they
stole the Constitution from the Iroquois and supressed women, etc.

[ Reply to This | # ]

quote from the humorous article "Pachyderm Personnel Profiles"
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 07:45 AM EDT
"Software lawyers don't make or sell anything, instead they follow the herd
around arguing about who owns the droppings. A software lawyer can identify the
ownership of an entire herd from the look and feel of just one dropping".

[ Reply to This | # ]

Hey! You forgot my trademark?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 07:48 AM EDT
Surely ®you ®have ®heard ®of ®my ®trademark ®on ®the ®whitespace?
Now either respect my trademark or starttalkinglikethis!

[ Reply to This | # ]

Goebbels lives, in corporate PR departments
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 08:30 AM EDT
If the lie is shameless enough and repeated often enough, people
will believe it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Did IBM at any time offer a $30 m settlement to SCO?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 09:49 AM EDT

This from the SCOX board at Yahoo finance:

In matter of fact, at the beginning of this mess, IBM did offer $30 million to settle the suit. It was rejected by SCO. Would IBM offer it again? You got me, but I doubt it. Would they raise the offer at this point? Not a damned chance.

Is this true? Can anyone verify this and back it up with something?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Severl on point anti-FUD documents
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:05 AM EDT
There are several short releases from Open Source Industry Australia that addresses several of the current FUD themes. The first looks at the 'National security' danger. It's real, but its prorietary code thats the problem.
    "Any software can be the target of a malicious trojan insertion, not just open source," added Zymaris. "The key difference with open source software is that such an attempt will be found and extirpated. There is no such guarantee with closed-source software. Our assertion is borne out by real-world events. Whilst there have been numerous attempts at inserting trojan code into both closed and open source products, all such attempts on open source program have been discovered and reversed, prior to the code becoming widely deployed and therefore a security risk to business, government and security agency users."

    This has not been the case with closed-source software. In several published instances, and probably many more un-acknowledged cases, trojan code or back-doors, providing an external attacker with total privileged control over a remote system, have surfaced. Borland's Interbase SQL-server had an inbuilt back-door which exposed possibly hundreds of thousands of computers and confidential data-stores to malicious attack. This backdoor, existing in the product for many years, was only found when open source coders where given access to the product's codebase in 2000, when Borland open-sourced it.

The second one addresses the 'road map' agrument.

    Very often the actual path followed by the vendor marketing the 'vision' bears little real resemblance to the eventual technology users will be asked to run a few years later.

    "As an example, we have Microsoft, who have already abandoned countless 'firm' and 'bet the farm' platforms," said Leon Brooks, spokesperson for OSIA. "Platforms which millions of users and developers had adopted at the vendor's behest, understanding these to be an official part of the 'roadmap'. A roadmap which included and then discarded technologies like OS/2, pitched by Microsoft as the future of personal computer operating systems; Blackbird, a competitor to HTML; the original MSN, which, incredibly, was incompatible with the Internet, and a long string of 'object oriented' systems designed to supercede the Windows API (Cairo, MFC, Visual J++, OLE2, COM, DCOM, DNA) most of which were mutually exclusive, meaning that users and developers often had to migrate and re-code after Microsoft moved from one to the other. Finally we now have .NET, which is causing yet another re-write, a scenario likely to be repeated yet again when Longhorn sees the light of day."

[ Reply to This | # ]

... consistent quality associated with Microsoft?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:14 AM EDT

``Here is why it is so vital to put the symbol after trademarked words, as explained in the Microsoft® primer [whew]:

"The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft. ..."''

Good Grief! Could that have been written by anyone with an ounce of free will? That sounds like Microsoft has a program to turn regular people into Stepford Employees.

I think that if I were working for the USPTO that I'd feel a little ashamed that my employer was backing that kind of policy. Sure would be nice if they could OK a trademark but place restrictions on what the holder is able to ask people to do with that trademark. Like not being able to force people to reengineer their use of the English language to comply with the trademark holder's bizaare idea of how the mark can be used. For example, as PJ pointed in that bit about possessive: "Microsoft's(R) primer" vs. "the Microsoft(R) primer". Aw, heck. I'll bet I just violated their policy by italicizing "Microsoft(R)".


[ Reply to This | # ]

It isn't Apple that has all the worms...
Authored by: tz on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:27 AM EDT
Implementing a security function that has anything from Microsoft as a basic
component is far funnier than the press release.

Think of it as a vault door company emphasizing the high quality of the wooden
doorframes it uses.

UNIX isn't the ideal security model (mainly because of the conceptually simple
root - one password to access them all and in the filesystem BIND them). But
its overall architecture (simplicity/atomicity and modularity) tends to make it
far easier to secure. And things every UNIX administrator learned around the
DOS 3.1 days (off by default), Microsoft MAY have learned by the time Longhorn
is released.

The other good thing is that with UNIX being hard to try to do "security as
bolt-on" - which never works - most sysadmins will do "security as

Here too, Microsoft crashes and burns, or at least while trying to recover - /.
had an amusing article about the number of attempted infections someone got
while trying to reinstall all the Windows Update patches to return to the same
level before the registry rot induced crash. I think a registry is something
Apple came up with for MacOS, but like most other innovations, MS doesn't quite
understand the concept it so implements it the wrong way or misuses it. Like
those fade-out menus and other annoying and useless (conveys no information)

[ Reply to This | # ]

"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:43 AM EDT
Actually Tinaa Technologies invented human language:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Repost from Yahoo SCO newsgroup
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:46 AM EDT
Smear for hire
A smear campaign against Linus is being orchestrated by Ken Brown andGregory
Fossedal of the augustly named Alexis de Tocqueville Institute(ADTI). These two
individuals have a long history of being "paided" forshilling.Two
fundamental sources

Fossedal's private investment partnership and ADTI recieved money fromFannie Mae
(at least 87,000) between 1995 and 2002. Reporter CatherineEdwards noted
"In light of the flow of money from Fannie to AdeTI andthe Democratic
Century Fund, it strikes some as an odd coincidence thatFossedal published an
op-ed in the Washington Times in late June (2000)defending Fannie and Freddie's
stunning successes."

ADTI recieved at least 1.7 million dollars from 3 conservativefoundations
between 1988 and 2002. These foundations (Bradley, Olin, andLambe) are the major
funders of Heritage Foundation, Cato Institute andsimilar right wing thinktanks.
Funds recieved by ADTI show that it was asmall-potatoes operation, compared to
the high-profile ones. Grants wereawarded for anti-IMF, anti-health reform,
defense, conservativeeducation causes (vouchers, etc), and ominously on
"research on the USprogressive movement since the end of the Cold War.The
mediatransparency and capital research fund list for grants recieveddo not
correspond despite overlapping in years. These were based onfederal 501 C3 tax
reports, so there may be some inconsistencies in theADTI tax reporting.ATT is a
corporate funder of ADTI (at least 115,000 in the 1998-2002report).

ADTI has taken a special and continuing interest in FCCregulation.Microsoft is
a known funder of ADTI, based on press acknowledgement atthe time of the 2002
Open Source Debate white paper many sources, for,1411,52973,00.html. Gregory Fossedal and Ken
Brown are principals in the international hedgefund "Democratic Century
Fund, LLC" This private fund has recievedinvestments from the same sources
as the ADTI.

This raises the questionif this private, international money represents
laundered payments toFossedal and
Brown. came to prominence in 1980 as
a student at Dartmouth. He ledthe conservative rebellion at the student
newspaper, which led to hisexpulsion as editor, and the founding of the
"independent"arch-conservative Darthmouth Review.

Arch-conservative commentatorDinesh D'Souza was a junior participant in the
newspaper rebellion.D'Souza and Fossedal wrote a novel together in the late
1980's Fossedal works as a independent contractor for UPI. He continues to
havean active byline. He is described as emeritus at ADTI Fossedal's mostrecent
biography states he now lives in Lebanon
NH Brown is now the active executive of
ADTI. He graduatd from GeorgeMason University in the Virginia suburbs. His
biography mentions"publishing' in the right leaning Washington Times.

A search of theWashington Times site shows up a letter to the editor (date
10/25/00) tothe editor praising a book published by (or for) ADTI, Clearing the
Air.The book is by ex-Virginia Natural Resources chief Becky Dunlopdefending her
environmental record for Gov. George Allen. Perhaps a letter to the editor is
"publishing" but this seems likeresume padding in the extreme.

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IP, UP, we all P
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 11:22 AM EDT
I know that this thought has been cast the other way... But some how I feel like we are similar to the American Indians and other indigenous peoples around the world, who when the European settlers came, laughed at the concept that someone said that they owned the land. That they wanted to buy the land. It was a completely illogical concept to them, as who could "own" land. How would you carry it around with you, and so on?

Now we have IP and patents and copyrights, not on objects, but on words and ideas. So we stand and say it has gone too far, but has it really? Didn't things really go too far, back when we took the land from the indigenous people for baubles? And when they fought back realizing that they were being forced from the land, which they did know was of the most importance to their livelihood, they were slaughtered and forced into useless reservations.

How are we any different today in the face of increasing patents, copyrights and IP claims. Some of us give it away to our employers for our daily wages. Others are crushed/forced by courts to turn over their ownership because they signed a contract with small print (think musicians and the labels).

I know most here feel it is the otherway around, that the IP crowd just doesn't get the "free as in open" concept. That they don't understand the bazaar vs the cathedral. But the reality is our modern society is based on the monetization, commoditization, & consumerization of all things. Just some thoughts, as we kick around the "absurdities" of the Tocqueville release and MS® usage [can I abbreviate MS? I probably can't, can I?]...Some how I feel we will find ourselves forced on to "reservations" (read academia) where we can practice our way of life, but to really survive, we will be forced to accept the "settlers" (read proprietary/corporation) IP and forever be oppressed.

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  • IP, UP, we all P - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:03 PM EDT
    • IP, UP, we all P - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:27 PM EDT
"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: john82a on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 11:48 AM EDT
I do hope that Tawdry, Maxim, the current CEO of L'un VÈritable Fabricant De
Papier is properly respectful of the dervide nature of his/her surname. The
annual fair of St Ethelreda's day was famous for the poor quality of the gewgaws
sold as tokens. St Ethelreda was more commonly pronounced in Lincolnshire as St
Audrey, hence "tawdry".

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OT: Darl McBride Speaks to Leaders on Modernizing Government Through Open Source
Authored by: belzecue on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:43 PM EDT

SCO President & CEO Addresses Commonwealth Government and Business Leaders
on Open Source

Darl McBride Speaks to Leaders on Modernizing Government Through Open Source
LONDON—Commonwealth Business Forum—Sept. 24, 2002— Darl McBride, president and
CEO of The SCO Group, (Nasdaq: SCOX) a leading provider of Linux and UNIX
business software solutions, today addressed government and business leaders at
the United Kingdom’s annual Commonwealth Business Forum. Speaking on the growing
trend of Open Source software use in government, McBride presented ideas on how
governments can modernize their IT environments, while considering all of the
advantages and issues with using Open Source and proprietary software. According
to the Initiative for Software Choice, there are currently 66 government
proposals, statements and studies promoting Open Source software in 25

“Open Source has taken the information technology industry by storm in recent
years, especially in the areas of web servers, e-mail, and Linux operating
systems,” said McBride. “Governments are increasingly considering Open Source
software because of its lower costs and its ability to work with existing

SCO has been a leading contributor to the Open Source community with more than a
dozen Open Source software projects in recent years that can be found at In January, SCO won the Linuxworld
“Best of Show” award for the best overall Open Source project for its OpenWBEM

The Commonwealth Business Forum is held to coincide with the annual gathering of
finance ministry representatives from more than two dozen Commonwealth countries
throughout the world. Commonwealth countries and especially those from
developing countries are looking to Open Source software as an alternative to
restrictive and proprietary solutions on the market today.

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Report from the Lindon Mountain Top
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 12:58 PM EDT
Report from the Lindon Mountain Top

"UNIX--Saturn's 37th moon, yeah, we own that", says Darl
"Gabby" Mcbride, the new CEO of Caldera. "When people want to
license a trip to UNIX, they come to us. When people want to see UNIX, they
come to us and use our special telescope--SCOpeVision--the foundation of our set
of IP assets. It is just amazing what is revealed by this SCOpeVision
technology. We found that we own all of everything there is to own, and then

"When anyone reports finding or developing anything of value, we go and
look at it with SCOpeVision and, by golly, we always find that we own it. Some
how, some way, we have a claim of ownership on it."

"So, we welcome people who want to work with us, license our IP and add
value to it. And, for those who don't, well, they are going to find out that
all along they were working for us anyway as we own all of everything there is
to own, and then some."

-- Darl "Gabby" McBride

SCO is a worldwide company helping millions of customers discover what they
don't own. SCO is an innovative dynamo, constantly creating new IP wealth. SCO
makes its IP and technology available through its web site where unreasonable,
but necessary terms of license may be viewed. For those in doubt as to SCO's
position on IP issues, a set of LAX FAX questions and answers are presented.

*Any portrayal here of real people or events is purely intentional for humorous
effect, but is explicitly outside the realm of any written contract(s) or
agreement(s), or any amendment(s) thereto.

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Linus Torvald was inspired by Minix
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:02 PM EDT
Linus Torvald's first announcement of his Linux kernel acknowledged the existence of Minix as an inspiration. In fact, the first kernels needed to be compiled under Minix.

Admittedly this is a lot different than ripping code off from minix (which is what I think the Toq report is trying to imply).

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OT: Anyone use VMware WS on Linux?
Authored by: ray08 on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:18 PM EDT
I'm checking out VMware WS 4.5 and thinking of using it on Linux (Suse 9.0). I
want to then install WinXP and Win2k as guests OSes (to run video editting s/w
and other apps). But does VMware WS for Linux support firewire? TIA

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Damages in Copyright Lawsuits
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 01:47 PM EDT
Said Maxim Tawdry, the current CEO of L'un VÈritable Fabricant De Papier: "These® are® our® words® I'®m® talking® about® here®.® There® will® be® a® day® of® reckoning®, and® the® price® will® be® astronomical®.®"®®.
Don't laugh too hard. There was a recent copyright infringement lawsuit in which the plaintiff argued (successfully) that he held a copyright on several one and two-word terms (sales jargon) in a book he'd written and that appeared in a competing book. And, as best I remember, the words were NOT registered trademarks.

IP law is in a mess right now, in part because it's a form of gambling in which you can win much more than you lose. Sue for $5 billion, as SCO has done, and you just might win, particularly if you get a stupid jury. But if you lose, the most you lose are the legal costs of the other side.

Even the requirement that plaintiffs pay the defendant's legal costs is a recent innovation, driven by the US Supreme Court call for just that in a 1999 case. But it's a message that has yet to get through to busy federal circuit court judges. And even that requirement is less than impressive. One set of lawyers (judges) is simply ensuring that another set of lawyers (defendants' counsels) are getting paid. The defendant is left out in the cold without a cent after risking everything he has in a long and costly dispute.

What is really needed is a statutory requirement that when the plaintiff loses, the court must examine whether it should award damages based on: 1. whether the lawsuit was that creditable to start with and 2. the financial harm the lawsuit inflicted on the person sued. If courts are capable of assessing damages in a plaintiff's favor, they are capable of assessing damages in a defendant's favor.

I might note that in many cases the courts should be finding that the plaintiff was ill-advised by his lawyers and assess those damages on the plaintiff's law firm. These are legal matters and the judgments, bad and good, are being made by lawyers. They should be held accountable for their actions. That would end the common practice of lawyers terrifying the not-so-bright heirs of valuable literary estates with claims that, "if you don't sue over this, you lose everything."

By the way, I was involved in a copyright dispute with the Tolkien estate over my Untangling Tolkien. From the start, the plaintiff's case was a poor one, hinging almost completely on a much-criticized 1998 "Castle Rock" decision in the Second Circuit (NY). Law journals blasted the decision as ill-founded and another circuit called the decision "frivilous." I'm in the Ninth Circuit (west coast), where the decision carried little weight, and there were several decisions (one recent and upheld on appeal) that went contrary to Castle Rock.

In the end, the opposing lawyers (a Manhattan IP law firm) bailed out just before the judge would have ruled on concurrent motions for summary judgement. They knew they had a high probability of losing and proved quite eager to settle out of court. They'd initally thought that, with an aging beige Mac and little else, I would prove a weak opponent. That was not true.

But the end result was that my book was delayed for well over a year during the critical time when Tolkien, because of the movie, was a BIG THING. My hunch is that the lawyers knew they had a weak case but: 1. Thought I'd fold under the weight of all their threats and the legal/ financial burdens of being sued and 2. Wanted to get a bigger slice of all the money flowing into the Tolkien estate because of the movie. From remarks made by other lawyers, I suspect the two lawyers working against me probably cleared at least $100,000 from the case--and all without any risk to themselves from anything they might have done that was unethical or unprofessional. And there was much that was just that. At one point the opposing counsel told me that if I did not agree with his opinion of a judge's order, the judge would hold me in contempt. A lot of ordinary people would have been terrified. I knew better. I told him the judge would do no such thing. At most, she would rule in his favor or mine. And I told him that, if he had a problem with what I was doing (informing the media), he could raise it with the judge without my support. (He'd be the one bothering the judge.) He dropped the issue.

Translating this to the SCO case, would Daryl's brother, Boies' law firm and Senator Hatch's son be so eager to defend SCO and share in the potential windfall, IF they knew that they (not just SCO) might end up paying damages to IBM, RedHat, Novell etc? Probably not. It's the win a huge bundle/loose little or nothing dynamic that drives these lawyers.

Yeah, I know lawyers will fuss and fume about this, claiming that, if these changes were made, many clients in difficult situations would have trouble finding a lawyer. That's true, but the same is also true in medicine. Because of the threat of huge malpractice settlements, doctors and hospitals are taking measures to avoid patients who're more likely to end up suing for huge sums. Since the law profession isn't concerned about that (and the people dying as a result), it has no grounds for complaining if it's the one being expected to meet certain standards of professionalism, one of which ought to be refusing to participate in lawsuits as groundless as that of SCO. And unlike medicine, where treatments for serious illnesses are almost always necessary, a lot of lawsuits are totally unnecessary and inflict quite a bit of collateral damage on society.

IBM is doing a marvelous job using the system to defend itself and Linux. One of SCO's greatest blunders was to target it in their first lawsuit. But we should never forget that there is a lot in law that is unfair and needs to be changed. Not every defendant is as skilled and deep- pocketed as IBM. Quite a few lawsuits and threats of lawsuits are simply legalized bullying and should be treated as such.

Mike Perry, Inkling blog , Seattle

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It really has happened - Blissymbols.
Authored by: gdeinsta on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 02:33 PM EDT

Blissymbols are used for communication by people who are unable to speak or use a regular keyboard. Blissymbols are copyrighted and tightly controlled. Some excerpts from the online biography of C.K. Bliss:

Charles was always fearful that a new babel of symbols would develop and he defended the copyright to his symbols staunchly. In 1975 he granted an exclusive world license for the use of his symbols with handicapped children to the Blissymbolics Communication Foundation in Canada. All other rights were reserved to himself.


His association with the people in Canada was not an entirely happy one. In 1977 Charles claimed that the persons responsible for the Blissymbol classes displayed a catastrophic ignorance of his logical symbol system. He claimed that they ruined his work and they ruined the logical sense of the children, and he also claimed that they ruined his health and they ruined him financially.

He went on to claim that the Bliss Foundation Agreement was flagrantly violated and negated and that he was deprived of effective control of his symbol system and the old falsehoods were perpetuated. On 25th November, 1977, Charles’ lawyer declared the Blissymbolics License Agreement null and void.

Some years later, there was a reconciliation. Blissymbolic Communication International now claims a perpetual, worldwide, exclusive license, from C.K. Bliss, granted in 1982, for the use and publication of Blissymbols for persons with communication, language and learning difficulties.

"Perpetual... license". Hmm.

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"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: gtoomey on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 07:42 PM EDT
I just found this "interview" on Andy Tanembaums site

AST: "What's the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution?"
KB: We do public policy work
AST: A think tank, like the Rand Corporation?
KB: Sort of
AST: What does it do?
KB: Issue reports and books
AST: Who funds it?
KB: We have multiple funding sources
AST: Is SCO one of them? Is this about the SCO lawsuit?
KB: We have multiple funding sources
AST: Is Microsoft one of them?
KB: We have multiple funding sources

He was extremely evasive about why he was there and who was funding him. He just
kept saying he was just writing a book about the history of UNIX. I asked him
what he thought of Peter Salus' book, A Quarter Century of UNIX. He'd never
heard of it! I mean, if you are writing a book on the history of UNIX and flying
3000 miles to interview some guy about the subject, wouldn't it make sense to at
least go to and type "history unix" in the search box, in
which case Salus' book is the first hit?

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"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: jccooper on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 08:00 PM EDT
The ADTI mumblings are actually correct if you play fast and loose with terms.

Linux is without doubt philosophically based on Unix, and Minix in particular.
If you define "derived" to mean "behaves like", "looks
like", "is implemented to the same standards as", or
"inspired by" then they are right. However, that's not the legal
definition of "derived". That requires some actual connection to the
original, and in software that means direct unauthorized copying of source code,
and I'll eat my hat if that can be shown.

No one, and I mean no one, will claim that Linux was "invented"
without any knowledge of Unix, and if that's their big scoop (as seems likely)
then Linus scooped them back in 1991. Linux plainly is meant to be a Unix
work-alike, as was Minix, but re-written from scratch because neither Minix nor
any Unix had copyright terms that were appropriate for Linus' purposes: running
a good Unix-like OS on cheap x86 machines, and learning something in the

And if sloppy semantics aren't the root of their argument, it's the assumption
that somebody must be stealing code, because any programmer who isn't writing
closed code is incompetent. Never mind, of course, that most of these people are
professional programmers, and do open source developement either as their day
job or simply for fun.

Pehaps the ADTI folks would be surprised to learn that CS undergrads in many
universities will write, from scratch, a simple Unix-like OS as an exercise.
It's not magic.

So, basically, they're right, but it doesn't matter, because what they're right
about is what anyone will freely admit. They just put a nasty spin on common
knowledge because they couldn't find anything really damaging.

I expect the next study by Mr. Brown to show that Michaelangelo didn't really
invent the David statue, since David has already been sculpted.

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Daft "Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Authored by: Wesley_Parish on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 09:45 PM EDT

Well, I suppose I should patent therianthropes (Humans with big fangs)?

I have after all used them in the following story:
The Sacrament of the Sharing of Prey

(I didn't do the picture - Uan looks nowhere like that image - think of a pretty young woman about 16 years old, with a big jaw and big, big teeth ... ;-)

And after I've patented them, I can screw the living daylights out of the big studios for infringing on my patents and IP rights!

Find out how seriously the big studios and the MPAA take Intellectual Property Rights - when they're somebody else's!

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

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(tm) and (r)?
Authored by: Dr.Dubious DDQ on Wednesday, May 19 2004 @ 10:13 PM EDT

Here's a stupid, basic question for everyone...

When are you supposed to use "(tm)" and when are you supposed to use "(r)"?

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