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To read comments to this article, go here
Sayonara, Mr. McBride
Friday, July 04 2003 @ 01:16 PM EDT

McBride is reportedly flying to Japan to meet with some of the 8 Japanese firms that have just formed the CE Linux Forum (CELF). CELF members are Hitachi, Matsushita, NEC, Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Sony and Toshiba.

McBride, according to the EE Times, will show them the allegedly identical code snips. The news of the Japan trip apparently comes from SCO itself, because the article doesn't identify who exactly has agreed to look at the code. SCO says they are lining up in droves, but that is, as usual, SCO-speak, and it could be taken to mean that no specific meetings have yet been set up but discussions are under way, or that lots of companies are already set up, or SCO would rather not be specific as to how many. There is no way to really know from that sentence, and apparently the reporter either didn't ask for clarification or couldn't get it. I feel sure that if it was with all of them, the article would have said so.

Here's something interesting from the article:

"'It shows how entrenched Linux has become,' said Victor Yodaiken, CEO of FSMLabs Inc. (Socorro, N.M.), a maker of real-time software for Linux. 'These companies are not known as adventurers, and they wouldn't do this if they thought there would be legal repercussions. It's an endorsement of how irreplaceable Linux has become for them.'"

Maybe the FUD machine isn't in high gear yet in Japan. The rest of the article is counterpuntal remarks by analysts, the usual suspects, on one side, saying Linux people should be very worried, and CEOs of Linux companies and Jon Hall, on the other, on how SCO isn't stopping Linux from being adopted by major companies, as evidenced by CELF. The poor reporter seems unsure know what to believe. Join the crowd, sir. Still, that's real progress. Confusion is better than flat-out FUD. At least when reporters are confused, they report both sides. That's an improvement over a FUD-spinner calling a reporter and having him or her just type up what they heard without even checking the other side or even if there is one. According to the article, McBride speaks Japanese fluently. Rats.

On his way back, he might want to make a stop in Canada, because the largest provider of property and casualty insurance there, ING Canada, just chose Linux, specifically IBM's eServer zSeries servers running Linux. Then he'd best make a quick hop to check on those pirates in Hollywood. They had the nerve to make the new movie Sinbad entirely on GNU/Linux.

And iT News says SCO will have a news conference on July 9 to announce what it sees as the solution, its next step in its licensing dreams. I can't see why a company would agree to a license before a court establishes whether or not SCO even has a claim, but you can always ask, I suppose. One thing SCO isn't lacking is chutzpah.

As for the German report on the GPL, which we posted on July 2, here is a translation, from mathfox, of the pertinent paragraph, which makes it very clear that what the report actually said is a lot different than what the media said it said. Ah, FUD! mathfox disclaims as follows, "It is from one foreign language to the other and I am not educated in law, so there's plenty of margin for error in the translation." Nevertheless, it's a lot clearer than the computer-generated version, so thank you, mathfox. Here is his translation of the top paragraph of page 21 (pdf page 13):

"On the contrary; one can not conclude to a general rejection of the GPL against unwritten fundamental rules of copyright law form this; because the Open Source movement uses the instruments provided by copyright law, to reach a certain goal. Intellectual property law is used, contrary to its exclusion goals, to achieve the desired distribution. It is partly against the foundation and function of copyrights. Just as the practice of giving away things doesn't invalidate the concept of ownership, using the GPL doesn't invalidate the principles of intellectual property."

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