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Dell Steps Up to the Plate -- Ditto Canada, Japan, and a 2nd Aussie Cyberknight
Monday, July 28 2003 @ 01:24 AM EDT



Dell's CIO, Randy Mott, says he has been getting calls from other CIOs asking him what to do about SCO's copyright claim, according to InformationWeek, and here's what he says:
"What we try to do," Mott says, "is to have an expectation that the technology issues will be resolved." Dell sells Linux-based systems and uses the open-source operating system in its IT architecture. "Linux is a good strategy, it's a good technology," Mott says, and companies shouldn't let intellectual-property issues get in the way of an effective IT strategy. "You can stop and wait on everything that's in court, or you can go forward," he says. "You can't stand still."
How refreshing. It's certainly a fact, which I verified with an IP attorney and with the Copyright Office, that registering a copyright doesn't in and of itself prove you have a valid copyright claim. That is up to the courts to decide.

A second Australian code warrior is lodging a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Open Source Victoria has already done so:

Leon Brooks, of WA-based Mandrake reseller CyberKnights, said the SCO legal action had been hurting his business during the past couple of months and announced his intentions to lodge a complaint with the ACCC.

"The license fees they are proposing are extortion and we are sick of it," he said. "The fear and confusion is costing me business and causing people who are clear about technical issues to start asking questions. Some customers that were planning Linux installations have put it on hold because they are hearing about SCO so often that they are taking the threat seriously. I have contacted the ACCC and started the process of registering an official complaint. SCO doesn't have a leg to stand on."

A faithful reader had posted a comment about Japan's reaction to McBride's effort to persuade them to pay, but it got lost when comments disappeared, so I am putting the Japan story up here. My goal is to chronicle this saga completely from beginning to end. Happpy end, I trust.

Japan's largest computer manufacturers just said no to SCO. Here is the story from a few days ago:
The biggest computer manufacturers in Japan that build systems running Linux will hold out against blustering by SCO to extract license fees based upon unsubstantiated infringement claims, it has emerged.

According to today's Nikkei Business Daily, those firms include the giants Fujitsu and NEC, with the former reported as saying it sees no reason to pay licence fees to SCO.

Indeed, the newspaper adds, Fujitsu intends to continue to expand its Linux, Unix, and mainframe offerings in the market...

And finally, this story from Canada, where everyone there is apparently also not impressed by SCO's demands, including one man who totally gets how the GPL works:
Earlier this year Roger Petry, a research associate with the Saskachewan office of the Canadian Centre of Policy Alternatives, wrote a paper that proposed the use of Linux in the provincial government. One of the issues concerned the copyright of free software, which he argued is owned by citizens. He said SCO's plans demonstrate a dependency on patents that afflicts other firms as well.

"Part of the problem with the IT bubble bursting is that you have a lot of companies having intellectual property that are no longer viable companies," he said. "They simply switched their strategy then to try and get what they could for their IP."

Petry said it would be difficult for SCO to go into too many details about its intellectual property claim because it could expose violations of the General Public Licence (GPL) which governs Linux.

"The GPL specifically says that if you're knowingly incorporating proprietary material with GPL material -- you can't do that," he said. "Either they have been distributing it as GPL material -- in which case everybody has a free licence -- or they've been improperly distributing the material, in which case they have been violating the licence of all the much larger share of copyright holders."

That is exactly correct. I am working on a GPL for Dummies article, which I should have done in the next day or so.

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