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Funniest Story of the Day: SCO's Linux "Expert" Contradicts Linus
Monday, December 22 2003 @ 11:29 PM EST

Is this not the funniest story of the entire day? The New York Times' Steve Lohr reports on Linus' reaction to SCO's claim that their list of files is code copied from UNIX:

"But Mr. Torvalds is also clearly angered by SCO's accusation that much of Linux was merely copied. 'In short,' Mr. Torvalds said, 'for the files where I personally checked the history, I can definitely say that those files were trivially written by me personally, with no copying from any Unix code, ever.

'I can show, and SCO should have been able to see, that the list they show clearly shows original work, not copied.'

"Darl C. McBride, the chief executive of SCO, said he stood by the company's assertions. He said that a Linux expert who will testify in the SCO suit against I.B.M., which was filed last March, went over the code closely. 'As a social revolutionary, Linus Torvalds is a genius,' Mr. McBride said. 'But at the speed the Linux project has gone forward something gets lost along the way in terms of care with intellectual property.'"

I can hardly see my computer screen because I am grinning so broadly my eyes are squinting and my cheeks hurt. Let's review their comical position. At trial, they plan to bring forward an "expert" who will testify that Linus didn't keep track of his own work. Then Linus will tell the jury what he remembers he wrote. Who's the expert in this picture, ladies and gentlemen?

SCO surely is the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight. They probably had to pay that "expert" too from their dwindling BayStar millions. A couple of days ago, somebody interviewed me by email, and one of the questions was whether I thought SCO would prevail. I surely wish I could answer that question this exact minute. I'd have to be careful not to drink any milk at the same time, though.

In many trials, you do have two experts who each give an opposing opinion. Then the jury decides who it finds believable. But to put up an expert who knows more than Linus about Linux? It just can't be done. SCO might have convinced some Utah folks that Linus couldn't keep track of each and every contribution by others off the top of his head. But his own work? Their case depends on persuading a jury that Linus doesn't keep track of his own work? You don't have to be a genius to remember what you did yourself. Linus would seem to be indisputably the world's expert on himself.

Is this not the best day ever?


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