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Bloor on SCO: "Morally, It Has No Case At All" & Linus on Groklaw
Monday, March 29 2004 @ 08:14 AM EST

This has to be a pivotal moment in this story. IT-Director has a piece by Robin Bloor, "The GPL And The Legal Challenge To It", who defends the GPL as innovative and clearly Constitutional and then says the open source community "is an honest breath of fresh air" in contrast with the proprietary IT industry. He points out that there is no evidence anyone in the FOSS community wants to violate anyone's code and that it is SCO that is refusing to allow anyone to fix the problem, if there even is one. Why? He expresses the opinion that there's no money in it for SCO that way.

If you go to the Bloor Research website, Mr. Bloor's page describes him like this:

"Robin Bloor is the President, founder and driving force behind Bloor Research and is generally acknowledged as a leading authority and influencer in the industry, developing the Bloor Research's trademark pragmatic and practical approach to providing IT advice and research. Robin's career in IT spans over 25 years, as a software developer, senior consultant and then as managing director of a software house specialising in financial systems."

He finishes his article by saying that while it isn't up to him to say if SCO has a legal case, "morally, it has no case at all."

Here's a bit of what he has to say:

"SCO claims that its IP was abused. However it has chosen not to do anything to allow the Open Source movement to rectify that. SCO's motivation seems obvious to me. If its IP has truly been violated (for which so far there is no public evidence) SCO will make no commercial gain from having the situation rectified, if it deals direct with the Open Source community. It chooses therefore to allow any IP violation that might have occurred to persist in the hope of a later and greater legal-commercial windfall.

"This seems dishonest to me. SCO could easily rectify any IP violation at once and this would not prejudice any legal position it has in respect of past violations against any legal entity. In the IT industry, source code and IP is quite frequently abused, but its abuse is protected by companies keeping their source code private (if a good deal of anecdotal information I have been given over the years is true). In contrast, the Open Source community is an honest breath of fresh air."

He doesn't quite get that you can charge for GPL code, and that people do every day, but hey, let's not quibble. In time, that message will get through, too.

Linus on SCO and Groklaw - Guess Which One He Likes?

Linus is interviewed on Information Week, and he speaks about trust:

"And that is one really important part of open source: no technical barriers to market entry, and the fact that you can trust the process, even if you might not implicitly trust the developer. . . .Because if we are shown to not be trustworthy, somebody else can always replace us--so you don't have to be able to trust us.

"(I harp on trust, because I think that's pretty much the most important ingredient in any relationship, whether it is commercial or social. The trust that you won't be back-stabbed is something we're all looking for, isn't it?)"

He has some interesting things to say about SCO ("The open development model already makes it pretty well traceable. We've been very successful indeed in tracking down the sources of various pieces of the kernel as SCO has been doing their PR thing, and I'm happy with just how quickly we've been able to totally debunk every single silly claim SCO has had.") and about open source and commercial interests working together. No, not with SCO. He says something nice about us at Groklaw too. You'll just have to hop on over and read it for yourself.

Nah. Here's what he says:

"Also, has obviously shown how the open-source ideals end up working in the legal arena, too, and I think that has been very useful and made a few people sit up and notice."

There is also an article at that says that Linux continues to grow in stature in the enterprise. It's just too good not to use:

"'We cannot have second thoughts about using Linux, as I had the great pleasure of converting our last Windows server to Linux a couple years ago,' said Dan Smith, an administrator with the Intelligent Systems Lab at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston. 'And in a year or two, [we] will be able to retire the last of our Sun [servers]. We could not provide one-third of the services and abilities we currently do if we did not use Linux as our primary operating system.' . . .

"Linux is holding up as a replacement for Unix and Windows. Expensive Solaris and HP-UX packages are being put to sleep as contracts come up for renewal. Windows, meanwhile, is falling victim to security concerns and expensive licenses. With Microsoft set to end support for NT at the end of this year, Redmond has a challenge on its hands, as it tries to migrate users to Windows Server 2003 and away from Linux.

"'There is just not enough budget to use Windows,' said the Johnson Space Center's Smith. 'It cost an arm and a leg to equip a Windows machine with what is standard load on most major Linux distros.'"

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