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Darl Compares Copyright to Brands on Cattle and Groklaw is in Salon.com
Thursday, April 15 2004 @ 03:43 AM EDT

A quick heads up. Darl has done a radio interview with Sky Radio, which you can listen to here if you don't mind visiting the SCO website. It's an mp3. (Sky Radio has a bunch of interviews with Linux folks too, by the way, titled "The Truth About Linux", including one with Red Hat's CEO Matt Szulik, here.) You can also hear Darl's interview if you fly on United, according to SCO's website: "You can also hear this interview on Sky Radio on all United Airlines flights in July and August," it tells us. I am one of those poor souls who feel terror in airplanes, so I can't imagine anything worse than being in an airplane and having to listen to this at the same time. Talk about Dante's Inferno.

He compares SCO's lawsuits to the music industry, again, claiming that after the music industry began enforcing its "intellectual property", piracy was cut in half. It seems his dad asked him what was up with all the lawsuits, and he explained it like this: copyright is like brands on cattle. They used to raise cattle, and somebody stole some of their cattle and the brandings made it possible to get their cattle back. Guess who are the evil cattle rustlers in this picture?

What a degrading and insulting comparison, particularly when there is absolutely no evidence of anybody stealing anything that belongs to SCO. The interviewer introduces him by saying SCO is "the owner of the UNIX operating system". Sigh. We need to work on this point more, I guess, until people understand that they maybe own one version of the UNIX operating system, and Novell disputes their ownership to boot.

Groklaw is mentioned in an article by Farhad Manjoo, "Making the world safe for free software" on Salon. Just go to their home page and look for that title and the intro, "A litigious blitzkrieg by the anti-Linux crusader the SCO Group has been enraging open-source developers for months. But SCO's attack has ignited its own counterreaction." If you don't have a sub, you can get a one-day free pass, if you look at an ad.

Here's one part about our work together on the ABI files:

"For example, in January, a group of Groklaw regulars published an exhaustive examination of a set of files in Unix System V called the Application Binary Interface; the team looked at the legal and technical history of these files, as well as SCO's role in their development, in order to determine whether SCO could reasonably sue others for using the ABI files. . . .

"'I couldn't do that definitive research without the community,' says Pamela Jones. 'I don't think IBM could either, for that matter. I believe we have established that there is no point in SCO pursuing the ABI files.'

"Jones has been praised by just about everyone in the open-source world for her efforts to undermine SCO. Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, has said that Groklaw shows '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.' Bruce Perens calls Jones 'paralegal to the world.' Clay Shirky, the influential tech pundit, points out that 'Groklaw may also be affecting the case in the courts, by helping IBM with a distributed discovery effort that they, IBM, could never accomplish on their own, no matter how many lawyers they throw at it.'"

The article links to the first ABI article Frank Sorenson took the lead on, but as you know we have done many since and will be doing more. I just thought you would like to know that your efforts are noticed and appreciated. Even Blake Stowell, who thinks we are "one-sided" acknowledges that we have been successful in getting our "opinion" out there. I just noticed that Linux Journal has an article I wrote about Groklaw in the May issue, and some of you are mentioned in it too.

A reader, Karl Pinc, just sent in two extraordinary articles from VARBusiness. I will be writing about some of the information eventually, but I couldn't wait to share the links with you. Check out the numbers for Linux he points out:

"Two interesting Linux articles: Leading Microsoft's Linux Attack: Q&A With Martin Taylor -- Taylor speaks out on the merits of Windows.

"Reports on server installed base:

  • 9-10M Windows (of which 40% are NT)
  • 3.1M Unix
  • 3.0M Linux
  • 2.9M Netware
"That's about a 16% installed base for Linux, the largest I've seen reported. Note that together Netware and Linux have ~31%.

"Another: Betting Big on Linux -- Gartner reports Linux has 25% of the server shipments today. A software vendor says: 'support costs are much lower for Linux than the Redmond platform'."

There is a lot more in the articles, including a part that gives me a clue why Microsoft did the Sun deal and the Intertrust settlement. One of the "myths" about Linux, according to Taylor, is the myth of greater interoperability. So with Sun they increased their interoperability, and with InterTrust, do they figure to reduce Linux's ability to interoperate due to DRM lockout? Anyway, I know you'll enjoy reading the two articles, particularly the second, where you'll find information that I believe provides an answer to Ms. DiDio's odd skewing of results to find Linux TCO greater than MS's. Dilbert has a series of cartoons on Dogbert's new company that specializes in doing tainted research. My personal favorite is this one.


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