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To read comments to this article, go here
"Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers," a parody by Scott Lazar
Tuesday, May 18 2004 @ 11:31 PM EDT

More laughable "probabilities" alleged about Linus in this quote from ADTI's Gregory Fossedal, "a Tocqueville senior fellow", about their book, which we reported on yesterday, attacking Linus and Linux, due out on the May 20:

"'Among the conclusions is that there is a high probability that Linux is a derivative work, based on previous operating systems -- including, but not limited to, Unix and Minux,' Fossedal told NewsFactor."

He probably meant MINIX. Minux is a very small Linux, which fits on a single floppy disk. (Try that, Microsoft.) Linux is obviously not a derivative of Minux. Vice versa, if anything. And if Linux was legally a derivative work of UNIX, would SCO be falling downstairs, hitting its head on every stair in the Utah courts?

Note the phrase "a high probability", and then think about today's IBM filing, the Memorandum in Opposition to SCO's Motion to Amend Scheduling Order, in which they tell us what SCO has yet to show after a year of claims of infringement:

"More than a year after it filed suit, however, despite repeated requests from IBM and in disregard of two Court orders, SCO still refuses to identify the specific code from UNIX System V that IBM is claimed to have misused, either in violation of IBM's licenses for UNIX System V with SCO's alleged predecessor-in-interest, AT&T, or the UNIX System V copyrights SCO claims to have been assigned."

Maybe the forces that wish to stop Linux will present us with a new derivative theory on Thursday now that SCO is going bonk, bonk, bonk down the marble steps. Or maybe they will attempt to prop up SCO's most unique theories on what constitutes a derivative work.

As for MINIX, take a look at this page, which belongs to Andrew S. Tanenbaum, in which he tells us rules for using MINIX code:

"Although MINIX is supplied with the complete source code, it is copyrighted software. However, the copyright owner has granted everyone the right to redistribute or sell it, with or without source code, in unmodified or modified form. For all practical purposes, MINIX can be treated as if it were in the public domain."

Or just read the license. It is also a well-known fact that Linus wrote a new operating system because he wasn't happy with MINIX and couldn't afford UNIX at the time. In turn Tanenbaum sneered at Linux, and you can read all about the differences he saw between the two kernels in that now-famous "Linux is obsolete" email. But don't get me started on these ADTI people. Not today, anyway. May 20th I will swing back around.

I do note the date of this story is today, which, in my mind, raises the probability that Mr. Fossedal probably was interviewed today, which would be after ADTI probably was notified yesterday by many people that there is a high probability they are wrong. You need a password now to read the article on ADTI's site, by the way, which you didn't need yesterday. If I were Linus, I'd probably make note of that detail about the date of the interview. Of course, knowing Linus, he'll just laugh it off.

So, let's. Scott Lazar found this story inspirational, of course, and here is his latest parody. There is a high probability you will figure out who he is parodying, but you may wish to note also the headline of a recent SCO press release, because it also provided inspiration:

"SCO® Releases Secure User Identity Management Solution for UNIX® and Windows® Through Microsoft® Active Directory®".

Count the Rs in that sentence. How comical. They have, of course, dutifully complied with the law, which says to put the trademark symbol after the first use of the protected mark. Talk about straining out the gnat and gulping down the camel. They are trying to steal the hard work, copyrighted work, of thousands of Linux authors, while carefullly sprinkling trademark symbols on every possible word in that sentence. You can read aaaallllllll about Microsoft's trademark guidelines, if you love detail or wish to zone out. Here is why it is so vital to put the mark after words like Microsoft, in Microsoft's -- ooops, Microsoft's® -- oh no, I can't use it with an apostrophe s ("Microsoft trademarks should never be used in the possessive or plural form, but should be introduced as a proper adjective followed by an appropriate descriptor") -- primer.

Hang it all. That's still not right. Let me try again: Here is why it is so vital to put the symbol after trademarked words, as explained in the Microsoft® primer [whew]:

"The name Microsoft is synonymous with high-quality computer software and hardware products and services. Microsoft trademarks are extremely valuable because they represent the standards of excellence and consistent quality associated with Microsoft. This page contains detailed information about how to reference Microsoft trademarks in different scenarios."

They don't tell you you only need to do it on the first or most prominent use of the trademark, but that is the way it is, and you'll note they follow that practice themselves on the page.

*****************************

Study Casts Doubt on the Founding Fathers
~ by Scott Lazar

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- Dr. Bernard Writey-Forpey, executive director of the prestigious Institut des Études Propriétaires Régressives has announced the results of a decade-long study which at its root casts doubt upon the authenticity of such works as the U.S. Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the constitutions of more than thirty European and Asian countries.

"Over the decades and centuries of modern existence, many of the world's nations have looked on with envy and consternation at the political and economic successes of such countries as the United States, Great Britain, Japan and in particular, Finland," Writey-Forpey reports. The gestalt upon which he bases his claims rest in the writings contained within the pages of the 1604 compendium "A Table Alphabeticall", compiled by author Robert Cawdrey.

"It's clear that many of the words found in these documents and in almost every modern legal document produced by governments of the world were taken directly and without attribution from Cawdrey's work. Non-English speaking governments have even gone as far as to obfuscate the origins of their words by translating them into their native languages."

Ironically, it was the filing early last year of an obscure lawsuit in the United States which has prompted Writey-Forpey to release his findings. "Just as in the American case of SCO Group vs. IBM, a family of paper makers in the now nonexistent country of Greedonia became in 1609 the successors-in-interest to Cawdrey's works, both published and unpublished. Their distant progeny and heirs have tried for years to negotiate an equitable solution to what they rightly believe is outright thievery of their property at the hands of these governments."

Said Maxim Tawdry, the current CEO of L'un VÈritable Fabricant De Papier: "These® are® our® words® I'®m® talking® about® here®.® There® will® be® a® day® of® reckoning®, and® the® price® will® be® astronomical®.®"®®.

Forpey, who admits to having purchased a "Language Intellectual Property License" from Tawdry's company, claims that all evidence will be shown in his upcoming book, "The REAL ABC's and 123's -- They're Mine and You Can't Use Them for Free".[Patent pending.]

The study, which Forpey also concedes was at least partially funded by Tawdry, is an accurate account of an early example of illegal derivative works. "The story is a compelling one. Tawdry's ancestors sought to combine the economic value of both words and paper. They saw the value early innovators such as Gutenberg foretold," said Writey-Forpey. "Some, but not all, of the Founding Fathers were shockingly disrespectful of other people's intellectual property rights. These letters and numbers legally belong to the Tawdry family, and they should be compensated whenever they are used." The book will be available for purchase beginning June 1st.

Source: Institut des Études Propriétaires Régressives


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