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SCO's Memo in Opposition to IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment - The Ghost of AdTI
Friday, July 09 2004 @ 03:17 PM EDT

Here is SCO's proposed MEMORANDUM IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT IBM'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON ITS TENTH COUNTERCLAIM FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. And while I haven't read it all yet, I read enough to throw up.

The ghost of AdTI appears on page 14, paragraph 9, although SCO has tried, if I may use the term, to obfuscate what they are talking about:

"9. Linux was first created in 1991, when a Finnish college student named Linus Torvalds began developing Linux as a hobby after studying an operating system that one of his professors had based on and derived from UNIX. IBM Statement Paragraph 2; SCO Linux Introduction Version 1.2 Section 1-5 (2002) Exh.S-7"

So now we come full circle. Microsoft gives money, as they have publicly acknowledged, to AdTI, the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution. They then do a "study" of Linux and publicly imply that Linus "stole" from Minix. That wrong statement then shows up in SCO's legal document, with the additional allegation that Minix is a "derivative" of UNIX.

If this is the foundation of SCO's case, they are doomed. Happily.

Cf. this and this and this on AdTI's laughable theories.

Meanwhile, IBM has to spend money and time answering this nonsense. At some point, one hopes that somebody asks the real question: does a monopoly get to attack its competition using surrogate plaintiffs and the court system as a weapon?

John Dvorak asks if Microsoft is behind the media barrage of smears on Linux, and he lists the AdTI book as just one example of the new attack FUD:

"Could Microsoft be behind a smear campaign aimed at Linux? If not Microsoft, then who? Let's look at the continued attacks against Linux. The media is peppered with them. When one starts to die down, another one crops up. While every single one of these assertions is laughable, the never-ending barrage of anti-Linux propaganda has got to take its toll on potential users. . . .

"One example of creating a new phalanx to support the main thrust is the report that Torvalds did not write Linux and that it's actually a kludge. Here, I believe the main thrust is that Linux is dangerously laced with stolen code, and using it could ruin your company. All the other arguments against Linux have fallen on deaf ears, and this is the main negative message. All the new messages support this theme but never actually mention it.

"You thus get the weird report by the folks at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution (AdTI) that Torvalds slapped Linux together from old bits and pieces of possibly stolen code. This could be a subtle effort to support the notion that Linux might be illegal to use. Where there's smoke, there's fire. First SCO, then this! . . .

"Microsoft's goal is to make companies take a wait-and-see approach to any decision to use Linux. If that happens, Microsoft wins."

If not Microsoft, then who?

I've similarly gotten the impression that SCO doesn't care if they ultimately lose this case -- they must know they ultimately will -- just so long as they can keep the FUD in the air by these court documents.

I'll write more about this memorandum when I can stand to read the rest. First I have to clear out this bad taste in my mouth.


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