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Linus: "SCO People Are Having Such a Hard Time with the Truth"
Thursday, September 04 2003 @ 11:03 PM EDT

Linus: "SCO People Are Having Such
A Hard Time With The Truth"

Peter Galli interviewed Linus Torvalds about the SCO code show. Linus not only says they are having a hard time with the truth, he adds a few choice words about hypocrisy:

"Galli: SCO has said that there are so many lines of code, and a variety of applications and devices that use that code, that simply removing the offending code would not be technically feasible or possible and would not solve the problem. Do you agree?"

"Linus: They are smoking crack. Their slides said there are [more than] 800,000 lines of SMP [symmetric multiprocessing] code that are 'infringing,' and they are just off their rocker. The SMP code was written by a number of Linux people I know well, so their claims are just ludicrous. And they claim they own JFS [journaling file system technology], too. Whee. They're not shy about claiming ownership of other people's code -- while at the same time beating their breasts about how they have been wronged. So the SCO people seem to have a few problems keeping the truth straight, but if there is something they know all about, it's hypocrisy."

Linus needs to stop holding back and let us know what he really thinks, or he's going to make himself sick. Joke. Joke. It's one of the refreshing things about him that he doesn't speak in corporate weasle words.

Anyway, it's worth a read, because, for one thing, he promises that if SCO can show some legitimately infringing code, although he considers that highly unlikely, he'll remove it. Of course, that's been his position from the beginning, but it certainly doesn't hurt to say it again in public, because in the trials, their refusal to comply is likely to hurt them badly. On their problems with the truth:

"They've said several times that the code they have found is not 'historic Unix' code and 'not BSD' code, which they know you can't infringe, since BSD has been shown to be independent, and Caldera itself released the historic code in 2002. To counter the open-source people's contention that any shared code is likely of BSD or 'ancient Unix' origin, [SCO has] claimed several times how it's 'modern System V' code that they have clear ownership of. That's despite massive proof to the contrary, going back three decades."

What he expects all of their code to turn out to be is more of what we already saw: BSD code or ancient Unix or code that looks similar because both are based on public standards.

Meanwhile, Sun lost ground to IBM in the server space, as corporate guys call it, so there is some justice in the world after all. Sun is the only one who actually lost revenue. IBM is numero uno this quarter, ahead of HP too, speaking of weasles. I hope anyone thinking that sucking up to SCO, or trying to hedge their bets, leads to $$$ reads this report. What they forget when strategizing is that people won't buy your products if they hate you. Not even in corporations. Not if they have a choice. And trying to force people to buy your stuff by litigating against your competition makes people hate you.

Here's a nice story about Lithonia Lighting, North America's largest commercial lighting equipment manufacturer, stepping into the Linux pool and finding the water mighty fine. Here's another about choosing Linux over UNIX and why.

And finally, here's a snip from another obnoxious article by Rob Enderle, but it's worth noting because he might know something:

"As a result of recent attacks, the U.S. government is considering regulating both vendors and enterprise users of software. It won't matter what platform you run, you'll enjoy extra costs as you try to comply with that regulation. Governments are ticked off and they aren't just targeting Microsoft."

Why not just target Microsoft? They seem to be the hub of the problem There were five, yes five, security warnings just today, one critical, involving Visual Basic. That means pretty much everything the normal user will be using on his computer is at risk.

Could it be that somebody wants the government to regulate "vendors and enterprise users of software"? I am starting to wonder if these "attacks" we keep hearing about are really attacks at all or if they are being staged for a purpose. Nobody with all the money MS has to throw at this problem can be so incapable of designing software or of being able to find a solution.

And why was SCO running Linux servers when it was allegedly attacked, when it is in the business of creating and selling UNIX servers? And now Enderle uses that detail to imply that all platforms need regulating? Hmm. The plot thickens.

And take a look at this list of arrested virus and worm writers and ask yourself if US government regulation will stop problems with malware. Only two people on the list are Americans. So what is the game here? I don't know, but I'm starting to pay attention.

Last but not least, from Larry Lessig's blog, a taste of Bill Gates on patents and what they are good for:

"So here's perhaps the most concise and compelling account of just why software patents will harm new innovators (that's you Europe) and benefit old innovators (that's America), written in 1991 by Mr. Gates:

'If people had understood how patents would be granted when most of today's ideas were invented and had taken out patents, the industry would be at a complete stand-still today. The solution . . . is patent exchanges . . . and patenting as much as we can. . . . A future start-up with no patents of its own will be forced to pay whatever price the giants choose to impose. That price might be high: Established companies have an interest in excluding future competitors.' Fred Warshofsky, The Patent Wars 170-71 (NY: Wiley 1994)."

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