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To read comments to this article, go here
SCO ÜBER ALLES
Sunday, June 08 2003 @ 08:17 PM EDT

I went to the SCO Germany site today to see what's up there. They have changed their site again. The picture of the beach with the logo "Relax. Worry Free Software" is gone. Due to a quirk in German/English, on the tab that says "About SCO" it says, in German, "Über SCO". This all started me thinking: is it at all possible they read my blog mocking their choice of words about worry-free software? Nah...couldn't be. And just what could SCO's dreams of world conquest be? SCO uber... what?

But then I read Slashdot, and someone posted a part of my last blog entry. I thought no one at all was reading this blog. He or she was rated "5 Interesting" but my clarification post was marked zero. Heh Heh. Slashdot. I had to post as AC, because I don't have a /. account. And he or she seemed to have misunderstood part of what I wrote in my last blog to mean that SCO has no copyright. I was writing about the limits to their ability to collect in a copyright infringement suit, not whether they had a copyright.

So here is what I tried to say there, since I know no one will see a post marked zero, in case any slashdotters come to call: that in SCO's wildest dreams, they could be planning something like this:
First, go to court with IBM and prove you have been the victim of stolen code.

Second, establish for sure that you have full copyright rights.

Third, send letters to the ISPs of all companies and individuals using a version of Linux with the disputed code in it, alleging copyright infringement, so the ISP has no choice but to shut down the sites.

Fourth, bring lawsuits against all the above, asking for money damages.

Fifth, Profit.

More steps than the usual scheme, but the power of a valid copyright is real. And even without registering your copyright, you can ask a judge to shut down an infringement. I assume in the above that they don't bother to register, but they will in reality add that step.

SCO has compared Linux users to pirates and told everyone they sent a letter of warning to that they plan on using RIAA tactics. What they might be thinking of, judging only from their public remarks, is to claim that anyone offering Linux for sale or download is offering stolen goods and users are pirates, like Napster users, using stolen goods. Of course this would be on top of trying to collect license fees from everyone already in a contractual relationship with them, or -- Ta Da! -- the trapped businesses can stop using that worrisome Linux and use Worry Free Software like SCO's UNIX products.

I hope I'm not giving them any ideas. I think it's safe to assume that I can't think of a thing David Boies hasn't already clearly seen.

I am sure that companies with licenses with SCO, like IBM, however are already hunting down the disputed code. How hard would it be to compare the code themselves, the same way SCO did? I trust that work is going on as we speak. Then pull the code, replace it, and sigh a huge sigh of relief as we watch SCO fade away into the sunset. Before they do, for the sake of history, here is the graphic that they put up and then hid on the German site. Germany has different ideas about fair use than the US, I hear.


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