There was a protest against SCO in Utah on Friday by Linux groups there, who look like a mighty pleasant and creative group of clean-cut folks, as reported on Slashdot and local papers. You can look at pictures of the protest here. You can watch a video of the protest here.
Protesters allege that SCO sent out employees and signs that said terrible things such as "I love software piracy" and "Give Communism a Try" and that they tried to pretend they were part of the protest. If this is true, first of all shame on SCO and second, they are maybe not realizing that trade libel is actionable, and Linux is trademarked.
Here is a picture of the SCO security guard walking past some signs propped up against the wall of the SCO building near a door in which you can see the "I love software piracy sign".
Compare it with these shots one protester took of the signs.
Here is a picture of one group of protesters. Do they look like pirates or commies to you? Or just a nice family that loves Linux enough to join in a show of support for their favorite operating system?
Here is the "I love software piracy sign up close. If you look through the pictures of the protest, here and there you will see the sign, always in the back, always with the face of the person holding it not visible.
Eyewitness Confirms Nasty Signs Came From Inside SCO Building
I have just confirmed in an email interview with a member of the Utah protest group that the nasty signs about piracy and communism seen at the protest against SCO were not brought or carried by anyone in their group. Here is what the email says happened:
"First, I was the first protester there, as we had everybody meet at two other locations, I was there to catch anybody coming early. As soon as the crowd started driving in at 3, this group of people came out of the sco building with their posters. ...After milling around, they planted their posters at the sco entrance (which we were not allowed to approach), went back in the building, then afterwards, to their cars in the sco lot and left."
What kind of smear campaign is this? To paint Linux users as pirates and worse? "Terrorists use Linux" and "communists like Linux", etc.? It's truly defamatory.
The truth is that what happened in Utah on Friday demonstrates questionable ethics not among Linux users but at SCO headquarters. Whose idea was it, I wonder, and will there be an apology? Thanks to the internet, the story is out, and the proof is available for one and all to see. Personally, I am shocked and offended.
I also hope everyone takes a look at all the photographs of the event, because the people that showed up for this event look so appealing and clean-cut and good-natured and pleasant even in their protest that all you have to do is look at them and then at the horrible, libelous signs to know who is on the dark side. Take a look at the photo of the security guard's face as he sculks past the signs and then look at the faces of the protesters and ask yourself: who do you trust? If SCO would do something this dishonest and underhanded, can we trust what they are saying about the code and where it came from? Which reminds me. One of the protesters wore a black tee shirt that said: "Open Source. It's the difference between trust and antitrust."
Update June 17, 2006: The link to the LUG report with the photos is broken now. Try this on the Internet Archive. And happily there is a mirror here.