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Opinions vs. Hopes

© July 2004 Tony Lawrence

Mon Jul 26 12:16:48 2004 Opinions vs. Referencing: /Lawsuit

Once again I have been chastised for refusing to have an opinion on SCO's chances of winning or losing their cases. What those who get so angry about this fail to understand is the difference between hope and opinion. I HOPE SCO loses. I'm not qualified to have an opinion on whether or not they will.

I am not a lawyer, and I don't have intimate knowledge of Unix history or the various contracts and agreements involved here. I'm sure there are a few people truly qualified to have an opinion in these matters, but I doubt we've heard from any of them here or at GrokLaw.

That, by the way, is one question I've had all along: where are you going to find anyone who is both qualified to judge this but doesn't already have an opinion or an axe to grind?

I can look at the facts and wonder how in hell ELF could possibly be claimed by SCO, but that's no different than my wondering how in hell the U.S. Supreme court has ruled that a U.S. citizen can be held indefinitely without trial or even being charged. Both things may astound me, but I'm not qualified to argue about either. People can jump up and down screaming that ELF is in the public domain, and I can do the same screaming that Article VI says "accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial". Apparently that doesn't mean what I think it means and it may be that the status of ELF isn't what it seems to be either.

And then, of course, there's the people factor. I might guess how David Souter will vote on a particlar issue based on what I know of his politics, but he can surprise me, With SCO's suits, I know nothing about the various judges, their general intelligence, their tech background, their political leanings, etc. so how on earth could I even begin to estimate what they might think of evidence I haven't seen?

It would be ludicrous for me to have an opinion on this. I have hopes about the outcome, not opinions. Further, my hopes for this are just part of a larger yearning for limiting corporate power and allowing room for innovation. My hopes have been slightly buoyed by some developments here, but dampened by other occurences, such as Microsoft's continuing advancement.

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