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SCO Lawsuit Update

© July 2003 Tony Lawrence

Wed Jul 23 10:17:08 GMT 2003 SCO Lawsuit Update

As most folks who read here know by know, SCO is suing IBM, claiming that IBM released SCO Unix code into Linux. SCO is also demanding license payments from present corporate Linux users (see Step right up to buy your SCO license)

I'm not a SCO apologist. From my viewpoint, the management has generally been a bunch of boobs who fumbled every time they had the ball in their hands.

I don't have any opinion on the merits of the suit per se. Who put what code where and when is a murky swamp that may yet be full of surprises.

However, I am pretty sure that more than 99% of the Slashdot comments and newsgroup postings on this are utter nonsense. The great unwashed believe various things, including that the actual lineage of the code in question might not be SCO's at all, and that certainly COULD turn out to be true. But they also think that SCO "gave away" anything they did own by selling their own (Caldera) Linux. That, I think, is nonsense. The GPL has NOT been tested in court, and I very much doubt that this will be the case at all. Courts favor property rights, always have, and probably always will. I think that is often to the detriment of society at large and that may very well turn out to be true here: if SCO is successful, there may well be far reaching negative effects for Linux. But my feelings on what is good for the world have no bearing: the courts will decide who own what.

SCO may win, SCO may lose. Whatever happens, my bet is that this noise about the GPL will turn out to be unimportant. That, of course, is my opinion, and I am quite prepared to be surprised.

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