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SCO GRP INC (THE) Message Board

  • lambgx02 lambgx02 Jul 21, 2003 3:15 PM Flag

    Licensing terms

    Hey everyone,

    The following is purely opinion.

    I notice that Sco's claims seem to be getting a significant amount of attention (as credible) on this board.

    In case anyone is unaware, Linux is comprised of computer code contributed by many individuals and corporations (literally thousands). These contributions are federally and internationally protected under copyright (held by the various contributors), and may not be distributed under any circumstances (for free, or for profit, by SCO, or anyone else) - with the following exception:

    A license called the GPL (GNU Public License) grants distribution rights, under very specific terms.

    IF Sco wins (which is absurd), and enforces restrictions out of the GPL scope, then they will have rejected the terms of the GPL (by definition). IF they reject the terms of the GPL, they lose _ALL RIGHTS_ to distribute the contributors' program code (again, by definition).

    That is to say, they will be in breach of federal and international law for distributing intellectual property without the copyright holders' consent.

    The GNU public license GRANTS distribution rights. Failure to comply with the GPL results in revocation of the license, and hence, revocation of distribution rights.

    If you're interested in more information on the GPL, it can be found at http://www.gnu.org/. A copy of the license can be found at: http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl.html.

    T'is a pump and dump gentlemen, plain and simple.

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    • << These copanies are going to decide what is the cheaper:

      1 - Pay up

      2 - Fight >>

      Possibly some will decide to pay up. However, I would caution anyone who considers doing this to remember SCO's own words: "Contracts are much stronger ..." (or something similar to that effect) and in order to pay up, one will have to sign a license agreement (a contract). So by paying up, you might be in a worse position than by NOT paying up. Remember that other people (many other people) have clear rights to code in Linux. By signing a license agreement you might be putting yourself in the position of violating those other people's copyrights.

    • Exactly what I was thinking.

      Most companies have not publicised their Linux usage except for outside-firewall stuff. For SCO to do anything to these companies SCO'll have to get that info.

      How?

      Merrill-Lynch is one who has publicised, I believe. Salomon and Ernie Ball music also.

      Considering Ernie Ball's story I don't know what that company will do.

      But Merrill-Lynch? Salomon? Toyota? they have in-house counsel. They probably have a good working relationship with IBM too, with some access to IBM attorneys. I don't think doing lawsuits costs this type of company as much as it will cost SCOldera.

      The probable outcome here is SCOldera will have to threaten in writing, maybe outright sue at least one company to scare any others into paying.

    • <<This will NEVER be tested in court.>>
      ....
      <<These copanies are going to decide what is the cheaper:

      1 - Pay up

      2 - Fight>>

      Those 2 statements are incompatible. If there is not threat of having to fight, there is no reason to pay up.

    • >>These copanies are going to decide what is the cheaper: 1 - Pay up 2 - Fight<<

      < How about ignore?>

      I stand corrected....

    • >>These copanies are going to decide what is the cheaper: 1 - Pay up 2 - Fight<<

      How about ignore? If I ignore scox, what are they going to do? Break down my door? Send a sheriff with a court order? File a lawsuit against me?

    • The GPL is irrelevant to what SCO is trying to do.

      They do not intend to distribute Linux. They want to charge all people using Linux a fee for thier "illegally copied code" (please note quotes) existing in Linux.

      What they will say is people can use the GPL stuff in Linux with no problem under whatever terms they like, but they must pay for the SCO bits in it.

      They are simply not going to say which bits are their's, they are simply going to tell companies they think may pay up to pay up.

      I think if ever their bluff is called they will run, but they may get a few suckers to pay.

    • <<The GNU public license GRANTS distribution rights. Failure to comply with the GPL results in revocation of the license, and hence, revocation of distribution rights.>>

      So SCO's loses rights to distribute Linux - so?

      What do they care?

      They are selling UnixWare, and if you buy a copy, then they won't sue you for using Linux.

      It's extortion, plain and simple, but they are skirting around licensing linux. They are attempting to force you to buy a copy of UnixWare.

    • the_millionaire_next_door the_millionaire_next_door Jul 21, 2003 3:22 PM Flag

      I could not agree more - well put.