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May 14, 2003

Now What the Hell Does That Mean?

Posted by Mike on May 14, 2003 4:36 PM

SCO's sent a letter out to its customers telling them it's suspending its Linux activities because of IBM's alleged infringement of its intellectual property. The letter also includes this little nugget:

"Similar to analogous efforts underway in the music industry, we are prepared to take all actions necessary to stop the ongoing violation of our intellectual property or other rights."

You may recall that the music industry's efforts have included trying to push through legislation that would allow it the right to access your computer and delete mp3 it determined to be illegal while being held harmless for any collateral damage it inflicted. Yes, the RIAA was stopped, no that doesn't mean that trying to slip the thing in was a good idea to begin with.

The real good part of the SCO page is the "Quotes from Linux Leaders" section, which uses Richard Stallman and Bruce "Trample You Dead to Get at the Buffet" Perens quotes to make its point that Linux developers are reckless and acquisitive pirates. The fact that none other than button-down-black-tie-white-shirt IBM is probably who did the infringing doesn't matter when they can cherrypick quotes out of context.

Yeah, I think intellectual property matters. No, I don't think it's "harmless" if IBM truly did swipe some code somewhere in SCO's protected library of IP. But I'm really curious to see just what "all actions necessary to stop the ongoing violation" of its rights is going to entail.