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Re: [vox] SCO suing IBM over their Linux activity
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Re: [vox] SCO suing IBM over their Linux activity

On Friday 30 May 2003 09:26 pm, Mark K. Kim wrote:
> On Fri, 30 May 2003, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > is there a way that someone can force SCO into a court to either prove
> > its claims or shut up forever?
> Can IBM sue SCO for making accusations without proof?

One of the first things IBM will do is file a motion to dismiss with prejudice 
and request sanctions(ie, money) against SCO.  Its likely that this motion 
will be denied, as SCO probably has at least enough data to get past that...

> It reminds me more of the BSD vs. UNIX thing.  That actually had some real
> issues that could be argued about.  If SCO wants to sue IBM then so be it,
> but surely SCO can't sue Linus, can it?  If IBM had stolen code, Linus had
> no way of knowing one of the contributors had stolen code.  Would you sue
> the head of the Red Cross if someone donated stolen money to them?  Come
> on!

Suing Torvalds would be... pointless.  Even the symbolic value would be low to 
say the least.  Your analogy is poor, as if someone did donate stolen money 
to the red cross and the red cross refused to give it back then your only 
recourse would be a lawsuit.  However, Linus is not a company, and any money 
he does have is likely in foundations and trusts to protect him from this 
sort of thing.  Its likely that he has personal liability insurance, but the 
recovery from that would be pointless, even if a court found for SCO the 
probablity of recovery would be extremely low.  IBM on the other hand, has 
cash on hand and other business assets that SCO could take via tort.  

> Worst case scenario -- Linux kernel code gets revised.  Worst worst case
> scenario that can't happen but wouldn't be so bad even if it did -- we all
> ditch Linux and use BSD.  LUGOD changes its name to BUGOD.

Worst case scenario is that the whole foundation of open source software is 
trashed.  Any company that has embraced Linux or any other open source 
software product(hmm, Apple anyone?) does an immediate 180 and pulls out of 
it.  The hobbiest and enthustists would be mostly unaffected, tis true, but 
the problem would be the whole commercial open source software movement would 
probably be gone or at least mortally wounded.    

> One possible scenario I like -- Someone points out UNIX contains GPL code
> so SCO is forced to open-source the entire UNIX code.  Take that!!  Ha!!!

Biggest problem with that is precedence and case law.  From what I gather 
there's not much out there.  SCO could prove that the GPL did not apply, or 
is unconstitutional, or is incompatable with federal(or utah state law.)  If 
SCO loses however, well, I think the licensing of UNIX would become a moot 
point, as SCO would be bankrupt.  


Mike Wenk
vox mailing list

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