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Caldera Software Linux

OSCON Panel: SCO Lawsuit About the Money 252

viewstyle writes "Just when you had heard enough, the ongoing controversy about SCO vs. Linux has popped up over at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON). According to Eweek's story, the panelists agreed that SCO is targeting companies like IBM in an attempt to raise cash. Most importantly: "if a company is not after money, suing is not the way to go.""
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OSCON Panel: SCO Lawsuit About the Money

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  • Well, yes (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Faust7 ( 314817 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @04:57PM (#6409682) Homepage
    Corporate lawsuits often are--although in this case I would say there's a large, genuine streak of pseudo-evil vindictiveness behind the suit as well, just judging from all the public comments SCO has made thus far. They certainly have a bee in their bonnet about something, and god's death, they may even sincerely believe they're right (even if their claims are based on the wind).
  • Well, no kidding. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @04:57PM (#6409693)
    When are people going to realize that first, parties with a vested interest in the matter, such as OSCON, will hold this or a biased opinion. Secondly, the only opinion that matters is that of a judge or a jury. It doesn't matter what anybody else thinks. Finally, a judge or jury is unlikely to render an opinion on the matter for another two to three years so, the constant rehashing of some OSS member's take is completely pointless.

    Give it a rest. People need to focus on the positive aspects of Open Source and stop dwelling on this lawsuit. Regardless of the outcome, having this "news" constantly at the forefront is only going to damage Linux and Open Source due to the FUD factor.

  • by deadsaijinx* ( 637410 ) <animemeken@hotmail.com> on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:00PM (#6409713) Homepage
    At least taco had the good humor to put it in the well-there's-a-shocker dept.
  • Sorry... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:00PM (#6409717)
    ...but that's a moronic quote. ALL companies are after money. That's why people start a business, they want to make money from it. They don't start one because they want to go out of business and be broke.

    How is suing not a good way of making money? If they're successful (I doubt they will be, but that's beside the point), they'll make all sorts of money. There's a whole bunch of people, companies and presidents out there that have found great financial success through lawsuits.
  • corporate ethics (Score:4, Insightful)

    by zenlunatics ( 516752 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:13PM (#6409824) Homepage
    based on all the sarcasm so far it looks like most people buy into the idea that companies can do whatever they want to make money, they shouldn't be judged in the same way we judge people. Obviously there are limits as we wouldn't condone a company that murdered people (or would we? look at all the defense companies that sell to just about anyone) and people start to grumble about companies like ENRON and Martha Stewart and Nike and other companies using child labor, etc. Why are corporate criminals are rarely punished? Is this attitude a result of the increasing difficulty in achieving the American dream? Are there people we might consider ethical who convince themselves that it's OK to keep working for Nike or SCO or Microsoft or whomever because they're just a cog and aren't responsible for the company's actions? Obviously it's not always a black-and-white call for someone to make but I think a lot of people are in major denial. Companies don't only exist to make money. They also provide some goods or services, provide employment, conduct research that eventually benefits the public, etc. All of the focus on profit is harmful and shouldn't be accepted by people inside or outside the company.


  • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:39PM (#6410009)
    Nice exit strategy. Stocks ten times their value of 6 months ago.
  • oreilly (Score:1, Insightful)

    by alitaa ( 636041 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:44PM (#6410039)
    you dont have to be oreilly to figure that sco wants to make $$$...............
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 10, 2003 @05:52PM (#6410091)
    That would be grounds for shareholders to sue the CEO.

    If they can tell it was intentional and can prove it.

    Actually that might be a fairly effective way of committing hard-to-prove fraud - given the opportunity to head a company that isn't doing too well, go for an insanely risky rescue attempt that will make you a hero if it succeeds and funnel money to you through other channels whether or not it succeeds.

    Such opportunities are why people in such positions should be monitored very carefully.
  • by FreeLinux ( 555387 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:20PM (#6410410)
    but it is definately non-trival to linux advocates who are trying to damage control the SCO anti-linux fears

    Not really too helpful for damage control either I'm afraid. As the parent post stated, people with a vested interest(Linux advocates) will have a biased opinion or, at the very least, an opinion that is regarded by outsiders as being biased. In order for the "damage control" to be of value, such statements would need to come from those who do not have a vested interest in Linux and Open Source. This would be people like closed source software companies, lawyers, business analysts, and the dreaded consulting analysts like Gartner/IDC et al.

    By the way, for those that have chosen to ignore them, the analysts like Gartner/IDC et al, are recommending that businesses be very careful in choosing Linux. Or they are recommending that businesses avoid Linux all together. Whose opinion is going to be valued by the PHBs, OSCON or Gartner?
  • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:30PM (#6410509) Homepage Journal
    The real question is if SCO wants cash as an exit strategy, i.e. to pay off top executives, or if they want a cash flow to keep SCO as a going concern.

    If it is the first, then the situation is annoying, but not critical p. If it is the later, then we may be in the situation of SCO trying to pull free software back into the closed model to create a revenue stream.

  • by eniu!uine ( 317250 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @06:32PM (#6410515)
    The way I see it, Unix is like a bicycle, while Linux is more like a luxury car. Bicycles were invented before we had the technology to make luxury cars like Linux. Now that we have Linux we really don't need Unix anymore. Linux is open.. lots of people can get inside Linux and it's comfortable. Unix only has one occupant, and he's not very comfortable. IBM is like a huge truck. If a huge truck like IBM runs over a little bike like Unix then people become more careful about who they piss off in the future.

  • by zangdesign ( 462534 ) on Thursday July 10, 2003 @09:10PM (#6411589) Journal
    Part of the problems is that people that work for these companies are inside the problem. They themselves may not go out and hire child labor - they just call a company in Malaysia or wherever and make some enquiries about production cost and machine equipment, etc. It's very likely that the though never even crosses their mind that the company may hire child labor. This goes on day after day all over the country. The other side of this is that the company in Malaysia or wherever doesn't perceive it as wrong and so the issue of the age of employees never comes up.

    I think the people in charge of businesses, as a general rule, try to be ethical and honest and all of that, but they do not have absolute control at all levels of production. Then you have a couple of bad characters who spoil it for the whole bunch. Enron was one such example. Most of the Enron employees probably had no idea what was going on at the time. They did their jobs, got their paychecks and all was right with the world. Then Fastow and Lay come along and screw the gig for everyone. It's easy to claim "well, they should have known!" but it's also very naive. It's even entirely possible that Enron execs were within specific laws because sometimes there's not one law that says "thou shalt not do X-and-such".

    At any rate, I agree that absolute focus on profit and nothing else is not right, but there's no law against it. And ultimately, that is all we have to work with. Until our canon of laws is so firmly embedded in our psyche that we become aware of any potential action that might break any law, then we will not be able to get past this problem. Or until someone makes it illegal not to think of the surrounding community, then we're stuck.

    Some of that even comes down to varying definitions of community. As an example, I do not feel a particular sense of community with anyone here at at /. simply because I've never met them. Now, I would have to really think about to come up with a way to directly harm /. and the community, but at the same time, how do I know that an action I committed earlier in the day hasn't harmed them in some way?

    It's not shades of gray - it's not even a color.
  • by VdG ( 633317 ) on Friday July 11, 2003 @07:28AM (#6413605)
    They've established a useful precedent of claiming to have evidence, but declining to release it for scrutiny. It's unreasonable to criticise Mr McBride simply for following the example of such great leaders.

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