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Caldera Software Linux

Linus Speaks Out, Calls SCO 'Cornered Rat' 598

dexterpexter writes "In an interview with Business Week, Linux founder and guardian Linus Torvalds had, in his usual brand of blunt humor, the following to say about SCO: 'They're a cornered rat, and quite frankly, I think they have rabies to boot. I'd rather not get too close to them,' and 'There are literally several levels of SCO being wrong. And even if we were to live in that alternate universe where SCO would be right, they'd still be wrong.'" In the same issue, there's also an interview with Darl McBride where he admits that the company was failing and the Linux-related lawsuits were a last-ditch effort to prevent bankruptcy.
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Linus Speaks Out, Calls SCO 'Cornered Rat'

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  • SCO (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Bishop, Martin ( 695163 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:12PM (#8103461)
    I can't see this whole thing lasting very long, I mean, hopefully someone will realize the SCO has absolutly no case, and are just full of malarky. I want to see how this will turn out though, And what will happen to SCO and it's silly licenses....
  • by inode_buddha ( 576844 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:13PM (#8103481) Journal
    How unfortunate that the ethical bankruptcy is tied so closely to the fiscal one. Where was it written that this *had* to be so painful?
  • Surprised by Linus (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:14PM (#8103487) Homepage
    At the start of this whole mess, I'd have thought that Linus would have just ignored it... Guess this one got under his skin a bit.

    In the end, I think we'll all look back on this as the time where Linux went from sort of a fringe software in the minds of a lot of people to a mainstream player, where corporations learned they shouldn't mess with the OSS community and when the idea of open-source really started to make people ask "Why *am* I paying for this software?"

    After all, that which doesn't kill us, etc. etc.

  • by Muda69 ( 718162 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:14PM (#8103494)
    Which one is worse, the fool or the fool that follows him?
    I find the attention/flames that everybody is giving to SCO highly surprising, as a result it is hard for bystanders to differentiate between the opponents. It would be much more mature of Linus and Co to either ignore the whole matter or respond professionally, instead of playing the same game.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:15PM (#8103504)
    I'd say right now the open source community might look like the bigger rat with the new worm spreading and DDoSing SCO. It's not funny, it's not justice, and it just makes the open source community look like the cornered rat in the eyes of the masses. The first thing Linus should've done was to speak out and condemn this sort of behavior.

    While it may be humorous to some of the immature individuals on this site, a worm to DDoS SCO is a terrible blunder. It just strengthens SCO's arguments that the open source community is made up of troublemakers that need to be stopped.
  • Never forget (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:15PM (#8103506)
    The lawsuit and linux licensing program did not cause SCO to start making a profit for the first time ever because they were profitable or making money. Neither are or will.

    The lawsuit and linux "licensing" program caused SCO to start making a profit for the first time ever because as soon as they did so, they recieved an absolutely huge monetary donation from Microsoft. And it was a donation, not a "license" Microsoft has no use for a license even if one were legally required of them. It was never anything other than a donation, and this is practically the only reason SCO has survived to the new year. This is the reason SCO can go on.

    No, Microsoft isn't standing behind the scenes pulling SCO's strings. They don't have to.
  • by The I Shing ( 700142 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:15PM (#8103508) Journal
    When all is said and done with this case I think Darl McBride will be making a fast exit... to South America.

    Other people have said it and I agree with it... those attempted extortion, excuse me, licensing letters they sent out are should be pursued as federal mail fraud, and the SEC should take a long hard look at Mr. McBride and his lawyers, and how they're playing their own company's stock.
  • Re:SCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Slack0ff ( 590042 ) <matbrady AT bored DOT com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:16PM (#8103517)
    Sco saw that linux had hit it big and looked for an easy way into the money. Rather then doing a partnership type association like IBM they decieded to sue the hell out of them and then when that started to look bad they started to sue the users of linux. They are desperate and nothing to worry about.
  • Editor Spin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by thebatlab ( 468898 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:17PM (#8103529)
    "In the same issue, there's also an interview with Darl McBride where he admits that the company was failing and the Linux-related lawsuits were a last-ditch effort to prevent bankruptcy."

    Way to make it sound very sordid. The company was falling towards bankruptcy, yes. It was a last ditch effort, yes. But.....oh.....
  • by Thornae ( 53316 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:17PM (#8103534)
    "I said my goal was to get a return on the initial Caldera IPO, when it was trading at $56 per share...."

    I'm sure everyone would like their money back from the tech-bust, but there's this little thing called reality. Unless you're Darl, of course.
  • by Sheetrock ( 152993 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:18PM (#8103554) Homepage Journal
    SCO appears to have the upper hand [cnn.com], at least with regards to this new MyDoom thing.

    Well, and in the financial sector, which seems to cling to the stubborn belief that there might be something to their tactics and/or allegations.

    It's quite likely that "truth will out", as they say, but if public opinion has any bearing on the outcome of this struggle IBM and Linus need to get better visibility in the more widely consumed (and moronic) news channels. I haven't seen anything but negativeish stuff there, but it's what gets out to the masses.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <markt@@@nerdflat...com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:20PM (#8103573) Journal
    [Linus speaks] "... And even if we were to live in that alternate universe where SCO would be right, they'd still be wrong."

    You gotta love that guy's way of making a point.

  • by mark_lybarger ( 199098 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:22PM (#8103607)
    from the article...

    : Have you had direct talks with customers yet?
    A: Very carefully over the last quarter, instead of sending out mass invoices, we stepped very carefully and really had a lot of direct one-on-one meetings with 15 or so companies. In the process of doing that, we learned a lot. We listened. We talked. And we went back and forth. About 20% of those companies signed licenses with us.

    Q: Can you name any of them?
    A: We have taken the stance not to, .. But they are, in that case, Fortune 500 companies.

    let's see 20% of 15, that's what.. ~2. so let's see, Microsoft and Sun perhaps?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:22PM (#8103608)
    SCO can do absolutely anything they want. Lie, steal, commit slander and fraud. There are no repercussions.

    The linux community, meanwhile, has to be absolutely perfect and saintlike and have not a single user do anything that could be interpreted as unethical, or they get blasted as scary anarchists.

    This is even more funny when you consider SCO is a singular organization which can enforce ethical standards, whereas "the linux community" is an open ended, uncontrollable group of people that basically means everyone who downloads a certain program.

    We need a media that knows how to do more than reprint press releases.
  • by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <[yoda] [at] [etoyoc.com]> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:23PM (#8103631) Homepage Journal
    Up until now it's been completely unethical, but just on this hairy side of legal. Short of a memo stating that "we are making all this IP crap up" they are in the clear even if they are wrong. Even flagrantly wrong. It's very hard to prove intent, and most laws against this sort of thing have an intent clause.

    Granted, if I get busted with a loose joint and I have another in my pocket I'd probably be busted with intent to sell. But lawyers don't seem to be comfortable making those quantum assumptions about fellow lawyers.

  • Re:SCO (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Frymaster ( 171343 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:26PM (#8103657) Homepage Journal
    what will happen to SCO and it's silly licenses....

    more interesting is what will happen to the companies that paid the licensing fees. if they decide they've been ripped off (well, that's only a matter of time) they're going to have a bejesus of a time recouping their costs. there will definitely be civil action. that's a given. but will there be criminal action to follow suit?

    you can't sell the brooklyn bridge to tourists, after all. they put you in jail for that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:27PM (#8103678)
    it just makes the open source community look like the cornered rat in the eyes of the masses.

    No, it makes the virus author look like the rat.

    a worm to DDoS SCO is a terrible blunder.

    Unless you have firsthand knowledge that it was written by a member of the open source community, how can you call it a "blunder"? That's like saying "Hey, I know your wife got hit by a drunk driver while you were at work, but it was a terrible blunder for you to be drinking and driving."

    Again, unless you have proof that this was created by someone in the open source community, shut the fuck up, there are grown-ups having a conversation here.
  • Google (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lord_Dweomer ( 648696 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:27PM (#8103687) Homepage
    From the interview:
    "Q: There has been a rumor in Silicon Valley that you're going to sue Google. A: Yeah, Google gets brought up a lot. They're high-profile, and they're one of the largest users of Linux. They have nearly 10,000 boxes, from what we can tell. They're a poster child. I think what's interesting about them is they have been able to develop a low-cost operating model because of Linux. If your model is going to hold up, you better make sure you don't have any infringing code in there. Otherwise, you need to adjust your financials based on how much you pay for your servers. "

    The emphasis is mine. This is SCO's trump card for going after google. You see, any lawsuits based on IP would look VERY bad for potential investors when google wants to go public. I mean, licensing all of their 10k boxes would cost $6,990,000, but any amount looks bad to shareholders, especially since if SCO were to win (yeah yeah I know) they could basically say " we don't care how much you offer, we're not letting you use our IP" and google would be in a tight spot, and probably have to spend a LOT more than 7 mil to fix it.

  • by argoff ( 142580 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:31PM (#8103734)
    In a way SCO has already won, because the debate is no longer about if copyrights are right or usefull in the information age, but rather is Linux in violation of copyrights.

    It's sorta like arguing if a speech I wrote violates the Kings laws, rather than asking if the king should have the right to restrict peoples speech at all to begin with.
  • by dreamchaser ( 49529 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:35PM (#8103781) Homepage Journal
    Hard to ignore when you have SCO lawyers demanding to see your emails and other private documents...
  • by metrazol ( 142037 ) <jwm33.cornell@edu> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:40PM (#8103827)
    Actually, it's 3.

    15 X .20 = 15/5 = 3

    But you probably already knew that. That means SCO has enough cash to operate...let's see here...

    $699 X 3 = $2,097 - Boies' legal bills = -A Bajillion Dollars
    Plus or minus a few bucks for the valet parking guy at their favorite bistro.

    SCO is done. IBM simply has to take a print out of this article, hand it to their trial judge, and watch Darl start crying...

    IBM's "We don't talk to the media about litigation." response is much better than SCO's "Please, believe us, help, we're desperate, I'll say something stupid so you'll print the interview, just god, please, believe what we have to say..."
  • by mahdi13 ( 660205 ) <icarus.lnx@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:47PM (#8103901) Journal
    I'd have thought that Linus would have just ignored it...
    He was ignoring them until they blamed him personally and said he was a scurvy infested thieving pirate.
  • by The_Bad_Bob ( 691779 ) <Bad_Bob@theuz.cj b . n et> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:48PM (#8103911) Homepage
    After all, that which doesn't kill us ...

    Only delays the inevidible.
  • by DataPath ( 1111 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:48PM (#8103915)
    Thinking about the OSS community and the Corporate environment, I've come to a conclusion.

    The corporate community fights legal battles, appeals to the law for redress.

    The OSS community fights PR battles, and appeals to the world, and indirectly, the customer base for redress.

    Think about the OSS projects that have had code ripped off - they let the company know that there may be misuse of Open Source code. If they get an unfavorable response, the make an announcement, they add the company to their "blacklist", and suddenly a very large group of consumers has been activated against them.

    The whole OSS movement operates within the Social Conscience. It's the fact that there exists a social conscience in this world that it works in the first place. It's the companies without a social conscience that cause problems. It's the companies with a social conscience that benefit from the OSS model.

    On a side note, I'm just amazed by IBM's social conscience. It's plain how few companies there are that recognize opportunities to invest in community for the benefit of the company and the community.
  • by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:52PM (#8103956)
    You make it sound like if there were no viruses before this whole SCO debacle happened.

    The world is quite used to their Windows machines getting infected. This time is exactly the same.

    Who's SCO, anyway? Nobody anybody is interested in.

    Don't worry about it; it's a WINDOWS virus, not a Linux virus, THAT'S the thing to point out.
  • by southpolesammy ( 150094 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:54PM (#8103979) Journal
    The DDoS'ing of www.sco.com is only the big shiny package in this worm that is attracting the media like flies to ... well, you know.

    The worm's real goal is to install invisible keystroke monitors in an attempt to gather passwords and bank account numbers of infected users. With all the noise coming from those infected PC's going to SCO, a few packets going elsewhere slip through very easily if you're not looking for it.

    It's classic prestidigitation. Make a big show with one hand while the other does the dirty work.
  • by spun ( 1352 ) <loverevolutionar ... m ['oo.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:55PM (#8103996) Journal
    I must admit, my first thought was that some crazy Linux wacko wrote the worm, but the almost instantaneous second thought was, "It's just as likely to be someone from SCO."

    History is full of examples of people creating or allowing disasters to happen, then blaming some enemy for them.
  • by red floyd ( 220712 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @04:59PM (#8104052)
    I'd love to mod you down.

    Since the who fiaSCO is about the kernel, I'd say that leaving out the GNU is quite appropriate. And Linus did do the first work on it.
  • by linuxbikr ( 699873 ) <{mpickering} {at} {mindspring.com}> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:01PM (#8104098)
    Considering that SCO has not filed a single copyright infringement suit against IBM or Red Hat (IBM has filed a copyright infringement countersuit against SC0), this is a contractual dispute.

    SCO has sued Novell over who owns the copyrights to the UNIX source code. Reading of the contracts points towards Novell, but it is ultimately up to a court to decide (IANAL).

    SCO has far from won. If anything, it looks like SCO is going to have to brush up on the Chewbacca defense prior to Feb. 6.

    Do take note of the fact that even if Linux is violation of SCO's copyrights (highly unlikely), SCO has a responsibility to mitigate damages. Despite repeated, ongoing requests from the Linux community to work with them to identify any questionable code, SCO has failed to do so on the arguments that it would dilute the value of their product. Even if they win (even more unlikely), they will not be able to claim damages going forward from the point they identified the problem since they did not act in good faith to minimize the harm from that infringement.

    Lastly, despite SCO's posturing, end users cannot be held liable for violations of others! Period. The best they can do is get damages from the developer who copied code from SysV into Linux. SCO has never claimed that IBM copied code verbatim into Linux (hence, no copyright infringement suit). Since they have not done that, the best they can do is pick on a developer (who rightly will deserve the flogging).

    SCO is trying to get users to pay for a license that basically says SCO promises not to sue them. Heck, I could sell you a perpetual license that permitted you unlimited access to water and air for as long as you remained on the surface of the planet in exchange for my promise that I would try to breathe the same air as you in the same space. You'd be an idiot if you choose to purchase such a license from me, but you are within your right to do so (licenses are NOT contacts). SCO's "Linux Property License" is about as ridiculous.

  • by Asprin ( 545477 ) <<gsarnold> <at> <yahoo.com>> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:30PM (#8104502) Homepage Journal

    Yeah, but those arguments aren't too hard to deflate if you have a half-dozen brain cells. After all, Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma city and he was a Christian, but I hardly think that makes the rest of the Christian community responible for his actions.
  • Re:Lies, damn lies (Score:2, Insightful)

    by midav ( 63224 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:42PM (#8104636)
    We came out last summer and put out some code that the Linux community on one hand said, preposterous, that's [Berkeley software]. On the other hand, some people in the Linux community said, hold on, you may have some copyright issues there....

    I guess, he says exactly what he said last summer when presented with the same arguments, which is that it is just an example of a copyright infringement in Linux code, but not an example of SCO's copyrights infringement.

  • by sik0fewl ( 561285 ) <xxdigitalhellxx AT hotmail DOT com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:52PM (#8104777) Homepage

    From the article:

    There are 2.5 million servers out there today that have this code in it.
    When are Linux customers going to clean that stuff up?

    Emphasis mine. Uhh.. how about when you prove to us that it, in fact, exists by SHOWING US WHERE THE FUCK IT IS!

  • by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:55PM (#8104832) Homepage
    I find it hard to believe that the "open source community" could be responsible for this DDOS against SCO.
    It has nothing to do with the community. It has to do with one stupid putz with too much time on his hands and too few brains in his head. SCO has been busting its butt trying to stay in the news and here this moron goes and gives them a headline on a silver platter. Check their stock price [yahoo.com] over the last few days and see what effect the worm has had. SCO wouldn't risk launching the worm themselves; if they got caught the fallout would be huge and they'd lose the few friends they have left. Better to be rude and aggressive and let some script kiddie decide he's the Masked Avenger and do their dirty work for them.

    Note to aforementioned putz:
    Why do you think SCO has been using inflammatory language? You're being played. Buying a bumper sticker from Thinkgeek [thinkgeek.com] doesn't make you part of the Linux community or anything else worthwhile. If you think you're coding skills are so hot, get out of your mom's basement and try playing with the big boys for a while. Go to Source Forge [sourceforge.net], pick a project that you can help and do something worthwhile for a change.

    Just my humble opinion.

  • by IronChef ( 164482 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @05:59PM (#8104893)
    In fact, a quote like this: "Virus experts suggested MyDoom's author was a fan of the Linux open source community..." can be damaging to getting Linux and OSS recognized in a good light.

    The guy who shot Reagan did it to impress Jodie Foster, yet somehow she didn't get the blame. In the unlikely event I get into a conversation about this email virus I'll have to point that out.
  • Regarding the CNN.com article: "Experts: Vicious worm 'Linux war' weapon" found here:

    http://www.cnn.com/2004/TECH/internet/01/27/mydo om .spread/index.html

    The author, Jeordan Legon, stated that 'virus experts' suggested that a 'Linux fan' was responsible for the creation of the myDoom worm. The title of the article clearly implies both that a 'linux war' exists, and that the worm is somehow a direct weapon of that war. Yet the only attributed quote to back up this assertion is from Chris Belthoff, who says, "The MyDoom worm takes the Linux Wars to a new intensity" and "It appears that the author of MyDoom may have taken the war of words from the courtrooms and Internet message boards to a new level by unleashing this worm which attacks SCO's Web site."

    Unless Mr. Belthoff is a witness to the crime, or has other direct knowledge of the criminal and his/her activities, his 'expert opinion' on this matter is no more informative than what any random person taken off the street might have to say - which is. not informative at all.

    No one knows who wrote the worm, what his or her intentions were, nor what relationship - if any - the worm author has with Linux or the Open Source community. Of course, Mr. Legon doesn't assert such a relationship in his article, he only implies it, leaving factual statements about the worm and how it works several paragraphs down from the top.

    Mr Legon, may I ask you: Just what is the job of a reporter? Is it to report facts or spread gossip in the form of irrelevant and nonfactual 'expert opinion'? Because, if your job is to report facts, than may I say that in my 'non-expert opinion' you badly missed the mark with this article.

    Thank You,
    J. Maynard Gelinas
  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:14PM (#8105077)
    Ah...IP...The geeks Vietnam. Until we can understand that the world won't end if we abolish the concept, we will remain in this quagmire(sp) for a long time to come.

    Right, so, if we abolish IP, what's to prevent Microsoft from taking all sorts of open-source software, throwing it into Windows, and continuing to make money off Windows (sure, no more copyrights, but they'll find a way!)? We can redistribute Windows all we want, but we'll never see the code.

    Sorry, but IP laws are the only thing that allows the GPL to be enforced. Personally, I don't want to make money off software - I'd rather have people just use it - but I'd be pretty fucking pissed if someone took my work and passed it off as their own, because I didn't have copyright protection for it.
  • by Josh Booth ( 588074 ) <joshbooth2000.yahoo@com> on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @06:33PM (#8105309)
    "After all, Timothy McVeigh (likewise Arabs) blew up the Murrah building (World Trade Center) in Oklahoma city (New York City) and he was a Christian (were Islamic), but I hardly think that makes the rest of the Christian (Islamic) community responible for his actions."

    Face it: every group of people has people in them that will do something stupid. They are called extremists and they are the real threat, not any one group. RMS himself is extreme enough to be a threat to his own philosophy, but thankfully not extreme enough to write a stupid virus like that luser.
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:09PM (#8105726) Journal
    shame on google blocking the www.sco.com site.


    SCO has shown that it is willing to use every tool at their disposal (bogus lawsuits, attacking public image to damage stock prices, etc). They are acting decidedly unethically.

    Google has a very simple, easy way to impact SCO -- simply make it difficult for people using their service to access SCO.

    As far as morality goes, SCO is pretty much in the wrong. I mean, if you were supposed to be in a bare-knuckle fight, and someone pulled out a sword and started going at you, and you had a knife, wouldn't you consider it justified to use that?

    Google isn't the government. Ultimately, I don't consider them bound by guarantees of non-censorship -- the only thing I demand from them is search results that give me what I'm looking for. They do a pretty good job of that, despite a sizeable industry that does nothing but try to subvert their searches 24/7. If SCO's using dirty tricks on them, and in return they want to stop playing ball with SCO -- heck, let 'em. If you decide that you want to try to terrorize the New York Times, don't be surprised if the NYT decides to stop running positive articles about you.
  • by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:11PM (#8105747)
    The work is there for all to use. That's much important than who did it. To me, demanding attribution is karma whoring, little else. I understand that it is natural, though. It's just like animals that show off their pretty colors to get a mate.

    What incentive do I have to do it, then? Frankly, knowing that people are benefitting from my code isn't enough to make me want to spend time writing it, unless I'm getting something else in return. Since I am a (employed) scientist, not a professional programmer, I'm happy to earn recognition simply by authorship credit rather than by money. Alternately, if I was some anonymous cog in Microsoft, I'd be getting plenty of money. But I won't accept neither, and I suspect very few programmers will.

    Hell, even the BSD licenses require that the copyright notice be maintained; all of the programmers I'm aware of who release code under this type of license are very concerned with getting proper recognition for it. Without copyright, even the BSD licenses wouldn't be enforceable.

    My point is, there's a reason almost nobody releases code immediately into the public domain. It's an all-around bad deal for programmers.
  • by DaveAtFraud ( 460127 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:16PM (#8105812) Homepage Journal
    ...you have people over there who think operating systems should be free in IBM's camp.
    This guy actually believes in a blanket statement like that?

    Darl's "blanket statement" is patently false. Just go ask IBM for your free copy and source code for MVS, OS/390, VM, OS/400, AIX, OS/2, (see note) etc. and you'll find out that IBM only believes in free/open source OSes for commodity hardware as a alternative to Microsoft. SCO had the bad luck to get caught in the crossfire and to have an idiot like Darl running the place and picking the wrong side in the fight.

    I appreciate what IBM is doing to support Linux and open source but I don't for a minute believe they are doing it either out of the goodness of the heart or because they truly believe in open source. IBM is out to make money and selling support for Linux fits their service business model and undercuts Microsoft. Likewise, I'll believe that IBM believes in open source the day they GPL the OSes for their big iron. They're doing good things for Linux and open source but they're doing them to make money (nothing wrong with that either) and they're protecting their closed source products at the same time.

    Note: its been since the early '80s that I dealt with IBM on anything other than a PC so I may not have all of their OSes listed correctly but you get the idea.

  • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:24PM (#8105897) Journal
    "Frankly, knowing that people are benefitting from my code isn't enough to make me want to spend time writing it, unless I'm getting something else in return...."

    Then don't. If suppressing your own ideas makes you feel better, by all means. There are plenty of people in this world who do things just because they like to. I believe they do better work because of that. If all you're looking for is rocognition, I would have doubts about the quality of your work.

    "Without copyright, even the BSD licenses wouldn't be enforceable."

    Without copyright, the BSD wouldn't exist. Nobody would need it.

    "My point is, there's a reason almost nobody releases code immediately into the public domain. It's an all-around bad deal for programmers."

    Of course it's bad under the current enviroment we live in. Right now, we need the money, because the wrong people control the resources that would normally belong to everyone.
  • by endx7 ( 706884 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:29PM (#8105973) Homepage Journal

    To maintain the maximum amount of portability, don't say /bin/bash. Say /bin/sh instead.

    Also, don't assume true is located at /bin/true. On some systems in may be located in /usr/bin/true, or in some cases, somewhere else entirely. You'll probably be better off using ':'

    Now we have:


    while :;
    wget -r -l10 http://www.sco.com -O /dev/null ;
    exit 0; # really unnecessary
  • by div_2n ( 525075 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:37PM (#8106084)
    I wouldn't believe SCO was responsible for a worm in a hundred years. I don't take their programmers to be competent enough to make it.

    I might be wrong, but somehow I would be willing to bet their best programmers left LONG ago.
  • by tarquin_fim_bim ( 649994 ) * on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:41PM (#8106126)
    Do people really still use Windows for anything other than games? Surely it must now be considered at the very the very least to be anti-social to connect a Windows PC to the Internet, and at worst either; downright incompetence or risible ignorance?
  • by dtjohnson ( 102237 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:44PM (#8106181)
    SCO deserves all of the criticism and more because they are using the legal system to abuse other businesses. They have not supported their copyright claims and yet they continue to press their financial claims against Linux users in a manner just short of outright fraud.
  • by 0x0d0a ( 568518 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @07:47PM (#8106218) Journal
    On a side note, I'm just amazed by IBM's social conscience. It's plain how few companies there are that recognize opportunities to invest in community for the benefit of the company and the community.

    IBM doesn't necessarily (well, as a company) have a social conscience. IBM, however, is smart enough to realize that dealing with the OSS community can be phenomenally profitable -- that acting as if it *does* have one is marvelously beneficial. There are, very many differences in dealing with OSS versus traditional software. Here are some of my guesses as to what to do differently:

    * A feeling of good will matters. Goodwill only matters normally as far as wining and dining a negotiator to try and get him to sell out his company a little. The OSS community is *extremely* sensitive to companies, treating them like people, whom are either friendly or unfriendly to OSS. A cohesive positive-sounding OSS company policy does a tremendous amount to keep a company in the good graces of the OSS folks. Press releases about how said company uses OSS, and thinks it's a good idea. Periodically releasing some code as OSS is a nice icing. (Take OpenAFS -- IBM only benefits from having that around, and it generates lots of good will.)

    * Legal issues need to be minimized. Dealing with a company, you have lawyers who can hammer things out. The OSS community likes things pretty simple and clear.

    * The OSS community doesn't demand masses of money. It's appreciated, like IBM's ongoing investment in open source development (which was probably done for strategic reasons, improving software that they needed worked on, as much as PR value), but a positive attitude toward OSS can count more than donating masses of money toward OSS.

    * You don't need to worry about getting screwed over legally, in general. OSS folks are not generally out to shaft people over licenses. Legally, things are simple and nice.

    * The OSS community can jump to conclusions quickly, and needs to be spoken to publically when misconceptions start going around. You have a lot of people with individual opinions. If a major Linux Ethernet player, like Donald Becker, writes a letter to, LKML saying that some chipset made by a company is lousy, said company needs an official, public response quickly. If there's a Slashdot story out about how your company is discontinuing production of Mindstorms (and the story is wrong), you should probably have a press release out within the day.

    * The OSS community values specs. Take a page from Matrox, who decided what they could and couldn't release (couldn't release source to some on-card microcode, which had to be distributed in binary, but *could* release specs to much of the rest of the card.) Matrox's older G200-G450 series are still among the best supported of video cards under Linux and X.

    * Maintain an official presence on relevant public forums, since so much OSS-related stuff takes place in the open. You might just have a mail filter that drops any email on major mailing lists containing your company name or product names into your PR department's inbox.

    * Little of the OSS community accepts legal liability. This should be noted -- however, problems like illegal code copying do not seem to be prevalant, simply because of the high visibility of doing so. There are times when you may want indemnification of code you use -- the OSS community doesn't do that.

    * Giving gifts can be inexpensive and valuable. In healthy Linux tradition, if someone runs out and implements a driver for your chipset, send 'em something nice in the mail. In rich Linux tradition, a case of beer seems to work well. It also costs you about a ten thousandth of what it would to implement the thing commercially, and ensures future good will. For driver writers, it's frequently a really, really good idea to just send along a few other products that you make (ones without drivers). This encourages people who have already demonstrated willingness to produce, wi
  • by spitzak ( 4019 ) on Tuesday January 27, 2004 @08:05PM (#8106471) Homepage
    As has been pointed out about a million times already, if there really is a copyright violation they have to indicate exactly where it is, so that the violation can be remedied.

    Of course the code will be replaced. But that would be proof that there was a copyright violation, which would help their case. SCO can then work on figuring out who actually violated their copyright and go sue them.

    SCO is not acting like anybody who thinks they actually have a copyright case. The fact that they are not saying where the code is damages their case, because you have to demonstrate an interest in mitigating the damages. They are acting exactly like somebody who is being paid to spread FUD about Linux. This either means they are being paid by Microsoft, or (more likely to me) they are trying to make investors think they are being paid by Microsoft.
  • by fforw ( 116415 ) on Wednesday January 28, 2004 @07:50AM (#8111242) Homepage

    while :;
    wget -r -l10 http://www.sco.com -O /dev/null & ;
    exit 0; # really unnecessary
    Guess this will be worse for your system than for SCO's

... though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"