ZIFFPAGE TITLEIBM Compounds the Problem

By Rob Enderle  |  Posted 2004-03-05 Print this article Print

IBM compounds the problem IBM decided to mitigate its exposure with a massive and (for IBM) unprecedented effort to remove the SCO threat. Part of this effort focused supporters on destroying SCO itself. It can be argued that this anti-SCO climate has been a breeding ground for recent virus attacks. Should these virus attacks be connected back to powerful IBM, the company could face extreme material penalties though a combination of SCOs potentially successful actions and related class-action-damage lawsuits connected to the attacks. While remote, there is no greater short-term threat to the company today.
So why doesnt IBM simply buy its way out? Because it cant. To do so would force an internal review that likely would identify both the decision maker and the career-ending mistake.
SCO should win This legal fracas simply amounts to an IBM executive decision gone terribly wrong. IBM should have fully assessed the risk and treated SCO as IBM itself always expects to be treated. Both SCO and the Linux community should have been fully informed before IBM introduced AIX into Linux, so that neither Linux nor SCO was put at risk. Had this been done properly, the virus and DOS attacks would have been unnecessary, and the resulting, broad damage to technology users worldwide could have been avoided. The Linux community and IBM have worked to extremes in attempting to put SCO out of business. They have strategically attempted to deny SCO both the right to enjoy the Unix property it acquired and even the companys own day in court. Neither the Linux community nor IBM are above the law and shouldnt benefit from their terrible tactics. We simply cannot afford any precedent that would encourage a group to use viruses, DOS attacks and additional illegal threats against any entity, be it a company or a government. The courts, not the streets, are the place for such a fight. We should also not allow any company, even one as broadly loved and trusted as IBM, to misuse its power to take another companys property rights by use of force or to cover up a clear mistake. IBMs actions put the companys clients, partners, investors and virtually everyone who uses a computer at risk. Therefore, because might does not make right, because an SCO loss would open us up further to attack, and because if we dont protect SCOs property rights we weaken our own, SCO must win. Dont miss the other side, as Linux Topic Center editor Steven Vaughan-Nichols takes the anti-SCO position in his analysis of "Why SCO Cant Win". Discuss this in the eWEEK Forum

Rob Enderle is the principal analyst for the Enderle Group, a company specializing in emerging personal technology.

Rob Enderle Rob Enderle Enderle Group 389 Photinia Lane San Jose, CA 95127

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