OSI Tears Apart SCOs Claims

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

In an amended paper, the Open Source Initiative addresses a wide range of SCO's claims in its lawsuit against IBM and its claims to ownership of the Unix source code.

The Open Source Initiative on Monday updated its stinging attack against the SCO Group—the company that is suing IBM for $1 billion and that claims that the Linux operating system is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, to which SCO owns the rights. OSI, a non-profit educational association with offices in Palo Alto, Calif., is one of the principal advocacy groups for the open-source community and falls under the presidency of Linux luminary Eric Raymond. In an OSI position paper, amended yesterday, the group addresses a wide range of SCOs claims in the lawsuit against IBM and its claims to ownership of the Unix source code.
It also claims that a judgment in favor of SCO could do serious damage to the open-source community. "SCOs implication of wider claims could turn Linux into an intellectual-property minefield, with potential users and allies perpetually wary of being mugged by previously unasserted IP claims, and ever-more-outlandish theories of entitlement being propounded by parties with only the most tenuous relationship to anyone who ever wrote actual program code," it said.
Speaking on behalf of the community that wrote most of todays Unix code, and whose claims to have done so were tacitly recognized by the impairment of AT&Ts rights under a 1993 settlement, "we protest that to allow this outcome would be a very grave injustice." "We wrote our Unix and Linux code as a gift and an expression of art, to be enjoyed by our peers and used by others for all licit purposes both non-profit and for-profit. We did not write it to have it appropriated by men so dishonorable that after making profit from our gift for eight years they could turn around and insult our competence," Raymond says in the paper.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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