SCO Needs to Put Up or Shut Up

 
 
By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-06-16
 
 
 

What weve got here is failure—or unwillingness—to communicate.

The SCO Group has spent the past couple of months directing sensational allegations and vague threats toward Linux and any individual or company that develops, markets or runs the operating system—all without presenting a bit of evidence for its claims.

According to SCO, June was to be "show and tell time," but were halfway through the month and have hardly any more facts than when this saga began.

SCO refuses to lay out its cards without a nondisclosure agreement. However, the NDA its offering is worded so restrictively that anyone qualified to evaluate the evidence could not see it to begin with. Even with a signed gag order, SCO has severely limited the selections, amount and context of information it is willing to show.

Those who have signed the NDA have spoken of 80 lines of identical code present in the Linux and SCO-owned code bases. Did these lines flow from SCO to Linux or from Linux to SCO? Or did both code bases inherit these lines from a third, common source such as BSD? At this point, theres too little information to make a judgment.

SCO has likened itself to the recording industry and its quest to stop unauthorized file trading. However, unlike the recording industry, SCO refuses to point out where and how its been violated.

If SCOs intellectual property rights are being infringed upon, its in everyones best interests to locate and eliminate the infringing code, sort out what damages (if any) are due SCO, and move forward under clear skies.

For now, the ball is in SCOs court. If the company is truly serious about preventing further infringement of its intellectual property, its up to SCO to pick up the ball and run with it.

Senior Analyst Jason Brooks can be reached at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com.

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