[clug] SCO debate

ben ben at polkosity.cjb.net
Tue Aug 19 21:05:28 EST 2003

Have you guys seen this on arstechnica.com? Don't think microsoft will stand
by and let their licensces be proven invalid.

Eben Moglen of FSF responds to SCO's claims about the GPL
Posted 08/18/2003 @ 10:11 PM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

As we reported last week, SCO's attack on Linux has taken a new turn: the
company is now arguing that US copyright law actually invalidates the GPL.
Calling SCO's position "arrant, unprofessional nonsense," Eban Moglen of the
Free Software Foundation (he serves as General Counsel) has written a quick
rebuttal of SCO's claims. First of all, Moglen considers the ramifications
of SCO's position, were it true:
Mr Heise's supposed theory would also invalidate the BSD, Apache, AFL, OSL,
MIT/X11, and all other free software licenses. It would invalidate the
Microsoft Shared Source license. It would also eliminate Microsoft's method
for the distribution of the Windows operating system, which is pre-loaded by
hard drive manufacturers onto disk drives they deliver by the hundreds of
thousands to PC manufacturers. The licenses under which the disk drive and
PC manufacturers make multiple copies of Microsoft's OS would also,
according to Mr Heise, violate the law. Redmond will be surprised.

Could you imagine the insanity that would stem from such a situation? This
quick rundown of the products of such an argument demonstrate rather clearly
that software licensing is far more flexible and far more complex than SCO
wants us to believe. He goes on to briefly argue that SCO has intentionally
misread section 117 of the US Copyright Act in order to bolster their
claims. This has to be heading for a world of legal hurt, and that hurt's
gonna come in the middle of the night, wrap SCO in a blanket, and beat it
with a legal baseball bat until it bleeds a racketeering confession. OK,
probably not, but when is this going to end?

More information about the linux mailing list