[clug] Fw: Linux licence

Martin Pool mbp at sourcefrog.net
Thu Aug 28 14:17:43 EST 2003

On 27 Aug 2003 15:35:29 +1000
Conrad Canterford <conrad at mail.watersprite.com.au> wrote:

> On Wed, 2003-08-27 at 12:02, Kim Holburn wrote: 
> > I would think that before SCO asks for licenses for linux they would
> > have to specify in detail what code in the linux kernel they think
> > they own.  Otherwise what right have they to say anything in linux
> > is theirs?
> No, its not illegal. 

There are some protections in the Trade Practices Act that seem to be
relevant, so it may be illegal.  It is impossible to say for sure
without seeing exactly what SCO say.

For example, SCO have said (in the US) that Linux users must pay for a
licence. If it turns out, as seems likely, that in fact Linux users are
not using SCO's code, then they would seem to be in breach of s53(f)
(misrepresenting a need for goods or services) just for starters.


It's possible that SCO can offer licences without breaching the act
but they're sailing close to the wind.

> People will pay, because it is generally much quicker, easier and
> cheaper to just pay the ranson, err... licence fee then take the
> chance that it is real (or the effort and considerable cost of
> fighting it in court).

Even quicker just to not respond.

> Probably the best thing people can do is make sure the companies
> likely to be targetted are aware of all the issues and strongly
> encouraged to seek advice from a knowledgable lawyer. Give them (and
> their lawyers) as much information (from both sides) on the issue as
> you can.

That's good advice.


More information about the linux mailing list