WorldWatch Week in Review

A look at worldwide OSS news for the weeks of September 20-26.

This week on WorldWatch.LinuxGazette, the most popular article came from Bulgaria's neighbor, Romania. The article covers two topics: whereas this month Microsoft inked a three-year contract with the Romanian government, next month the entrepreneurs in that country will be busy getting a taste of Linux and FLOSS at the first Linux Hardware and Software Solutions Expo in Bucharest.

We also covered articles by Bill Glahn and Keith Gordon, who announced the death of the RIAA because of its failure to change with the times and its heavy-handed legal tactics. Also from the legal and "intellectual property" scene, we published Groklaw's reply to SCO's Darl McBride.

On more general and philosophical notes, we briefly reviewed Taran Rampersad's site, which is from Trinidad and Tobago. Taran's site includes a number of interesting essays and even some poetry. I appreciate readers such as Taran who bring their sites and thoughts to my attention, and welcome others to do the same.

I also linked to and commented on some articles about Internet security and its implications. I believe each and every person should spend some "quality time" thinking about this topic, as it has great implications vis-à-vis our personal responsibility to the society in which we live. The resources presented are interesting and should provoke a lot of thought if you take the time to read and digest their implications.

Willy Smith is Editor in Chief of WorldWatch.

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IBM Files New Claims Against SCO in Linux Case

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IBM Files New Claims Against SCO in Linux Case
Friday September 26, 11:48 am ET
By William M. Bulkeley, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

BOSTON -- International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) has filed new counterclaims against SCO Group Inc. (NasdaqSC:SCOX) in the closely watched case involving the Linux operating system, according to a memo sent to the IBM sales force.

According to the memo, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the new counterclaim charges that SCO infringed IBM's copyrights by distributing IBM's contributions to Linux after SCO had violated its Linux license by claiming a copyright on parts of Linux.

IBM says in its counterclaim that SCO violated the general Public License under which Linux is distributed. The GPL requires Linux distributors to permit customers to freely copy the software. SCO is based in Linden, Utah. The case is being tried in U.S. district court in Salt Lake City. In the memo to the sales force, IBM also said it won't offer to indemnify its Linux customers from facing lawsuits related to intellectual property claims involving Linux. Recently, Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE:HPQ) said it will provide indemnification to Linux users who run the software on H-P computers.

In the memo, signed by Robert Samson, an IBM sales manager, IBM said that: " Most indemnities are narrowly drawn and are often invalidated by customer activities, such as making modifications or combining the indemnified product with other code, which are central to the vitality of open source."

It said the H-P indemnification requirements "will inhibit customers from taking full advantage of the open source development process."

Mr. Samson's memo says "HP's approach as outlined in the press, we believe runs fundamentally counter to the Linux value proposition." Many users like Linux because they can view the source code making it easy to adapt the operating system for their own uses.

-By William M. Bulkeley, The Wall Street Journal; 617-654-6704

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