Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise IT Week

Linux is free, freedom is good and reputable IT vendors know it. Don't let Darl McBride tell you any different.

Dear Mr. Powers,

I see that you are scheduled to moderate a discussion at the Enterprise IT Week conference after Darl McBride speaks. Although there may be an interesting debate over the merits of free and proprietary software development models, Mr. McBride is hardly a strong representative of the proprietary side.

As Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn said about King Henry VIII, "S'pose he opened his mouth -- what then? If he didn't shut it up powerful quick he'd lose a lie every time."

Lie: The Berkeley Packet Filter code in Linux is "obfuscated" SCO code.

Fact: Jay Schulist, who never had access to SCO code, implemented it from scratch.

Source: www.perens.com

Lie: SCO's 2002 UNIX source release was "non-commercial".

Fact: "The text of the letter, sent January 23, 2002, by Bill Broderick, Director of Licensing Services for Caldera [now SCO], in fact makes no mention of "non-commercial use" restrictions, does not include the words "non-commercial use" anywhere and specifically mentions "32-bit 32V Unix" as well as the 16-bit versions."

Source: www.linuxjournal.com

Lie: SCO's expert witnesses are "MIT Mathematicians".

Fact: "The SCO Group of Utah has had to backtrack after saying that MIT mathematicians verified its claims that Linux, the center of the popular and freely-available GNU/Linux operating system, is an illegal knock-off."

Source: www-tech.mit.edu

Lie: SCO owns all rights to UNIX concepts and methods.

Fact: McBride cited parts of IBM's UNIX license out of context. The license also includes this text:

Nothing in this agreement shall prevent LICENSEE from developing or marketing products or services employing ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques relating to data processing embodied in SOFTWARE PRODUCTS subject to this Agreement, provided that LICENSEE shall not copy any code from such SOFTWARE PRODUCTS into any such product or in connection with such service and employees of LICENSEE shall not refer to the physical documents and materials comprising SOFTWARE PRODUCTS subject to this agreement when they are developing any such products or service or providing any such service.

Source: sco.iwethey.org

Fact: "Obviously Linux owes its heritage to UNIX, but not its code."

Lie: "We would not, nor will not, make such a claim."

Source: www.linuxjournal.com

Conclusion

As is clear from the growing torrent of corporate purchase orders and investments flowing to Linux, Mr. McBride's outlandish claims are completely outside the mainstream of the IT industry. Mr. McBride's legal shenanigans have little to do with real-world software development and everything to do with making a quick exit from a failed company.

I would like to encourage you to read some of the background information on Mr. McBride's scheme located at sco.iwethey.org and groklaw.net. Both sites have extensive links to SEC filings, court papers and other primary sources.

If you would like a demonstration of how unlikely we in mainstream IT believe Mr. McBride is to succeed in his shakedown, I offer to walk on stage and sell you a copy of Linux for one dollar and give you a signed receipt, in front of Mr. McBride. Please let me know if you're interested.

Don Marti is Editor in Chief of Linux Journal.

______________________

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Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

Lie: The Berkeley Packet Filter code in Linux is "obfuscated" SCO code.

Fact: Jay Schulist, who never had access to SCO code, implemented it from scratch.

Source: www.perens.com

Three requirements for something to be libel/slander:
1. Must be false. Check.
2. Must be malicious. Check.
3. Must damage the reputation or career of the libeled/slandered party. Arguably a Check.

We have a winner!
(Jay: File suit. Now.)

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

I have sent the following letter to the managers of Jupiter Media, and a similarly worded letter to mr Jack Powers.

Thanks to Don Marti and the Linux Journal for being who they are.

"Dear Sirs,

However much I respect your right to decide who to invite to your events, I do feel an obligation to express my contempt at providing a platform for mr. Darl McBride of SCO and his current attempts at extortion of millions of Linux users on a worldwide basis.

Until he has proven his points in a court case, or at least provided some sort of evidence not already proven wrong, he should not be provided with the platform to further spread his accusations against corporations, persons and products that are not at the same time provided with the opportunity to respond to said accusations.

I must also regretfully inform you that I will never attend a seminar, event or tradeshow organized by any form of company, corporation or other legal entity that provides mr McBride with such a platform.

Kind Regards,

/M

IT-professional and Linux hobbyist."

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

I think you are very short sighted. We need Darl to speak as often as possible. Remeber who Jupiter is folks, the guys who own Linux Today. As Linux Today is one of their big cash cows, they are, for the most part, on our side on issues.

Do not damn them for doing what should be done.

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

Don't kid yourself. There are no sides at Jupitermedia...just a company that is slave to one man's ego. Darl is bringing some headlines to a conference starving for headlines.

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

Fact: "Obviously Linux owes its heritage to UNIX, but not its code."

Lie: "We would not, nor will not, make such a claim."

Somebody Fact'ed when they should have Lie'd and vice versa.

But his foot seeks his mouth so quickly...

Anonymous's picture

Yes, I know, it would NOT be "fair" for proprietary software to be represented in debate by McBride; they could be much better served even by having Richard Stallman speak on their behalf! :).

However, it is so useful to give this guy a public forum. He has such a wonderful tendenacy to make statements that directly contradict and refute SCO's own legal claims in their own court filings. For the sake of RedHat and IBM attorney's, we must let this guy speak more! Furthermore, the more he speaks, the more potential evidence he provides for filing possible future civil and criminal actions against him personally.

All in all, I think it could be a very good show...yes, this is meant in humor, but the point I think it valid, that he suffers from foot in mouth disease...

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

Lie: SCO owns all rights to UNIX concepts and methods.

You're damn right its a lie! I think Dennis Ritchie and Ken Thompson might have something to say about this. I feel that they invented it, thus no matter what corporation might buy/copy it, Unix was/is and always will be the brainchild of two "crazy" programmers from Bell Labs.

Lie: The Berkeley Packet Filter code in Linux is "obfuscated" SCO code.

HaHaHaHa! Alan Cox must be really pissed off right now.

This is a direct consequence of what happens when business people try and fail to understand computers, so they just fake it.

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

the line:

Lie: SCO owns all rights to UNIX concepts and methods.

should be followed with:

Fact: the OpenGroup does.

Re: Open Letter to Jack Powers, Conference Chairman, Enterprise

Anonymous's picture

I don't want to support SCO but neither do I want to speak from ignorance. I think SCO is full of crap but the OpenGroup certainly doesn't own all Unix concepts and methods.

I dont want the wrong people phrasing the terms of discussion here. Lots of people would have interesting opinions with less political or ethical baggage than McBride. SCO has been given every chance to say something substantive but they have blusterred without substance, even in their much vaunted court case -- giving them another platform, esp keynote address shows contempt for what dialogue does exist in Software.

An interesting question is who, from commercial software, would agree to speak to save the conference from Mcbride?

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