IBM and FSF Respond

Tuesday, July 22 2003 @ 12:56 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

An article in Linux Today is very interesting. First FSF's Eben Moglen:

"Eben Moglen, professor of law at Columbia University and general counsel to the Free Software Foundation (FSF), though says there is absolutely no reason for anyone to buy SCO's license. 'Users don't need a license to use copyrighted programs anymore than they need to pay a copyright fee before reading Gone with the Wind. If you copy, distribute, or modify copyrighted material, then you can be in copyright violation.'

"But, he adds, if a distributor, such as Debian, were to agree to SCO's license, they would then be in violation of section 7 of the Gnu General Public License (GPL) . This section specifies that if legal 'conditions are imposed... that contradict the conditions of this License' you cannot distribute GPL protected free software."

Further, he says an end user is not responsible for a copyright violation. He offers to help too:

"Still, Moglen believes that, 'If SCO really wishes to enforce these claimed copyright rights. I would suggest that they sue a Linux distributor. If the FSF distributed Linux, I would welcome such a lawsuit.' And, speaking for himself and not the FSF, 'I have renewed my offer to assist free software developers who may feel the need for legal assistance' because of SCO's recent actions."

IBM also says it isn't aware of any UNIX System V code in Linux, according to Trink Guarino, IBM spokesman:

"'IBM is not aware of any Unix System V Code in Linux. SCO needs to openly show this code before anyone can assess their claim. SCO seems to be asking customers to pay for a license based on allegations, not facts.'"