IBM Files Copyright Infringement Counterclaim and Love Speaks Out

Friday, September 26 2003 @ 12:13 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

This is exciting. First IBM has filed a copyright infringement claim against SCO. They sent a memo to their sales staff about it. Second, they too say that indemnification is a way to kill Linux and they won't offer it. I am so relieved. I was afraid they'd take the bait SCO and HP created for them. Here's the scoop:

" . . . 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.

"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."

And the other big news is that Ransom Love has stepped out from the shadows and taken a stand. He has cut all ties to the company and says he'd never have gone in the direction SCO has taken:

" I think Caldera investors who wanted a quick return pressured the management. They seem to think that short-term, possible gains are more important than long term ones, which is unfortunate.

"I don't believe that the suit is good for the company or Linux."