SCO Explains GPL Strategy and SCO Director Bails Out

Tuesday, December 23 2003 @ 03:20 PM EST

Contributed by: PJ

Investor Business Daily has an interview with Darl McBride in which he tries to justify the $3 billion in damages, but what he says about the GPL and their legal strategy, if you could call it a strategy, is even more interesting:

"McBride: . . . The Free Software Foundation says it's ludicrous for SCO to be going after an end user. They say it's like a reader going into Barnes & Noble reading a book and telling them they can't read those words or we're going to sue. But it's actually much different than that analogy.

"First, when a user gets Linux, they inherit a license agreement called the GPL (General Public License) that says you get this product free of charge, so if you have a problem with it, don't come back to us, you're on your own. The words in the GPL are "as is." It pushes all of the liability to the end user.

"The second part where their example breaks down is the fact that the end users are part of the problem - they're making copies themselves. What you'll see SCO coming out with in the next few weeks are examples of copyrighted code of ours that have been put into Linux, and the copyrights have been stripped off.

"If a reader goes home with a book, reads it, reproduces it and gives it to 500 friends, they are direct infringers. What we see happening here is nine out of 10 boxes of Linux out in the marketplace aren't paid for at all, even if they'd paid for a support contract. Once they get that Linux in their shop, they're free to reproduce it and send it around to their heart's content. They do, in fact, become copyright infringers. That's why we're going there."

He says by mid-February they will file. Their list of victims is now narrowed to 10.

SCO Director Bails Steve Cakebread has left the SCO Board. SCO says it's because he is under time constraints. He says nothing. Cakebread is CFO of Salesforce.com, which I hear is a Linux-based ASP. You think maybe they got one of those letters?

Meanwhile, the new SCO board member, Daniel Campbell, is now chairman of the Audit Committee. No doubt he's a very busy man now too.

What is encouraging is that on the same Yahoo page is a link to Briefing.com's reference to the NYTimes article on Linus questioning SCO's claims. The word is definitely reaching even the financial community now.

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