Harvard is Pleased to Invite Darl to Speak

Friday, January 30 2004 @ 05:45 PM EST

Contributed by: PJ

The Harvard Journal of Law and Technology, for whatever its reasons, has invited Darl McBride to speak. There will also be a webcast, RealPlayer required. The talk is Monday, February 2 at 6:30 PM EDT, and the subject is "Defending Intellectual Property Rights in a Digital Age".

What? You thought he'd lecture on Aeschylus? He's a one-trick pony. Chris Sontag will participate also in the Q & A.

This isn't the only Harvard news.

Here's a headline I'll bet you thought you'd never see: Harvard Business School, Gartner link :

"Harvard Business School Press said it will publish a cobranded series of professional handbooks for senior executives in partnership with Gartner Inc., the technology research firm based in Stamford, Conn. The series will tentatively be titled "The Gartner Growth Agenda: Leading and Managing Strategic Growth with Technology." Under their partnership, HBS Press will also distribute Gartner research reports."

Is Harvard under new management or something? Then there is Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, which is having discussions online about the SCO-IBM case. For some reason they continue to call it Caldera v. IBM, despite Caldera being dropped in July and the name being changed to SCO v. IBM, after the company changed its name. That isn't the only inaccuracy. Here's how they describe the case and the positions of the parties:

"The Case in Point is Caldera v. IBM, also called the case against open-source.

"Update on litigation: SCO is suing IBM under a number of unfair trade practice and breach of contract disputes. Copyright infringement claims were added more recently. IBM has denied most of the claims and asks the court to force SCO to reveal the portions of the code that are the basis of the allegation."

Obviously, this is not accurate. First, no copyright infringement claims have been added by SCO. IBM has denied all of the claims, not most of them. The only things its Answer admits is things like admitting its principal place of business is in New York. The blurb does not mention that IBM has filed counterclaims, including patent infringement and violation of the GPL, with a claim of copyright infringement against SCO, and has affirmative defenses.

A Groklaw reader brought this to the attention of Diane Cabell, Clinical Program Director, who is in charge of Case in Point materials, on January 23rd. Hopefully she will correct the inaccuracies eventually. I expect that the next Filter will have the material updated and corrected. Meanwhile, you might find it of interest to read how they describe SCO's ABI claims, which are not part of the IBM lawsuit, so far as we know, so it's a puzzlement what they are doing in a blurb about the IBM case, but it's a clear description of SCO's position, without, I notice, any counter information, such as Linus' statements claiming the code or even a mention that Novell claims copyright ownership of all Unix code anyway:

"Since the last Filter report, SCO notified Linux users of more than 65 files ('ABI Code') that it says have been copied into Linux 2.4.21 from SCO’s UNIX code base. Although these files were covered by the BSDI settlement, SCO points out that they are part of the 'UNIX Derived Files' and the particular settlement terms that apply to them do not permit distribution without copyright notice. SCO demands that users remove all ABI Code because such copying violates the U.S. Copyright Act and because the removal of SCO’s copyright notice violates the DMCA §1202’s rights management provisions. See SCO's letter at http://www.sco.com/scosource/abi_files_letter_20031219.pdf.

"Our next discussion question is: Does an open-source license scheme such as the GPL defeat the purposes of the copyright clause of the United States Constitution (Article I, Section 8) by forcing those who wish to build on a work to offer their improvements on a royalty-free basis? Does the answer differ depending on the type of work that is being distributed? Under this theory, would technical rights management restrictions that last beyond the term of copyright protection be equally unconstitutional? See SCO’s comments from Darl McBride at http://www.newsforge.com/trends/03/12/04/2024240.shtml?tid=85. See the GPL at http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/gpl.html - TOC1. If you are interested in commenting on this question, please go to H2O at and register for the project “SCO-IBM.” Responses will be reported in the next Filter issue.

Darl was interviewed on CNN today about the virus and the reward SCO is offering, and he continues to imply that Linux enthusiasts are responsible. We're entering willful waters now, I think. He must know by now that experts have said it isn't so and that professional spammers are responsible. Here's a snip of a transcript, thanks to Brenda's eagle eye. Notice that the url ends lol.01.html, which one Groklaw reader jokingly writes to me must stand for "Laughing Out Loud":

MCBRIDE: This is a new digital frontier. We came out, we found that key parts of our code -- we owned the Unix operating system -- was showing up in this new upstart program called Linux. These new programmers working with IBM. We found that things were violated against our copyrights.

And so we filed a $3 billion lawsuit against IBM. We've been working through a judicial system here. But now you have people going outside the system, trying to attack us, to try and shut us down before we have a court verdict. . . . With the new Linux system, it's very interesting, because it's very open, anybody around the world can participate, anybody can use it.

But what happens when you have a problem inside the system? Because there are no boundaries and no control systems, the mechanism's built into Linux. Then you have this type of behavior when you have a problem actually pop up.

O'BRIEN: Is Linux particularly susceptible?

MCBRIDE: Well, we believe -- we have had four attacks on our company over the last year. At least one was claimed -- the Linux community claimed responsibility for the attack. We believe that there is a problem with Linux in terms of the code we see showing up inside of there. We don't know for sure if this attack is coming from Linux, but we have very strong suspicions that is the case.