08.20.10

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Oracle in the SCO Case

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Oracle, Patents, Samsung, SCO at 1:13 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft ‘Linux tax’, SCO ‘Linux tax’, Oracle ‘Java tax’, and Novell/Samsung’s role in legitimising such unjust extortion

EARLIER in the week there was a discussion about Oracle in the SCO case, but it was all lost in the storm about the legal battle versus Google [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14]. From Groklaw:

Oracle and Novell File Reservations of Rights RE SCO’s Bankruptcy Sale Plan

[...]

Oracle, as well as Novell, have both filed a Reservation of Rights objecting to SCO’s Motion in bankruptcy court to sell off all the assets, all but the litigation and whatever is on the list of excluded assets. If you recall, Oracle made an appearance in connection with an earlier SCO sales scheme, and now it says SCO needs to tell it more detailed information about the new plan and amend it, if any Oracle contracts are involved. “At this time, Oracle does not consent to any proposed assignment or transfer of use via the Sale Motion or otherwise, as proposed transfers must be in compliance with the license terms,” Oracle tells the court. It has copyrights and patents on this software, it points out. Not that it needs to mention that this week. We are aware.

Isn’t it ironic that Oracle is now ‘pulling a SCO’? Just over 3 years ago Microsoft did this thanks to its deal with Novell. Here is another update about SCO:

They maybe should have listened to Eben Moglen’s words in that same article:

“I feel like a broken record – from first to last, I’ve never had to change,” Moglen said. “SCO’s bluffing, whistling up the wind. They ruined a company that had a business and customers that cared. It was a vulgar and selfish thing that has no basis in law and no basis in fact. It’s clear to everyone that the whole thing’s a sham and a failure.”

Well, not exactly *everyone*, because five years later, the dance continues. Why?

I wonder if Mr. Cahn ever sees articles like this one from 2005. If he had been there five years ago, who would he have believed? Boies Schiller and Darl or Eben Moglen? I think we know the answer to that. But would he have been wise? Ah, that is the question.

The difference between Microsoft and SCO is, Microsoft has already managed to tax Linux without ever showing evidence to support entitlement. Samsung, for example, pays Microsoft for Linux-based products that it ships, including those many Android phones which receive positive reviews. There is this new Android tablet, but LinuxForDevices obscures the news with a discussion about Samsung’s own Android tablet, which will also be taxed by Microsoft.

A startup called Stream TV Networks is readying a seven-inch Android tablet called the eLocity A7, with preorders starting Aug. 24. Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy Tab Android tablet will be unveiled in two weeks at the IFA 2010 show in Berlin, and will run Android 2.2, reports say.

4 years or so after the Microsoft/Novell deal it seems like to a certain extent Microsoft managed to complete a task it first assigned to SCO (or supported SCO in establishing). The only effective solution is to continue to avoid products from companies that pay Microsoft for Linux. This includes Novell, which continues to promote Pulse [1, 2, 3] in products like GroupWise (proprietary) while also promoting other proprietary software, occasionally wrapping things in an “open source” blanket. One example of this is “OpenSUSE” which, although a technically fine distribution (see this new video, “Perfect Server” guide, and review from Jim Lynch), is still Novell’s property. It’s a way for Novell to advance Ballnux (SLE*), which some call “Microsoft Linux”.

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