Bonum Certa Men Certa

Divide-and-Conquer, Vivid Shades of SCO

As time goes by, we find that it is increasingly hard to ignore the SCO case, which Groklaw is already focused on (watching it like a hawn). There is a fascinating new item which discusses Sun Microsystems' and Microsoft's support of SCO. As Groklaw pointed out a couple of days ago, the Novell and Xandros deals have an element of SCO malice in them.

Nowhere does the exhibit explain in any detail exactly what SCO IP was hidden within Linux. Does that sound to you like the sort of vague patent claims made by Microsoft in regards to its recent patent deals with Novell and with Xandros? It does to me.


This is not just a case of making IP claims and making their substance invisible. It is also a case of claiming ownership of something you are not entitled to have. This could lead to the conclusion that, at this stage, there is little distinction between Microsoft's tactics and SCO's tactics. It would not be surprising if more money is exchanging hands under a manipulative and malovalent agenda.

Yesterday, Eben Moglen's take on the latest deal got published. He seems to suggest that companies take an easy route (and cash) at the expense of those who make their existence possible.

But Moglen told vnunet.com in a video interview that some in the community will be tempted to make a "private peace with the invader".

"Divide-and-conquer strategies are built around the weakness that it is in the interest of some people to make a private deal for safety and abandon communal defence," Moglen said.


This, of course, is an issue that the GPLv3 will address. The Novell and Xandros deals will no longer put them in a position of advantage. Au contraire -- they will offer no added value and also be remembered as those who betrayed the values of Free software; and knowingly so!

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