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Re: SCO after BSD settlement

From: Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2003 10:48:17 -0800 (PST)

:I like what you are saying and what a lot of the Open Source 
:authorities say about this
:but, quite frankly, AFAIK YANAL [you are not a lawyer].  OJ Simpson got 
:off... Microsoft
:never gets anything but a wrist slap for their behavior so I wouldn't 
:rest so assuredly that
:this is open and shut.

    Well, the OJ case was an abberration, and there is no appeal process
    for that sort of case if the defendant is found not guilty.  The
    American justice system usually gets it right, the real problem is
    simply that it's very slow.

:>     fraud laws that the corporate shield will not protect their 
:> principles
:>     against.  But, hey, they might just do it anyway.  I'm actually 
:> hoping
:>     they do because it could result in real jail time for Dear Daryl.
:Is there any history that you can use to back up what  you are saying?

    Well, not other then the obvious... threatening end users is an area
    of law that is fairly well understood.  It's called 'double dipping'.
    SCO is sueing IBM for (what they say) polluting Linux.  SCO cannot also
    sue linux end-users for using the 'polluted' linux.  The same situation
    applies to the SGI work.  SCO can theoretically sue SGI, but SCO cannot
    sue end-users for simply using the freely available result.

    This means that SCO would have to sue linux end-users on grounds other
    then IBM and SGI pollution, which means they basically have to base it
    on their derivative IP claims.  If they do that then it opens the door
    for individual developers like me who have code in Linux somewhere
    to sue SCO.  Not that I would necessarily due that, but I would certainly
    join a class action against SCO were they to take that tact.  SCO would
    have to contend with potentially hundreds of lawsuits rather then just a

    There are a number of other laws that apply too.  For example, if SCO 
    starts sending out invoices it becomes mail fraud.  That corporate
    shield won't protect Daryl from that.

    And, finally, when you combine the likely illegality of trying to force
    end users to 'license' a product that SCO does not own with their
    'pay up or we'll sue you' attitude, it becomes extortion, and the
    corporate shield won't protect Daryl or Boise from criminal prosecurtion
    for extortion.  And, believe me, if SCO started going after individuals
    you would have thousands of linux users phoning their AG's it will

    This is why we haven't seen this type of activity to date.  It is far
    more likely that SCO will sue the BSD camp then it is that they would
    start sending out invoices.

					Matthew Dillon 

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