Is Linux really a warez operation?
SCO thinks so, and the legal action is starting to crank up.
There’s no point in judging the merits of the case (actually SCO hasn’t even stated with any specificity the merits of the case). It is best to let the courts do that.
But it’s sure going to make anybody with money think twice about deploying Linux, won’t it?
Plenty of people have pointed to Microsoft rather promptly getting a license from SCO as proof of some sort of conspiracy between the two.
So what if there is? It doesn’t matter.
What matters in this case is whether SCO’s claims are true or not. That is all that matters.
There are a lot of dopes out there who think that if they can use the word “conspiracy” in a sentence describing their opponents, they’ve won.
First, I have at least some doubts that there is any formal understanding between SCO and MS. There doesn’t have to be.
I don’t doubt at all MS rather likes the idea of this lawsuit, and certainly hasn’t discouraged SCO for pursuing it. But that’s like seeing someone you don’t like getting punched in the face by somebody else. You don’t need to meet with the guy beforehand to cheer him on, or help him out.
Maybe they did have discussions. Or meetings. Maybe they’re now wrapped together so tight that Bill Gates will serve refreshments to SCO’s attorneys during court recesses. So what?
There’s nothing illegal about two companies having a meeting. There’s nothing illegal about two companies having a secret meeting. There’s not even necessarily any illegal about two companies having a secret meeting to figure out how to put the screws to a competitor.
The only time the word “conspiracy” becomes more than a buzzword is when two (or more) companies (secretly or not) plan to illegally put the screws to a competitor.
In this particular case, the only way conspiracy creeps into the picture is if SCO’s claims are so lacking in merit that they border on fraud. It’s only at that point that the existence or non-existence of a conspiracy gains any relevance.
The judge(s) in this case isn’t going to care the slightest bit how involved MS may or may not have been with SCO. All he’s going to be concerned about is whether SCO is right or not. If he determines SCO is right in its claims, that’s that.
It will only be if the judge(s) in this case find SCO’s case not only wrong, but complete BS to the point of illegality that conspiracy might rear its head.
Is FUD a Crime?
Another common geek belief is that FUD is at least always bad, if not illegal.
SCO’s actions certainly has and will generate a lot of FUD.
If SCO’s claim end up being more-or-less true, you ought to have quite a bit of fear, uncertainty and doubt.
But since when did giving someone bad feelings automatically become illegal?
Fear, uncertainty and doubt are realities, big realities, in human existence. You can’t ban them.
Nor is bad news a crime (though there’s been millions of instances where people have acted as if it were).
The only way FUD becomes bad or maybe illegal under law (as opposed to the terminally touchy-feely) is when its basis is false.
I Don’t Know Is Often The Wisest Answer
A lot of people seem to think that if you get MS angry enough and call it enough names, that makes anything they do evil and illegal.
Not according to the courts, it doesn’t.
It’s rather amusing to see the same people yell and scream about others imposing morality on them, then turn right around and call MS evil. That’s the pot calling the kettle black.
Am I on SCO’s or MS’s “side” on this. This is a court case, not a wrestling match. Law will decide this, not noise.
Law is not a participatory sport.
It makes not the slightest difference whose side I’m on or you’re on or anybody else is. This isn’t Family Feud, this isn’t mob rule.
Whom do I think will prevail. I don’t know for the rather excellent reason that I don’t know nearly enough to judge at this point. And neither does anyone else.
I really don’t think IBM needs the legal “help.” Actually, the babble we’re going to get is more like Bob from Bayonne calling up the local sports radio station to rant and rave.
A wise man knows when he doesn’t know, and acts accordingly.
Think about it.