SCO CEO posts an open letter

by Kevin Bedell

Related link: http://www.sco.com/company/openletter/



It's obvious that Darl McBride has no understanding of the open source community and its motivations and values.


In his open letter to the open source community he states, "it is clear that the Open Source community needs a business model that is sustainable if it is to grow beyond a part-time avocation into an enterprise-trusted development model."


I can't imagine Mr. McBride is not aware of the fact that virtually every businesses everywhere currently depends heavily on open source technology. Why he would state otherwise is ridiculous.


Whether using the Apache web server, Linux, gcc, make, Apache Tomcat, PHP, or one of the many, many other open source packages, virtually every company today is heavily dependent upon open source. Virtually everyone.


The 'collaborative' process by which all these projects get created is based on a new business model. It's a business model defined by the *users* of the technology - not by vendors. Individuals in companies all around the world are simply working together to create the technologies collaboratively - and releasing them under open source licenses that ensure everyone can freely use and contribute to their enhancement.


Darl continues, "Rather than fight for the right for free software, it's far more valuable to design a new business model that enhances the stability and trustworthiness of the Open Source community in the eyes of enterprise customers."


Why he believes our efforts are "far more valuable" if incorporated into a "business model" is unimaginable. The immense economic impact of open source on the productivity of the American and the World economies is undeniable -- and accomplished without this "business model".


Open Source doesn't need to "design a new business model" - SCO does. Mr. McBride has simply not come to grips with the fact that his business model is dying. The open source community doesn't need his services or his intellectual property. We can innovate faster, work cheaper, achieve higher quality and impact productivity in this country (and throughout the world) much better than SCO -- by far.


Open Source is about being 'free' - as in 'freedom'. Open Source developers give away their work so that we will all be enriched - and so that they can get the benefit of the work that others have given away as well.


We don't need or want his help and we won't be working with him. SCO simply wants to control and own the ideas of the open source community and the fruits of our labors.


Open your eyes Darl McBride. The new business model that the open source community has already developed without your help is about to flatten you. This new business model is based on companies and individuals increasing productivity and reducing costs by collaborating on 'shared' IP that no one owns and is free.


The giant sucking sound you're hearing, Darl, is the sound of your customers all contributing little pieces to the open source picture - so they can get better value and get rid of you.











39 Comments

anonymous2
2003-09-09 11:49:17
Friendly advice
You are completely delusionary. Most Open Source software is junk, and poorly maintained junk at that. It is indeed used in sheltered unix shops, but the real world uses proprietary software from the likes of IBM and Microsoft, and rightly so. Wake up and admit your error! Support SCO now!
anonymous2
2003-09-09 11:59:22
Calm down
Your reply to SCO is highly emotional, and you don't come to grips with their arguments at all. Do you think it is OK to steal their code and dump it into linux? Do you really think Open Source software is more than a blip in a world economy entirely dominated by the concept of private property?
anonymous2
2003-09-09 12:12:32
Calm down
nope. it's not OK to take their code and dump it onto linux. that's one reason (along with their code sucking) it wasn't done.


until they offer something other than vague threats of "1 MEEEELLION lines" (that would be 1/3 of the code base), i'm calling BULLSH!T.


-- derek

anonymous2
2003-09-09 12:15:41
Friendly advice
if you're not joking, you're obviously not a developer. OSS dev tools are THE tools of the trade.


tools by developers, for developers.
they kick ass.

sranauta
2003-09-09 12:32:57
Friendly advice
'Completely delusionary' seems to have marshalled a great deal of sense and reason into his submission. Your reply is more deserving of the label 'junk' as it portrays little or no substance and addreses none of the points. Even if in the unlikely event that SCO manages to hoodwink a victory that will not stop Open Source. It can be rewritten and in time (sooner rather that later) it will flatten the existing business model. That is no delusion.
kbedell
2003-09-09 14:20:55
Friendly advice
As evidence of open source apps in wide usage:


PHP (open source) is easily the fastest growing language for internet web-sites based on Windows:


http://news.netcraft.com/archives/2003/08/30/php_growing_surprisingly_strongly_on_windows.html


Apache is now totally dominating MS in the web server space:


http://news.netcraft.com/

kbedell
2003-09-09 16:09:36
Calm down
I wasn't trying to address his points. Others have done that better than I [see Dee-Ann LeBlanc's recent weblog entry for examples].


Mr. McBride has proposed a 'new business model' he believes will allow everyone to benefit from. From my view, the only real beneficiary that I could imagine would be SCO (and Mr. McBride personally).


My point here was to expose that in fact a new business model already exists - it's the users themselves collaborating (along with some major services and hardware vendors making significant contributions).


And regarding the impact of open source -- I believe this is significantly underestimated.


The primary driver of growth in the American economy (which drives a great deal of world economic growth) is the ever-increasing productivity of our economy. Increasing productivity means getting more dollar output per dollar of input.


Information Technology is a major contributor to increased productivity.


Open Source tools and technologies have made an amazing impact on the productivity of developers (especially when measured in terms of dollars output per dollar of resources input). Using open source technologies, corporations are able to accomplish significantly more while spending less for resources and labor.


Open Source's impact of IT productivity (and hence, the productivity of the overall economy) I believe is signficantly under-estimated and under-reported.


anonymous2
2003-09-09 16:48:31
Friendly advice
"Most Open Source software is junk, and poorly maintained junk at that."


So is a lot of the proprietary software. Except that people are less willing to admit after they paid for it.


"Support SCO now! "


Nice troll.


-- Lars

anonymous2
2003-09-09 16:49:08
Friendly advice
The likes IBM? You are suggesting IBM does not use Open Source software?
I only laugh.
kollivier
2003-09-09 19:42:07
Stop talking about SCO...
I agree with the frustration that many share regarding SCO, including the author's. However, let us not forget that responding to McBride's obvious attempts to goad the open source community isn't helpful. In fact, it can be damaging.


SCO has been playing out this case primarily in the media, rather than in the courts. It's a FUD campaign, really. Therefore for them to "win their case", they need credibility, not evidence. (The world would be a much different place if only the facts mattered.) They want to convince the PHBs out there that SCO will be victorious. To keep from being proven wrong, they'll try to drag out the court case, so that by the time anything is decided the damage is already done.


To win a FUD campaign, the primary concern is with destroying the credibility of the opponent(s), and thus by default becoming the 'lesser of two evils' by a falsity of logic. (They are bad therefore you are good.) This is the reason for the whole IBM "conspiracy" theory and the Red Hat "sudden turnaround" - we thought we could trust them! According to SCO, the supporters of OSS are untrustworthy, are out to destroy business as we know it (and subsequently the economy these businesses create), are backed by an 800-pound gorilla, and are out to get SCO. If you don't know much about the OSS community (and many don't), we sound pretty dangerous.


So all the OSS supporter rants, even with some evidence to back them up, are in the end just soundbytes for McBride and crew to use. They'll use out of context examples and say "here is proof of the conspiracy" and "do you think these people, who are saying they'll 'take us down', are respectful of the intellectual property rights of others? Do you think they won't be after your business next?"


Being an OSS developer doesn't give one much political clout, and the lack of political and financial resources means it will be hard to make your voice heard in any traditional public forum (i.e. magazines, etc.). Don't take the bait, please. You're doing exactly what Darl McBride wants. (Do you think he believes the lies he's spouting? Do you think he really wanted to 'extend a hand' to the open source community? If not, then why did he do it? He's trying to accomplish *something* by it.)



anonymous2
2003-09-09 19:49:29
Friendly advice
Senor Troll: Read the *&%&$ press releases. SCO STARTED this nonsense by cancelling their distribution contract for THEIR Linux flavor with IBM. Duh! THAT is why they are being SUED by IBM for wrongful termination of distribution rights. The point here is that SCO thinks they can benefit from the GPL, use code from the GPL, distribute GPL applications, but charge proprietary software licensing fees. Come out from under you bridge and read the IT news before you shoot off your mouth . . .
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:21:03
Friendly advice
The point is that IBM's money-makers, like DB2, are NOT "open source".
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:24:43
Stop talking about SCO...
When are you linux lovers going to face the truth: your whole subculture is nothing but hypocrisy and sham. SCO is boldly blowing the whistle on your code stealing, just as the RIAA is cracking down on your amoral procivity for stealing music. I would suggest that all of you get deprogrammed. Then you can become responsible members of society.
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:28:34
Calm down
Like most open source dreamers you have no facts to back up your fantasies. Meanwhile Microsoft has $40 billion in cash. IBM is rolling in dough. too. Of course, they are willing to cynically exploit your naivete. Listen: IBM wants money for their products, and they are playing for keeps. Sooner or later they will ditch the linux pretense.
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:30:09
Calm down
Face the truth: the better parts of linux were just plain stolen. Even Perens admits it. Stop ripping people off! Power to the people (the people who own the code, that is).
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:32:08
Friendly advice
OSS tools are the tools of the trade for losers, students (most of whom are losers) and pretenders. Real programmers use and pay for real tools.
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:34:26
Friendly advice
Apache is mostly used by dweebs. Businesses, on the other hand, use real products like IIS and Websphere. Open Source advocates never case to amaze me by there stubborn refusal to face the facts. Do any of you people actually get paid to write code?
anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:37:01
Friendly advice
Heh heh heh...


I'm sure the linux crowd is too sophisticated to be taken in by a little trolling.


On the other hand, they think linux really is written by a bunch of great programmers who just like to give their code away...

anonymous2
2003-09-09 20:42:24
Friendly advice
Actually SCO revoked IBM's license to sell unix, which IBM (still) markets under the name AIX. SCO did this because someone connected with IBM apparently stole large quantities of SCO's unix, not linux, code and "contributed" it to linux. naturally IBM has countersued. Alas, it looks increasingly like SCO will win.
anonymous2
2003-09-09 21:55:24
Calm down
Um . . . the only piece of code SCO has produced to "prove" their point (or something) was a legacy piece of code, documented repeatedly, and distributed in freeBSD. In other words, not theirs. I believe that they do not have a leg to stand on because they are not releasing code . . . EVERYONE (even the SCO moonbats) knows that the Linux development community WOULD IMMEDIATELY redesign and purge any infringing code, so it is fairly obvious that they are simply playing non-violent extortion. Also, why threaten the USERS when, in theory, anyway, they should be suing the Linux Development Community for the so-called "theft"?
anonymous2
2003-09-09 22:00:41
Friendly advice
Hmm . . . then why are they continuing to distribute some open source apps with their stuff? Even if somebody at IBM did relocate SCO's code, it seems hypocritical to use the GPL while fighting it . . .
anonymous2
2003-09-09 22:09:20
Friendly advice
Sorry, I should have finished my thought before posting . . . I believe I've read something somewhere to the effect that what SCO is REALLY doing is challenging the GPL by attempting to cancel it out with traditional US Copyright Law. (A post at Columbia's Law School's site, maybe?) If this code was stolen, wouldn't they have released a snippet that did not have such excessive documentation, particularly since they are alleging that the infringement goes back two kernel variants?
anonymous2
2003-09-09 22:22:41
Friendly advice
Real programmers use whatever gets the job done properly, with a focus on the project at hand, rather than a focus on sniping about how much the tools cost and how they were licensed.
anonymous2
2003-09-09 23:06:18
Friendly advice
If this were as true as you would have us believe, how can IBM sue SCO for patent infringement?
anonymous2
2003-09-10 02:27:45
Calm down - SCO employees are busy
Mmmm seems like all those depearate SCO employees are trying to hand on to their jobs for dear life!
anonymous2
2003-09-10 02:56:13
Calm down
"Do you think it is OK to steal their code and dump it into linux"


No, but then no one has done that. SCO are lying, they have nothing and they are nothing.

anonymous2
2003-09-10 02:59:09
Calm down
the better parts of linux were just plain stolen.


Prove it or shut up.


Even Perens admits it.


No he didn't, Darl just lied about that (what a surprise).


Stop ripping people off!


We're not.


Power to the people (the people who own the code, that is).


Exactly.

anonymous2
2003-09-10 03:02:23
Friendly advice
"use real products like IIS"


Nice one. That's a good joke; I must remember it.


"Do any of you people actually get paid to write code?"


I do. Do you?

anonymous2
2003-09-10 03:12:42
Friendly advice
I think Jeff Bezos, founde of Amazon would be amused at being told he's a dweeb, and that Amazon isn't a propper business because they use Apache. The same goes for Deja, Double-click and even Google.


Simon Hibbs

anonymous2
2003-09-10 05:41:18
Stop talking about SCO...
In many ways I agree with you.


But I think the best approach is to begin discussing the immense impact of open source on both businesses in general and on the economy as a whole.


i'm convinced that almost every company uses enougyh op[en source that it may cost them a million dollars to replace it - even for a mid-sized company. That is, open source has saved even mid-sized companies a million dollars (not to mention better quality).


I'm also convinced that open source's impact on programmer productivity (that is, all OS tools and utilities that help speed their work -- such as Ant, make, gcc, JUnit, etc) are having a material impact on the productivity of American workers in general.


IT Automation is a big productivity enabler. If we can get more bang for our buck in IT development using OS tools, then that translates directly into greater productivity for workers in general. Increases in productivity are primarily what drive economic growth.


anonymous2
2003-09-10 06:14:44
Friendly advice
Anyone can sue anyone for practically anything. That's how our legal system works. If SCO can produce a million lines of copied code, as they claim, things will go well for them regardless of IBM's counter tactics. I'm surprised that so many people in the linux community are taking proprietary giant IBM's word against little guy SCO.
anonymous2
2003-09-10 06:20:58
Friendly advice
Yes, I do too. In fact, I have been getting paid to write code for a long time. And I don't have a captive in house audience. Real people pay money for my work.
anonymous2
2003-09-10 06:25:02
Friendly advice
Well, first of all "traditional" copyright law is, in fact, the LAW! Private licenses like the GPL, which is not at issue in the SCO suit, do not and cannot supersede the law. Secondly, SCO will disclose its full evidence in court, not in the media. But they have already established a pretty good prima facie case, in my opinion.
anonymous2
2003-09-10 06:27:18
Calm down
First, it is harder to write a competitive OS than you realize. That's why people resorted to stealing. Second, the world won't wait for a non-existent "community" to write a new, non-infringing OS. Third, asking people to pay for what they take is perfectly reasonable if you own the stuff being grabbed.
anonymous2
2003-09-10 09:13:20
Friendly advice
look a little closer: WS is just a wrapper around Tomcat
anonymous2
2003-09-10 11:00:24
Friendly advice
You must not understand what "prima facie" means, then.
anonymous2
2003-09-11 12:53:01
Friendly advice
Well, in common parlance it means "at first glance", which is the meaning I intended. As legal jargon it means "a lawsuit that alleges facts adequate to prove the underlying conduct supporting the cause of action and thereby prevail." Of course, that's what SCOs lawyers have been doing with their filings. What do you think prima facie means?
anonymous2
2003-09-11 14:38:23
Friendly advice
completely off-topic: horray for the american legal system lol! ;>
anonymous2
2003-12-31 07:04:07
SCO CEO ruined previous company too
SCO CEO McBride was CEO of Pointserve for a while where he threw out a good business model, paid big $$$$$ to an outside consulting firm to come up with a phony business plan based upon internet advertizing, popups! He canned most of the professional staff, then he was canned, and the company was left with demoralized programmers without any product. I takled with him for about an hour, he is all smoke and mirrors, and buzz words. Sorry SCO, but you guys should have checked him out first!