Where are the injunctions?

by Dee-Ann LeBlanc

I'm in a grouchy mood today, but I'll do my best to just be straight to the point. SCO is now billing selected Linux users for licensing fees. There are a ton of companies and organizations out there that use, support, develop, and otherwise are heavily involved with Linux. Why has no one stepped in to obtain swift court-ordered injunctions against this behavior? SCO has not proven their case in court. They have no right to try to profiteer off the backs of the open source community until a judge is able to properly determine what is going on.

Consider this a challenge to every company that uses or develops for Linux. It's time to walk your talk. SCO has been allowed too long to get away with these shenanigans.

And a note to the crackers and DOS-attackers who think it's fun and satisfying to to after SCO: please quit it. You just make them look better, and us look worse.

What is your company or organization doing to help?


2003-08-27 16:51:24
MontaVista Software responds
Check out http://www.mvista.com/sco-ibm.html
2003-08-27 17:06:20
Where are the injunctions?
Is SCO actually invoicing anyone yet or is it all talk? A 'put up or shut up' injunction prevents invoicing in Germany, and SCO is likely to be wary about sending out invoices in Australia and some other countries because of fair trading / consumer protection laws. If SCO sends out invoices in USA (unless by prior agreement)it could face criminal sanctions (eg RICO violations) there too.

Red Hat and IBM have already filed for injunctions that adequately cover the situation, and SCO's response filings are awaited. Why should Linux users bother with their own pre-emptive filings?

SCO in any case would have a severe problem whom to sue first. An apparently weak target could turn out to have the full force of RH or IBL behind it, something SCO cannot risk. Moreover, the whole business is such a mess now (SCO has lost both its direction and its head) that SCO would be extremely unlikely to get a fast track judgement - the case would merely be in the queue behind the RH and IBM cases. SCO's position is also not helped when Linus users are starting to say to SCO 'make my day, invoice or sue me'.

2003-08-27 18:18:50
To my knowledge no court in any jurisdiction has heard any evidence or sanctioned any of SCO's claims against anyone. What do you need an injunction against? Reporters reporting on SCO's press releases, public statements or private interviews with SCO company reps? RedHat has filed for injunctive relief. In order for RedHat to obtain the sought after relief , it will have to prove to the court that without said relief their business will suffer. Indeed, RedHat will have to provide evidence to the court that RedHat's business has suffered as a direct result of SCO's public statements regarding said unsanctioned claims. The most effective way to establish this fact with the court would be for RedHat to present to the court evidence of reduced licensing of RedHat's software distribution post SCO's public announcements based on SCO's unsanctioned claims of infringment, as well as SCO's demand for license fees to RedHat customers also based upon said claims. All indications are that RedHat will face a significant challenge in providing the court with suffcient evidence that a business model based on a freely distributed product is or has suffered significant harm due to SCO's public statements regarding SCO's unsanctioned claims; or demands by SCO for license fees based upon said claims. SCO knows this. RedHat knows this. In this context RedHat's attempt to seek injunctive relief is a credit to RedHat's commitment to the open source community.
2003-08-28 06:22:51
Implications for ALL software ...
I don't know why we think that implication of SCO's behavior going unchecked would not apply to ALL software.

What's to keep (other than a whole team of lawyers) a company like SCO from making similar claims and trying to collect similar licensing from ANY software product - not just open source products. "We have discovered that large portions of the Windows binary code has come from our products and there fore must have used our software. We are offering a licensing program of $500 per CPU so that Windows users can run a valid copy of Windows. If you act today, we will offer you a discounted price of $250 per CPU."

The tactics taken by SCO have nothing to do with the GPL - only that they have open access to the original source code, which make it easier for them to dupe people into believing their claims.
2003-08-28 07:48:20
This all (SCO trying to get companies to pay Linux licensing fees) gives me the distinct impression of gangsters asking for "protection money".
2003-08-31 09:51:54
Exactly. Ms. Leblanc should consider taking Law 101 before offering advice on such a matter.