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Linux Journal: SCO NDA Offers Little Information, Much Risk

Jun 06, 2003, 16:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Don Marti)

"On May 14, SCO VP Chris Sontag offered to show evidence of SCO's infringement claims against Linux, under a non-disclosure agreement, to an independent panel of experts. SCO has released the text of the agreement, and we include it below.

"Dan Ravicher, an attorney who specializes in free software and open-source issues at the firm of Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler, said in an interview there are three key problems with the NDA. First, Ravicher said, 'SCO can pick and choose among all its evidence' to show only the parts that back up the company's claims. 'They're agreeing to let you see the half of the picture that they want you to see,' he added.

"Second, the NDA does not exclude information that the recipient obtained in ways other than from SCO. If SCO showed a patent or other public document to someone bound by the NDA, that person would not be allowed to discuss it even if he or she had been previously aware of it, Ravicher said. 'The definition of confidential information is much larger than I've seen in any other agreement,' Ravicher said. 'It covers a lot of stuff that wouldn't be, by a textbook definition, confidential...'"

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