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ZDNet: The Patent Nuclear Weapon

Aug 26, 2003, 00:00 (26 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by John Carroll)

"IT News goes in cycles, and those cycles seem to be defined by major legal conflicts. A year ago, the big news was the Microsoft antitrust case. You couldn't visit ZDNet without having one or more articles about the case, and hell hath no fury like Talkbackers fighting over Microsoft. Today, that case is old news, displaced by legal turbulence surrounding SCO's attempt to lay proprietary claim to parts of Linux. Hell hath something new to talk about.

"After months of activity on SCO's part, during which time they threatened not only IBM, but customers of Linux, and even Linus Torvalds, business proponents of open source have managed a counterattack. Red Hat has filed suit against SCO, and IBM, the original target of SCO's case, has responded with a countersuit of its own.

"IBM is certainly justified in responding to SCO's challenge, given the threat that SCO poses to IBM's Unix business as well as the open source product upon which IBM is building its future. However, the fact that IBM is fully justified in defending itself doesn't change the fact that software developers should feel a bit queasy about the tactics it has chosen to use..."

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