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Business 2.0: A Big Test For Linux

Jan 28, 2003, 20:30 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric Hellweg)

"Every so often in the tech world, an intellectual-property lawsuit comes along that gets the coders clucking, predicting that it's the end of the digital world as we know it. A year ago, it was British Telecom's attempt to collect royalties on hyperlinks. And Amazon now and then comes under fire for some of its business-process patents.

"The Linux community, due in part to its freewheeling nature and in part to its public licensing schema, largely has avoided the litigious fray. Until now. On Jan. 22, open-source software provider SCO Group (formerly Caldera) announced its plans to form a licensing division and hire über-lawyer David Boies 'for research and protection of SCO's patents, copyrights and other intellectual property.' The move has met with serious consternation among the Linux and open-source communities, with venom coming, not surprisingly, from the Slashdot camp in particular. 'Does anyone else see this as the end of SCO (Caldera) like I do?' one poster asked. 'I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.' This kind of typical Slashdot vitriol aside, many open-source observers view this as a turning point in the history of Linux adoption and use..."

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