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OSI President Responds to SCO's DoS Claims

May 07, 2003, 13:00 (41 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Eric S. Raymond)

In a press release [yesterday], SCO suggests that the Linux community may be responsible for the denial-of-service attack on its servers that occurred on Friday, May 2nd.

This is a baseless slur, unsupported by facts. Anyone tempted to take it seriously should note that neither the Linux community nor the wider open-source community of which it is part has any past record of such behavior. If we fought our battles in those terms, Windows is a sufficiently vulnerable target that we would have severely hammered certain much larger adversaries years ago.

News accounts suggest that the machines subverted into performing the attack were Windows boxes. It would be more reasonable to suppose that the attack was the work not of anyone in the Linux community but of a Windows-based cracker-underground gang that is sympathetic to us and has decided to fight for the "good guys." If that's so, we reject such misguided assistance. Any pro-Linux crackers out there should stand down now and refrain from any such offensives in the future. We cannot accept such "help" and remain the good guys.

Let there be no mistake about this. We in the Linux community do not regard denial-of-service attacks or any other form of criminal trespass as a legitimate tactic in disputes. Sustained as we are by our shared belief that our open-source development model is a better way, we are too proud to fight dirty.

Finally, shame on SCO for attempting to use slurs and insinuations to win in the court of public opinion the anti-Linux verdict that the facts[1] will not entitle them to in court.

I have drafted this statement alone in order to get it out during the current news cycle, but I am in no doubt that other Linux and open-source community leaders will join me in rejecting both SCO's accusation and any use of DoS tactics against SCO or other adversaries.

We will win our fight. But we'll do it cleanly, not by attacking SCO but by refuting their ludicrous accusations and outcompeting them in the free market. --

Eric S. Raymond
President, Open Source Initiative

[1] See "OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint"

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