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 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
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
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