Editor's Note: The Sky is Not Falling
Aug 15, 2003, 23:30 (31 Talkback[s])
Re-Imagining Linux Platforms to Meet the Needs of Cloud Service Providers
By Brian Proffitt
Much has been said about The SCO Group's recent exploration of
attacking the GPL, which may have been little more than a trial
balloon, if you'll pardon the pun, to see what tactics the
open-source community might have up its sleeve.
If that is what this was: a feint by the SCO legal team to draw
out some possible responses from the OSS side, then I have to
admit, it was brilliantly played. SCO is using one of our strengths
against us: the open source community is open.
We discuss, we cajole, and (in the apparent case of Rob Enderle)
we flame people with a lot of rightous anger. And, most of all,
boy, do we talk.
The SCO Group is, if nothing else, a master agent provocateur,
pushing exactly the right buttons to whip the Linux, free software,
and open-source software communities into a hurricane of
indignation and scorn. They get two things out of this: the
opportunity to use some of our community's less-than-exempliary
behavior as poster children of all that is supposedly wrong with
Linux and the chance to find out how businesses will respond to
these new plans.
Make no mistake, SCO is adept at controlling the media. When
their stock was sliding earlier this week, SCO released the
announcement about their first Linux "licensee," slowing the slide
from becoming a precipitous drop before the close of the
Coincedence? I've seen stranger events with much longer odds,
but here is one telling fact: the media was also told we would find
out more about this licensee later in the week during SCO's
third-quarter status announcement. I, for one, did not hear
anything about that licensee out of that press conference.
It is a game now of who can spin what information first. The SCO
Group was even so blatent to invite members of the media all
expenses paid to their upcoming SCOForum. I cannot speak
directly for other media outlets, but I can tell you that it would
be a huge conflict of interest for journalists to accept room,
board, and airfare to Las Vegas to attend their conference.
I politely declined on behalf of myself and any freelancers who
would want to cover it for the publications I edit.
The fact that SCO had to make such an offer to the media tells
me that they were having trouble getting media to attend their
show. Show organizers want two things out of any show: potential
customers and media exposure. I would be very curious to see the
press list from the SCOForum next week.
It is, as I said, all just a game now, until the courts decide
the matter sometime in the not-so-near future. But I will give one
piece of advice to SCO: it is a game that myself and quite a few of
my colleagues in the media are getting tired of playing.
Without clear, substantive evidence of their claims, SCO's
statements are rapidly being downgraded in status to "what wacky
thing are they going to say now?" stories. If they were ever really
wronged, no one is going to be taking those wrongs seriously much
Because analyst after analyst, pundit after pundit, both inside
and outside of the Linux community, are starting to see SCO as just
another Chicken Little.
On to pleasanter things: some of you may have noted the new
favicon we have for the site. The new icon's yellow and black motif
is much better suited for our site's redesign.
The thanks for this new favicon goes out to one of regular
readers, Abe Milde! Big thanks for the icon, Abe!