SCO Scores Low On Industry Good Will
Nov 20, 2003, 16:00 (8 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jacqueline Emigh)
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By Jacqueline Emigh
Linux Today Writer
With its recent pronouncements about suing Linux customers and
BSD, SCO's Darl McBride doesn't seem to be scoring very well in the
good will department, judging from the reactions of Las Vegas
McBride spelled out some of SCO's latest plans at least three
times yesterday: in a press teleconference; a speech at
Jupitermedia's Computer Digital Expo (CDE) in Las Vegas, and a
press briefing just afterward.
Attendees at Comdex and Apache.Con--two other shows going on in
Las Vegas this week--responded to the news with a mix of anger,
frustration, bemusement, and concern.
In one conference session at Comdex, a showgoer asked panelists
to comment on how the SCO dispute will affect desktop Linux. "Darl
McBride should be put in a cage with IBM, (so they can) fight it
out," replied one of the speakers.
"The situation is very unfortunate," according to David Kipping,
director of business development for Trolltech, who also spoke at
Comdex. SCO has gone through a number of changes over the years,
Kipping pointed out, in an interview at Comdex.
"Now SCO is selling insurance. They're saying, 'You have to buy
insurance from me, just to insure yourself from being sued by
Across town at Apache.Con, just about everyone's been interested
in SCO's latest actions. "We're keeping a close eye on this
situation, because we're very much an open shop. If SCO wins this,
even in (an out-of-court) settlement, it could have an impact on
what's meant by 'ownership of code,'" said Richard Smith, a
developer at SAIC.
Other Apache.Con attendees talked about staging a protest during
McBride's presentation last night at the Mandalay Bay. "It's
probably better just not to go to McBride's speech, so there aren't
as many people there to hear him," theorized another Apache.Con
"This is the guy who's been 'going after Linux.' SCO wouldn't be
getting any more customers now anyway, even if they hadn't stopped
selling Linux," noted Chris Shiflett, an independent PHP developer,
also during Apache.Con.
Until now, SCO has been "technically only going after IBM,"
Shiflett maintained. SCO, though, has never been willing to specify
the "four things in Linux" that supposedly constitute copyright
"Meanwhile, from what I'm gathering, SCO hasn't updated UnixWare
since the end of the last century," the developer quipped.
Back over at Comdex, some people were so busy with whatever
brought them to Las Vegas that they hadn't heard yet about
McBride's latest pronouncements. "Don't ask me. I'm a Microsoft
guy. I don't know anything about Linux or SCO," shrugged one
Others responded with shocked amazement. "Oh, man! That's wild!
That's really not going to be very good fun!" predicted a software
salesman scurrying by.
Noted a technician from Nebraska, in measured tones, "In my
opinion, this is a lot like first saying, 'I'm going to put out a
product that'll do everything for everybody'--and then turning
around and saying later, 'Well now, by the way, it's not really
clear whether you can use this product any more."
Predictions varied over the outcome of the dispute. "Right now,
SCO isn't offering anything but threats," according to
"Well, good. Let SCO sue its customers! They won't win. In
Germany, SCO has already been fined by the courts for making
threats," observed a journalist from Slovinia, in reference to a
court suit between SCO Germany and LinuxTag.
"SCO has created both the problem and the solution to it," said
Trolltech's Kipping. "They'll probably continue pursuing all this
to the very end."