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<nettime> If you can't beat them, monetize them!
Patrice Riemens on Thu, 11 Sep 2003 18:55:28 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> If you can't beat them, monetize them!

bwo Yuwei Lin, with thanks! 


SCO invites open source people to 'monetize' Linux
[PC Pro] 17:02, Sept 9, 2003.

In an open letter, SCO boss Darl McBride has publicly berated the open
source community for the extended denial of service attacks on the SCO
website and called on the community to shun its 'counter-cultural ideals'
and join the company in its bid to 'monetize software technology and its
underlying intellectual property for all contributors'. Although McBride
used much of the letter to justify SCO's intention to charge a licence for
its code that it claims is contained in Linux and to vent his anger at the
community closing ranks round whoever is assailing the SCO site with DDOS
attacks, the underlying message was for Linux contributors to follow SCO's

'It's time for everyone else in the industry, individuals and small
corporations, to understand [that few open source software vendors are
profitable] and to implement our own business models - something that
keeps us alive and profitable,' he wrote. 'The financial stability of
software vendors and the legality of their software products are more
important to enterprise customers than free software.'

And the real sticking point would appear to be the commercially
restrictive nature of the GPL (GNU General Public Licence) under which
open source software is offered. SCO's PR Director Blake Stowell
explained: 'Many software vendors have approached SCO to try and find a
way to change the GPL or create a different license that wouldn't be so
damaging to their business. There are a lot of software vendors that we've
spoken to that are extremely afraid of the GPL and would like to see some
changes to it.'

Stowell said McBride feels that the open source community is marginalising
open source operating systems by touting the GPL licence and is concerned
for other areas. 'What will Open Source marginalize next? The database
market? Vertical market apps? Darl believes strongly that intellectual
property rights in a digital age need to be respected and that we need to
retain the value that's been created in software,' he said.

McBride said SCO would continue with its litigation, following up the
company's $3bn suit against IBM with SGI as the next likely target. He
asserted that 'a Linux developer on the payroll of Silicon Graphics
stripped copyright attributions from copyrighted System V code that was
licensed to Silicon Graphics under strict conditions of use, and then
contributed that source code into Linux as though it was clean code owned
and controlled by SGI. This is a clear violation of SGI's contract and
copyright obligations to SCO.'

He also used the letter to vent his anger at the open source community in
general over attacks to the SCO site. The website has only put in sporadic
appearances on the Internet over the past few weeks due to ongoing denial
of service attacks from an attacker described by Open Source leader Eric
Raymond as 'one of us' (but note that Raymond condemned the attacks).

In the letter McBride said that attacks like this can only cause the open
source community to be seen as unfit to manage software upon which global
corporates operate their critical systems.

'Until these illegal attacks are brought under control, enterprise
customers and mainstream society will become increasingly alienated from
anyone associated with this type of behavior,' he wrote. He goes on to
recommend the renegade ranks of the community 'follow the rules and
procedures that govern mainstream society.'

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