Pick a Free OS

Response to SCO's Open Letter

Your statement that Eric Raymond was "contacted by the perpetrator"

of

the DDoS attack on SCO begins the falsehoods. Mr. Raymond made very

clear when volunteering his information and calling for the attack to

cease that he was contacted by a third-party associate of the

perpetrator and does not have the perpetrator's identity to reveal.

The DDoS attack ceased, and has not resumed. Mr. Raymond subsequently

received emailed thanks for his action from Blake Stowell of SCO.

Your implication that the attacks are a continuing threat, and that

the President of the Open Source Initiative is continuing to shield

their perpetrator, is therefore not merely both false and slanderous,

but contradictory with SCO's own previous behavior. In all three

respects it is what we in the open-source community have come to

expect from SCO. If you are serious about negotiating with anyone,

rather than simply posturing for the media, such behavior must cease.

In fact, leaders of the open-source community have acted responsibly

and swiftly to end the DDoS attacks — just as we continue to act

swiftly to address IP-contamination issues when they are aired in a

clear and responsible manner. This history is open to public

inspection in the linux-kernel archives and elsewhere, with numerous

instances on record of Linus Torvalds and others refusing code in

circumstances where there is reason to believe it might be compromised

by third-party IP claims.

As software developers, intellectual property is our stock in trade.

Whether we elect to trade our effort for money or rewards of a subtler

and more enduring nature, we are instinctively respectful of concerns

about IP, credit, and provenance. Our licenses (the GPL and others)

work with copyright law, not against it. We reject your

attempt to portray our community as a howling wilderness of IP

thieves as a baseless and destructive smear.

We in the open-source community are accountable. Our source code is

public, exposed to scrutiny by anyone who wishes to contest its

ownership. Can SCO or any other closed-source vendor say the same?

Who knows what IP violations, what stripped copyrights, what stolen

techniques lurk in the depths of closed-source code? Indeed, not only

SCO's past representations that it was merging GPLed Linux technology

into SCO Unix but Judge Debevoise's rulings in the last big lawsuit on