Summary and Conclusions
SCO-Caldera has dug quite a hole for itself. And that hole keeps getting deeper and wider. A smart person finding himself or herself in a hole that he or she does not want to be in gets rid of the shovel and tries to climb out of the hole -- before the hole gets too deep to climb out. On the other hand, McBride and his SCO crew seem to be amassing even more shovels and digging themselves in deeper and deeper.
Whether SCO-Caldera has good reason to ask for NDAs for observing the tainted Linux code is one issue. And on that issue, overall SCO-Caldera's reasons are not that cogent. To the extent they might be cogent, the reasons are for SCO-Caldera's benefit and not for the Linux community's benefit.
However, the burden is on SCO-Caldera to prove there is SCO-owned Unix code in Linux. Since the burden is on SCO-Caldera, its demands that people and organizations sign SCO-Caldera NDAs so that SCO-Caldera can attempt to prove its claims are outrageous.
Therefore, if SCO-Caldera wants to show the Linux community there is SCO-owned Unix code in Linux, then SCO-Caldera is not in a position to dictate the terms for such a showing. The only acceptable way for SCO-Caldera to prove there is SCO-owned Unix code in Linux is for SCO-Caldera to publicly publish the file names and code lines that it says are tainted -- with no strings attached.
Interestingly, it appears not many people are buying into SCO-Caldera's NDA scam. While this article was under development, Computerworld published a story on 30 May by Patrick Thibodeau and Todd R. Weiss, Analysts to SCO: No thanks to code review offer, indicating that people are declining to participate in the SCO NDA-scam.
Any person, organization, or company certainly has every right to protect its intellectual property. That is not at issue in the SCO IP saga. The controversy and mess is the manner in which SCO-Caldera has been going about protecting what it claims are its intellectual property rights.
SCO-Caldera has alienated the entire Linux community and more. Even worse, SCO-Caldera's unforgivable dark-side antics have created substantial disturbance in the Linux world. SCO-Caldera has distracted from the growth and development of Linux -- causing irreparable harm.
Speaking of distractions, the biggest smoke and mirrors trick might be that SCO-Caldera has no copyright or patent rights to Unix. Until that controversy is resolved there is not much use to reviewing Linux for SCO-owned Unix code. And that resolves down to the battle between Novell and SCO over who owns the Unix copyrights and patents.
Unfortunately, the SCO IP saga is not over. There is lots more to come.
Please see the first two parts of our series about SCO-Caldera's IP claims plus its intentions to enforce and license its intellectual property rights.
Analysts to SCO: No thanks to code review offer, By Patrick Thibodeau and Todd R. Weiss, MAY 30, 2003. Computerworld
(Note: subsequent to our calling SCO's attention to the inconsistencies between this SCO press release and statements made by Darl McBride in his 30 May 2003 telephone press conference, SCO removed this press release from its Web site. However you can find it here.)
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