Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Horse's Heads and other anatomical features [updated]

SCO has let another shoe drop (evidently those folks in Linden, UT have lots of feet - most of them of the left variety). Now that they've gotten Novell to turn over the copyright to Unix, they've told everyone using Linux (kernel version 2.4 or better) to pony up protection money. If you buy a UnixWare license, according to Don Darl MacBride, SCO won't sue you for using pirated code in your Linux.

Many people have asked SCO to give at least one example of code "stolen" from Unix and implanted in Linux. Up to now, SCO has ignored these pleas claiming it could damage its case against IBM. That's fine, but they can't then demand payment based on their unsupported claims.

When the mob does this its called extortion. The federal government created the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO act) to combat this and other criminal activity. Perhaps its time the Attorney General investigated this latest "protection racket" aimed at America's businesses.

Update: An Australian group also believes this is out and out extortion and is doing something about it. Open Source Victoria wants the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to "investigate The SCO Group's activities in light of its unsubstantiated claims and extortive legal threats for money against possibly hundreds of thousands of Australians". I'd expect some enterprising US state attorney general ( Connecticut, here's the chance you've been waiting for!) to jump on this quickly and either call for a grand jury or simply initiate a suit.

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