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The Twinkie - I mean SCO - Defense


© January 2004 Tony Lawrence

Link: https://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/01/12/228247

Here we have a company that was accused of stealing code from Linux who has counterclaimed that their code was what was stolen. Strangely (considering that stance), they also have ticked off the Linux world by conjoining the words "weak" and "GPL" in a sentence.

Two small points. The first is that I have no valid opinion on the strength or weakness of the GPL because I am not a lawyer. However, neither are the legions of Linux supporters who happily chirp on command the GPL mantra:

The GPL hasn't been tested in court because it is so strong people know they would lose

Fiddle and poo. It hasn't been tested because companies looked at the cost of going to court vs. the cost of caving in and took the cost effective route. My hope is that someone does ultimately challenge the GPL and that it emerges as victorious as all the little penguins insist that it will, but until that happens, who knows?

More interesting, I think, is SCO's "you stole it from us" defense. While it is certainly possible this is a big bluff lie, I get more than a little disgusted by the Linux folk who knee jerk with "it can't be". Of course it can be: people steal code. Also, sometimes the ownership is muddled because the person who wrote it and the person they wrote it for both think they own it, and finally there are those situations where there really is only one reasonable way to write it in the first place.

I wouldn't be surprised to see the "SCO Defense" used more often in the future.


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