Certainly SCO wasn't the first to think that the GPL might be unenforceable; even some Open Source supporters have expressed concern about its language, and have suggested that other licenses might be easier to defend in court.
But "unconstitutional" and insisting that copyright law over-rides this and effectively makes it illegal is (we hope) ridiculous.
It's hard to imagine SCO surviving this mess now. There's always the possibility of some amazing revelation, but it is more than a little late in the day for that.
So is it time to dump SCO if you are still running it?
If you are not now locked into a difficult app, if switching is low cost and low stress, yes, of course you should be thinking about switching. Why run SCO if Linux will do the job? Linux isn't in any danger of going away (unless this silly SCO suit really does have hidden teeth), and there is much more software available than there ever was for SCO.
If you haven't been at least thinking about how you might replace a SCO system, well, you have your head rather firmly stuck in the sand. SCO's been in trouble for years, threatened by Microsoft on one side and even more threatened by Linux on the other. Couple that with apparent blindness to marketplace demands, and it's plain they have a rocky road ahead indeed.
But replacing SCO isn't always easy. Not every app vendor supporting SCO has moved to Linux, and many SCO machines are running software that just doesn't exist at all any more. So you may be stuck, or the high expense of switching to new software may be more than you can reasonably afford. What then?
Well, it's not quite panic time yet. SCO is still in business, and even if they do go down in flames, and even if no other company buys up the IP rights and distributes the software, you can keep running as you are for at least a few years. Buy a little spare hardware and you might even stretch that out to a decade if you had to. So there really is no need to take any drastic action. Don't let the time just slip away,though: you will need to switch someday, so it definitely is time to start looking for alternatives. No big rush, but time to look around.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence