FW: [LINK] SCO's Congressional Letter
rick at praxis.com.au
Fri Jan 23 15:01:01 EST 2004
On Fri, 23 Jan 2004, Craig Sanders wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 23, 2004 at 11:30:56AM +1100, Rick Welykochy wrote:
> > One has to conclude that the only way to attack the GPL and its rather
> > large base of software contributors is by lying.
> > What's that I hear (again)? If an individual acted like SCO, they'd
> > wind up in court or even in gaol? Under Australia's or the UK's stringent
> > libel laws, an individual person making claims such as SCO's could
> > easily be charged with libel.
> or extortion.
> if i sent you a bill for goods or services which you did not order, then i
> could quite easily end up in gaol.
Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe extortion involves some use of
undue influence or force to "extort" the money or whatever is wanted.
> what is the difference between that and sending a bill with the unsubstantiated
> claim "you are using my intellectual property without permission. pay up
> $US699 per computer or else"?
The difference between that and extortion is this: in the latter case, I can
simply ignore the bill. If they press for payment, I can just ignore them.
If they sue me, they haven't got a leg to stand on and then I can counter sue
for vexacious litigation (harrassment), fraud and misrepresentation.
All in all, though, I must agree that SCO's "pay up or stop using Linux"
threats by invoice are very wrong, and an abuse of due business practice.
It is absurd to expect users of a particular piece of software to pay a
third totally unrelated party licence fees just on the whim of the third
party. Sadly, some in the USA have paid up, out of fear and ignorance.
Sad. Sad. Sad. Stupid?
I'd be gratified to receive such an invoice from SCO, for I do work with quite
a number of Linux-based systems. Yeah, bring - it - on :) From what I hear,
my supplier of the Linux distro (Red Hat) would be glad to defend/protect any of its
customer base against any attempt by SCO to extract licence fees. They've put
their money where their mouth was.
And in an ironic twist, I'd love to see SCO attempt to extract licence fees
from older (pre-dispute) Caldera Linux users. That very software was distributed
under the GPL (are you listening, SCO ?) and thus not subject in retrospect to
licence fees. This would be actionable. It would also be actionable if SCO
unilaterally rewrote the contract they had with Caldera users to now
charge more fees for the product -- it is called breach of contract.
Rick Welykochy || Praxis Services Pty Limited
Power corrupts and PowerPoint corrupts absolutely.
-- Vint Cerf
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