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If you care about the SCO/Linux Lawsuit [Jul. 28th, 2003|11:26 am]
Okrzyki, przyjaciel!
... which many of you will not ...
The FSF Statement on the SCO Suit

There's a fair amount of legalese in the statement, but it all boils down to

1. FSF denies any FSF Project code is infringing. This isn't asserted in the SCO suit, but there have been many statements by SCO officials implying that.

2. SCO has arguably mooted their claims of infringement, because they themselves distributed Linux, including the allegedly infringing code, under the GNU Public License.

I'm not a lawyer but that second point looks pretty hard to refute. Apparently SCO has been bitten by a problem that has bothered many software development firms about the GPL: the fear that using GPL-protected code can 'infect' non-GPL code a firm wishes to hold proprietary, rendering it GPL. In practice, one can use GPL code in a proprietary project, as long as the lines of demarcation are kept clear.

SCO's problem is that they DISTRIBUTED Linux themselves, along with all the Copyright notices that go with it. So the allegedly infringing code went out under the coverage of GPL. Either the infringement is real, and they've shot themselves in the foot by distributing it under GPL, giving away whatever proprietary rights that had over it, or there is no infringement, in which case their case has no merit QED.

If anyone at IBM is seriously sweating the SCO lawsuit, they probably couldn't stop cackling with glee when they read the FSF statement.