Putting some meat on legal news' bones.

When you want to know more
about a legal story . . .
but don't know where to look.

IANAL. I am a paralegal, so if you have a legal problem
and want advice, this isn't the place. Hire an attorney
instead. Research is, however, what paras do, so here
I am sharing things I have found in my research.

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Monday, June 23, 2003

Linus: "I Allege That SCO Is Full of It"

EWeek has an email interview with Linus in which he flatly states that SCO claims are ... well... of no value and that "SCO doesn't have any IP rights that I can see". He uses as an example their IP claims about RCU, which was written by, and thus copyrighted by, and patented by IBM (originally by Sequent, which IBM bought). He defends the kernel development model, and when asked if he had any plans to change it, said this:

"No. I allege that SCO is full of it, and that the Linux process is already the most transparent process in the whole industry. Let's face it, nobody else even comes close to being as good at showing the evolution and source of every single line of code out there. The only party that has had serious problems clarifying what they are talking about is SCO, and now when details start emerging like with RCU, it's clearly about IP that they had nothing to do with, and don't even own. I'm sure that they are confident that they own the collective work of Unix, but that's a separate thing entirely legally from being the actual copyright owner of any specific section of code. "
comment [] 2:16:21 PM    

Raymond Disputes Trade Secrets Claim

Eric Raymond claims to have 60 people willing to sign affidavits that they had "read access to proprietary Unix source code... under circumstances where either no non-disclosure agreement was required or whatever non-disclosure agreement [they] had was not enforced." PCWorld asked an IP lawyer if this would help IBM's case:

"The No Secrets site might help IBM's case, depending on how Raymond's Linux users got their access to the code, says Jeffrey Neuburger, a technology lawyer with Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner, who has been following the SCO-IBM case.

"If users legitimately had access to the System V source code, it 'would certainly undermine [SCO's] trade secret and misappropriation claims,' Neuburger says. 'If these 60 people that have signed the affidavits have stolen the source code that wouldn't help.'"

The article doesn't mention it, but it is worth pointing out that violating someone's trade secret can be a criminal as well as a civil offense. Raymond states "You take no risk by telling me you have had read access to UNIX source code." That isn't true. If anyone stole the source code or gained illegal access, they are taking a risk by signing up, for sure. I doubt anyone did, but to say that there is no risk is not accurate. Here's just one article to demonstrate.
comment [] 4:20:34 AM    

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