Home > SCO > Torvalds, Perens, Raymond Respond to SCO’s Open Letter Torvalds, Perens, Raymond Respond to SCO’s Open Letter Submitted by Timothy Ha 2003-09-11 SCO 47 Comments In the continuing SCO/Linux saga are responses from Linus Torvalds and Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond to Darl McBride’s open letter of a few days back. About The Author 47 Comments 2003-09-11 11:51 am I am all for protecting Companies IP however SCO has dragged this out to long. Its time to put up or shut up. 2003-09-11 11:56 am Unfortunately, they don’t have to until the court date. Nice resume, btw. 2003-09-11 11:58 am Is this slashdot or OSnews? Rhetoric is rhetoric. Nothing will come of all this back and forth between SCO and the open source “luminaries”. The only meaningful battles of date are the lawsuits between SCO and IBM, and Red Hat and SCO. Those court dates are a ways off. I propose a cooling off period. We OSS users should encourage our community leaders to keep their ignorant mouths shut. We don’t need gun toting Nazis like ESR making not-so-subtle threats against the SCO CEO Darl McBird. That reflects poorly on all of us. 2003-09-11 12:04 pm Until then, please accept our gratitude for your submission, Linus is a much better writer than all these other guys. Did ESR/Perens actually use the word “farrago”? (I hope it was a site defacement.) 2003-09-11 12:04 pm how Linus’s letter is so much more civil and well-written, and yet has a much better effect? ESR’s letter seems to be intended not for SCO, but for the /. crowd. It reflects poorly on the Linux Community when you go to a Web forum and every other comment threatens grievous bodily harm against SCO’s officers. 2003-09-11 12:19 pm I will agree these people are supposed to be intellectuals. Yet they resort to schoolyard pissing matches. I would hope someone will take the cooler head approach and not be so defensive to solve this despite the actions of SCO. 2003-09-11 12:23 pm I agree with you a bit greg. The gbh threats do reflect badly on the linux community. However, the eu courts will not allow sco to sue european linux companies/vendors, because it says sco’s claims are invalid and are simply to falsely inflate sco share prices. This is also known as fraud over here, and if the eu court decide to prosecute the decision makers in sco, then they will do time in the grey bar hotel. In there, gbh is not threatened, it is carried out. sco cannot drop the case is europe and carry on in the us, so it has to follow up the european cases. I wonder where it will all end up ? 2003-09-11 12:30 pm How is ESR a ‘gun carrying Nazi’? A fine point, but the first thing Hitler after the Nazi party took power is take away all personal firearms in Germany. 2003-09-11 12:43 pm > Linus is a much better writer than all these other guys. Did > ESR/Perens actually use the word “farrago”? (I hope it was a > site defacement.) Why? According to Websters, “farrago” means: “a confused mixture, or hodgepodge” It appears to fit SCO’s claims, which seems to change with the current phase of the moon. 2003-09-11 12:50 pm “We don’t need gun toting Nazis like ESR making not-so-subtle threats against the SCO CEO Darl McBird. That reflects poorly on all of us.” I think that that is a bit of an over exageration. esr maybe a gun toting loony libertarian but Nazi difinitely not, even if he does seem to go over the top with a rather childish egotism. However his current researches into the cross comparison of SCO and Linux kernel code may indeed lead to legal action against SCO for Linux code that they stole. And indeed we all must be grateful for esr’s analysis of SCO’s claims in the light of Unix history. But for a a clear and incisive reply to McBride’s letter nothing beats Linus’s concise and polite response 2003-09-11 12:56 pm If ESR had never opened his mouth about the ALLEGED “DDOS” on SCO, the media would have forgotten about it in less than a day. Remember how SCO themselves even released a statement at one point saying it wasn’t an attack, they were just down for “server maintenance” or something like that? But because Eric had to claim YES, IT POSITIVELY WAS A DDOS, the media have been uncritically parroting that back ever since, as well as Darl McBride’s whining about it. I call BS – multiple comments at Groklaw show people doing ACTUAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH to find out the truth of this supposed attack. It certainly seems the *strangest* attack ever, since it seems to mysteriously stop every day during normal business hours. Until SCO puts up some proof – and I don’t mean just claiming that the FBI is investigating – I don’t believe there have been any attacks since the initial one months ago, but rather, that SCO themselves are taking their own site down to remove more embarrassing evidence and then blaming the downtime on “those evil open source hackers”. I want to see more ACTUAL INDEPENDENT RESEARCH in the press, and less uncritical parroting. Nobody – not Darl McBride, not Eric Raymond, not God – should be taken at face value without checking the facts. 2003-09-11 12:59 pm It’s time for me to respond to McBrides letter. Well here it goes. Shove it up your ass, you cock sucker. Fuck you, and fuck your mother, you dumb ass son of a bitch. 2003-09-11 1:04 pm We don’t need gun toting Nazis like ESR How was this not moderated down? It is a brillant example of Godwin’s law… I may not agree with all of ESR’s politics (being a Libertarian Leftist), but his letter with Bruce Perens (I guess they’ve made peace) was sensible, well though-of, relatively polite under the circumstances and completely appropriate. As a OSS user, I endorse it 100%. Perhaps you would like to indicate to us some of the passages that you didn’t agree with in their letter? In the meantime, you should refrain from such personal attacks. 2003-09-11 1:05 pm I would have to go with the last post reply to ESR letter. Well written with that certain flare! 2003-09-11 1:06 pm letting him know what I think of his company’s actions. Was very polite nd to-the-point. Sent it snail-mail (with SASE), so maybe I’ll get a decent response. 2003-09-11 1:13 pm Follow-up to my letter to McBride: See you in prison, sweet heart. 2003-09-11 1:17 pm What is so uncivil about ESR and Peren’s letter. It seems a little more serious and less packed full of sarcasm than linus’ but I would be pretty disgruntled too if a large company had clearly intentionally misrepresented my opinions in a public statement. I think one of the good things aboue OSS and linux, is that the developers aren’t pinned by the companies PR dept or lawyers can can speak their mind. Sure simetimes the things they say can be a little heated and of the moment. I found Linus’ letter quite amusing with a nice dry wit and touch of irony to it. 2003-09-11 1:29 pm no, what happened here (EU) is it’s actually an injunction for SCO to stop publishing claims that have not yet been proven in court. So, nobody in EU has decided anything with regards to SCO’s claims, yet. 2003-09-11 1:38 pm whats this then ? “In a letter to the lawyer the Association for the Promotion of Free Software (FFS) forbids SCO Germany the sales of licenses for Linux which deviate from the GNU general Public License. “This applies in particular the ‘Intellectual Property License’ that is illegally advertised by SCO Germany on the web page http://www.caldera.at. “In an ultimatum FFS permits the enterprise for the last time to avert civilian and criminal pursuit from SCO Germany and the leading employees by the association for licenses already issued which do not correspond to the GNU General Public License. “The conditions cover also the repayment of license fees already raised to the customers and a public clarification which must contain the sentence: ‘the claims of SCO against Linux, spread by SCO Germany, are groundless’. “If SCO Germany violates this prohibition, then, as soon as a sale of the advertised license can be proven, both SCO and its leading employees are threatened by pursuit because of violation of copyright. 2003-09-11 1:40 pm unix source code displayed on the internet would help linux programmers to PREVENT copyright or patent enfringement. 2003-09-11 1:45 pm Also, McBride et al. should read the German criminal code if they should decide to violate the injunctions against them and send invoices to German companies: Section 263 Fraud (1) Whoever, with the intent of obtaining for himself or a third person an unlawful material benefit, damages the assets of another, by provoking or affirming a mistake by pretending that false facts exist or by distorting or suppressing true facts, shall be punished with imprisonment for not more than five years or a fine. (2) An attempt shall be punishable. (3) In especially serious cases the punishment shall be imprisonment from six months to ten years. An especially serious case exists, as a rule, if the perpetrator: 1. acts professionally or as a member of a gang which has combined for the continued commission of falsification of documents or fraud; 2. causes an asset loss of great magnitude or by the continued commission of fraud acts with the intent of placing a large number of human beings in danger of loss of assets; […] See http://www.iuscomp.org/gla/statutes/StGB.htm#263 2003-09-11 2:06 pm why has this not been deleted from sco servers ? http://www.caldera.com/images/pdf/scolinux/UnitedLinux_whitepaper.p… 2003-09-11 2:07 pm “However, the eu courts will not allow sco to sue european linux companies/vendors, because it says sco’s claims are invalid and are simply to falsely inflate sco share prices.” Care to post proof why they won’t? What i heard was that if SCO would continue to threaten German companies that they were running Linux illegal, without proof, would mean that they’d have to pay money. http://www.pro-linux.de/news/2003/5909.html Germany court != EU court — As for Torvalds: he’s very certain of his case. And he should be. ESR and friends talk more based on negative emotions (fear, anger). It’s like reacting on a troll because one feels attacked. Just ignore! Better yet, it has been tried already with SCO. Well, it didn’t work. Ignore, and see you in court. ESR also talked like ‘i know who did it’ in the DDoS affair. This gave me the impression that he had innovative news and that he likes to be a spokesman for the community. Honestly, i think such a thing ain’t innovative at all and i think he shouldn’t be too much on the foreground… Torvalds has done better, and doesn’t bite too soon and as much. He loks way more certain. According to me analysis, this is. His analysis in Cathedral and Bazaar could be correct (only heard some talks in RevolutionOS) and that’s good. It seems like a nice contribution. Some people shouldn’t act like spokesmen for millions of others or shouldn’t be the person who reacts on such trolls. ESR isn’t the right person for this, imo. 2003-09-11 2:07 pm I forgot to tell you all to look at page 13 of the pdf, you know, the bit about JFS 2003-09-11 2:12 pm from the japanese government in support of open source.. http://neasia.nikkeibp.com/wcs/leaf?CID=onair/asabt/news/262978 2003-09-11 2:19 pm I am sick trawling the net for this stuff, http://radio.weblogs.com/0120124/2003/08/07.html this is my last post on this subject ( for a while hehehe) 2003-09-11 2:29 pm Welcome visitor! Thank you for your interest in technology information from International Data Group, the leader in the field. We are eager to serve your information needs. We regret that we can not satisfy this specific content request because it originates from a source that is not authorized to redistribute our material. Please access all of our rich store of technical knowledge directly by clicking on any of the following links: … Beyond Inforworld not supporting a link from OSNews, the quality of dialog on this inflammatory topic also leaves much to be desired. But then again, for a news sites that thinks reposting Microsoft press releases is news, perhaps my expectations are set too high. PRB 2003-09-11 2:33 pm Note that SCO targetted the Opensource movement, not GNU. GNU is incredibly careful with the law, and much more honorable and measured with their responses. Whereas with ESR, it’s just one big circus. SCO really goes after weak targets. 2003-09-11 2:36 pm Yes – this is the important comment! Everyone knows that the FSF people have egos the size of buildings, but will someone please tell them to shutup? Everything is going well with OSS, but the “luminaries” are definitely holding everyone else back with their ridiculous tit-for-tat battles and absolutism in licensing. Everyday I get someone intelligent, capable, and friendly collegue ask me “…but how can you make a living at it?” Thanks to the “luminaries” all we hear is the “copyleft” and “GPL” stuff, as if no other licensing exists. Hey Raymond, you didn’t invent computers, and you aren’t the ‘Hawking of computers’! The rest of us need to eat while you talk your self-important talk. You need a very, very long vacation; preferably in the Third World where you can get some friggin’ perspective. To all Linux/BSD heads out there – we need to support the fledging businesses built for us (TheKompany, or [more expensively] TrollTech for example). And the Zaurus isn’t even imported because of lack of interest(!). Get off the pocketbook (some programs are < $50) and support the real workers. Then we in the _real_ OSS community can show what we’re doing with _real_ tools for _real_ work. (As opposed to the clowns who sit on their butts and write press releases – I wish those guys would just go to Hollywood where they belong. Maybe Michael Jackson has some room to put them up for a while?). 2003-09-11 2:50 pm “Rhetoric is rhetoric. Nothing will come of all this back and forth between SCO and the open source “luminaries”. The only meaningful battles of date are the lawsuits between SCO and IBM, and Red Hat and SCO. Those court dates are a ways off.” It was pointed out elsewhere that McBride and Co. are getting far better coverage in mainstream press than any OS enthusiasts or volunteers are. This is because SCO is using large sums of money to get out press releases, and OS volunteers don’t have that kind of cash to throw around. This is a fundamental flaw in the “freedom of the press” amendment: you can talk all you want, but if you can’t pay, you won’t be heard. This is precisely why the Germans got their court injunction on SCO. How much would you accept for a press release lying about your mother? I’ll start with $10,000. How about somebody else’s mother? …I know the truth about the lady, but I don’t have any money. I intended to wait until court…. 2003-09-11 2:57 pm Everyone knows that the FSF people have egos the size of buildings, but will someone please tell them to shutup? Everything is going well with OSS, but the “luminaries” are definitely holding everyone else back with their ridiculous tit-for-tat battles and absolutism in licensing. Here’s the thing. (I’m assuming you’re anti-GNU.) Look at Munich. The advisers’ .pdf said that the Linux solution was costlier and risky compared to Windows. Opensource advocates talk blue sky and lie through their teeth about how Opensource is free and a team of programmers will find you and write all your code. But the Munich people saw through it and picked the right reason: Freedom. I read the .pdf in German. Flash forward to the Oregon bill that stated the gov’t had to consider an Opensource solution, and document the reason if they ever chose a proprietary bill. I was in contact with one of the two main supporters, and I heard the legislative hearing as they battled BSA guys. They again talked blue sky and lied through their teeth that an army of programmers wanted to code for them, and there were “no security problems.” They failed miserably, and in their impotence even insulted an important politician. One of them found out later that Oregon didn’t care about the money they saved or the security; if it was so good, the market will decide. Instead, by accident he learned that they cared about Freedom — the freedom to grow an in-state software industry by giving them maintenance contracts. Gnu 2, Opensource 0. 2003-09-11 3:29 pm You say ““Everyone knows that the FSF people have egos the size of buildings,” in reference to ESR. He is not associated with nor a representantive of the FSF. The response of the FSF to the SCO allegations has been low key and to the point. http://gnu.gjgt.sk/philosophy/sco/sco.html With regard to licensing the GPL is the reason why why IBM has adopted Linux as its key OS. The C librararie are all LGPL as are the GTK libraries so nothing stops you writing proprietary commercial apps with them for Linux or you can support Trolltech as you want and pay for a commercial developer license – whats the problem 2003-09-11 3:41 pm The problem, I think, is that he’s not really an OSS supporter but rather an anti-GPL troll-in-sheep’s-clothing. How else could you explain the contradictory statements about open-source software and licensing contained in his post? 2003-09-11 3:56 pm Chemicalscum is correct! I apologize to everyone – I should’ve made it clear that Raymond is NOT the FSF. I am not anti-GNU, only “anti-absolutism” in licensing. I think that it is unjust, however, to state that the FSF treats equally the GPL and the LGPL – they clearly prefer the pure GPL. On the usefulness of the GPL I think we can agree to disagree. However, I stand by my point (which was admittedly unclear), that too many people are using the “free” software _not_ as in “freedom,” but as in “I pay for nothing, not now, not ever.” There is no such thing as a free lunch. There are companies building great software with OSS tools and for commercial and non-commercial applications. We should be supporting them when their tools fit the job. We should be making cases to our bosses for licenses for _those_ tools when we can. The “luminaries” make the headlines (like all celebrities) by making outrageous (and sometimes false) statements. They are making the above task difficult, sometimes impossible; then IBM sweeps in to “do” Linux. Those are my points, and this is my last post on the subject. 2003-09-11 4:01 pm Thanks for the clarification, I understand your points better now. Even if I don’t necessarily agree about the GPL, I do agree that too many people understand “free as in beer” rather than “free as in freedom” and as a consequence do not support FLOSS companies as much as they should. Sorry for doubting your support of OSS, in any case… 2003-09-11 4:25 pm It’s commonly believed (and true from my experience,) that home-baked cookies are delicious, especially made-form-scratch ones, because the work is done out of love. Every year, the folks at my job get all excited because my wife gives me a couple canisters of chocolate-chip cookies to bring to work! So, out of this comes pot-luck suppers, and sometimes there are little disagreements about who should bring what. You hold a pot-luck supper, and a LOT of people come and many of them contribute, but some only bring money to help pay for the hall. In the middle of your beautiful supper, some guy shows up, dragging representatives from Kraft along. He starts screaming that those square, cheese-colored crackers with a hole in the middle were from a box of his company’s crackers, and therefore everyone at the pot-luck supper should pay him money. Kraft has already paid, and so he has enough money to plaster that one guy’s picture all over the TV, because he threw a stink-bomb the last time they came to complain. The poor lady who made the crackers herself is ignored, because she spent her last dime on the ingredients and can’t afford to be on TV. The recipe came from a friend of her grandmother’s. Don’t fight over this; you have very big, very powerful enemies if you love operating systems. 2003-09-11 4:50 pm Is this the no fault scenerio? So SCO’s argument is that someone stole their crackers and put them in a new box labeled FREE! If this is true does this mean the Cheese whiz is free too? 2003-09-11 5:29 pm >>>With regard to licensing the GPL is the reason why why IBM has adopted Linux as its key OS. But GPL is also the reason why IBM doesn’t allow embedded linux to be used in IBM’s own commercial products. 2003-09-11 5:31 pm (that it made off a Linux IPO, I might add, since there’s a nice bit of irony there) So true 2003-09-11 5:40 pm (agreed on money vs. freedom, but…) “There is no such thing as a free lunch.” There is. At least here where i live. Supermarkets have food which is officially over date, but which fills one’s stomach and is still in fact fine. “We should be supporting them when their tools fit the job.” I’d rather say We decide wether we need to support such a thing yes or no. My opinion is, i support and use and contribute (in my way) rather to free (speech & beer) software then to buy commercial. “The “luminaries” make the headlines (like all celebrities) by making outrageous (and sometimes false) statements.” I don’t give a damn about those celebrities. They’re part of the whole problem. Centralized power means abusement. It’s what i’ve seen for years now in the computer industry. It’s what happens when software is not free as in speech NOR free as in beer. OpenVMS wasn’t centralized power…? The source was there. Even is MS shows Windows source to governments it still isn’t centalized power even if it was given away for free [which it actually is, in some cases] 2003-09-11 6:31 pm I must say I agree with some of the statements here about ESR. Raymond seems to be responding with anger and resentment which sometimes lead to a not so polite leter. I read McBrides Open Letter and I read it and I admit it angered me that is why I waited a day before I responded and drafted my own letter, which like Linus’s was civil and to the point and was not derogatory in any way. I will be posting it shortly. I think Perens and Linus have been the only ones that really have showed some reservation and do not reply with opinion, they reply with fact. It seems ESR flies off the handle and responds with a toilet mouth sometimes. I mean no disrespect to any of them tho, I have tremendous respect for them all and for the work that everyone does. 2003-09-11 10:56 pm I am not saying who is right or who is wrong, just a bit of question: If A claims B stole his duck that lay golden eggs and gave it to C, and C ate his chicken, and demand $10000. B deny any wrong doing and piss A off. A turn to C and want $10000, C deny for not knowing that is A’s duck, and it is not better than any duck that cost $10. Under US law, should C pay if it is shown C ate A’s duck, but not know it is A’s. 2003-09-11 11:48 pm Why must we be divided over every single issue in the OSS community? We get three great individuals who are standing up for our cause and we pay them back by calling them trolls and telling them to shut up. No, you shut up! The responses to SCO were accurate and flawlessly executed and I expect to see more members of the OSS community with high quality responses like the ones these three gentlemen have presented on our behalf. In life silence is more often than not interpreted as acceptance, at least, it is in law. When SCO goes about spreading FUD to the media who don’t know any better, it will be a grave mistake for us to respond with silence. People who don’t know any better will mistake our silence for SCO’s righteousness. For once, lets be united and lets stop all these backbitting, personal attacks, bickering and all these stupid remarks I’ve seen posted allover these threads. Lets just agree we need to defend ourselves and our words are mightier than the sword, at least until the laws prove us wrong. I can’t over-emphasize this, but we need to stand united against SCO and their fellow puppets. Regards, Mystilleef 2003-09-12 5:17 am Raymond says “Show us the problem and we’ll fix it”. I think that’s why SCO is keeping it a secret. They don’t want it fixed. They want whatever money they can get out of it – first. So why does SCO not wait with their lawsuit until there are more Linux users. Because of the risk that the violating code may get replaced as part of the regular maintenance cycle. If someone buys/gets something in good faith but that something turns out to be stolen then in general they are not liable. E.g. they do not have to pay the previous owner. Nor do they have to return that something to the previous owner. As far as I know. At this point no one knows if Linux contains stolen code. There’s is only SCO’s word that it does. So until the courts have spoken there is no risk of not being in good faith when using Linux. But if IBM knowningly slipped some SCO code in there – that’s a different matter. 2003-09-12 6:01 am You guys will all be paying for my new condo in Maui soon… Better start saving, fools… 2003-09-12 8:16 am If you ask me, this is nothing but a result of linux becoming a thread to commercial software. They found a perfect way to slow-down adoption of open-source software by business people; scaring people with bogus(?) IP-tales. Like posted before, SCO is not giving any details yet because of the risk hackers would replace or modify linux code before the court-dates. I wouldnt be suprised if SCO is funded by an other big commercial software company, and this is all an act. An act that could be devestating for the worldwide adoption of Open Source software. If that is true, SCO would not care if they eventualy lose this case in court. As long as their expenses are paid. In the mainwhile the opensource community ( and linux particulary ) have had a lot of negativity to deal with, and have to rebuild all thrust with ‘the business’ world. Commercial software vendors would benifit from this situation since Linux is a huge threat at the moment. Sorry for my poor english, im just a dutch-man Regards, Scythe. 2003-09-12 1:09 pm “Why must we be divided over every single issue in the OSS community?” Is there a problem with that? Do we have to agree on everything with each other just because we’re a member of the OSS community? Why do we have to be ‘one fist’? Why isn’t criticism on the 3 persons allowed according to you? Afaict your current statements go directly against freedom of speech. Bah, why can we chose Gnome, Fluxbox or Afterstep when there’s TWM! TWM or stfu!