Re: [Nolug] The Inevitable Thread

From: Mark A. Hershberger <>
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 17:27:54 -0500
Message-ID: <>

<> writes:

> What about the kernel itself? I'm sure the philosophy from which
> Linux was born will survive, but I find myself full of FUD and I'm
> just one novice user so I can only imagine what IT shops using or
> considering an open source solution must be going through.

A good comparison is AT&T's lawsuit against Berkeley in the late 80's
early 90's.

    Around this time, some rather unexpected storm clouds formed on
    our horizon as Novell and U.C. Berkeley settled their long-running
    lawsuit over the legal status of the Berkeley Net/2 tape. A
    condition of that settlement was U.C. Berkeley's concession that
    large parts of Net/2 were "encumbered" code and the property of
    Novell, who had in turn acquired it from AT&T some time
    previously. What Berkeley got in return was Novell's "blessing"
    that the 4.4BSD-Lite release, when it was finally released, would
    be declared unencumbered and all existing Net/2 users would be
    strongly encouraged to switch. This included us, and we were given
    until the end of July 1994 to stop shipping our own Net/2 based
    product. Under the terms of that agreement, we were allowed one
    last release before the deadline and that became FreeBSD,
    the culmination of our year's work with Net/2 and generally
    considered by many to be a significant project milestone for
    stability and general performance..

Pretty diagrams at:

But, essentially, there is no way that the SCO lawsuit could stop
Linux. First, Linux is world-wide and SCO's intellectual property
protection doesn't have that reach. Second, SCO has absolutely no
claim over code that Linus Torvalds (and others) have written.
Copyright cannot be used to keep me from building something that
looks similar to what you build.

Patents can, though, and that is why it is good to have IBM on the
Linux side in this fight -- they've got more bogus patents than
anyone and they aren't afraid to use them.


As long as you have mystery you have health; when you destroy mystery
you create morbidity.			     -- G.K. Chesterson
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Received on 06/19/03

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