GROKLAW
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, May 26, 2003
 

"By Jove, I Think I've Got It"



I've been trying to figure out why SCO won't show the allegedly infringing code publicly. I think I've got it.

Reading this explanation of how copyright infringement is determined and what the penalties can be, it came to me: if they plan on using copyright infringement now that the case is in federal court, could their ultimate dream be that IBM will be found to have infringed (and if you can prove access, the bar for proving substantial similarity is lower, and IBM programmers likely started with prior access to code, or they hope they did, although IBM erected barriers once they commited to Linux work) and then for a penalty, they ask the court to impound and order destroyed all copies of the infringing materials, meaning that everybody using Linux in business or otherwise would have to remove the software and turn in any disks and destroy RPMs and wait for the community to write around the infringing code, which could take weeks or months, depending on the extent of it, and then install the new?

How much will a business want to use Linux after that experience? Only the most committed will do it, and onlookers thinking of switching won't.

By not showing the code now, they make it harder to be ready for such a scenario.

Here is how the article describes the penalties:

"Finally, a plaintiff in an infrigement action may, in addition to obtaining monetary damages for an infringement, obtain temporary and final injunctive relief to prevent or restrain infringement of a copyright. Additionally, at any time during an infringement action the plaintiff may seek to have the court order the impounding of all infringing articles claimed to have been made or used in violation of the owners exclusive rights. Included in the articles affected are all copies, or all other articles which can reproduce the copies. As part of the final judgement the court may order the infringing articles destroyed or otherwise disposed of."

Of course, this could all be only in my head, not theirs.
comment [] 4:10:45 PM     


Despite SCO, UK Doctors Choose IBM Linux over Windows Servers

The date on this story is today. The Royal College of General Practitioners has chosen a Linux server for it's bulk emailing to 6,000 doctors in the UK. They decided not to use Windows any more after a comparison showed Linux was faster and more secure:

"'We started off running a proof of concept of open systems for Apache web hosting with government funding,' Tony Betts, IT manager at the RCGP, told vnunet.com. 'Running Apache on Windows with IIS alongside showed no improvement. When moved to Linux, the speed of response improved and emails went a lot quicker.'

"Sending 6,000 copies of a bulletin, which typically took days and tied up the server for the whole time, now runs in 15 to 20 minutes, according to Betts. Equally important, the RCGP was already concerned with Microsoft security, having discovered that a hacker in France was downloading data using FTP. This led to a security review which found, for instance, that Exchange was acting as a conduit for spam."
comment [] 4:17:36 AM     

Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing

Is MS planning a Brand-X sorta kinda Linux-y feel? Accoding to InformationWeek.com, MS licensed UNIX code from SCO because it is planning future products to appeal to those who like the way you can adminster your box in the UNIX/Linux world:

"So what exactly does Microsoft plan to do with the Unix code it recently licensed? Microsoft already uses some Unix code in its Services for Unix product, which makes it possible to run Unix applications on top of Windows by overlaying Windows with Unix interfaces and protocols. Microsoft execs were unavailable for comment, but an SCO spokesman says Microsoft also plans to use unspecified patented technology from SCO in future products.

"One possibility could involve giving Windows' graphical administration tools more of the look and feel of Unix, for those who want it. In an interview earlier this year, Microsoft's director of Unix solutions, Doug Miller, said his group would deliver "several dozen" new Unix scripting commands sometime this year. "One of the things we heard loud and clear from Unix IT staff is, 'I'd like to be able to administer my Windows system much in the same way I do from Unix boxes,'" Miller said. ...Not coincidentally, given the similarities between Unix and Linux, Microsoft's Services for Unix is what the vendor also sells customers who want Windows-to-Linux interoperability."

They offered Shared Source to lean toward the openness of GPL; now a Linux-y feature... what could they be thinking of? ... um... destroy it by proxy and then offer users Brand X?
comment [] 2:38:12 AM     



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