Final post

El Corton

November 9, 2017

I just had a look at this board with filtering off, and that was enough to convince me that it's long past time to cut my ties with it. I have one final comment before retiring this identity.

SCO was a securities fraud. The fraud did not consist in making false claims of UNIX copyright ownership and infringement of those copyrights in Linux. Those claims, although they were false, were not demonstrably false at the time they were made, and therefore did not constitute fraud. The proof that SCO didn't own the copyrights came years later, with the verdict in the Novell case. There is still no absolute proof that Linux doesn't infringe the copyrights, and almost certainly that issue will never be decided in a court of law.

Rather, the fraud consisted in conflating claims of copyright infringement, for which all users of Linux would be liable, with claims of breach of contract by IBM, for which only IBM would be liable. Darl and other spokesmen for SCO did that repeatedly, and while they may have believed what the lawyers told them about copyright infringement, they knew or should have known that Linux users were not liable to SCO for IBM's alleged breaches of contract. SCO itself did the same in its SEC filings. That demonstrable falsehood was intended to, and in fact did, inflate SCO's share price far beyond what it would have been worth only as a sue-IBM play.

As a matter of historical interest only, I believe that a disaffected ex-IBM employee, Skip Bogard, passed inside information to Boies Schiller that convinced them IBM would settle rather than submit to discovery. See message 69784.

Another point of historical interest that won't make it into PJ's book, if she ever writes one, is that Santa Cruz concocted the idea for Amendment 2 in order to support its antitrust case against Microsoft before the European Commission, after its case on the same issue fell flat with the U.S. Dept. of Justice precisely because the APA conveyed no copyrights. See message 85450.

One thing I've learned from this never-to-be-repeated experiment is that an Internet discussions forum must be actively moderated -- not just de-spammed -- in order to function. Otherwise it will hijacked by those who have no use for it except as a sewer for their verbal diarrhea.

After nine years as "El Corton," that's all I have to say. Any future posts under this name, here or anywhere else, are not mine.

8:56:25 PM


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