November 26, 2003

Are you being served (by SCO)?

Author: Robin 'Roblimo' Miller

According to ZDNet, Richard Stallman, OSDL CEO Stewart Cohen, Transmeta general John Horsley, Novell Corp., and Linus Torvalds have had the honor of being subpoenaed by SCO. But what about the thousands of others who have contributed to Linux kernel and GNU software development, and the hundreds of thousands who have studied and publicized Linux? Why don't any of us deserve SCO's attention? Is this another case of Linux elitism in action?Cliff Wood, the "Ask Slashdot Guy," said he was "utterly shocked that I have not yet received my SCO subpoena. We here at Slashdot ridicule SCO all the time. I'm surprised they have not found a way to link us to the theft of their code, yet. You'd figure it would be a no-brainer with the case they've already put together."

Another Slashdot editor, Timothy Lord, said that if he was subpoenaed, "I could provide the 2.4 kernel I downloaded from them under the GPL, but I guess they have a copy already. Also, the CD of SCO 'Skunkworks' stuff, like GPL (evil license) software like The GIMP for SCO Unix."

It's just as bad at NewsForge. None of our editors, reporters or freelance writers has gotten any kind of legal paperwork from SCO.

Not even developer Gerard Beekmans, who is head of the Linux From Scratch project and works on OSDN's Development Tools Channel, got a subpoena from SCO.

In fact, none of the people we know -- aside from the few luminaries listed above -- have had SCO's legal-evil eye land on them.

What SCO doesn't seem to realize is that Linux isn't something created by a few people, but is a worldwide cooperative movement with hundreds of thousands -- even millions -- of members.

Only serving Linus Torvalds and a few others makes it look like Linux is private property, controlled by a tight cabal, instead of a globe-spanning open and free phenomenon.

Ah, well. We will keep opening our mail every day, hoping to see SCO's (or their law firm's) return address on an envelope. And if you get your subpoena before we get ours, please let us know. It will prove that you are a Worthy Linux Person in a way no "best of whatever" award ever could, and those of us who work on NewsForge will all bow down to you and shower you with awe -- and possibly a ThinkGeek t-shirt.

Author's note: "Are You Being Served?" is a BBC sitcom that ran in the 70s and 80s and is still in perennial U.S. reruns on PBS.


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