May 7, 2003

Open Source Initiative president responds to SCO's DoS claims

- by Eric S. Raymond -
In a recent press release, SCO suggests that the Linux community may be
responsible for the denial-of-service attack on its servers that
occurred on Friday, May 2nd. This is a baseless slur, unsupported by facts.Anyone tempted to
take it seriously should note that neither the Linux community nor
the wider open-source community of which it is part has any past
record of such behavior. If we fought our battles in those terms,
Windows is a sufficiently vulnerable target that we would have
severely hammered certain much larger adversaries years ago.

News accounts suggest that the machines subverted into performing the
attack were Windows boxes. It would be more reasonable to suppose
that the attack was the work not of anyone in the Linux community but
of a Windows-based cracker-underground gang that is sympathetic to us
and has decided to fight for the "good guys". If that's so, we reject
such misguided assistance. Any pro-Linux crackers out there should
stand down *now* and refrain from any such offensives in the future.
We cannot accept such help' and remain the good guys.

Let there be no mistake about this. We in the Linux community
do *not* regard denial-of-service attacks or any other form of
criminal trespass as a legitimate tactic in disputes. Sustained
as we are by our shared belief that our open-source development
model is a better way, we are too proud to fight dirty.

Finally, shame on SCO for attempting to use slurs and insinuations to
win in the court of public opinion the anti-Linux verdict that the
facts[1] will not entitle them to in court.

I have drafted this statement alone in order to get it out during the
current news cycle, but I am in no doubt that other Linux and
open-source community leaders will join me in rejecting both SCO's
accusation and any use of DoS tactics against SCO or other adversaries.

We will win our fight. But we'll do it cleanly, not by attacking
SCO but by refuting their ludicrous accusations and outcompeting
them in the free market.

-- Eric S. Raymond
President, Open Source Initiative
www.opensource.org

[1] See "OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint" at
http://www.opensource.org/sco-vs-ibm.html

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