January 21, 2004

OSAIA blasts SCO's letter to Congress

Author: OSAIA staff

SCO is continuing to press its unfounded vendetta against open source software to Congress. Repeating the Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt that the company has spread through past letters and lawsuits, SCO executives are telling Congress that open source software in general, and specifically, the General Public License (GPL), which protects most open source software is a threat to the U.S. information technology industry; a threat to U.S.' competitive position; and a threat to national security. All of these assertions are false.SCO, which long ago decided to abandon a business model of creating innovative and exciting software, has placed its corporate eggs in the litigation basket. Without providing any demonstrable evidence, SCO is claiming that vast amounts of its UNIX based code has made its way into Linux.

Over the past year, the very people intimately involved in developing Linux have successfully rebutted every assertion made by SCO. The only thing SCO has been able to show for its efforts is a string of deceptions and threats written in letters to software developers, Linux users, stockholders, and now, Congress.

OSAIA urges everyone to read this latest missive from SCO, and then learn the truth about open source.

SCO once again refuses to prove any of its allegations of intellectual property infringement. Instead, it argues that when someone uses Linux, they are not purchasing more costly software.

Ed Black, President and CEO of OSAIA, responds by saying, "A company that is being out-innovated by the open source community wants us to accept a bizarre notion: that top of the line, enterprise grade software produced at a low cost is a threat to the economy. Software adopted by hundreds of the nation's largest high-tech companies is no threat. Software embraced by the likes of Novell, Oracle, IBM, Sun and tens of thousands of companies worldwide represents a sea change in our industry. It is a hallmark of competition that should be driving
the nation.

SCO claims Linux is a threat to national security because it is freely available to any dictator. But the plain fact is, all U.S. software developers are bound by the same export controls that restrict licensing of SCO's products. The only way to bind all software by U.S. export controls is to prevent foreign developers from creating software. "Perhaps SCO believes that only U.S. developers have the 'right' to develop software," OSAIA's Black said. "They should understand that it is a big world, and developers outside the U.S. have helped make the tech industry what it is today."

In short, SCO is continuing its campaign of lies and deception. Considering this has been the only "product" they have been able to create that has helped their stock price, it is an understandable position. However, when they take this campaign of lies to Congress, OSAIA can no longer stand by. OSAIA will actively engage Congress to explain the full benefits of open source software to the economy, how the GPL is consistent with U.S. copyright law, and refute SCO's baseless claims of IP theft.


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