January 19, 2004

Setting the Record Straight: The Free Software Foundation, the General Public License and SCO

Boston, MA, USA - Wednesday, January 14, 2003 - On Wednesday, January 21,
2004, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) will hold a press conference
at Columbia University to discuss the strengths and successes of the
GNU General Public License (GPL) and to refute the claims made by the
The SCO Group, Ltd. (SCO) and their counsel in their ongoing lawsuit
against International Business Machines Corp (IBM).

In the last few months, SCO has been sowing confusion and misinformation
regarding the validity of the GNU GPL as part of their strategy to extort
money from users of the kernel named Linux, which is licensed under
FSF's GPL. FSF, the umpire of Free Software disputes, will respond to
SCO's lawsuit and will explain how SCO seeks to inappropriately increase
its own market value at the expense of the legitimate activity of the
Free Software community's developers, distributors and users.

This press conference is valuable to anyone interested in the state of
Free Software, its licensing issues, the SCO v. IBM lawsuit, and the
integrity of the GNU GPL. FSF maintains that the SCO lawsuit is not only
without merit, but that SCO have themselves benefited from distribution
the kernel named Linux under GPL, even as they question that license's
validity. Indeed, Professor Eben Moglen, FSF Board Member and General
Counsel, has pointed out that SCO has distributed Linux under GPL, even
after filing their lawsuit. SCO has therefore published its supposed
trade secrets and copyrighted material under a license that gives
everyone permission to copy, modify, and redistribute that software.

Professor Moglen will head the press conference and will discuss both
the strengths and successes of the GPL -- the most popular and widely
used Free Software copyright license. As the lawyer behind most
successful enforcement efforts of GPL, and a nationally recognized
authority on alternatives to contemporary copyright and patent law,
Professor Moglen is in an unique position to discuss the history of the
GPL, the FSF's continued success in obtaining compliance with the GPL,
and why SCO's attack on the users of the kernel named Linux and the
GPL is both unprecedented and without merit.

This press conference offers an excellent opportunity to understand the
history and intent of the GPL, its importance in the IT community and the
weakness of SCO's current lawsuit against IBM. Professor Moglen will be
available to answer questions both during and after the press conference.

About Free Software Foundation:

The Free Software Foundation, founded in 1985, is dedicated to
promoting computer users' right to use, study, copy, modify, and
redistribute computer programs. The FSF promotes the development and
use of Free (as in freedom) Software - particularly the GNU operating
system and its GNU/Linux variants - and Free Documentation for Free
Software. The FSF also helps to spread awareness of the ethical and
political issues of freedom in the use of software. Their web site,
located at http://www.fsf.org, is an important source of information
about GNU/Linux. They are headquartered in Boston, MA, USA.

About Eben Moglen:

Eben Moglen is Professor of Law and Legal History at the Columbia Law
School, where he has taught since 1987. He clerked for Judge Edward
Weinfeld of the United State District Court for the Southern District
of New York and for Justice Thurgood Marshall of the United States
Supreme Court. Before and during law school he was a designer and
implementer of advanced computer programming languages at IBM's Santa
Teresa Laboratory and Thomas J. Watson Research Center. His principal
areas of interest are Anglo American legal history, constitutional law,
computers and free expression, and intellectual property. Since 1993,
he has served as pro bono General Counsel for the Foundation and has
served on its board since July 2000.

Copyright (C) 2004, Free Software Foundation, Inc., 59 Temple Place -
Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111, USA

Verbatim copying and distribution of this entire article is permitted
in any medium, provided this notice is preserved.


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