November 13, 2003

Torvalds served, seeks legal advice

Author: Joe Barr

Darl McBride, the man under whose leadership SCO has been transformed from a software firm into the high-tech equivalent of an ambulance-chasing law firm, has made a number of outrageous claims about Linux, open source development, and the GPL after filing suit against IBM in a contract dispute. But he has not been able (or willing) to substantiate any of them. If anything, he has gone out of his way to obfuscate rather than inform. But he has proven to be top-notch at one thing since SCO began its assault: annoying the free/open source software communities. And he's done it again.

As reported by CNet yesterday, SCO has announced that it has filed subpoenas in the U.S. District Court in Utah for Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman, among others. In that story, SCO spokesman Blake Stowell was quoted as saying he didn't know what was in them, but that he knew some had been served.

After hearing the news, we checked with Linus to see if he had been served. As of approximately 5 PM PST, he had not been served. Several hours later, however, Linus sent NewsForge an email which said:

Ok, just an update - I got a subpoena later in the evening. I guess I should try to find a lawyer now, dammit.

Oh, well.

We asked Linus this morning to tell us (if he could) what the subpoena asks of him. He replied:

I really don't see any reason why I couldn't say what they ask for, but quite frankly, this is the first time I've ever been served legal papers (Ahem. Unless you count speeding tickets ;), so I want to check it out with a lawyer first.

SCO's latest legal moves seem to be a direct reaction to a flurry of subpoenas recently filed by IBM for analysts and investors who have publically supported SCOs thus far unsubstantiated charges against IBM.


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