[linux-elitists] indemnification

Jonathan Corbet corbet-elite@lwn.net
Tue Aug 5 13:57:17 PDT 2003


There sure has been a big push recently on the fact that Linux vendors
don't indemnify their customers against IP claims.  Of course, a lot of
proprietary software vendors fail to do that too, but that's a
digression... 

Forbes has been a good SCO mouthpiece through all this.  Consider 
  	
	http://www.forbes.com/2003/08/05/cz_dl_0805ibmlinux.html

	But what if five years from now a court rules in SCO's favor and by
	then you've deployed Linux on thousands of servers throughout your
	company? Will you be forced to cough up fees to SCO at gunpoint? Or
	will you rip out all your Linux servers and replace them with
	something else? Either way you've got a costly headache.

I wonder if the real strategy isn't this: do everything you can into
pushing, manipulating, and shaming vendors into promising some sort of
indemnity to their customers.  At that point, SCO pulls out the stops and
goes after those customers with all the lawyer squads it can muster.  The
customers will, of course, go to their vendor to get them to pay off SCO
and make it go away.  Said vendors, besieged by angry customers, give in
and write a check.  SCO laughs its way to the bank.

The vendors likely see this, and that can only stiffen their resolve to not
make promises about other peoples' code.

Question: how can we put an end to the "indemnification" FUD?  Any
discussion along these lines is peripheral to the real debate and only
serves SCO's ends.

jon



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