[linux-elitists] The breadth of SCO's claims

Rick Moen rick@linuxmafia.com
Sun Jul 6 21:38:22 PDT 2003

Quoting Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com):

> Ok, I give up, sorry but I just don't understand what I'm supposed to
> say to this list to get a coherent response rather than a venomous rant.

My reply may not have been particlarly cordial, but it _did_ give you
substantive pointers to as where you'll find answers.  One can see that
from the parts you quoted, even though you picked only my grouchiest
phrases to reproduce.

Anyhow, I'm sorry to have been grouchy.  I've just been through that
particular argument too many times, and you didn't seem to be listening.

> A question for you though: if I'm this wrong, this utterly ignorant, and
> I'm communicating with a lawyer on a regular basis about this (daily
> since this began) ... what of the other 99.9% of folks out there who
> understand the law less than I do?

Frivolous answer:  Litigate.  It'll be enlightening.

Serious answer:  Honestly, software people do tend to royally bollix
legal questions.  They confuse civil with criminal law, confuse
contracts with copyrights, ignore jurisdication, ignore standing, fixate
on statutes and ignore common-law complications, and generally act as if
the law were a simple, manipulable-at-will formal axiomatic system
instead of a complex interpretational system with its own technical
concepts, jargon, and traditions.

It also doesn't help that, I swear, every single year some law school
student or junior professor writes yet another perversely wacked
treatise on open source law -- which then get cited endlessly.

I don't know what to suggest, other than studying law and studying claims
about it skeptically.

Cheers,                    I've been suffering death by PowerPoint, recently.
Rick Moen                                                     -- Huw Davies

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