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

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Mon Jul 7 15:46:29 PDT 2003

on Sun, Jul 06, 2003 at 09:38:22PM -0700, Rick Moen (rick@linuxmafia.com) wrote:
> Quoting Aaron Sherman (ajs@ajs.com):


> 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'll add another significant annoyance:  begging the question.  This in
the guise of positing some conclusion, then demanding all others prove
the converse.

This is of course Mr. Sherman's "a given work can only be governed by
one license / contract" chimera.  He suggested it.  I provided several
score counterexamples from a partial Debian install, admittedly not the
consequence of copious research, but a readily executed grep-and-compare
query showing projects using the dual of GNU GPL and BSD licensing.
Also, incidentally, reflecting the consideration of the Debian project,
debian-legal, and numerous corporate entities with an interest in Debian
who are presumed to have submitted it to at least cursory legal review.
This would suggest, above and beyond any appeal to authority, that Mr.
Sherman had best make haste to provide something vaguely resembling a
reasoned, coherent, factually based argument for his extraordinary
claim, rather than argumentation by repetition.

This would include caselaw, legislative citations, legal articles, and
answering to criticism or counterexamples.

Mr. Sherman has provided none of these.

Instead, he argues from assertion, from repetition, denies counter
evidence, and descends to whinging about the critical treatment he's
receiving from free software licensing discussion veterans such as Mr.
Moen and myself, in the best tradition of legacy MS Windows shills (I
said something rediculous concernin GNU/Linux / Free Software / The GPL
and look at the horrible response I received from people calling me bad

Very simply:  Mr. Sherman has provided nothing to argue, merely some
very ill-formed gainsaying.  He's failed to substantiate his arguments,
he's failed to respond to criticism, he's failed to admit ignorance or

Which is another reason I largely avoid direct discussion with such
individuals.  I'll observe the fallacy or preposterousness of their
position, but realize there's little hope for rational engagement.

Mr. Sherman is more than welcome to prove me wrong on the last point.


Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>        http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What Part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?
    "Just another million years," said Marvin, "just another quick
    million. Then I might try it backwards. Just for the variety, you
    -- HHGTG
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: not available
Type: application/pgp-signature
Size: 189 bytes
Desc: not available
Url : http://allium.zgp.org/pipermail/linux-elitists/attachments/20030707/f72568eb/attachment.pgp 

More information about the linux-elitists mailing list