[linux-elitists] Info on SCO Lawsuit

Don Marti dmarti@zgp.org
Wed May 28 11:57:55 PDT 2003

begin Ben Woodard quotation of Wed, May 28, 2003 at 11:11:11AM -0700:

> Try 2: In the vastness of all human philosophy and wisdom compiled over
> the ages, how did you happen to select such an apropos proverb to
> succinctly capture the essence of MS's praise for SCO.

You can fake encyclopedic knowledge in near real time with many
years of reading public domain works, combined with a little search
engine skill.

> One thing that has been rolling around in my head is: How much exegesis
> we can actually do to the public statements made by SCO officials. Like
> the rest of us, their use of the English language is imprecise. I wonder
> how many of the inconsistencies we see are due to that imprecision vs.
> the evolution of the case. It certainly feels like we are dealing with a
> moving target here. However, I'm not sure how much of that is due to the
> case being limited to something that may in fact be provable vs. unclear
> explanations by the SCO executives.

I've been thinking about the same question.  My perception of the
situation is that Darl McBride and Chris Sontag are working from
second- or third-hand knowledge.  The lawyers hired some expert
witnesses to go through Unix and Linux source for things that in
their professional expert-witness-paid-by-the-plaintiff opinion
constitute copying, the expert witnesses wrote their reports,
and Sontag and McBride saw the bullet points in a meeting with
their lawyers.

But Sontag and McBride aren't just passing on the facts from
their expert witnesses.  They're also explaining their own mental
model of the legal and technical qualities of an operating system.
This is an example of the danger of relying on analogies to real
estate when forming a mental model of copyright and trade secret law.

I'm wondering if SCO is going to have a malpractice case against
Boies, Schiller & Flexner for not advising McBride and Sontag
to shut up.

Don Marti

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