Could the SCO Business be Good News for Linux?

During the weekend I’ve been reading all the articles that spell the end for SCO. Although I don’t yet agree that it’s all over bar the shouting, the indications are that SCO’s banking investors are beginning to get a bit nervous. This is a sure sign of rough times ahead.

In the same thread of thought, it did occur that assuming the SCO action fails it probably spells the end of further lawsuits of similar nature and scale against the penguin.

It’s my belief that the eventual outcome will hold up the Open Source development model as a reasonable and ethical approach to development: a model which encourages creativity on the part of the devlopers and which can protect genuine copyright holders should a breach occur.

The simple fact that anyone can examine the code and that there is a tangible audit trail for every line of code lends massive credence to the movement.

The community was able to respond with incredible speed to the few public code snippets which SCO claimed infringed. Within a day or so the complete history of all the code was uncovered, and SCO were shown to have bungled it.

This and the eventual outcome will dissuade many would-be gold-diggers with perhaps less to lose than SCO.

Let’s not forget that SCO was effectivly on the rocks: with computer hardware costs dropping all the time, no-one was interested in their expensive flavour of Unix. It was already only a matter of time before their customer base, Sun, IBM, SGI and HP would stop using Unixware altogether in favour of Linux.

Whatever the final outcome, it’s certain that anyone else with a beef about open-source is going to have a rough time, both in the courts and out of them.

TurboTas 2003

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