Friday, April 21, 2006

The Cat is Out of the Bag: SCO Spills the beans

The cat is out of the bag! SCO has finaly spilled the beans on what its now three year long litigation against IBM is all about! They even have a real Unix expert in
Max Rockind.

The danger in becoming a recognized expert in one area of study is that one (of necessity) neglects other areas. Perhaps Mr. Rochkind should have done more interdisciplanary studies instead of concentrating so heavily in Computer Science.

He only shows his ignorance of the concepts of copyright and patent. A lawyer he is not! Should methods and concepts be copyrightable, the whole GNU Linux project is a copyright violation, since its raison d'etre from the beginning was to write a Unix-like operating system based on its concepts but that had no copyright encumbered code in it.

In a way it is the same misconception that Linux was produced from Minix because Linus used Minix as a scafolding upon which to support Linux until Linus had written a cross compiler for Minix which could cross compile for Linux.

Because the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver is built on the same principals as the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco does not mean it is a copy of it. It may look like the Golden Gate but it is surely NOT the Golden Gate though the similarities are striking and intentional.

Max Rochkind spent so much time burried in the actual code that he forgot that he was looking at a totally different Operating System. He has assumed that Linux IS Unix. Did he not notice that FreeBSD impliments a Linux file system inside its own in order to run Linux applications?

Let me fall back on the musical metaphor first used by Richard Stallman, but I'll say it this way; Between Bach (who summed up harmony and counterpoiint for the 17th and part of the 18th Centuries) and Wagner (at the end of the 19th Century) there is nothing new harmonically or contrapuntally in Western European music. It is all built on the same concepts which Bach summmed up. But look at the endless stream of completely original music between Bach and Wagner!

Imagine that! A totaly free and open system in which everyone was free to develop, write and produce music and which still allowed for copyright, commmerce and a free market system.

Somehow, the system whihch allowed Joseph Haydn to publish and be paid for his music, as well as for performances of it has been turned into a prison system which is strangling true creativity and invention. These days the Xerox PARC lab would be impossible OR Xerox would have been suing almost everyone currently writing computer software or designing PCs or PDAs!

1 comment:

bruno said...

well said!