Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rolling FUD

SCO no longer presents a copyright threat to the Linux kernel. Phew!

But it took over 3 years to go from the vague unspecified threats put about by SCO to getting everything cleared up. The effect of this drawn out process was to place a significant drag on the adoption of FOSS in general. Classic (and very successful in this case) FUD.

We still can't breath easily it seems:

24/7 Wall St.: The Future Of Linux Still Dark (NOVL)(IBM))(MSFT)(RHT)

Notice the negative FUDish tone. The key bit is here:
In May of this year, Microsoft said that Linux violated 235 Microsoft patents. Redmond has not done anything about those alleged infringements, but, it may have hoped that the SCO/IBM litigation would take care of some of that.
So even with SCO behind us it seems that we must still worry about vague unspecified threats, this time direct from Microsoft. More FUD and the same formula as SCO, except we get software idea patents instead of copyrights.

The actions of SCO were so blatant that I feel a thorough investigation is called for. Many people have suggested that Microsoft were behind the actions taken by SCO, and given the huge benefits to Microsoft plus their historical willingness to break the law, this does not seem to be too much of a stretch, especially now that they have picked up and are now running with the SCO flame.

Copyrights and patents were never supposed to be about uncertainty, much less doubt and fear. In Microsoft's hands they seem to be about all three.

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