JULY 23, Melbourne, Australia. Open Source Victoria (OSV) notes that The SCO Group's recent registration of copyright to the legacy UNIX SYSTEM V source code on which they already claim copyright in no way affects Linux. Copyright registration is a simple filing procedure which merely formally registers a claim and does not in any way constitute proof of ownership.
We also note that SCO have yet to prove their claims of the existence of any disputed source in the Linux codebase, which was written from scratch by a global community of free software volunteers and IT corporations. We believe that SCO will find it extremely difficult to make this point in court.
Furthermore, if indeed SCO can show that any UNIX SYSTEM V source code did make it into the Linux kernel, was not intentionally contributed by their own staff, they cannot absolve themselves from the fact that for the past few months, SCO have been publishing all such code publically under the GNU Public Licence. This releases all supposedly disputed code from any additional encumberances from SCO, meaning that all users can use Linux with impunity.
"Through their insistence on withholding public disclosure of any worthwhile evidence in this case, The SCO Group are leaving an impression that they have no such evidence" mused OSV member Con Zymaris. "One feels that this whole fiasco is the IT industry equivalent of a Nigerian scam or Internet extortion ploy."
OSV also suggests to all Linux users that they should review all evidence that SCO has any case to make against Linux, prior to making any decisions about SCO's request for licence fees.
"100% of the Linux operating system has been released as Open Source Software. We want to remind the IT industry that by definition, there are absolutely no license fees payable on Free and Open Source Software. Anyone who claims that licence fees are required for Linux is deliberately misleading and confusing the public" suggested fellow OSV member Andrew Pam.
We take serious issue with The SCO Group's latest ploy, namely that of seeking licence fees from Linux users. As such, we have filed a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, specifically asking the ACCC to investigate The SCO Group's latest activities in light of their unsubstantiated claims and their extortive legal threats for money from the possibly hundreds of thousands of Australians who use Linux. "OSV believes there that there may be a case to answer on the issue of 'misrepresentation of need', where an organisation is suggesting that people must make payments that in fact they are not obligated to" added Pam.
Zymaris continued "we call on any Australian Linux users who are asked by The SCO Group for any such licence fees to immediately contact the ACCC and file a complaint. You can do so here" http://www.accc.gov.au/about/fs-contact.htm
About Open Source Victoria
Open Source Victoria is an Industry Cluster consisting of Victorian firms which provide services and technology related to Free and Open Source Software (FOSS.) Open Source Victoria offers marketing, advocacy and information referral services, and aims to raise the profile of FOSS in Victoria and work with other similar organisations across Australia.
Contact: Con Zymaris
Phone: 03 9621 2377
Fax: 03 9621 2477