4 mars 2004

Don't you wish you hadn't said that?

I'll admit I'm not an expert on what the fuss is about SCO v. Linux. My understanding is that they're pissed at Linux and are accusing Linux of having "stolen" their source-code. And the whole open-source community is up in arms. SiliconValley.com's Dan Gillmor has blogged about this numerous times.

This comes from his December 2003 year-end column:

The SCO Group, unable to compete in the marketplace, launched an ugly war against Linux, suing IBM and threatening users of the open-source operating system. Luckily, IBM, apparently acting on principle when it might have been cheaper and easier simply to buy SCO off, fought back and earned the thanks of the community. SCO's claims to be defending capitalism will go down as some of the most outrageous statements of the year.
One of his latest posts is short and to the point:

In the dictionary under "weasel" they should put the SCO logo.
Bottom line, SCO is having huge PR problems with one of (what used to be) their better constituciencies.

Dan's description and SCO's PR problems made me think of the RIAA's PR problems. Although I can't find the exact post, Tom Murphy has blogged about this in the past.

Here it's the Recording Industry Association of America, a group that could/should be trying to build relationships with music-lovers, assailing one of their potentially better consticiencies including by bringing court cases against teenagers.

OK, what was that long preamble about? It's about this quotation in today's The Register (in the UK):

"We believe that there are important similarities between our recent legal activities against end users and those actions that have taken place in the recording industry," said SCO CEO Darl McBride, during a conference call today.

"It wasn't until the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) ultimately launched a series of lawsuits against end user copyright violators that the community at large became fully educated regarding the liabilities associated with using copyrighted materials without providing remuneration to the copyright owner. We believe that the legal actions that we have taken and will continue to take will have a similar impact on end users of Unix and Linux."
Can you say, putting your foot in your mouth? Seriously, can anyone explain to me how associating yourself with the RIAA can be good for your image? There are certainly some kind of intellectual property or patents-law or commercial speech arguments (or something) that SCO can use to bolster their case.

But the RIAA? For crying out loud.

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