This whole SCO thing

Note: This is an old post in a blog with a lot of posts. The world has changed, technologies have changed, and I've changed. It's likely this is out of date and not representative. Let me know if you think this is something that needs updating.

I do a lot of Linux development and most of my projects involve Linux, GNU software, Python, PHP, Apache and a variety of other Open Source software components. Naturally, this whole SCO thing has been somewhat of a surprise and originally made me hesitant since it brought up a series of questions I didn't really know the answers to.

So this whole SCO thing has been a very nice learning experience for me. I imagine it's been a very nice learning experience for many other people as well. Things like, "How can an Open Source project prevent copyright violations?" and "What are the legal ramifications of using software that doesn't come with a warranty for possible legal issues?" are being explained in very public forums--things that pockets of the Open Source community have known for many years, but which may not have been as obvious to the rest of us.

As time has gone on and SCO continues to make press releases indicating that either they are incredibly intelligent and are playing some kind of really funky publicity game or that they have no clue what they're talking about and are learning alongside some of the rest of us, various members and groups of the Open Source community (which is so large in numbers and varied in philosophies, motivations, backgrounds, worldviews, religions, ethnic backgrounds, programming backgrounds, favorite colors, spoken language, geography, vocation and such we might as well say "people on planet Earth") have responded in an increasingly comprehensive manner.

The most comprehensive article on the topic is this response to Darl McBride's most recent open letter to the community. I would posit that any C*O/person who reads that article will no longer have doubts as to the extraordinary benefits of the Open Source development model as it applies to due diligence, copyright/patent/trademark laws, and freedom.

Where I once was hesitant about various aspects of the Open Source development model, I no longer have doubts that it is a valid model and will be around for many years to come regardless of who is poo-pooing it in the press this week.

Want to comment? Send an email to willkg at bluesock dot org. Include the url for the blog entry in your comment so I have some context as to what you're talking about.