[rumori] SCO threatens royalty fees for unix

From: Steev Hise (steevATdetritus.net)
Date: Tue Jan 14 2003 - 10:02:47 PST

this is slightly off topic, but conceptually related and pretty

Slashdot reports yesterday that SCO, a unix/linux software
company, is thinking about charging a $96 fee for every CPU that
runs any Unix OS (theoretically this includes linux - which is
free, of course).

SCO, by a long ancestry of corporate purchases and mergers,
theoretically does own some patents on core Unix technology that
stretches back 25 years. But it's mostly bullshit, and if they
actually go through with it they will be pariahs in the Linux

here's the top-level story:


Then we have, way down in the torrent of stupid slashdot
jabbering that always happens on slashdot, a little bit of
intelligent discourse about patents. One person makes the
analogy that software patents are like nuclear weapons, because
they act as deterrents, but no one wants to really use them
because your opponent probably has patents on something you're
using without paying.
here's the url straight to that thread:


a few entries down, note the comment by Alan Cox (who is one of
the top 5 or so developers of Linux. Probably after Linus
Torvalds he is the most well-known person in the history
of Linux):

 One thing you have to realise is that twenty years from now
nobody will care if one wacky bankrupt state has banned Linux.
There will be no real IT industry left in the USA by then anyway.
The odd billion chinese people are slightly more significant.

People like PANIP are the final death throes. The innovators dilemma is destroying the west. We lost the heavy industry, we have to pay farmers to avoid losing farming, we are losing the support businesses, gradually the more efficient nations munch their way up the food chain. Soon all that will be left are the futile attempts to own ideas and lawyers.

That won't last long either. There are a lot of non US companies building huge patent pools. Their staff are cheaper, their lawyers don't charge outrageous fees and they have lots of young and bright staff encouraged to think rather than to conform for fear of liability and lawsuits for being original.

Something to think about as you watch the US drop your tax money out of bombers over the desert ---

a dark vision of the future....


Steev Hise, Subversive Radical Hippy Hacker steevATdetritus.net http://detritus.net/steev *Recycled Culture: detritus.net *Recordings: phonophilia.com *Want Peace? Stop Paying for War: warresisters.org/wtr_menu.htm ----------------------------------------------------------------- "I like beautiful melodies telling me terrible things." - Tom Waits -----------------------------------------------------------------

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