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  1. #1

    McNealy: "Don't touch" Linux without legal guarant

    McNealy: "Don't touch" Linux without legal guarantees

    31 July 2003 Scott McNealy, the chairman, president and CEO of systems vendor Sun Microsystems, has dramatically warned companies of the legal dangers of using open source software such as the Linux operating system.

    Following on from SCO Group's threats to sue Linux users over its intellectual property claims, McNealy told an audience of UK businesses that they should steer clear of open source software unless their suppliers can offer insurance against such legal action.

    "Don't touch open source software unless you have a team of intellectual property lawyers prepared to scour every single piece [of the open source code]. We offer indemnification, but many suppliers do not. A lot of companies are going to get very disappointed as we move forward. It will become a very challenging intellectual property issue," he told Sun's Technology Forum in St Andrews, Scotland, this week.

    The warning came just a week after SCO began demanding licence fees from 1,500 of the world's biggest users of Linux. SCO, which is also suing IBM for allegedly stealing its secrets, claims that Linux contains code copied line by line from its System V version of Unix, the basis of its UnixWare operating system product.

    IBM denies any wrongdoing, and many analysts have questioned the merit of SCO's case against it.

    But companies nevertheless are being urged to delay Linux projects until the legal impasse is broken. "Don't ignore the problem by hoping IBM will win or settle its lawsuit, which could take a year or more. An IBM win would not prevent SCO from pursuing individual claims, which, if successful, could cost far more in penalties than buying a SCO licence would," advises George Weiss, a Gartner analyst.

    Sun executives say their customers are growing increasingly alarmed by the chain of events. "I never got questions about indemnification before and now I am getting questions all the time," said John Loiacono, vice president of Sun's operating platforms group.

    The warnings by Sun, which sells the proprietary Solaris version of Unix, will be seen by critics as fresh evidence of its seemingly lukewarm support for Linux. Although McNealy famously gave a speech to a Sun event last year wearing a penguin suit in honour of the Linux mascot, Tux the penguin, Sun has only begun selling Linux systems relatively recently and it will not license desktop Linux programs until later in 2003.

    However, the Sun boss insisted he is firmly committed to Linux. "We are a huge proponent of open source software," he said, "despite all the hate mail I get from the open source movement."

    Links: Discussion and comment on McNealy's claims at

    source :

  2. #2
    Linux Newbie
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Dayton, OH
    Reading that little bit makes me wonder .. who in the HELL is actually going to heed that warning? It severely ticks me off to see companies who base everything on gain and profit try to stomp down the competition and to essentially shut down a system based on FREE software that is open to anyone who wants to, or dares to, have a whack at the code. Those stuck up f#@!#s irritate the living PISS out of me. Doesn't anyone understand the concept that competition in any environment spawns progress and advancement? IE ... many of the technological advances during the 60's and 70's came only from our ( our as in the USA's) goal to beat the USSR to the moon. That is why Microsoft also fears Linux as a force to be reckoned with, cause if word got out to the masses about the things that Linux can do for fractions of the cost of anything from Windows or Sun, then those two will be forced to actually come up with something innovative and original and worth the money people shell out for them, or move aside and quit *****ing. I have ALWAYS hated Microsoft after Win98 because as each new version of windows came out, the only different I ever saw was that they became more and more resources abusive and a little prettier if they were lucky. oernvibfvqgivubkqrjvnkrvnio *sits* yea thats enough of my rant for now. I guess its just my natural affection for the underdog that always sets me off to see the bully try to ... well ... bully their way out of a problem.
    -Feeling alot lighter in the Chest area
    Brandon C. Brown
    Quickdraw returns ... more news at 11!

    I like to try all flavors of the rainbow. Running SuSE 10.1 on my laptop, Windows XP on my desktop, and an Mac OS X on my Mac powerbook.

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