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Linus Takes His Turn Center Stage: 'Darl - Please Grow Up'

Open letter to Darl McBride from the creator of Linux

Dear Darl,

Thank you so much for your letter.

We are happy that you agree that customers need to know that Open Source is legal and stable, and we heartily agree with that sentence of your letter. The others don't seem to make as much sense, but we find the dialogue refreshing.

However, we have to sadly decline taking business model advice from a company that seems to have squandered all its money (that it made off a Linux IPO, I might add, since there's a nice bit of irony there), and now seems to play the US legal system as a lottery. We in the Open Source group continue to believe in technology as a way of driving customer interest and demand.

Also, we find your references to a negotiating table somewhat confusing, since there doesn't seem to be anything to negotiate about. SCO has yet to show any infringing IP in the Open Source domain, but we wait with bated breath for when you will actually care to inform us about what you are blathering about.

All of our source code is out in the open, and we welcome you point to any particular piece you might disagree with.

Until then, please accept our gratitude for your submission,

Yours truly,

Linus Torvalds

More Stories By Linus Torvalds

Probably the best-known programmer in the world today, Linus Torvalds is also the world's best-known Finn. He is the creator of Linux computer operating system.

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Most Recent Comments
Daniel Daly 01/04/04 10:37:18 PM EST

One word: OWNED.

Pani Panagraphie 12/30/03 06:14:29 PM EST

The SCO CEO Mcbride caused a cluster mess when he was at Pointserve, where he canned the existing business plan, then paid $$$$$ to outside consultants for a bogus business plan that made money off of "internet advertizing" yes pop-ups. (completly new direction for Pointserve, no way to make money either) I talked to him for a hour when I worked at Pointserve, he is All Smoke, Mirrors, and buzz words. He was eventually canned and Pointserve programmers left demoralized. Sorry SCO.

antitroll 12/07/03 12:34:51 PM EST

^---- bah. troll and flamebait.

carry on.

Dez Blanchfield 11/30/03 05:47:16 PM EST


Since when was Linux ever an "operating system"?

Did I miss something? Last time I looked it was a "kernel".

Darwin, now that's an Operating System, based on the FreeBSD core, and it runs the Mach kernel.

Sorry kids, if you're too young or stupid to have worked it out, Linux is a kernel, it uses a boot loader to start, it lives on a File System, and is supported by a wide range of GNU, GPL, and misc open source operating system tools ( i.e. "ls" is not Linux, it's "list subdirecties" which stems from Unix ( thankyou Ken, Dennis and Douglas ).

And "ls" for example, is a program, it is one of hundreds that can make up a Unix "like" system or a true Unix system, depending on the provider.

Though I'd enlighten y'all - as the author seems to think that Linux was an operating system which of course it's not and any fool stupid enough to think it is deserves to be that stupid.

So one more time in simple form:

Boot Loader ( Grub / LILO etc )
Kernel ( Linux / Mach etc )
Filesystem ( UFS, EXT3, HTFS etc )
Operating System ( System V, Darwin, Solaris, BSD, FreeBSD, GNU HURD etc )
System Tools ( df, mkfs, newfs, top, date, time, who, ps etc )
Windowing Systems ( X11, GEM, Aqua etc )
GUI ( Finder, KDE, Gnome etc )
Applications ( Netscape, elm, pine, lynx, OpenOffice )

It's fun when you know what you're doing right..

Don't let yourself sound like an idiot and call Linux an operating system, it's just plain embarasing for "you", get a clue.



enuffbull 11/26/03 04:45:05 PM EST

Bull. I can prove I don't have alcohol in my body by taking a blood test. I can prove I'm not Michael Jackson by showing my ID. AND OpenSource can prove they don't have IP by tracing the sources of their code - same as any development project - if you don't know your contributors, how can you be so sure it's NOT IP. If the Linux community allowed un-verified source code (meaning "know your author") into the kernel (as SCO claims - if you are so interested in "what they are claiming" - just go to one of their "free seminars". Know your enemy.), then they deserve the problems they have for not knowing what they are fielding - how do you know the contributor wasn't somebody at SCO itself, setting you up? It seems to me a judge won't be interested in attitude - If code is similar, it becomes a matter of proof of where it came from - I have a feeling that SCO can prove they own their code - can Linux prove they own theirs? Can you prove it DIDN'T come from them? I am no fan of what SCO is trying to do - I love opensource - but not protecting yourself (whether sex OR Unix) is inexcusable in this day and age. Read through any previous IP/copyright litigation (such as the George Harrison "He's so fine/My Sweet Lord" case) and you'll see that a similarity is all that is required as proof by most judges.

Anonymous 11/26/03 03:44:44 PM EST

Guilty until proven innocent? Is that what some of you are saying - you're putting the onus on the Linux community to disprove SCO's claims? Who's the defendant in this case? SCO NEEDS to provide proof of its allegations, otherwise the suit should be thrown out. We're still waiting to see what the clueless people at SCO can come up with.

SCO really are playing a lottery ticket here and are hoping that they stumble onto evidence backing their suit. That's certainly possible but no one has seen it and I don't think they know either.

SomeoneSomewhere 11/26/03 02:42:31 PM EST

"Cavalier attitude of the community"???

SCO says the kernel contains its code.

The community says: "No, it doesn't."

The community cannot prove a negative. SCO, however, *can* prove its allegations - if in fact they are true. The fact that they have all but completely refused to do so (their one lame effort turned out to be exactly that - lame) means that the community is *unable* to reply: there has been nothing to which the community *can* reply!!

kevintampa 11/26/03 08:39:43 AM EST

It's the cavalier attitude of the community that pisses me off - instead of taking the threat seriously and looking for any "ip violations", it's ignored as bluster. Don't wait for the fight to come to you - that's sort of what Poland did in WWII.

hootie22 09/15/03 08:34:34 AM EDT

Agreed, he does bring shame upon this country.

MonkeyPoop 09/14/03 07:20:34 PM EDT

Thank you Linus for such a pointed, yet eloquent, response to this predator. Your software is winning, and will continue to win.

Mr. McBride is a narcissist of the worst kind. He is obviously a manipulator, and has delusions when it comes to reality. Top that with the known fact that he is not a technologist true, but just an MBA from a lesser known University. He represents the worst of American executives and brings shame upon our country.

Mr. Torvalds, you are a person ahead of your time. Please continue the good work. I am one of your many supporters.

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