Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Paul Simmons

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Why Do We -- Why Does Anyone -- Write About SCO?

Why Do We -- Why Does Anyone -- Write About SCO?

I had originally titled this piece "Why SCO Is Irrelevant." However, if the SCO Group were truly irrelevant, why would I be writing about it? Why have so many bits been wasted and why has so much ink been spilled over an organization run by litigious drones with a penchant for mediocrity? The answer seems obvious when you examine the elements involved in the circus better known as SCO.

Who is SCO?

Lest we forget, Darl McBride, the CEO of SCO, was formerly employed at IKON Office Solutions as Sr. Vice President for Technology Services. One of his goals was to make IKON a major player in the technology services area. Where are they today? Surely not a major player in the field. McBride's biggest accomplishment with IKON seems to be the lawsuit that he brought against his own employer over benefits. With such an impressive resume, it doesn't take a huge leap of faith to determine the goals of a company who would make such an individual their CEO.

SCO's litigation and antics since filing the litigation are nothing more than a publicity stunt on a grand scale. In the same way that a drunken fan who runs onto a football field provides a measure of entertainment (until they get tackled by security or crushed by one of the players), the SCO circus has created a fleeting interest in an otherwise irrelevant company.

Linux is not owned by a company in the U.S.

One of the biggest problems with any litigation against the Linux kernel is that it's not owned by anyone and certainly not owned by anyone in the U.S. How exactly SCO plans to collect royalties for software in the worldwide public domain will be a challenge, even for the mental giants and the equally talented legal counsel at SCO.

More importantly, SCO has not found any offending code within the official Linux kernel. The code in question apparently shows up within custom revisions of the kernel put forth by commercial Linux players. Since Linux is open-source, there's nothing preventing someone from grabbing the source of the kernel and pasting in pieces of stolen code. In fact, this may be what happened. However, the alleged thief is the same individual who is reporting the theft.

SCO contributed to Linux and to Open Source

SCO, through Caldera, has contributed to the very software that they now bring litigation against. I find something inherently wrong about such an action. This seems akin to letting your friend borrow your car and then reporting it stolen after he pulls out of the driveway.


SCO: "My car has been stolen..."
Police: "Where?"
SCO: "From my driveway..."
Police: "When?"
SCO: "After I gave the keys to the person who stole it and told him to use it."

Just as interesting is that SCO continues to distribute Linux-based software. If Linux code contained bits that were believed to be infringements, it occurs to me that you would do your best to distance yourself from it, rather than adding to the problem. What's next, someone at the RIAA running an MP3 server on the side?

The Genie Is Out of the Bottle

Finally, it's time to everyone to come to the conclusion that the genie, in the form of the Linux kernel and Open Source software, is out of the bottle. Circus acts such as SCO can do nothing to stop the momentum that the Free Software Foundation started.

Gartner Group recently recommended delaying Linux and open source implementations until the SCO circus leaves town. I see no reason to do so. In reading Gartner research over the last few years, it seems they suffer from institutionalized misconceptions about Open Source. The grass-roots nature and true power of Open Source can easily be overlooked and discounted when viewed through a closed-source lens.

I find it curious why no such recommendation came forth when Microsoft was encumbered by countless anti-trust suits. Yes, it certainly could be because Microsoft has a huge war chest from which to pay any settlements. I'm sure Gartner understood that fact and thus made no recommendation to delay Microsoft-based implementations. However, just as Gartner understands Microsoft, they obviously don't understand Linux and Open Source. If they did, then no 'go-slow' recommendation would've been given because of the SCO circus.

Conclusions...

In the end, the SCO lawsuit is meant to prey on people's Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD). The recipe goes something like this:

  • 1 cup fear of the unknown with Linux
  • 2 tablespoons of perception-is-the-better-part-of-reality
  • 1 tablespoon uncertainty over the outcome of litigation
  • A pinch of deceit with smoke and mirrors at the circus

    Unfortunately, when FUD gets involved all common sense seems to go out the window. The decentralized nature of Linux and Open Source hinders any attempt to counter the FUD. There is no marketing or spin control wing of the Open Source community.

    I'm looking for common sense to prevail among decision makers responsible for evaluating the best solution to solve a business need. It's quite clear that Linux and Open Source provides that solution in many areas. We'll all be able to look back on the SCO circus as nothing more than the last gasp of a small and irrelevant company.

  • More Stories By Steve Suehring

    Steve Suehring is a technology architect and engineer with a solid background in many areas of computing encompassing both open and closed source systems, he has worked with a variety of companies from small to large, including new and old economy, to help them integrate systems and provide the best use of available technologies. He has also taken a hands-on approach with many projects and frequently leads teams of engineers and developers, and has written magazine articles as well as a book on the MySQL database server. He has also performed technical editing on a number of other titles.

    Comments (0)

    Share your thoughts on this story.

    Add your comment
    You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

    In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


    @ThingsExpo Stories
    Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
    Recently, WebRTC has a lot of eyes from market. The use cases of WebRTC are expanding - video chat, online education, online health care etc. Not only for human-to-human communication, but also IoT use cases such as machine to human use cases can be seen recently. One of the typical use-case is remote camera monitoring. With WebRTC, people can have interoperability and flexibility for deploying monitoring service. However, the benefit of WebRTC for IoT is not only its convenience and interopera...
    Michael Maximilien, better known as max or Dr. Max, is a computer scientist with IBM. At IBM Research Triangle Park, he was a principal engineer for the worldwide industry point-of-sale standard: JavaPOS. At IBM Research, some highlights include pioneering research on semantic Web services, mashups, and cloud computing, and platform-as-a-service. He joined the IBM Cloud Labs in 2014 and works closely with Pivotal Inc., to help make the Cloud Found the best PaaS.
    Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader Sergey Grebnov provided an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
    Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
    Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
    Personalization has long been the holy grail of marketing. Simply stated, communicate the most relevant offer to the right person and you will increase sales. To achieve this, you must understand the individual. Consequently, digital marketers developed many ways to gather and leverage customer information to deliver targeted experiences. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Lou Casal, Founder and Principal Consultant at Practicala, discussed how the Internet of Things (IoT) has accelerated our abilit...
    In his session at Cloud Expo, Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, presented a success story of an entrepreneur who has both suffered through and benefited from offshore development across multiple businesses: The smart choice, or how to select the right offshore development partner Warning signs, or how to minimize chances of making the wrong choice Collaboration, or how to establish the most effective work processes Budget control, or how to maximize project result...
    To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
    Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, discussed the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
    "Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
    In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
    Two weeks ago (November 3-5), I attended the Cloud Expo Silicon Valley as a speaker, where I presented on the security and privacy due diligence requirements for cloud solutions. Cloud security is a topical issue for every CIO, CISO, and technology buyer. Decision-makers are always looking for insights on how to mitigate the security risks of implementing and using cloud solutions. Based on the presentation topics covered at the conference, as well as the general discussions heard between sessio...
    To Really Work for Enterprises, MultiCloud Adoption Requires Far Better and Inclusive Cloud Monitoring and Cost Management … But How? Overwhelmingly, even as enterprises have adopted cloud computing and are expanding to multi-cloud computing, IT leaders remain concerned about how to monitor, manage and control costs across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments. It’s clear that traditional IT monitoring and management approaches, designed after all for on-premises data centers, are falling short in ...
    Organizations planning enterprise data center consolidation and modernization projects are faced with a challenging, costly reality. Requirements to deploy modern, cloud-native applications simultaneously with traditional client/server applications are almost impossible to achieve with hardware-centric enterprise infrastructure. Compute and network infrastructure are fast moving down a software-defined path, but storage has been a laggard. Until now.
    DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that the upcoming DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO New York event will feature 10 companies from Poland to participate at the "Poland Digital Transformation Pavilion" on November 12-13, 2018.
    Digital Transformation is much more than a buzzword. The radical shift to digital mechanisms for almost every process is evident across all industries and verticals. This is often especially true in financial services, where the legacy environment is many times unable to keep up with the rapidly shifting demands of the consumer. The constant pressure to provide complete, omnichannel delivery of customer-facing solutions to meet both regulatory and customer demands is putting enormous pressure on...
    The best way to leverage your CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at CloudEXPO. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audienc...
    In an era of historic innovation fueled by unprecedented access to data and technology, the low cost and risk of entering new markets has leveled the playing field for business. Today, any ambitious innovator can easily introduce a new application or product that can reinvent business models and transform the client experience. In their Day 2 Keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Mercer Rowe, IBM Vice President of Strategic Alliances, and Raejeanne Skillern, Intel Vice President of Data Center Group and ...
    More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smart...