Subject: Re: SCO will soon be going after BSD
To: None <>
From: None <>
List: current-users
Date: 11/20/2003 11:45:57
On Thursday 20 November 2003 09:45, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> When's the last time you actually needed to _use_ one of those
> revisions? The agreement with USL required us to no longer distribute
> a specific set of files that had been at issue during the lawsuit, so
> we do not distribute them.  The agreement itself is confidential, at
> USL's long-ago insistence, so we cannot really discuss it further
> than that -- but you may rest assured that there is nothing in NetBSD
> that we are not fully entitled to distribute (and that, when any such
> question arises, we will, as we always have, protect you by erring on
> the side of caution).

I think I understand that, and I've been informed about the reason why 
some of the holes in the NetBSD tree are "still there" before. The 
statement that the files are no longer encumbered seems to be to have 
been incorrect based on what you say and what was said to me before 
when I was asking about the damage in the CVS repository. While they 
perhaps aren't encumbered in a concrete legal sense, they seem to be 
encumbered in the "better to be safe then sorry" sense.

> Some might interpret the release of 32V et. al by Caldera under a
> BSD-style license as entitling us to restore certain revisions in our
> CVS repository. We have noted that, essentially, nobody ever _uses_
> those revisions (in 8 years as a NetBSD developer, I've needed to use
> one of them exactly _once_) and decided that the issue isn't even
> really worth our attention; why spread confusion at such a critical
> juncture?

It seems to me that SCO is doing this as one big huge publicity stunt. I 
don't think they're actually serious about it or they'd have a much 
stronger case than what they are portraying. I believe that the amount 
of hatred they're generating is something they're attempting to 
capitalize on. Each new self-aggrandizing statement they make (now with 
the ridiculous "BSD's Next" crap) seems specially crafted as an attempt 
to deliberately infuriate everyone who's invested some part of the 
multi-millions of man-hours of effort that's gone into 
freely-distributed software such as Linux and the BSDs.

The very idea of working so hard on a kernel, or pkgsrc, or userland; of 
slaving away for no monetary recompense, in the hopes that someone 
interesting somewhere might find it useful, only to have some 
snot-nosed company (read: SCO) come along and tell you that you aren't 
allowed to give away your hard work, or worse, that they own your work, 
is precisely what SCO seems to want to throw in the faces of the 
open-source community.

The reason why seems to be to remain as much as possible in the public 
eye and build a high risk, potentially sky-high return investment for 
their shares, and eventually to be bought out by someone with deep 

> FreeBSD did essentially the same thing when they re-rooted their tree
> at 4.4BSD-lite, by the way, except that they lost far, far more
> revision history than we did.  That's why their tree doesn't look
> like it has "holes" in it: *every* revision of *every* file before a
> certain date is gone; they erased the repository and started over.

That's an interesting factoid. :)