Tuesday, January 24, 2006

FUD in UK tech press?

I haven't seen the insert Pamela Jones is quite animated about here

"And so it comes to pass in 2006 that we find Microsoft distributing a flyer in the UK tech press entitled "Indemnification - Weighing the Risk," which uses the SCO case to ask if using open source can leave a company open to legal liability. Three Groklaw readers in the UK tell me that when they received their latest copy of IT Week or Computing.co.uk, it had the insert from Microsoft. Why only in the UK? Maybe Microsoft knows that in the US people would laugh out loud at such FUD, whereas in the UK it hasn't been as widely covered in the press. The insert's all about indemnification and why Microsoft's indemnification is allegedly better than what you can get for Linux. It does that by misrepresenting in an incomplete chart what indemnity and other legal help you can get for Linux. In fact, I think you could say the insert is an historic stroll through the fields of FUD in which SCO prominently starred. The only trouble is, the history comes to a full stop with a loud screech in March of 2004...

It purports to describe the SCO legal saga, but it gets quite a few facts wrong, aside from being incomplete, not mentioning any SCO negatives. As just one example, it says SCO sued IBM in March of 2003 for misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair competition and contractual claims. It never mentions that it dropped the trade secrets claims completely. Instead it says that in June of 2003, SCO "expanded the size of its claims". They seem to mean they asked for more in damages, but as SCO has been finding out, asking for damages and getting them are two different things. You can throw in any figure you please in a complaint, but then you have to prove your claims, and that appears to be the sticking point for SCO."

Well worth a read, especially if you've been following the SCO legal saga.

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