Columbia University Law Professor Disputes SCO Group's Copyright and Trade Secret Claims

Columbia University Law Professor Disputes Copyright and Trade Secret Claims; Unsubstantiated Litigation Threats Not a Deterrence To Linux Customers The Open Source Development Lab (OSDL) has released a position paper authored by one of the world's leading legal experts on copyright law as applied to software, Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University. The paper casts doubt on SCO Group's claims about Linux and users of the popular open source system. In his paper, Professor Moglen identifies some of the legal issues raised by SCO's claims and offers a framework for companies and developers to understand potential legal issues. According to OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen, end users with whom they have discussed SCO's claims see no need to purchase a license from SCO at present. Moglen makes three main points in his paper: 1) SCO has yet to file a lawsuit against end users, nor has it shared publicly any information on what software code might infringe its copyright or trademark trade secret claims. 2) Copyright law is not relevant to customers 'using' Linux. In much the same way that readers can enjoy a book or a newspaper without a copyright license, so can users of software - unless they have agreed to additional use restrictions in, for example, a shrink-wrapped box of software. 3) SCO itself continues to distribute Linux under the GPL. He argues that users should be free to modify, copy and redistribute Linux since users can go to the SCO even today and download Linux with a GPL license. Professor Moglen's paper is available on the OSDL Web site at: