Linux War: IP vs. Open Source


As noted in the InforWorld article, SCO has hired David Boies to represent them. Many believe that this indicates that they are going to start aggressively enforcing their IP claims in the Unix space. I wouldn't be at all surprised. As I've noted before, venture firms have themes and one unmistakable theme that you'll find in the Canopy Group is a belief in intellectual property as a competitive advantage. SCO is a Canopy Group company.

A lot of people will be upset and blame SCO for "doing the wrong thing." I don't necessarily see it that way. While, I'm not big on IP, and particularly lawsuits, as a way of creating competitive advantage, I can't blame anyone managing a company for doing anything that is legal and in the best interests of their shareholders. When I was a corporate officer, I took my obligations to the shareholders very seriously and if I were running SCO, I may be making the same moves, regardless of my personal biases. Don't get mad at SCO, go out and prove that a different model yields more shareholder value. Then you've won.