SCO's last stand

The record of the case, and its intense discovery, may dissuade even Microsoft from challenging the legal position of Linux, given the court's demand that any such challenge must state precisely the code to be challenged and the basis of that challenge.

Groklaw writes that SCO is filing what could be its last papers in its Linux infringement disputes with IBM and Novell.

The company asked Judge Dale Kimball to reconsider his November 29 order narrowing the scope of the dispute, as well as a November 30 order from magistrate Brooke Wells. Taken together those two orders narrow the scope of the case to nearly nothing.

Both items continue to draw an enormous number of comments (1,000 between them so far) but the case looks to be winding down. With it should end the main legal threat to Linux.

The case has disgusted many in the open source community, and made a star of Pamela Jones, the paralegal who launched Groklaw in part to follow the case, and has indeed followed it with an intensity bordering on obsession. (The good kind of obsession.)

I named Groklaw the best blog of 2005. However, it now runs community network software in order to accomodate its large comment threads.

While painful, the episode has been very useful in clarifying the legal position of Linux, and pushing open source firms to gain legal protection for their work. This in turn has greatly enlarged the software commons.

The record of the case, and its intense discovery, may dissuade even Microsoft from challenging the legal position of Linux, given the court's demand that any such challenge must state precisely the code to be challenged and the basis of that challenge.

The good guys are going to win this thing and, hopefully, won't have to fight this war again.