Open-Source Activists Protest SCO, MS Anti-Linux Lobbying

Open-source activists gathered at LinuxWorld Expo late last week to protest what they say are anti-Linux campaigns being spearheaded on Capitol Hill by rivals the SCO Group and Microsoft. Thursday evening, Linux lobbyists, academics, programmers and ISVs predicted the political battle will heighten as Linux gains ground on the desktop, and as governments worldwide--including the U.S. federal government and several U.S. states--consider adopting open-source procurement policies. "The challenge is going to be in the political and legislative arena, and we think there will be some serious obstacles," said Ed Black, president and CEO of the Open Source & Industry Alliance (OSIA), which hosted a panel on the issue late last week at the Javits Center in New York. "We have seen fingerprints of companies trying to get U.S. government advisers to advocate positions that cause problems for open source."

Several attendees at the LinuxWorld panel blamed that on political interference by large proprietary software companies, namely SCO and Microsoft. At the panel Thursday, many protested in particular a letter SCO's CEO recently sent to members of Congress claiming that open-source software--and Linux in particular--is a threat to the U.S. IT industry, the nation's international competitive position, American jobs and national security. "Open-source software has the potential to provide our nation's enemies or potential enemies with computing capabilities that are restricted by U.S. law," wrote SCO CEO Darl McBride, in his Jan. 9 letter. "I'm bringing these troubling issues to your attention to ask you to consider them whenever you are discussing or voting on issues of the economy, intellectual property, and national security," McBride's letter to Congress states.

News source: CRN

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