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semi-OT: does SPI have cause of action against SCO?

Not entirely on-topic for this list, but I'd rather bounce this idea off
our kibitzers of law before looking to waste the time of SPIs legal
counsel.  Even if the suggestion doesn't withstand a cost/benefit
analysis, I'm at least curious to know what options are available under
these circumstances.

Red Hat has a filed suit against SCO consisting of seven counts.  Two of
these counts are requests for declaratory judgement against SCO; five
are claims that SCOs actions have caused harm to Red Hat's business in
violation of various state and federal laws, and that Red Hat is
therefore entitled to damages.

It seems likely to me that SPI has similar cause to request declaratory
judgement; although Debian GNU/Linux has not been explicitly named as an
infringing product, SCO has claimed that the Linux kernel is infringing
-- and since Debian uses the Linux kernel, the FUD is spread.  However,
there's not much sense in filing a separate suit for this reason alone;
one declaratory judgement against them ought to be enough.  On the other
hand, even though SPI is not a for-profit vendor and doesn't have
customers, SCO's libelous claims certainly damage SPI's reputation the
same as they do the reputation of other Linux vendors.

Is this a strong enough argument that SPI should consider suing SCO for
damages?  Could the damages exacted be enough to justify the
expenditure?  There would certainly be a measure of poetic justice if
the non-profit underdog were to fill its coffers by suing the slimy
corporation that's managed to overinflate its stock price through
strategic use of frivolous lawsuits.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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