Why the Caldera/SCO Group issue matters

There have been many, many articles and opinions on the insanity that is surrounding the Caldera/SCO Group brouhaha. It seems that a day can't go by without some silliness coming from them. Many people are tired of reading about it and I know a number of people have suggested that if we ignore them they'll go away. After all, they don't have a leg to stand on now. They are just full of noise and hot air. While this may be true, ignoring them is the last thing we should do.

The bottom line here is the old saying, "Perception is Reality." Yes, the Caldera/SCO Group is blowing nothing but very thick smoke. Yes, indemnification is a joke and a non-issue. Yes, it's all about FUD and trying to kill Linux. However...

The fact of the matter is that the world outside of the Open License community can only go by what it reads and hears. And everything they are hearing, from both sides of the fence, just makes them gun shy. It matters little whether or not Caldera/SCO Group have a real claim on any code. Just the idea that they "might" is enough to do some damage to the Open License community and the actual software produced under said licensing. Ranting about it will not help. Being silent will not help. The only way I can see that will counter this is with calm but firm statements of truth by the community when discussing it with those who are outside of the community or in any published forum. Make sure that you have all the ammunition that is available on the subject when going into a situation where you might be confronted with FUD. Calmly explain to those who aren't as knowledgeable as we are about the facts. Don't get hyped up or excited. Don't make it a big deal. And definitely don't over exaggerate Open Licensed softwares capabilities. Think of it as explaining to your young child that there are no monsters under the bed. Be calm, be reassuring, be honest. This will do far more to take the wind out of the FUD than anything else we could do.