Irish Linux Users Group Committee wrote:
> The following is the response from Mr. Campbell regarding our mail
> from yesterday. We have decided that Mr. Campbell is not interested
> in pursuing an amicable discussion on this topic. We will issue a
> press release later explaining that we are done discussing this with
> Mr. Campbell, that we appreciate RTE's clarification and that we consider
> the matter closed.
All: I hope you will forgive my re-opening the matter with this mail. I
draw on the arguments of several people who have contributed to this
thread - I shall not attempt to credit them individually, as I would
doubtless forget someone, but I would like to thank them en masse.
Herewith my response, as an ordinary ILUG member, to Mr Campbell:
> Two problems. One, legally, you can't libel a group (see
>http://lists.debian.org/debian-legal/2003/debian-legal-200308/msg00647.h> tml), so I'm not sure who your 'legal people' are.
I note that the above link makes reference to English and US law - not
Irish. Have you checked that your statement is valid *here*?
Why does it matter to you who ILUG's legal people are? Whoever they may
be, I'm sure they are qualified to make statements about Irish law. I am
not a lawyer. Are you?
> That said, I have no intention of offending anyone or any group.
That's not the impression I get.
> Secondly, it is easy to pull selective quotes from a spoken context and
> re-interpret the meaning. It is clear from the interview that I was not
> suggesting that the entire group of people were responsible for the
> virus, and I don't believe that.
If I am misinterpreting anything, please tell me.
> What I said (inarticulately) is that I suspected that the creator was a
> supporter of open source.
Why did (or do) you suspect this?
> Clearly many open source people think so, when
> they urge other open source supporters "not to cheer" the virus - why
> would they say that otherwise?
The virus happens to attack the website of a company which has recently
threatened the open source community; at first glance this might seem to
support the open source community - until you realise the attribution of
blame for such an attack is far more damaging than the attack itself.
This implies *nothing* about the origins of the virus; it could be a
short-sighted attack by someone who dislikes SCO for some reason - for
example, an open source supporter, someone who dislikes Mormons; it
could equally well be a feint by someone who wishes to bring the open
source community into disrepute, or even a simple tactic to draw
attention away from other behaviours of the virus, such as sending spam.
> Other people have suggested other explanations,
There are many possibilities. We may never know the correct one.
> and people can make their own mind up.
So, why make it up for them by voicing unfounded suspicions on national
radio as a "computer expert"? Are you a computer expert?
> If you believe I have libelled someone (who?) they have a remedy in law.
Thank you for your legal advice. Are you a legal expert too?
> I'm not interested in the opinions of your contributors, who can post
> what they like; however you may not publish libellous comments on your
> website, regardless of their source.
Please identify precisely what is libellous, and how.
> Not a single post could refute what I actually said, so they made up
> quotes instead. The posts that I object to contain psuedo-quotes
> attributed to me which are totally inaccurate, and draw inferences from
> them that I am less than professional. Publishing such falsehoods is
> libellous. For example:
I shall address these "libellous" "falsehoods" below:
>>>>Not only did it show William Campbell to be horrifically
Allow me to paraphrase: if someone was presented on a respected national
forum, apparently in all seriousness, as a "car expert" but referred to
"Ford" and "General Bicycles" and badly mispronounced the name of
another marque - would you not, at the very least, wonder whether this
person was as "expert" as was claimed?
What if you then subsequently discovered this person's own car was badly
maintained? (specifically, I'm referring to the apparent misconfiguring
of your mail server, causing a mail loop).
>>>>, but what he did say was downright slanderous of OSS,
>>>>Linux and OpenOffice.org.
In your interview you stated "the reason this S-C-O company was
targetted was because [...] if you go to a website such as
openoffice.org you can [...] download a free copy of what is a
competitor for Microsoft Office."
How do you know what motivated the creation of the virus? Do you know
the creator? Is he or she an supporter of open source?
In passing - SCO has nothing to do with OpenOffice or Microsoft Office.
SCO claim to own some unspecified part of Linux. OpenOffice is not a
part of Linux, though unlike Microsoft Office it is compatible with it.
> Perhaps it's a corollary to the old saw that
>> Those who can, do, those who can't, teach.
>> . . . . and those who are completely clueless run training companies.
I grant this is an unfair generalisation. However, it does not say that
all those who run training companies are clueless. Nor does it say
anything about people with qualifications in teaching English who
apparently have difficulty parsing sentences.
> "SCO was attacked, ergo it was done by Linux users, ergo Linux is evil."
> Spot the fallacy.
>> but also,
> "Someone who sells a Windows related service made some rather foundless
> claim pointing the finger at open-source, therefore all windows users
> wouldn't know a clue if it bit them on the A-"NO CARRIER
What exactly do you take issue with in the above?
It contains a fallacious statement, identified as such, followed by
another, clearly intended in a similar vein.
You sell a Windows related service, and pointed the finger at
open-source. That much is true. The conclusion clearly doesn't follow -
just like the previous statement, identified as fallacious.
> He implies that there was some organised effort in the open source
> community to create MyDoom,
It's not unreasonable to suggest that an uninformed listener who hears
that a "computer expert" suspects that "the creator of the virus was a
supporter of open source" might infer that there was open source
involvement in the creation of the virus.
> but doesn't present any evidence for this.
If you have any evidence, I'd love to hear it.
> I personally won't believe it until I see the project on sourceforge :)
- and this paraphrases what I just said :)
> Lastly, I note that the 'do not release' message went straight onto your
We're all human. As far as I know, "do not release" referred to the
draft version of the message, and the error was simply in not removing
same from the subject line of the final version when it was posted to
the mailing list. Whatever the specifics of this error, as an ordinary
ILUG member I stand by the actions of the committee.
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