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Linux Business Operating Systems Software Unix

SCO To Show Copied Code 646

A number of people have written this morning in regards to the latest update in the ongoing SCO dropping Linux, with word from LinuxJournal that SCO has broadened the implications of code copying. A number of analyst groups have come out, however, saying that it's fine to keep moving ahead with Linux adoption - and there's an interesting interview with SCO's General Manager of SCOSource.
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SCO To Show Copied Code

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  • by Michael's a Jerk! ( 668185 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:27AM (#5962608) Homepage Journal
    This has been posted before but they can not collect on any damages caused, as they have not published the allegdedly infringing portions.

    Not telling the world what the code is, is a legal blunder of the first order. This means that they have unclean hands, as they are supposed to try and mitigate the damage in order to receive compensation.

    You can't knowlingly add to the damage and then ask for compensation incl Punitive damages based on same. Any suit against Linux vendor in the future can site this as an Affirmative Defense" and pretty much get the suit tossed on that account alone
  • IBM is not faulty (Score:5, Interesting)

    by borgdows ( 599861 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:34AM (#5962630)
    "SCO already has claimed--some kernel versions released before IBM began contributing to Linux contain UnixWare code"

    so ? where does the leak (if any) come from except from SCO itself ?!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:34AM (#5962632)
    Has SCO violated its own copyright? Is that why it stopped selling Linux? Its own people aren't too sure. This []
    interview indicates that SCO's right hand
    doesn't seem to know what its left hand is doing.
  • Errrrr.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by defishguy ( 649645 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:36AM (#5962642) Journal
    Sco claims that Linux violates their IP. Sco also distributes Linux. Linux is licensed by the GPL. GPL = Free Code Errr... Maybe the only blood that will be let is from the hole that they shot in their own foot? It seems to me that they've already GPL'd whatever Unix code there "may" be when they condoned, sanctioned, and released their own distro of Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:38AM (#5962649)
    As an astute poster pointed out on OSNews, they cannot collect on any damages anyway.

    They distribute(ed) a version of Linux under the GPL, a licence that legally permits people to copy and branch the code assuming they put it under the GPL. Unfortunately for SCO, whether or not they knew they were distributing their own IP under the GPL or not is irrelevant to the rather compelling argument that they did put their IP under the GPL, and now that they continued to distribute linux after they found the alleged infringements means that no court would declare that licence invalid.
  • The business plan of (Score:2, Interesting)

    by keirre23hu ( 638913 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <laer4k2j>> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:39AM (#5962654) Homepage
    search for IP violations
    bully people into coughing up money

    needs to stop if there is "infringing" content i guess they have a right to sue... but perhaps that means the whole system of how intellectual property... particularly with respect to software.. need to change... what is going to happen if 2-3 yrs from now Amazon sells off part of its business including its 50 zillion patents... will we have to pay a royalty to use any interactive content on pages? This is just out of control.

    Their Linux distribution sucks anyway... so I wonder what they think harassing end users will do.. I would run just about any alternative OS before I bought anything from SCO at this point.
  • catch-22? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tanveer1979 ( 530624 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:39AM (#5962657) Homepage Journal
    Seems like SCO is in a bigger soup. They want to go against commercial linux. But SCO also used to supply linux distribution and it used to be under "GPL".

    Now if a company releases proprietry code owned by it under GPL then anybody can use it! So it wont matter wether linux copies unix or whatever FUD they want to spread, all their linux code they released under GPL, so this will hardly stand in court.

    On the other hand, this could be an acid test for GPL, coz if commercial Linux vendors prove that the above said code which is supposedly copied was actually released by SCO itlelf under GPL, the whole case will fall flat.

  • by GigsVT ( 208848 ) * on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:40AM (#5962664) Journal
    They distribute(ed) a version of Linux under the GPL, a licence that legally permits people to copy and branch the code assuming they put it under the GPL. Unfortunately for SCO, whether or not they knew they were distributing their own IP under the GPL or not is irrelevant to the rather compelling argument that they did put their IP under the GPL, and now that they continued to distribute linux after they found the alleged infringements means that no court would declare that licence invalid.

    If anyone argues this, we lose in a bigger way. MS can then say "see, I told you so! GPL caused SCO to lose their IP!!!!".

    It would benefit us greatly as a community if no company makes this argument in defense.
  • by Surak ( 18578 ) * <surak.mailblocks@com> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:43AM (#5962678) Homepage Journal
    IANAL, but I'm not sure that not demonstrating what code is bad AT THIS POINT in the game is a failure to mitigate their damage.

    What *is* a failure to mitigate their damage is the fact that they sold their OWN version Linux along with a version of the kernel that THEY THEMSELVES patched. While I'm a Gentoo user now, my second distro was Caldera OpenLinux (my first distro was Slackware 3.5). Caldera OpenLinux had a graphical boot feature which required a specially-patched kernel. They wrote the graphical boot system and the patches to the kernel, so even if there IS SCO code in the kernel (which there isn't), it's not like they didn't know about it.
  • by the-dude-man ( 629634 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @07:50AM (#5962717)
    You know, I think this has been one of SCO'S biggest tantrums to date.

    I'd like to see some of this copied code, or hear about it, or hear anything except "the stole our unix". But thats All we have heard from SCO, they are yet to offer anything except them jumping up and down like a toddler with his first erection.

    Anyways, this is more likely a stunt from SCO to get some attention, and possibly a parent company. Since SCO dosnt exactly have a bright futre ahead.

    Perhaps when whatever crawled up their ass realises it can do better and crawls out this stunt will end :)
  • Who will they sue? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by gilesjuk ( 604902 ) <giles.jones@zen.[ ]uk ['co.' in gap]> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:00AM (#5962765)
    Linux is open source, there's not really a central company to sue. They can sue the person who inserted the code, but surely that person is likely to have worked at SCO if they got hold of the code. They'll end up sueing themselves or an ex employee.

    Besides the code can be rewritten or removed fairly quickly, all that will happen in SCO will be less compatible with Linux. Considering SCO is pretty much a dead product (going by the opinions expressed here) it's suicide on their part.
  • by belroth ( 103586 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:01AM (#5962769)
    SCO also do not appear in this letter to acknowledge Linux as a trademark of Linus Torvalds...
  • by pe1rxq ( 141710 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:04AM (#5962788) Homepage Journal
    The problem is that the owner of this ip (most unix patents will probably be outdated anyhow) has been distributing it under the gpl, and thus giving up al rights to enforce their patents. The LZH case was different, the owner of the ip never gave permission to use it in gpl programs, and thus the person who first distributed it under the gpl (not those persons who distributed it further) would be liable.

  • by RealRoadKill ( 554583 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:18AM (#5962873)
    SCO: "See we use 'Bubble sort' here..." .. "And here is an example of 'Bubble sort' in the Linux kernel" My point is that some algorithms are universal... and if no one has a copy right to them yet... SCO might claim that it is theirs and God save the Queen. It is stupid... We know it's stupid, they are stupid... "Stupid is as Stupid does" or something. This could turn into an ALL of Computer Science against SCO... Microsoft might actually have to help defend Linux to protect themselves.. now that would be funny.
  • by gbjbaanb ( 229885 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:21AM (#5962888)
    Oh I think SCO has a bright future ahead of them - consider this quote:

    We have the ability to withdraw or pull the AIX license on June 13, which should cause IBM to expedite this issue as well.

    What does that mean? It means they brought the case so IBM would settle out of court beofre that date. Much wonga for SCO for doing nothing. They don't have to show the source code, they don't have t prove anything, IBM will cave in rather than lose the ability to sell AIX. The only problem is that doing this may leave the doors open for SCO to say 'see, we were right', and then sue whichever other Linux distributor they like.

  • by NoOneInParticular ( 221808 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:23AM (#5962912)
    The Complainant (SCO) is not required to publish the code in question. If such were the case, then trade secrets would be completely undermined by the judicial system. The time for disclosing the alleged infringing code is at trial, where the code can be kept under seal from the public, if necessary.

    Interesting comment, but this only holds for use of trade secrets in proprietary code. SCO claims that the code in question has entered Linux, an open source operating system. So any trade secrets they claim with their code are already in the public. So what's the point with not telling anyone what that code is? Once going to trial, it is inevitable that it is found out what code it is: if they win the case, the code needs to be removed from the linux kernel. No matter how many non-disclosure agreements are signed for this operation, someone will find out that some code in the kernel has been removed, when/where and by whom. If they lose the case, the code was apparently not illigally there in the first place.

    So if it's established that the trade secret argument is vacuous in this case, the stuff with mitigating damages comes into play again. If they told what code they are concerned about, it would have been removed from the kernel quite promptly, I'm sure. I would guess the overall sentiment of the kernel coders would be something like: "we do not need no stinking SCO code". Once out of the kernel, the distributors would probably mirror the changes and make sure they would cease to distribute SCO's code.

    So all in all, I fail to see the point in not disclosing the whereabouts of the code at all. If a judge would see it that way is an entirely different matter alltogether.

  • by squiggleslash ( 241428 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:29AM (#5962948) Homepage Journal
    Distributing under the GPL does not touch their copyrights over their own code.
    No, but it does provide anyone and everyone with a licence to use their code, under the terms of the GPL. Having granted that licence, they cannot revoke it. The only violations they can really tackle are those that occured before they released the code under the GPL themselves, and as I don't recall Caldera being particularly slow to distribute new kernels, I think we're talking about days worth of "violations" rather than years.
  • by cocobucky ( 673490 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:29AM (#5962950)
    If they do, it does smell fish... perhaps an attempt at destroying linux from a scare legal tactic? 1989: Microsoft buys 16% of SCO for $25M A nice little thorn for MS, would'nt you say?
  • by gomerbud ( 117904 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:37AM (#5962998) Homepage

    I'm glad that the three BSDs are not yet being bothered by these wonderful people.

    Sources seem to suggest that the BSD's cannot be bothered by the SCO suit. Recall the legal fiasco between the USL and the BSD's in the early 90's. There is a terrific history in Marshall Kirk McKusick's chapter [] Twenty Years of Berkeley Unix: From AT&T-Owned to Freely Redistributable in O'Reilly's Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution.

    The relevant paragraph:

    The lawsuit settlement also stipulated that USL would not sue any organization using 4.4BSD-Lite as the base for their system. So, all the BSD groups that were doing releases at that time, BSDI, NetBSD, and FreeBSD, had to restart their code base with the 4.4BSD-Lite sources into which they then merged their enhancements and improvements. While this reintegration caused a short-term delay in the development of the various BSD systems, it was a blessing in disguise since it forced all the divergent groups to resynchronize with the three years of development that had occurred at the CSRG since the release of Networking Release 2.

  • by kune ( 63504 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:38AM (#5963005)
    Nothing dramatic.

    Basically they say, that if you use SCO shared libraries with Linux, you have to license them. There is some hyperbole: So they try to create the impression, that there is no UNIX software available without the iBCS2 interface. No need for comment.

    They also state, that most users using the iCBS2 kernel interface didn't respect the copyright of SCO shared libraries. Today there is no need for SCO shared libs anyway, because all Linux application vendors sell now native Linux binaries using the GNU libc shared libraries.

    Nothing in the above document proves following statement from SCO's letter to Linux customers:

    "We have evidence that portions of UNIX System V software code have been copied into Linux and that additional other portions of UNIX System V software code have been modified and copied into Linux, seemingly for the purposes of obfuscating their original source."

    As a Linux customer I request from SCO:

    (1) Show the evidence!
    (2) Use clear language: What do you mean with Linux? Whole Distributions or the kernel.
    (3) Publish the UNIX source code into the Public Domain to become a respected company once again.
  • speculation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:58AM (#5963157) Homepage Journal
    --so far,from what I have read, they are claiming it was more or less a surprise to them. Like various things weren't audited very well, something like that, like "whoa, what's this?". In the linked interview above, they also claim they became alarmed at some statements an IBM spokesman said at a conference, which caused them to take a deeper look at matters, ie "destroying unix". they own unix, lease some of it to IBM, then hear that guy say that. if it happened, bound to cause more than a little interest. If they can prove that, it is supportive of their side and damaging to IBM.

    As to releasing the code, they can claim to any judge that they haven't finished auditing yet, but had enough and are confident enough to go forward with filing a suit, which could be interpreted as due diligence in protecting property. Hmm, analogy, you have some second home, it's been having bits and pieces stolen for a long time, but you never really noticed it until you saw the really large pieces of property missing, or perhaps you noticed them at a yardsale or pawn shop for sale. Far fetched, but something along those lines near as I am following this. The alleged victim of a crime has no carved in stone set time to notice the theft, it's whenever they become aware of it, according to them of course, and if they can prove it. And now that they themselves stopped shipping their linux version, they can again claim that was part of on going auditing,and due diligence, they then realised they had to stop what they were doing, part of the mitigation and damage control effort..

    Above pure speculation of course. Never be surprised what groupings of words may be used in any suit.

    Triage in advance for linux is needed of course, for a just-in-case scenario. Where's the replacement for sysV? I'm no guru here but that seems obvious. Now that everyone knows that is the issue, that's where mitigation efforts need to be made. IF the suit-by some wild stretch-has merit to it, and it causes sysV as it stands to be tainted, there sure is gonna need a replacement and pronto, yes? Maybe it won't, I don't know, but if it does, is this a major problem as it stands now, just theoretically?

    Or, another clean room approach, just create a newer and better system, call it linuxII.

    I would think that's a better long range idea anyway, a mega fork, using better initial design and an even more open license if one can be written.

    Last year I was reading of an entirely different approach to OSs and file systems, it seemed phenomeneally better as a theory to me at the time, dang if I can remember the name now, not being a coder just an interested user. From what I remember it was almost impregnable and uncorruptable in theory, it was a smallish thread/article but the guru /. developers had some good things to say about it. Rats, the name escapes me. It was being developed at a university, I wish I could remember the details better I didn't bookmark it.

    The planets and the moon get nailed with asteroids and meteors once in awhile, stuff happens, causes big changes sometimes. I imagine it's no different in business, any business.
  • Re:Check out... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Carl ( 12719 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @08:59AM (#5963167) Homepage
    Especially the Richard Stallman quote. The sentence "Linux is a copy of Unix. There is very little new stuff in Linux." Was not from RMS at all.

    According to the mailinglist archives [] it was Larry McVoy who made that statement. Richard just replied to that message. And fixed the statement to read GNU/Linux :)

  • Uber Conspiracy! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by avidday ( 671814 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:06AM (#5963223)
    Anybody want to offer me odds on SCO or an affiliated partner in crime having deliberately planted System V/UnixWare/OpenServer code into the kernel tree as a contingency for the day it became obvious to shareholders and analysts alike that the revenues from their Unix IP portfolio were dwindling. Is the the mother of all exit plans?
  • Re:Errrrr.... (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:10AM (#5963249)
    Perhaps it depends on who the "copyright holder" is. SCO may not have GPLed the "stolen code" (assuming it exists). Perhaps it was done by person X who had no legal right to do so. I dont know that SCO's redistribution of the code voids the liability of person X.

    On another note, I think this "SCO-mess" will turn out for the good, and I look forward to see things unfold. It's important for the OSS-development model to be tested. Perhaps things will need to be changed to make the process stronger, but this is just evolution.
  • Re:Errrrr.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Surak ( 18578 ) * <surak.mailblocks@com> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:20AM (#5963323) Homepage Journal
    Even if knowingly were necessary, Caldera HAD to know what was in the Linux kernel because their Linux distros use a special Caldera-patched version of the kernel. So it's not like they didn't look at the code, they had to in order to create a special patched kernel right?
  • by Dr. Evil ( 3501 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:21AM (#5963331)

    You cannot, however, close the original GPL door.

    The analogy doesn't quite hold, you can close the door all you want... that is, you can scrub the code of all contributions for which you don't hold the copyright and then stop distributing it under the GPL... but...

    ...that won't stop your obligations when somebody comes back to you with an old GPL'd copy of your program and demands the source code of that version.

    Wasn't Sourceforge GPL? (They may have been BSD'd I could be mistaken.)

  • by SN74S181 ( 581549 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:28AM (#5963382)
    Well, that just reinforces the arguement that will be made that companies should stay away from any Open Source projects.

    Really, you can't force companies to reveal their source code with technicalities, no matter how much the company's management are being jerks, without it setting off alarm bells in management at all companies.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:38AM (#5963463)
    Wrong. SCO would have just passed on the violation in this manner. As an example, let us say I trade computer parts and am burglared. The serial numbers of the stolen parts were registered and given to the police. Later somebody sells me some laptop cheaply which I then resell with a small profit. When the recipient further resells the laptop, it is detected that the serial numbers of the laptop indicate it as a burglared one. This means that my (unwitting) reacquisition as well as my resale were invalid transactions, no transfer of ownership did happen, the respective recipients may demand their money back and the laptop is given back to myself as the legitimate owner.

    So even though I was the legal owner and sold it (but unwittingly too cheap), the transaction was not valid as it concerned stolen good received under a false premise.

    SCO could argue in a similar vein. Of course, if they want to do that, it means that all their sales of Linux did _not_ result in legal licensing. The recipients of the illegitimate software would have to cease using it, but SCO would have to reimburse them for their licenses, as well as resulting business damages if SCO can be shown to have acted in a way increasing the damage.

    It seems that SCO is out to collect on this angle which would explain that they stopped distributing Linux right now: having to pay off every user of SCO Unix (if the court follows their own suit!) might result in a quite ironic manner of committing suicide.
  • Re:All your base (Score:2, Interesting)

    by EvilBudMan ( 588716 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @09:42AM (#5963497) Journal

    has the GPL been court tested? Just because the GPL states something doesn't mean it will stand up in court. A judge is liable to do anything. That's the scary thing.

    Now for the good news. Once the GPL has been court tested and a precednet has been set, then it may stop some of these things.
  • load of bs (Score:2, Interesting)

    by f00zbll ( 526151 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:03AM (#5963695)
    Talk about FUD and PR juggling. SCO needs to go bankrupt now, or prove beyond a doubt in their court filing with exact details, so everyone can see. Enough of this smoke and mirrors.
  • by boomka ( 599257 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:07AM (#5963725) Homepage Journal
    It seems to me the only entity that will benefit from all of that is Microsoft. SCO is definitely not going to benefit from this suit - hell, why would IBM buy them, there is no strong case here to be afraid of.
    I more and more suspect that a few key people at SCO were simply bribed to bring about this scandal. No matter whether this goes to court or not, it has already hurt Linux and will probably hurt it even more.
  • by krumms ( 613921 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:29AM (#5963897) Journal

    From the interview with Chris Sontag:

    Q: SuSE feels protected against any legal action you may consider because of contracts with SCO and with UnitedLinux in which you are a member. Do SuSE and other Linux distributors including Red Hat have reason to be worried?

    Regarding contracts we have with SuSE and UnitedLinux, I would unequivocally state that there is nothing in those contracts that provides them with any protection or shelter in the way they are characterizing this in the press. If I were them, I would not be making those kinds of statements.

    Further, he goes on to say that this temper-tantrum is the result of IBM saying things SCO didn't like:

    Basically, he [Steve Mills, IBM exec] said that IBM will exploit its expertise in AIX to bring Linux up to par with Unix and went on to say a lot of other things, like trying to help obliterate Unix. IBM is a licensee of Unix technology from SCO, originating back to contracts with AT&T Corp. So IBM's position became a big problem for us.

    On behalf of Linux users and developers everywhere, fsck you, SCO.

  • Validity Of Code (Score:3, Interesting)

    by supun ( 613105 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:29AM (#5963901)
    Since the source code to Linux is out there, is it possible for them to cut and paste it into the SCO UnixWare code and pretend it's theirs? I only get worried about this since it's been proven, by past events, that the judicial system isn't really tech savvy.

    How do you verify that the code SCO provides is the same code that is in UnixWare? Do they disassemble shrink-wrapped version of UnixWare and compare it to the given code? Do they force them to re-compile a past release of UnixWare and compare the binaries.

    I hope they validate that what SCO puts forwards.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:38AM (#5963973)
    Microsoft has 'owned' a piece of SCO since SCO's inception. Until 1998, SCO paid Microsoft royalty for each version of SCO product shipped. Early in this arrangement, Microsoft supported WORD(r) and FOXBASE(r) on the SCO platform. As UNIX/SCO started to be popular in the early 90's, Microsoft stopped developing products for SCO, This ensured Microsoft's position /total domination in the OS/Application market. This all but eliminated the possibilities of UNIX in becoming a player in the desktop market.

    Now along comes a Linux, a product which Microsoft management calls "a cancer'. A product which is making major inroads in both the server and desktop market. Microsoft's strategies for eliminating this 'cancer' have included; denial, "name calling", question able / manufactured reports claiming lower cost of ownership and better maintain. I would think playing this logical card would help Microsoft derail the Linux market.

    I would think a counter for this SCO/Microsoft move would be to sue both SCO and Microsoft for use of Linux/BSD code in a commercial product without display of copyrights and including source with the products. During the discover process, require SCO and Microsoft pay to have a third party code review of both of their products. The auditors would be chosen by the Linux/BSD world.

    At that point, such a legal action would not only derail the SCO/Microsoft legal action, but would expose the depths to which both companies have and are working in collusion to dismantle the Linux movement.

    Well that is my opinion, and I am sticking to it ;->
  • by siskbc ( 598067 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:40AM (#5963997) Homepage
    Alternatively it could be argued, possibly by shareholders in a due diligence case, that SCO lost any IP by not exercising proper care over what they were selling.

    Due diligence doesn't really apply to patents, I don't believe. Does with trademark, which doesn't apply here.

    If due diligence did apply (and you could argue it should), then the whole Rambus fiasco wouldn't have happened

  • by Red Warrior ( 637634 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#5964010) Homepage Journal
    Really, you can't force companies to reveal their source code with technicalities, no matter how much the company's management are being jerks, without it setting off alarm bells in management at all companies.

    Interestingly, enough, that is irrelevant.
    Nobody is saying SCO used the GPL, and must now hand over it's source (at least in the context of this discussion).
    *SCO* is claiming that developers misappropriated SCO IP in the form of code.
    It is being replied that:
    1)SCO has a duty to minimize damage -by saying WHAT, specifically, is being used improperly and,
    2)Since SCO released it's own version of linux under the GPL, the code (assuming SCO used it's code in the distro, after all, they haven't said WHAT code is at issue...) is licensed under the GPL.
  • Re:No fear (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Tim Macinta ( 1052 ) <> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:41AM (#5964011) Homepage
    Continuing on a slightly more serious note, the only entity that is greatly served by slowing Linux's adoptation into the business world is, indeed, Microsoft. Are there any financial ties between Microsoft and SCO? I find it hard to believe that SCO is self-destructing just for the hell of it. I have not much trouble imagining Microsoft going through the ol' FUD routine.
    That this is Microsoft's handiwork does seem a little far fetched as this seems incredibly evil, even for Microsoft, but maybe this hypothesis is worth researching. I do find it interesting that some of the documents which used to be on Caldera's DR Dos website and which were very damning towards Microsoft are no longer there. Thankfully, we have the Wayback Machine to show us the excellent write-up of Microsoft's vaporware practices [] which used to be on the DR Dos website. Going to the original URL has yeilded a 404 for awhile now. Why were this paper and the associated pages removed? Did the URLs just change? Is there presently anything on the DR Dos website that speaks ill of Microsoft? I actually haven't looked into these things yet, but perhaps somebody should. To go from a website that has very scathing information against Microsoft to one that has none overnight would be a bit odd.

    I do hope that Microsoft is not behind this at all because it would be nice to see SCO run out of cash trying to fight this (and that's one problem they wouldn't need to worry about if they were a Microsoft puppet). It does seem like an unlikely conspiracy theory to me, but who knows.

  • by Drew Sullivan ( 5357 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:42AM (#5964019) Homepage
    The iBCS loader was written by Eric Yongdale.
    He also wrote the syscall dispatch.
    I then coded the first set of dispatches
    which were little more than a 1:1 mapping of system call number to linux function by the same name.
    This was in 1993.
    Mike Jagis re-wote large chunks of this to support other non-SCO versions using the same syscalls.
    Between Mike adding code and I merging it, it grew
    to support most applications. I used perl's test set compiled on a SCO box to test that the iBCS code worked.
  • by nerdsv650 ( 175205 ) <nerdsd@ n e r d y> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @10:48AM (#5964073) Homepage
    If I recall correctly Sequent contributed significant amounts of MP code to SCO in one of its floundering attempts to partner up with an outside OS vendor so they could get rid of the base OS engineering group (this was before I worked for Sequent). Some years later IBM bought Sequent (this was while I worked in the base OS group there) and pushed many of the engineers off the Dynix/PTX boat onto the Linux boat with the stated goal of helping Linux scale to larger MP systems. I can't help but wonder if in this effort some Sequent code which had already been shared with SCO might not have made it into Linux.

    I never did work for the Sequent/IBM group that was doing this work so I have no concrete basis for this speculation.


  • by CyberGarp ( 242942 ) < minus bsd> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @11:35AM (#5964570) Homepage

    I had the pleasure of seeing a lecture, A History of UNIX and UNIX Licenses, by Peter Salus [] at Setec [] recently.

    He was a witness in the 1993 lawsuit between UNIX System Laboratories versus BSDI. The prosecution accused him of being Mentally Contaiminated [] for having viewed both sets of source code. Someone went out an made big red laquer buttons that said this and everyone who had seen source wore one to the trial. The contempt of court argument begins, and since it was a statement made by the prosecutor and not objected to by the court, then the buttons got to stay.

    This case has some interesting similarities to the SCO accusations. SCO has much less of a leg to stand on.

    I want a mentally contaiminated laquered button. If you've seen source code, then you are mentally contaminated. Maybe it's the start of a movement.

  • SCOX (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mikeee ( 137160 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @11:52AM (#5964750)
    The ticker is SCOX.

    Last quarter they lost $725k on sales of $13.5M. They have about $5M cash, 340 employees, and a total stock value of about $40M.

    Their revenues dropped 25% last quarter; if that continues they have only a year or two to live.
  • by technomom ( 444378 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @12:12PM (#5964984)
    When I read that SCO is promising yet again to show the evidence of this, I keep hearing the wedding guests from Monty Python in the Holy Grail singing, "He's going to tell! He's going to tell!".

    They'll just keep singing and we'll never actually get to see the evidence behind the allegations. It's the WMD of the Unix world.

  • by feddman ( 453407 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @12:21PM (#5965089) Homepage
    Most lawsuits start with a cease and desist letter. SCO needed to give us, the Linux community, the opportunity to see where the problems lay and give us the opportunity to remedy it. If Linux kernel source code really does include source from Unix, then it should be easy enough to rewrite those parts of the source.

    Instead, SCO sends out their own Caldera customers warnings that they may be sued by SCO for using Linux. As a Unix instructor at a college, it will be years before I stop discussing the SCO case in class. Every student that comes out of my program will likely go out of their way to use operating systems that do not bear the SCO name.

    SCO will not survive this. It is absurd for a company to piss off the community that it sees as it's customer base. Maybe they should spend more time fixing their antiquated and problem ridden SCO Unix OS rather than follow the RIAA's poor example.
  • by njdj ( 458173 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @12:49PM (#5965334)
    The financial marketplace - the smart money - believes SCO is going to win, at least partly. Their stock price has more than doubled since mid-February. (the lawsuit was filed in early March, the stock started to rise about when leaks/rumors from insiders started).

    Serious money does not move like this unless the issues have been considered by good lawyers specialized in IP, plus technical advice, etc. Like most /.ers, I don't see how SCO can have a case - but I'm not an IP lawyer.
  • by wizardmax ( 555747 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @01:06PM (#5965538) Homepage Journal
    They sue IBM then make some big companies drop GNU/Linux. This frees up market space where SCO can try to cash-in. And they are not the only one who will benefit from this. And I dont just meen the M$ Borg, any Unix platform will benefit from this. The bad part is the damage this is causing to not just GNU/Linux but tho the entire OSS/FS comunity. It gives us a bad name. With the letter SCO sent, they might scare some companies away from OSS/FS for good. SCO cant beat GNU/Linux in a direct competiion, so they are fighting durty. Unfortunatelly even if they loose the lawsuit, this will still leave a mark on OSS/FS community.

    Now I am going to go and take the knife out of my back. Thank you.
  • Re:IBM is not faulty (Score:3, Interesting)

    by sinan ( 10073 ) <> on Thursday May 15, 2003 @01:22PM (#5965671) Homepage
    Could come from a lot of places.

    When the supposedly infinging code is made known, then a million hands will be searching for it's origins, and they will go back, way back to see where it might have originated from.

    Way back in late 60s and early seventies there were a lot of interchange of ideas/code between academics and industry about operating systems.

    Some that come to mind were HP RTE (Real Time Executive) ,which was developed at University of Montana in exchange for an HP computer.

    There was the Scientific Data Systems.

    There have been , as a crude estimate, well over 10,000 books written on the subject.

    History of the subject is rich and way to complex to research by one company , or a law firm, but it is well within the grasp of a million specialists sitting at a computer, or leafing thru JACM or IEEE publications, and the millions of ancient books they have in their posession.

    One ofshoot of this is that those who subscribed to MSDN( as I did) will also search for any source code that resembles the supposedly infringing code.

    So at that point Microsoft may have to get into picture and coach SCO as to not to reveal the code, since the outcome for Microsoft may not be pretty.

    Al in all this is a good thing for Linux. We can get a lot of milage out of this. A lot more than they hope to get.

    I can understand some proprietary software company having a brain-storm session and coming up with a scenario like this to curb the growth of Linux, but this ain't it.

    All this has accomplished this far is crystalize the opposition to SCO and Microsoft.
    Any companies it actually has helped is Sun and IBM.

    It appears that these people still don't understand what open source is about. There IS no air supply to cut off. There IS no funds to dry. If IBM stopped Linux developement today, Linux will still charge on. Now, next year, next decade.

    Another problem for Microsoft is that, even if Linux was banned, then all these programmers would develope Office tools, CRM, Games, and all the other lucrative things that MS is trying to capitalize on. Apache has already demonstrated that when OSS can't eat Microsofts lunch at OS, it will eat their lunch on their home turf.

    Tp paraphrase, "Linux sticks like #$%^ to Microsofts blanket".
  • by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @01:28PM (#5965734) Homepage
    I suspect a lot of that money is moving on hopes that IBM will buy SCO out to avoid a protracted legal battle. Besides, if Wall street knew anything about technology, we would never have had the tech bubble and tech bust. and the economy wouldn't be in the toilet right now.
  • Plagiarism? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Alomex ( 148003 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @04:07PM (#5967228) Homepage

    Look, read any college or university report, or the New York Times for that matter, and you'll find that plagiarism is rife. Why is it so hard to believe that a few out of many thousands of Linux contributors might have taken a shortcut and misappropriated SCOs code?
  • Re:Plagiarism? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ctid ( 449118 ) on Thursday May 15, 2003 @04:48PM (#5967612) Homepage
    It's quite simple: SCO have NOTHING that approaches the power and sophistication of Linux. They have had the "benefit" of this prehistoric source code for years, and they have been unable to produce a version of Unix which scales to > 4 processors. And yet they have the bare-faced cheek to suggest that the only way the Linux community could have produced an OS that could scale to 32 processors was by copying code from an OS which had no SMP, no LVM, no NUMA, no fucking anything.

    There are two reasons they have expanded the scope of their suit in this way:
    1. According to their own lawsuit, they have been distributing their own code under the GPL for years, thereby explicitly preventing themselves from restricting IBM, SuSE, RedHat and the rest of us from redistributing it.
    2. They realize that they have no chance of ever getting any business in the future from any competent organization because they have exposed themselves to be bereft of ideas; given free and unrestricted access to a resource that they say is the basis of an OS that can scale to 32 processors, they have signally failed to create anything that can work on more than 4.

    In my opinion, SCO are the lowest form of useless amateurs in the history of computing.