Linked by Eugenia Loli on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:04 UTC
SCO, Caldera, Unixware Lines from Unix's source code have been copied into the heart of Linux, sometimes exactly and sometimes in a modified form designed to disguise their origin, SCO Group Chief Executive Darl McBride said Thursday.
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Small problem...
by Anon E. Moose on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:16 UTC

The GNU license states that any party who distributes patented code under the GPL willingly voids such patents. SCO, in distributing their own version of Linux, has redistrbuted their own code under the GPL, thus nullifying their patent claims on the code in question.

In this case, ignorance can be no excuse, since IP-sensitive SCO should have combed their distribution with a fine-tooth comb, if their arguments against RH and SuSe are to hold any water.

In any event, SCO can no longer claim they are not directly attacking the heart of the OSS movement. They say, "we're not interested in attacking Linux," but then water down their assertion by stating their attitude towards IBM was the same way, but sued anyhow. Basically what they're saying is, "We don't want to sue Linux vendors, but we will as soon as we can get to it." Presumably after a succussful lawsuit against Big Blue sets a favorable precedent.

Perhaps IBM screwed SCO. I have never been one to trust IBM, or any large software vendor, for that matter. But the fact is that SCO has handled this wrong from the beginning, and now they want to pin it on the OSS movement (or will, when they can get to is).

At the end of the day, SCO will get their just desserts.

Profit in lawsuit?
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:23 UTC

Maybe SCO should just try selling something people want instead of trying to fins profit in lawsuits.

Geeks have long memories (well some do) and are unlikely to take SCO seriously if they insist on bashing everything that looks vaguely like UNIX.

Profit in lawsuit?
by Anonymous on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:35 UTC

Well, I think that this will be the end for SCO/Caldera. And I will not miss them.
Who will trust in SCO after that? I think nobody...

McBride has questionable credibility
by J. J. Ramsey on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:53 UTC

"McBride refused to detail which specific code had been copied but said there were several instances. . . . The Linux community would have me publish it [which instances] now, (so they can have it [the Linux source code]) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

He lost credibility right here. Considering the wide availability of the Linux code base, the likelihood that every single copy of Linux source could be expunged of supposed SCO code is virtually nil.

What is really suspicious is that in trial motions, SCO never went as far as to say that actual source code was copied, and considering that SCO has access to both its own code and Linux's, that is a terrible oversight, and one that makes little sense, since actual copying would strengthen SCO's case. One wonders if what is going on is that McBride is telling half-truths here.

very confusing...
by synergy on Fri 2nd May 2003 18:55 UTC

is it intentional or just bad pr works, but sco seems to change their accusations every few days or so-it's all very fuzzy.
one can get the impression that they themselves don't know where the alledged stolen und copied code is, if there's one at all!

the interview with chris sontag a week ago:

MozillaQuest Magazine: When Darl said "substantial System V code showing up in Linux", did he mean the Linux kernel, the GNU/Linux operating system, a Linux distribution(s), or Linux applications? If it is in the kernel, which kernel version(s)?

Chris Sontag: We're not talking about the Linux kernel that Linus and others have helped develop. We're talking about what's on the periphery of the Linux kernel. (Emphasis added.)

-MozillaQuest Magazine: It's likely lots of people in the Linux community will be relieved to know the allegedly tainted code is not in the kernel.

-MozillaQuest Magazine: The periphery of the Linux kernel is a pretty big space. Outside of the kernel is the GNU/Linux operating system. Thus in my way of picturing this, it is the GNU/Linux operating system that lies on the periphery of the Linux kernel. Then on the outside of that ring around the kernel is a Linux distribution and all sorts of applications.

-So, as I understand what you say here, the System V code is showing up in the GNU/Linux operating system ring around the kernel rather than at the Linux distribution level or the applications level, is this correct?

-Chris Sontag: I really can't go any further from what I've already commented on.

{Please make sure you read the Summary and Conclusions section of this article for an explanatory graphic and more discussion about this thread of the interview.]

MozillaQuest Magazine: The Linux kernel and GNU/Linux people with whom I have discussed the Caldera v IBM matter say that:

(a) As far as they know there is no proprietary SCO-owned code in the Linux kernel or in the GNU/Linux operating system, is this correct?

Chris Sontag: We're not commenting on this yet at this point.

Chris Sontag: We're not commenting on this yet.

Yes, critical lines of code!
by Rayiner Hashem on Fri 2nd May 2003 19:10 UTC

Unique breakthroughs of brilliant insight like:

for(i=0; i<n; i++)


if(i != 0)


while(i < n)


int * i = malloc(sizeof(int) * n)



You just can't find this stuff except in the hallowed C-files of the SCO UNIX source code!

Re: Small problem...
by Brian Hawley on Fri 2nd May 2003 19:31 UTC

Anon E. Moose wrote:
The GNU license states that any party who distributes patented code under the GPL willingly voids such patents. SCO, in distributing their own version of Linux, has redistrbuted their own code under the GPL, thus nullifying their patent claims on the code in question.

Minor point: SCO is not claiming patent violation. They have variously implied that they are claiming trade secret and perhaps copyright violation, but AFAIK the code in question is so old that any patents that might have applied would have expired long before IBM added even a single line of code to Linux. Remember, Unix is older than many Linux developers...

Of course, they may be claiming rights to ideas that they never invented (or bought), so that argument may not work.

patents @ code
by smurf975 on Fri 2nd May 2003 19:48 UTC

/me is going to patent the letter i,x,y and z for use in C, C++ code

It makes you wonder...
by DoctorPepper on Fri 2nd May 2003 20:15 UTC

Due to the "open" nature of the Linux kernel source, maybe an SCO employee, up against a deadline, copied some Linux code into SCO's kernel source! Now, in a perfect coup, SCO is trying to sue IBM for the infringment!

Man, those guys are good!

Scary PR situation for linux...
by Joe Kowalski on Fri 2nd May 2003 20:16 UTC

While legally this case very well could be a huge washout for SCO, it very well could turn into a PR disaster for Linux in general, and I think that is what SCO really wants. They don't really care about whether or not there really is evidence of #patch -p1 < SCOsuberleetcode.patch, but rather want to undermine the legal credibility of the Linux and spread FUD about linux undermining intellectual property rights. All I see here is lose-lose, or a win-lose situation (with sco "winning", and that I find scary.

Troll: What a jerk!
by Heinr!ch on Fri 2nd May 2003 20:18 UTC

That McBride is a real jerk! He says it himself, that there's no way for people to know which code is "clean" and which isn't. Perens answers with "don't keep us in the dark", we'll remove that which you believe to be in violation. Let's move on. SCO (which stands for Source Code Oligarchy)is yet another sore loser in the OS wars desperate for investor interest. Why would anyone buy a copy of UnitedLinux after this B.S.??

by Roy on Fri 2nd May 2003 21:30 UTC

SCO hasn't "officially" made any patent claims. SCO obviously doesn't have a real stake in Linux (they aren't making any money off of it anyway). Linux is quickly eating into what is left of the SCO Unix userbase. These statements are pure FUD, designed to keep people from switching to Linux (or get them to switch to SCO Linux rather than other "unclean" distributions). Interviews are ideal for spreading FUD because your claims don't actually have to have any basis. You can just say "we aren't discussing that now...".

Murkier and murkier...
by Err on Fri 2nd May 2003 22:57 UTC

So what counts as obfuscation and what counts as original code? For example, if I were to take GCC and recode the source to Pascal then what exactly is preventing me releasing it under a license other than GPL and hoarding any alterations I make? My love of humanity perhaps? Could you really convince a non-technical jury that my Pascal is in actual fact the GCC C source?

Let's face it, the GPL/LGPL are licenses that obligate people using such code to uphold certain conditions. That's all well and good in a perfect world, but let's face it this world is anything but perfect. In reality there's always going to be someone trying to tip things in their favour. Is the GPL strong enough to stand up to these folks? Who knows, a good lawsuit is needed to find out IMO.

People often compare the GPL to communism. Well in an ideal world communism actually works, but when it comes up against the greedy, power hungry, dominance driven minority of humanity it fails miserably. I like the idea of open source, I just hope that for its sake the comparison stops at the "actually works" part of that statement.

I'm a little scared that as more and more applications come into the open source domain these cases are going to become more and more prevalent. The more code out there the more chance of a developer being sued because they inadverdently reproduced a piece of code that is already under license elsewhere (There's only so many ways to program certain things). Now even if they're writing in isolation and have never seen the source they have reproduced, the original license holder has a crack of opportunity in which to use the law as a lever (And we all know how lawyers love those cracks). If they open the source to their own application they give their competitors every opportunity to search for such reproductions. This may be one of those cases where imitating a closed source application is actually safer, because by definition you can't copy their source, than imitating an application that is even partially open source.

Remember as well that even by bringing such a suit the reputation of the person being sued is permanently damaged even if they are proved innocent. As in the saying "no smoke without fire" if you throw around enough accusations then suspicions will be raised about whether you had just reason to make them, even no such reason exists (Did everyone just think "SCO is talking crap" or did you subconsciously think "Which lines are copied?").

A victory for SCO would IMO set back commercial open source a decade or more. Damn, it sucks to be hoping IBM win something :>

this doesn't make any sense...
by skaeight on Sat 3rd May 2003 05:06 UTC

I really don't get what they're claiming. Two days ago here on osnews there was an article saying that the Linux kernel was clean. After reading this article, it now sounds like they are saying the problem is in fact in the kernel. What is it? SCO needs to get their story straight.

What I still have yet to understand is, how sco can claim they own the intellectual rights to 20+ year old Unix code that they've aquired through some unknown now non existent company, which aquired it from Novell, which aquired it from AT&T. Don't patent's only last so long? Has SCO actually added anything of value to this code? They are complete mooches. Not to mention they have their own linux distribution....

Well if for some reason this is bad for linux, I guess I can always use FreeBSD...

Bah sure sure
by James Horsfall on Sat 3rd May 2003 05:39 UTC

they really have NO idea how many people they are pissing of do they ;)

Going nuts
by Disappa on Sat 3rd May 2003 05:59 UTC

All I'm saying is that the people over at SCO are going nutzo

You think
by RJDohnert on Sat 3rd May 2003 06:49 UTC

"McBride refused to detail which specific code had been copied but said there were several instances. . . . The Linux community would have me publish it [which instances] now, (so they can have it [the Linux source code]) laundered by the time we can get to a court hearing. That's not the way we're going to go."

If any of the Linux distributors did such a thing. Dont you think they would know what is stolen and " Launder " it anyway
cmon McBride get real, quit showing you ignorance and your knack for starting bullsh-t.

Who'll SCO go after next?
by Wesley Parish on Sat 3rd May 2003 09:33 UTC

QNX? LynxOS? Both of those are based on the self-same premise as Linux - an implementation of POSIX, which is the Portable Operating Systems Interface X.

If SCO can find "SCO Unix source code" in Linux, they can find it in QNX and LynxOS just as easily. Great - the US defense industry uses the two real-time POSIX OSes extensively.

Hey, SCO isn't just taking on Linux and the Open Source community with this sort of sh#t, they're taking on the Real-Time OS community as well.

SCO is starting to resemble a chamber pot's most useful moments, aren't they!

Looks like ...
by acosbar on Sat 3rd May 2003 12:43 UTC

they are working on interest of someone else!

Doesn't make any sense for their business do that kind of thing. With this, they are only losing customers at higher pace.

Maybe, what they are really doing (not the whole company, just some guys inside it) is FUD to make people get away of Unix or Unix-like operating systems, of course being paid for that.

I could put my money on that.

This is fun
by hylas on Sat 3rd May 2003 18:54 UTC

Out of print and up for grabs.

U*IX still rocks.

This is not fun, hylas, this is truth ;-)))
by Xavier on Sat 3rd May 2003 21:20 UTC

But i'm really surprised to see some sens of humour on a Microsoft site...

Re: Xavier
by RJDohnert on Sun 4th May 2003 00:31 UTC

Im surprised you can read it, there are no pictures at all.

by jeffery on Sun 4th May 2003 06:03 UTC

SCO can't win any legal settlements. They are looking for a buyer. Get a gimmick, get publicity, and get the hell out with all the money you can. MS is trying with all it's might to stay out of this fray, but eager as hell to get it's legal team in on it. SCO will be history in less than 6 months, and MS will battle LT head-on. bILL gATES dream come true!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

You're one more time wrong, my dear RJDohnert ;-)))
by Xavier on Sun 4th May 2003 10:19 UTC

Im surprised you can read it, there are no pictures at all.

You mean no picture in the related link given by "hylas" ?

Obviously, you have read up the URL given by hylas, and found it was an introduction to this pdf. This document doesn't contain a lot of pictures, but there are some ;-)))

My poor RJDohnert, i feel so sorry for you, but the fault is a little bit on your own. Your strong commitment in the linux troll tendency have made you really blind, i mean not only blind-minded...

... or... well i don't think so, but afterall why not, needless to say the *nix are notoriously lacking on the feature department, except maybe for the bugs per second rate, but today they are equiped to visualize more than only text characters, don't they ?

I mean, can you visualize pictures with your wonderfull "it rocks" "i can't do everything" "i can't wait" "have you seen the screenshot" distro ? Otherwise, please make you a favor and change your distro. Maybe can you choose, well..., let say Suse for example. Did you know that you can do absolutly _everything_ with Yast ? Even visualize a picture, yes you've read it ! This is incredible, no ? How powerfull is Suse ;-)))))))))))

boo ya!
by Bolthouse on Sun 4th May 2003 17:36 UTC

2 things...

1 - what if they are right and portions of linux code are *stolen* unix code. that is a big deal regardless of whether you like sco or not.

2 - what does sco stand to gain from all this? i dont understand how they can sue and gain profit. it seems that the *illegal* doings are not hurting them so much as it is general theft.

confused, i am.

Re: Xavier
by RJDohnert on Mon 5th May 2003 00:39 UTC

Ohh please shut up...

You're one more time wrong, my dear RJDohnert ;-)))

I have never been wrong, unless you want to debate that whole, Linux is cheaper than MS schtick again, which I might remind you, I shredded your points on that and proved Linux was cheaper. Anyway cant argue with a MS lover, they think they are always right. I will just enjoy using the money I saved from buying Linux for all the stuff I want to do.

Have a nice day

Oh by the way, learn english pleeeeeeeeeeeease

by RJDohnert on Mon 5th May 2003 01:30 UTC

I also wonder if SCO remembers that some System V code was freed for the BSD teams and thus was declared public domain. I think SCO really should reconsider before IBM and Linus shreds them.

the idea
by BiggyP on Mon 5th May 2003 01:52 UTC

"Well if for some reason this is bad for linux, I guess I can always use FreeBSD..."

i think they'd far rather that than you using a Linux other than UnitedLinux, after all, if anyone makes an enduser suitable BSD SCO could pick it up and use it any way they see fit(yes i know most of the DEs are GPL'd but they'd manage something i'm sure).
UnitedBSD, hmmm...

Yes, critical lines of code!
by Earl Colby Pottinger on Mon 5th May 2003 05:16 UTC

How many ways are there to make an efficent module to do a binary search, or handle a link list? Not that many I believe. This raises the problem of judges who don't realize that there is a limited range of efficent code possibilities, and the code they see was developed without ever see the original UNIX code.