posted by Thom Holwerda on Thu 1st May 2008 19:41 UTC
IconSpeaking of soap operas, there's one soap opera in the technology world that has been going on for so long that nobody really seems to know why it was ever started, whatever all the different moves have been over the years, or whoever lost or won which battle. Just like a true soap opera, you can just jump right in the middle of it and feel like you've always been part of the regular audience. The SCO saga is such a case.

Ars is reporting right from the countertrial that Novell started after having more or less won the trial last year SCO sued Novell with. During that trial it was determined that Novell owned the copyrights to AT&T UNIX' source code and derivatives, including SVRX (System V, Release X). Novell has already stated it has no interest in suing Linux users or distributors with these UNIX copyrights (they depend on Linux now, you see).

SCO senior vice president Chris Sontag was first to take the stand, and when asked "Is there any UnixWare code in Linux?", Ars reports him as answering:

"There very well could be, [...] I've never done that analysis, never seen that analysis." Sontag also testified that there was no difference between the Microsoft and Sun licenses for UnixWare, saying, "They were equal."

Darl McBride, CEO of SCO, was up next. His answers were... Peculiar, to say the least. He stated that SCO holds the copyrights over UNIX, and that "many Linux contributors were originally UNIX developers. We have evidence System V is in Linux." Which contradicts the statements made by Sontag, but as Ars explains, due to the witness exclusion rule, McBride was not present during the testimony of Sontag. McBride had one throwaway remark, one that really shows how much this man has lost touch with reality - which may probably be the most opinionated remark ever in an OSNews news item, but just read what he had to say, and you can do nothing but agree with me. McBride said:

Linux is a copy of UNIX, there is no difference [between them].

Next up on the bench was Greg Jones, VP of Technology at Novell. He stated SCO had never told Novell specifically SCO would sue Linux users. He also explained that SCO did not notify Novell about entering into an agreement with Microsoft, even though they were supposed to. Ars continues:

Jones testified that SVRX code is in Solaris and that he had discovered several cases of this. At that point, Novell entered into evidence at least 21 examples of OpenSolaris code that had been taken from the SVRX code base (one such example can be found on the OpenSolaris web site) and re-licensed under Sun's open-source CDDL license.

He further testified that the agreement between SCO and Sun was "extraordinary" in allowing a move from a proprietary license to an open-source license, and if Novell had been asked, it would have prevented SCO from entering into that agreement. He said the same thing regarding the Microsoft agreement with SCO, as well as the agreement between SCO and Computer Associates.

I'm still amazed at the remark McBride made. What intrigues me now is if he believed as such all along, or that the events over the last few years made him believe it. Both are equally disturbing.

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