On Thursday, 29 May 2003 at 6:33:54 -0600, M. Warner Losh wrote:
In message: <BAFBB8B1.118%rob(a)vetsystems.com>
Robert Tillyard <rob(a)vetsystems.com> writes:
I believe the
legal action is over breach on contract with IBM and
not on copyright issues.
All of SCO's statements to the court have been contractual. Their
statements to the press have been inflated to include things that
aren't actually alledged in the court filings.
What's not very clear here is that there seem to be two issues. The
IBM issue is, as you say, a contractual one which about which they
have been remarkably vague. The suspension of Linux distribution is a
different matter. From http://www.lemis.com/grog/sco.html
On Tuesday, 27 May 2003, I spoke to Kieran O'Shaughnessy, managing
director of SCO Australia. He told me that SCO had entrusted three
independent companies to compare the code of the UnixWare and Linux
kernels. All three had come back pointing to significant
occurrences of common code ("UnixWare code", as he put it) in both
In view of the long and varied history of UNIX, I wondered whether
the code in question might have been legally transferred from an
older version of UNIX to Linux, so I asked him if he really meant
UnixWare and not System V.4. He stated that it was specifically
But if it
turns out the IBM is guilty of lifting SCO code and
putting it into Linux I think SCO does have the right to get a bit
upset about it, after all I wouldn't be to happy if I had to
compete with a product that's just about free and contains code
that I wrote.
That's the rub. Do they, in point of fact, actually have any code
they own the Copyright to or the patent rights to?
Of course they have lots of code with their own copyright. The
release of JFS was one example. Probably the majority of AIX was
developed by IBM, not by AT&T. It's rather similar to the issue with
4BSD in the early 90s: with a little bit of work you could probably
replace the entire AT&T code in AIX and have a system which did not
require an SCO license.
If you mean "is there IBM copyright code in Linux?", I think the
answer is again yes, but it's under the GPL or possibly IPL, IBM's
attempt at a compromise between proprietary licenses and the GPL. I
think they've given up on the IPL now.
For what it's worth, I'd be astounded if SCO's claims were found to be
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