My take on this is multiple:
If I remember well from IBM vs. SCO the agreements between IBM and alike
and AT&T stated that the code was to be kept confidential but that if a third
party did release it, the licensees would no longer be bound by that restriction.
Solaris has been open sourced and is heavily System V based. Novell
argues now SCO was not entitled to, and so the Sun-SCO agreement that made it
possible is probably void.
Novell is now engaged against SCO. Once that is over, they'll have to
look at the Sun and MS agreements. My take on this is that they will renegotiate.
In the case of Sun there is no longer sense in asking for the code to be closed.
It's in the open now and has been for a long time. If I were Novell, I would
negotiate in a oblique direction: Solaris _may_ pose a competing threat to Novell
Linux business... arguably. Sun is interested in making Solaris GPL. If it were,
then Novell would have no standpoint against Sun as it would make no difference
then for them to use either Linux or Solaris, both being equally available and
third-party originated under the same license. Going after Solaris would give
them a very bad reputation among OSS followers. Thus, what would make more sense
would be to negotiate with Sun and ask for some more money in exchange for
dropping any charges and Solaris becoming GPL. Everybody wins and everybody is
Should it go that way, and probably only afterward, Novell may consider
opening up System V under an OSS license, as most of it would have been rendered
obsolete by OSS Solaris. It would also increase Novell's reputation and clear
this mess forever. Hopefully by the time this happens (counting on SCO or their
successors to appeal the Utah decision), maybe 10 years from now, System V will
have become as irrelevant -commercially I mean- as e. g. UNIX v5 is now while
historical interest and value will have raised after several years of TUHS
applying moderate pressure ;-) It would also be the time to ask IBM to release
the code for AIX and DYNIX (which is already in the wild according to
soothsayers), HP to open Tru64 (same and which they insist on phasing out),
There remains the issue of the flow of SystemV licenses money to Novell
after and if it is open sourced... I don't know how much that is, nor how much
it might be 4-10 years from now when the SCO appeals are heard. So my evaluation
is probably faulty.
Oh, well, I woke up in a dreamy mood today! :-)
These opinions are mine and only mine. Hey man, I saw them first!
José R. Valverde
De nada sirve la Inteligencia Artificial cuando falta la Natural
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