[TUHS] SCO to have violated GPL?

Jeroen Ruigrok/asmodai asmodai at wxs.nl
Wed Jun 11 19:08:49 AEST 2003

As seen on Slashdot:


Some members of the open-source community are claiming that the SCO
Group may have violated the terms of the GNU GPL (General Public
License) by incorporating source code from the Linux kernel into the
Linux Kernel Personality feature found in SCO Unix without giving the
changes back to the community or displaying copyright notices
attributing the code to Linux.

A source close to SCO, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told eWEEK
that parts of the Linux kernel code were copied into the Unix System V
source tree by former or current SCO employees.

That could violate the conditions of the GNU GPL, which states that any
amendments to open-source code used in a commercial product must be
given back to the community or a copyright notice must be displayed
attributable to Linux, he said.

The source, who has seen both the Unix System V source code and the
Linux source code and who assisted with a SCO project to bring the two
kernels closer together, said that SCO "basically re-implemented the
Linux kernel with functions available in the Unix kernel to build what
is now known as the Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) in SCO Unix." 

The LKP is a feature that allows users to run standard Linux
applications along with standard Unix applications on a single system
using the UnixWare kernel.

"During that project we often came across sections of code that looked
very similar, in fact we wondered why even variable names were
identical. It looked very much like both codes had the same origin, but
that was good as the implementation of 95 percent of all Linux system
calls on the Unix kernel turned out to be literally 'one-liners'," the
source said.

Only a handful of system calls.socketcall, ipc and clone.were fairly
difficult to implement as they involved the obvious differentiators
between Linux and Unix: networking, inter-process communication and
kernel threads, the source said.

Jeroen Ruigrok van der Werven <asmodai(at)wxs.nl> / asmodai / a capoeirista
PGP fingerprint: 2D92 980E 45FE 2C28 9DB7  9D88 97E6 839B 2EAC 625B
http://www.tendra.org/   | http://www.in-nomine.org/~asmodai/diary/
I am the impossibility...

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