[TUHS] SCO sues IBM?

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Tue Mar 11 09:45:48 AEST 2003

On Tuesday, 11 March 2003 at  8:15:18 +1100, Peter Jeremy wrote:
> On 2003-Mar-10 14:21:00 -0600, Jeffrey Sharp <jss at subatomix.com> wrote:
>> On Sunday, March 9, 2003, Michael Davidson wrote:
>>> I will, however, ask for an "official" statement of SCO's current position
>>> on "Ancient UNIX"
>> But once they've released it under a BSD-style license, it is released. They
>> simply can't unrelease it. They don't have to continue distributing it, but
>> they can't stop me from doing what the license explicitly allows. So their
>> current position WRT ancient UNIX may not mave much legal weight. IANAL,
> AFAIK, the only evidence we have that it is released under a BSD-style
> license is an e-mail allegedly from an authorised person within SCO.
> Warren has not been able to find an equivalent statement on their
> website.  I suspect Warren is concerned that they could claim it was
> never released - ie the e-mail is a faked/forged or the sender didn't
> have the authority to make the claims therein.

I think you mean me, not Warren.  Warren hasn't said anything yet.

My concern is not whether it's genuine--I'm convinced it is.  My
concern is more whether SCO's apparently bone-headed lawyers will
believe it's genuine.

> What would you do if SCO's lawyers came knocking on your door and
> demanded you cease distributing ancient UNIX or derived products?

Yes, this is the point.

> Whilst you could probably prove the authenticity of the e-mail, this
> would cost real money - and SCO probably can afford to spend a lot
> more money than you can.

It's not clear how much money SCO has.

> The date of the e-mail may also be a crucial issue - since IBM would
> presumably have the right to use the code after SCO changed the code
> to a BSD license.

I am very sure that IBM has not put any UNIX code into Linux.  For one
thing, it's not their style, and in fact they keep the AIX and Linux
people very separate.  Last year I wrote a clone of AIX's JFS file
system on Linux for IBM.  This is the old JFS, not the JFS they
released under GPL.  I was not allowed to see the AIX source code, for
exactly the reasons of the complaint.  The only information I had were
the header files they distribute with the development system.

The AIX code wouldn't have helped, anyway.  Linux is not UNIX, as
anybody who's done kernel programming in both knows.  I had thought
that this childish superstition about the holiness of source code
would have been stamped out at the end of the last UNIX wars.

Finger grog at lemis.com for PGP public key
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