[TUHS] SCO vs. IBM: NOVELL steps up to the plate

Greg 'groggy' Lehey grog at lemis.com
Fri May 30 10:37:46 AEST 2003

On Thursday, 29 May 2003 at 17:56:39 -0600, M. Warner Losh wrote:
> In message: <20030529235027.GE20321 at wantadilla.lemis.com>
>             "Greg 'groggy' Lehey" <grog at lemis.com> writes:
>> On Thursday, 29 May 2003 at  6:33:54 -0600, M. Warner Losh wrote:
>>> In message: <BAFBB8B1.118%rob at vetsystems.com>
>>>             Robert Tillyard <rob at 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
>>    kernels.
>>    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
>>    UnixWare 7.
> I base my statements on the legal filings that are available at the
> SCO site.  I do not base them on anything that SCO has said to the
> press, since those statements are nearly universally overinflated.
> Since these are statements to the press, or other public statements, I
> trust them as much as I trust public statements by politicians.

The trouble is that there *is* no legal filing on the Linux without
IBM case.

>>> That's the rub.  Do they, in point of fact, actually have any code
>>> they own the Copyright to or the patent rights to?
>> ...
> I was speaking of SCO, not IBM.  What code does SCO own the copyright
> to?

Ah, sorry.  Got to pass on that one.  They probably have the rights to

>> For what it's worth, I'd be astounded if SCO's claims were found to be
>> true.
> Me too.  There's another article that is saying that there are 10-15
> line snippets scattered all through the kernel.  Give me a break.
> That claim is so absurd as to be not credible on its face.  I can see
> one or two files, maybe stretching my disbelief to its limits, but I
> can't see anything more pervasive than that.

There are plenty of cases where you need to initialize a data
structure.  Many data structures are public knowledge, and
initialization is a brainless enough task that the code could have
been written independently and look almost the same.  Does this line
ring a bell?

	(*bdevsw[major(bp->b_dev)]->d_strategy) (bp);

How many people have written that independently of each other?

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