[TUHS] IANAL. Kimball has ruled

Jose R. Valverde jrvalverde at cnb.csic.es
Sat Jul 19 00:10:00 AEST 2008

	A few corrections:

On Thu, 17 Jul 2008 21:55:14 +0200
Pepe <pepe at naleco.com> wrote:
> You guess Sun was worried about non-ATT code in SVRX? No quite. The SVRX
> code in Solaris (if any; and certainly there is plenty) is certainly 100%
> ATT-derived, and any non-ATT code in the SVRX code that The SCO Group
> passed on to Sun had (by a mere matter of time) to be added to SVRX
> after ATT relinquished the original SVRX code and quite after Solaris
> branched out of the UNIX System V Release 4, and therefore any non-ATT
> (or non-ATT-licenseable) code inside The SCO Group's SVRX certainly is
> not inside Solaris, so no worries there.
I don't quite get your point, but had access to some old versions of
Solaris under NDA, and believe me or not, it hasn't changed that much
(although it has changed a lot). As far as I remember, SV is not 100%
ATT: a large part of it (the majority according to some) was developed
by Sun. It would surprise me if in their joint agreement Sun hadn't
safeguarded themselves to keep some control on their code.

Not only that, there is/was code that didn't belong either to ATT nor
Sun there. Tracking all that and getting agreements would have been a
nightmare for Sun. And Sun had been after open sourcing Solaris since
the late UNIX Wars and early Linux times, see Larry McVoigh's


Finally, probably a good part of the deal with SCO was due to
Sun's interest in many SCO device drivers for x86

> You forget the The SCO Group was fully engaged in a total FUD campaign,
> whose ultimate goal was to cut off Linux support in the Enterprise via
> fear, uncertainty and doubt, and whose collateral goal was to make
> plenty of money selling bogus Linux licenses and suing everybody in
> sight (IBM and The SCO Group's own customers, of course).

I don't believe anybody sane would engage in deceptive action at that
level consciously with such big players as IBM. From all the history
of the cases it seems rather that this is a case of a change of
management to unknowledgeable, ambitious managers who paid too much
attention to the UNIX department on the Company and then had to put
a straight face to defend what resulted to be an untenable position.

Try to put yourself in Darl's place: you make a decision based on the
promises of some head of department and sue IBM and the world. Then
little by little your move is proven wrong. What can you do? Yes,
say sorry, close the company, fire all workers and get punished for
admitting to a scam. Or you can put a straight face, defend that 
you do actually believe the unbelievable -and look as a stupid 
instead- and try to save the company, the workers and your skin
until you can find someone else to take the hot potato.

I don't say that is what's happening, but it certainly looks like.

> Sun needed desperately to find a way to stop losing money, and that
> meant making themselves again desirable to the IT market. Sun mayor
> rivals were (and are) Microsoft and Linux. Specially Linux, since more
> Sun machines are being replaced by Linux than by Windows. So the Sun
> strategy was two-fold: release an "opensource" Unix to "steal" the
> grassroots support away from Linux, and give money to The SCO Group
> so they could keep afloat their FUD campaign against Linux in the
> Enterprise. If they could achieve these two goals with one swift move,
> much better; and they did: the gave money to The SCO Group to buy a
> bogus license to opensource Solaris.

In the dot-com bubble Sun was _the_ Internet company. They had a
strong name and their view of the future was right. Plus, see the
"The Sourceware Operating System Proposal". Plus, they had already
tried half-opening Solaris 8, and the experience, well received,
proved not enough. 

They might have been desperate, but open sourcing solaris was a 
decision taken long, long before. Maybe they took advantage of
SCO's Linux war, but SCO clearing up SVRX for them was the move
they had been forever praying for since they helped build SVRX.

Do not forget Sun had been an open source company from its
beginning selling BSD. The UNIX wars damaged them heavily,
and after a short interlude of closedness in the 90s the
company culture was bound to retake over.

> > SCO thus was willing to take any risks regarding third parties with respect
> > to opening up SVRX derived Solaris. That was very bold and valiant
> Your ingenuity here is shocking.

So is yours: think of Linux and GPLv3: that's an impossible move because
there's no way to track contributors. Same happens (to a lesser degree
perhaps) with SVRX.

I never said it wasn't silly or wrongfully founded, but you must 
acknowledge it was bold.

> Ridiculous. With Solaris the Enterprise has a growth path to big iron.
> With UnixWare the Enterprise has a "growth" path from the PC to a bigger
> PC.
Not only did Unixware at the time have better SMP support, and Himalaya 
clustering, and many things above Linux, but Monterey goal was that 
Unixware would run on IBM's big iron. And last I looked IBM produced
far more big iron than Sun.

> > Thus SCO move benefits them twice as now they have two open source OSes,
> > and should any contributor to SVRX code complain of the open sourcing
> > SCO would have to take the blame and has already assumed all 
> > responsibility.
> So, what two "opens source" OSes does The SCO Group have? "Open"-Server
> and "Open"-Unix (aka Unixware)? Amazing!

That 'them' refers to Novell, which is the subject of all the paragraph.
Novell gets Linux and OpenSolaris if they reach an agreement with Sun.

> > BTW, nobody seems to have complained about portions of SVRX contributed
> > code being in opensolaris, so maybe nobody cared anyway
> Nobody cares about OpenSolaris. If you are going to go with Solaris,
> open or not, you are going to be paying much more for year-on-year
> support to the vendor than the Solaris license costs, so whether it is
> open o not is moot for the Enterprise.
That argument applies equally to HP, IBM or any other. However...

Certainly any company that outsources system management must pay
for it, be it to Sun, RedHat, IBM or whomever.

If you have competent sysadmins, then you can get all maintenance 
in-house and save a lot on support.

And you may not care. But Sun's clustering, DTrace, ZFS, Grid, and many 
other technological offers are worth for real performance. I don't 
argue most people do not care about them and are happy with Linux or

Me... I've used Linux since 0.1 believe it or not, and the bulk of my
systems are Linux. But I also keep xBSD, Tru64, AIX and Solaris for
those special cases where Linux falls short.

> The question here is: the indemnification The SCO Group offered SUN
> weights less than smoke: What indemnification can you get from a bankrupt
> company? None, that is the answer.

The law may have something to say regarding Sun's role as a possible scam 
victim of a Novell representative (SCO).

> Caldera/The SCO Group did no have just title to change the license on the
> intellectual property they did not own and which they were not allowed to
> re-license with different terms under the "Assets Purchase Agreement"
> signed between Caldera and Novell. Therefore, any and all relicensing
> done by Caldera of ancient or modern UNIX code is void and null. Unless
> Novell comes after the fact and endorses such open-sourcing. Absent Novell
> action, The SCO Group actions changing the UNIX license are void.
That's not true as we know now from the outcome of the ATT BSD settlement
and the rulings on that case. A lot of code was published without copyright
at a time when that meant public release. The issue was never actually
resolved in court, but you can bet that most probably code up to SysIII 
is unprotected.

Again, a risky decision by then Caldera, but this one with smaller risk.

> > From: Boyd Lynn Gerber <gerberb at zenez.com>
> > 
> > Caldera/SCO was trying to get everything opensourced.  They released 
> > OpenUNIX 8.0 which was UnixWare 7.1.2.
> What? Care to show proof? What do you mean by the mention of "OpenUNIX"
> in the same paragraph where you say "SCO was trying to get everything
> opensourced"? That "OpenUNIX" is proof of the "opensourcing" done at
> The SCO Group?
> What??

Of course nobody can read someone else's mind. But just as SCO announced
everywhere their war on Linux, Caldera announced everywhere their intent
to progressively open source UNIX. At least you should give same weight 
to both series of statements (bearing in mind they were done by different

> What attempts? Vaporware is nothing to be grateful about.

Don't let your bad experience with Microsoft spread to all vendors. Some
have managed a long history of delivering on their promises, and Caldera
at the time was one such.

Personally, I think if they had stuck to Ransom Love and endured the
harsh times for a couple of years until the "boom" of Linux they would
have managed a lot better. Not to mention they could have unified UNIX
at last. But there's no way to know now.

	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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