In March, IBM was sued for $1 billion by The SCO Group, of Lindon, Utah, which claims IBM has put SCO's Unix code into Linux, the open-source software program.
SCO also has sent letters to 1,500 large companies warning them that if they are using Linux, they may face legal problems.
Tarantella [previously Santa Cruz Operation] was paid a mere $36 million for its Unix code--the same code that Yarro and McBride now hope could generate $1 billion from IBM.
26 June 2003
SCO chief executive Darl McBride said, "When you look inside in the code base and you see line-by-line copy of [SCO's Unix] System V code, not just the code itself but comments to the code, titles that were in the comments and humour elements that were in the comments, you see that everything is taken straight across."
McBride claimed that everything was exactly the same, except that the copyright notices had been stripped out.
21 July 2003
The SCO Group announced Monday that it has registered Unix System V source code with the U.S. Copyright Office and that it will offer Linux users licenses of its UnixWare operating system as protection against possible future copyright violations.
David Boies, litigator for Boies, Shiller and Flexner of Armonk, N.Y., the company representing SCO in its action against IBM said, “What you often have is copyrightable material, like in the Microsoft case, that was not filed until there was a need to bring an enforcement action.”
SCO says that the multiprocessing capabilities added to the Linux 2.2 and subsequent kernels infringe on its copyrights. They relate to the Non-Uniform Memory Architecture (NUMA), which lets more than two processors execute code concurrently.
22 July 2003
"They're selling a pig in a poke," said open source advocate Bruce Perens.
Perens and other open source advocates claim that SCO's licensing scheme appears to violate the Free Software Foundation's GNU General Public License (GPL) software license that governs Linux.
On Monday SCO's attorney David Boies, of the firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, said that there was a possibility that SCO could pursue case-by-case litigation against companies that used Linux.
According to Free Software Foundation General Counsel Eben Moglen, "You don't need a copyright license from anybody to use any program... That's like saying you need a copyright license to read a newspaper... If there's plagiarized material in the New York Times, that doesn't mean that people who buy the New York Times are liable."
Linux distributor Red Hat, for one, had no interest in adopting SCO's license. "We have full confidence in our code, so we don't feel this license is necessary for anybody."
"SCO has not shown us any code contributed to Linux by IBM which violates SCO copyrights," said IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino. "SCO needs to openly show the Linux community any copyrighted Unix code which they claim is in Linux. SCO seems to be asking customers to pay for a license based on allegations, not facts," she said.
Who uses NUMA architecture for a linux box anyway? How many pre-compiled kernels include NUMA support? I thought that was still an "experimental" module. Why not just strip that code out and split the code base until this is all resolved?
In regards to copyright/newspaper/plagiarize statements, there is a difference. The information inside a newspaper is not separately licensed to each user, wheras much of the copyrightable code in the world *is* separately licensed.
I think someone should send out flyers to known terrorist camps showing the addresses of The SCO Group and The Canopy Group to be the heart of the US government and military to see what happens.