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March 13, 2003

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Conectiva's Gordon Ho and MozillaQuest's Mike Angelo Discuss the Caldera v IBM Lawsuit

SCO-Caldera v IBM: Conectiva Rejects SCO-Caldera's Linux-Related Allegations

Conectiva Re-Evaluating Its UnitedLinux Ties to SCO-Caldera

By Mike Angelo -- 13 March 2003 (C) -- Page 2

SCO-Caldera v. IBM:

SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community:

Note: Until 2001, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO), a UNIX company, and Caldera International (CALD), a Linux company, were two different companies. In 2001, Caldera acquired SCO. Then in 2002 Caldera changed its business name to the SCO Group. However, the corporate name remains Caldera International.

Many people still think of the SCO Group's Linux operations as Caldera. In order to make sure that readers would know and realize throughout the article that what is now the SCO Group is also the company once called Caldera, the SCO Group is often referred to as SCO-Caldera in this article.


The comments of Conectiva's Gordon K. Ho are particularly important for several reasons. One such reason is that Conectiva and SCO-Caldera are both members of the UnitedLinux consortium. Conectiva, a UnitedLinux associate of SCO-Caldera, strongly rebukes and rejects the Linux-related claims made by SCO in its Caldera v IBM Complaint. That particularly underscores the outrageous and egregious content of SCO's Linux-related allegations.

Another reason is that several times Gordon Ho states relating to Conectiva's UnitedLinux relations with SCO-Caldera: As it relates to UnitedLinux, . . . Conectiva is analyzing the type of impact this lawsuit could have on our business and will dissect and analyze all the facts before deciding on any next steps. He also mentions: The other members of the UnitedLinux partnership are dissecting and analyzing the facts before taking any premature actions. SuSE has publicly stated that it too is re-evaluating its association with SCO-Caldera in light of SCO's Caldera v IBM lawsuit claims.

Our guess is that both Conectiva and SuSE would like to sever their ties, via UnitedLinux, to SCO-Caldera. However, with SCO-Caldera practicing what appears to be lawsuit terror tactics, no doubt Conectiva and SuSE must proceed with extreme caution when it comes to severing their ties to SCO-Caldera.

Moreover, this is not the first time that SCO-Caldera has, to say the least, embarrassed its UnitedLinux associates. Please see our articles,

for more about that.

Without the cooperative development and somewhat common marketing provided by the UnitedLinux consortium, SCO-Caldera might be hard pressed to further develop and market its own flavor Linux distribution. As it is, Linux sales now account for only about five-percent of SCO-Caldera revenues.

Another particularly important statement-set in this discussion is Gordon Ho's joining in with statements by Allen Brown, Richard Gooch, Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, and other very prominent members of the Linux community clearly rejecting SCO-Caldera's claims that Linux was derived from SCO-Caldera's Unix source code. Gordon Ho: . . . Linux was developed without any basis on the source code of other operating systems, but yes on its functionalities. Linux was developed from square one by a community of engineers . . .

The thrust of SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint is that Linux is not, or would not be, a server/enterprise grade operating system were it not for the alleged mis-conduct of IBM that provided allegedly necessary assistance to the Linux community. Gordon Ho clearly and candidly trashes that SCO-Caldera claim.

Gordon Ho: . . . We believe that, allegations that it is IBM that has made Linux ready for the enterprise are unfounded. Conectiva has been working with Linux since 1995, and through these years, way before IBM became involved with the OS officially . . .

. . . Quite a few of the characteristics necessary for the System to be ready for the enterprise was already available long before IBM began to officially help with the development of the System . . .

. . . The technology available for the development of Conectiva Linux, much like other distributions of Linux, was available on the Internet from the beginning of the development of the System. All companies that work with Linux benefit from the distributed development model, through a reduction in costs and contribution to the Open Source code in areas which they have the most expertise . . .

. . . Memory management in Linux benefited from large contributions of former and current hackers at Conectiva, including Rik Van Riel and Marcelo Tosatti, the current maintainer of the 2.4 Linux kernel . . .

In large part, SCO's money claims in its Caldera v IBM lawsuit depend upon SCO's proving that the alleged IBM misappropriation of UNIX code, methods or concepts (Caldera v IBM Complaint at paragraph 86) is responsible for making the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux server/enterprise grade, thus financially damaging SCO-Caldera. That's because GNU/Linux as a server/enterprise grade operating system allows GNU/Linux-based operating-system distributions to successfully compete against SCO's Unix products and derivatives thereof, such as AIX for which SCO-Caldera receives licensing income.

Conectiva, along with pretty much the entire Linux kernel and GNU/Linux community is lining up full-square against SCO-Caldera's allegations that without the alleged aid provided by IBM, the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux would not be server/enterprise grade. This is very important because in order for SCO-Caldera to get significant money damages through its Caldera v IBM lawsuit, it has attacked the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, Linux distribution providers, Linux developers, and perhaps whoever killed cock-robin too -- in other words, the entire Linux community. (Just so you do not think this is somewhat recursive because SCO-Caldera does have a Linux distribution, we no longer consider SCO-Caldera to be a part of the Linux community!)

Despite claims by SCO-Caldera spokespeople that they are not attacking Linux, it is clear from the Linux-related allegations in the Caldera v IBM Complaint that SCO-Caldera is attacking Linux and the Linux community. It has to do that in order to win any significant amounts of money if it does prove that IBM violated any terms of any agreements, contracts, and/or licenses involving SCO intellectual property.

Stay tuned. There is lots more to come.

Please see the first two parts of our series about SCO-Caldera's IP claims plus its intentions to enforce and license its intellectual property rights.

SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community: The SCOsource IP Matter

SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community: Part 2, Under the Iceberg's Tip




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