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March 18, 2003

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Linux Kernel Gurus Reject SCO-Caldera v IBM Lawsuit Claims

SCO-Caldera v IBM: Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and David Weinehall Respond to SCO's Linux-Related Claims

By Mike Angelo -- 18 March 2003 (C) -- Page 4


SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community:

SCO Does Not Own All Unix IP


Note: SCO-Caldera is successor in title to the original AT&T Unix source code. However, the Open Group is the successor in title to the Unix trademark and Unix specifications. SCO does not now, nor has it ever, owned the complete, total bundle of Unix intellectual property (IP) rights. SCO-Caldera does not make that clear in its IBM Complaint. The vague and broad manner in which the Caldera v IBM Complaint is pled easily can lead one to mistakenly believe that SCO-Caldera did gain title to the complete, total bundle of Unix intellectual property (IP) rights. So as David Weinehall points out, the only traditional IP claim SCO-Caldera could make is copyright infringement. As you see from the rest of this discussion, SCO-Caldera would be very hard-pressed to prove copyright infringement, as David notes.

Summary and Conclusions

Too much of the Caldera v IBM Complaint's Linux-related allegations attempt to paint a picture of the Linux kernel, the GNU/Linux operating system, Linux developers, and Linux distribution providers as a rag-tag, intellectually deprived, resources deprived, uncoordinated, band of code-thieves floundering with a toy-like, bicycle-like, wholly un-fit for commercial or enterprise use operating-system -- until IBM stepped into the picture -- thus bailing-out and rescuing Linux from such a dismal undertaking.

Today Alan Cox (2.2 Linux kernel maintainer), Richard Gooch, PhD, (The linux-kernel mailing list FAQ maintainer) and David Weinehall (2.0 Linux kernel maintainer) unanimously refute and reject the so dismal picture of the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux operating system painted by SCO-Caldera. So have Linus Torvalds and Conectiva's Gordon Ho in previous interviews.

That's not to say that on its first few outings in the early '90's the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux operating system was ready for the big, server/enterprise show. It wasn't. Back then Linux was an infant and did the things that infant operating systems do. It did not do the things that more mature operating systems do. Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and David Weinehall candidly, readily, and honestly say that.

However, Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and David Weinehall also candidly, readily, and honestly state that the Linux kernel and the GNU/Linux OS grew-up and matured quickly -- more quickly than did Unix, incidentally. They just as candidly, readily, and honestly tell us that much of this maturation occurred before IBM got so involved with Linux kernel and GNU/Linux OS development. Moreover, they just as candidly, readily, and honestly state that the Linux developers did this without using SCO-owned Unix source code. All this is very much to the credit of the Linux kernel and GUN/Linux development community.

SCO-Caldera in its IBM Complaint alleges that the growth from operating system infancy to server/enterprise maturity could not, would not, have happened had it not been for IBM's assistance-- bailing-out or rescuing, if you like. Moreover, SCO-Caldera alleges that much of that IBM assistance was in the nature of misusing and misappropriating SCO's proprietary software (Caldera v IBM Complaint paragraph 4.a), inducing, encouraging, and enabling others to misuse and misappropriate SCO's proprietary software (Caldera v IBM Complaint paragraph 4.b), and incorporating (and inducing, encouraging, and enabling others to incorporate) SCO's proprietary software into open source software offerings (Caldera v IBM Complaint paragraph 4.c).

To the contrary, Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and David Weinehall candidly, readily, and honestly state the Linux developers built the Linux kernel without using SCO-owned Unix source code. Likewise, GNU's Richard Stallman candidly, readily, and honestly stated previously that the GNU/Linux OS developers built the GNU/Linux operating system without using SCO-owned Unix source code.

Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and David Weinehall candidly, readily, and honestly also point out that the knowledges, skills, and methodologies that SCO-Caldera alleges as its trade secrets and proprietary information are well known publicly -- and for the most part developed externally to AT&T, Novell, and SCO Unix development.

Meanwhile, SCO-Caldera's CEO Darl McBride and associates, have failed to offer proof that the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux are derived from SCO-owned Unix source code. Can you, Darl McBride, forthwith and without delay show substantial amounts of Linux kernel and/or GNU/Linux source code are the same as SCO-owned source code? Can you show us any Linux kernel and/or GNU/Linux source code are the same as SCO-owned source code?

Do you, Darl McBride, have articulable proof that Caldera-owned proprietary knowledges, skills, and methodologies were used in Linux kernel and/or GNU/Linux operating system development? If so, what is that proof -- other than a bald assertion?

So far Darl McBride, you have failed to offer any proof of your naked claims! Please, Darl McBride, show us your proof so that we all can see it.

There is lots more to come. Stay tuned!


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



Resources


GNU project

Kernel.Org Organization

The linux-kernel mailing list FAQ

The Open Group

PCLinuxOnLine


Related MozillaQuest Articles


SCO-Caldera v IBM:


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

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


Caldera OpenLinux 3.1.1 Available

Caldera OpenLinux Workstation 3.1 -- A First Look


UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part I

UnitedLinux, a Divisive Weapon for Caldera's Darl McBride -- Part II

SCO's Darl McBride and MozillaQuest Magazine's Mike Angelo Discuss Caldera Linux and LSB

Caldera/SCO 3.1.1 OpenLinux Distribution Gains LSB Certification


Linux Makes a Great Gift

Don't Forget the Books

LinuxWorld in New York City -- 21-24 January 2003


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