Moreover, IBM fails to deny SCO's allegation that Linux is an operating system derived from . . . UNIX. However, prominent and well-respected members of the Linux community refute SCO-Caldera's claim that Linux is a derivative of . . . UNIX source code.
Additionally, SCO-Caldera's Senior Vice-President, Chris Sontag recently admitted to MozillaQuest Magazine that there is no SCO-owned code in the kernel.org's Linux kernel. (Please see Sontag Note in the right side-bar.)
This is a particularly key issue not only for the Caldera v IBM lawsuit, but also for SCO-Caldera's ability to attack just about every Linux distribution provider (LDP) and perhaps every Linux-based operating system user.
Unfortunately, SCO-Caldera owns the Unix source-code copyrights. If Linux were to have been derived from Unix code, then indeed SCO-Caldera might be able to mount copyright infringement claims against every Linux OS distributor.
We find it particularly problematic that IBM has not denied that claim in its Answer to SCO-Caldera's Complaint.
SCO's allegation in its Complaint and its frequent accusations in statements made by SCO management that Linux was derived from Unix have infuriated most, if not all, the Linux community. And now, in its formal lawsuit Answer to SCO's statements, which allege Linux is derived from Unix, IBM refuses to refute that false claim. That's outrageous!
IBM's Answer to SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint is a huge disappointment.
For the most part, the Linux community has sided with IBM in this SCO-Caldera v IBM dispute. SCO has been attacking the Linux community and the resulting wrath of the Linux community directed towards SCO is well justified. However, after reading IBM's disappointing Answer to SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint, it appears when it comes to corporate self-interest, greed, and dishonesty that SCO and IBM might not be all that different.
At Least IBM Contributes to the Linux Community
Perhaps there is one big difference between IBM and SCO-Caldera in this regard. On the one hand the big, blue giant has been using the Linux operating system (OS) and the volunteer work-product of Linux community developers to stuff its big, blue treasure chests and pockets with lots of nice, green, money.
However, on the other hand IBM has been giving back to the Linux community. IBM has hired some of the kernel hackers -- so at least those developers now are getting paid for hacking the Linux kernel. IBM has contributed code to the Linux community -- thus IBM too is contributing to Linux kernel, operating system, and software development.
Meanwhile, SCO-Caldera has laid off or otherwise gotten rid of Linux people. Additionally, it seems that these days SCO-Caldera is trying to deprive the Linux community of code rather than contributing code.
Perhaps the most important contribution that IBM has made to the advancement of Linux-based operating-system environments is that of migrating many of its customers to Linux-based computer systems. In doing that, IBM has lent immeasurable moral support and prestige to the positioning of the GNU/Linux operating system as a server/enterprise grade OS. (Please see the GNU - Linux Note in the right sidebar.)
Meanwhile, SCO-Caldera seems to be viciously attacking the prestige that the Linux OS has achieved as a server/enterprise product -- and doing everything it can conjure up to hurt the Linux operating system.
Additionally, IBM is using commercial Linux distributions such as Red Hat Linux and SuSE Linux for the Linux-based computer systems that IBM is marketing. That helps those Linux distribution providers (LDPs) to generate much needed revenues.
Could it be that this SCO v IBM scrap is really about IBM using Red Hat and SuSE Linux for its computer systems rather than SCO Linux?
We suspect that it is the degree to which IBM gives-back to, contributes to, and participates in the Linux Community that provides the animus behind the Linux community's lining up on IBM's side in its dispute with SCO-Caldera -- and rightly so.
As a digression here and since this is an Op-ED piece, a really excellent Linux distribution provider that is in great need of increased revenues is MandrakeSoft. MandrakeSoft also has two server/enterprise grade Linux products. Plus, its Mandrake Linux 9.1 is one of the best desktop Linux products available today. If IBM were to market the MandrakeSoft products in addition to the Red Hat and SuSE products, that could be a much needed shot-in-the-arm for Mandrake -- at a time when it most needs one.
Except for the Summary and Conclusions section at the end of this article, the remainder of this article is a somewhat painstaking and boring analysis of SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint and IBM's Answer to that Complaint. So, if you like please feel free to jump to the Summary and Conclusions section now. Otherwise, pop-open your favorite beverage and a bag of your favorite junk food and read on.
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.
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