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July 22, 2003

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MozillaQuest Op-Ed

SCO Registers Unix System V Copyrights

IBM, SuSE, and Richard Gooch Deny SCO-Caldera Copyright Claims

By Mike Angelo -- 22 July 2003 (C) -- Page 1

Does SCO Have a Viable Claim to JFS, NUMA, RCU, Etc?

Is SCO-Caldera Trying to Pull an Extortion Scam?

Article Index

SCO-Caldera v. IBM:

SCO Clears Linux Kernel but Implicates Red Hat and SuSE

IBM Files Answer to SCO's Caldera v IBM Complaint

IBM Response to SCO-Caldera Complaint Is Outrageous!

SCO Has Not Found Its Code in Kernell.Org Linux Kernel or in GNU/Linux OS -- Conectiva, Mandrake, and SuSE Say No SCO in Their Code

Kernel.Org and GNU/Linux Developers Have Clean Code Safeguards -- Is SCO Trying to Dictate Linux Kernel and GNU/Linux Development Procedures?

Novell Says SCO Does Not Own Unix IP -- SCO Says it Does -- Novel Enters the SCO IP Fray with No Proof and More FUD

IS SCO NDA Sideshow Setting a Trap for Analysts and Linux Developers?

SCO +1, Novell -1 in SCO v Novell Unix-IP Feud -- Novell loses big round in Unix IP fray with SCO-Caldera


SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community:

In a press release issued yesterday, SCO (SCOX) announced that:

it has received U.S. copyright registrations for UNIX System V source code, a jurisdictional pre-requisite to enforcement of its UNIX copyrights. The company also announced it will offer UnixWare(R) licenses tailored to support run-time, binary use of Linux for all commercial users of Linux based on kernel version 2.4.x and later. SCO will hold harmless commercial Linux customers that purchase a UnixWare license against any past copyright violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only, binary format.

Also yesterday, in a telephone press conference for journalists and analysts, SCO CEO Darl McBride repeated that announcement. Other than SCO claims that it now has registered Unix System V copyrights, there is not really anything particularly new in yesterday's press release or yesterday's teleconference announcement.

Just What Unix or Linux Intellectual Property Does SCO Own?

Interestingly, just about everyone had assumed that SCO already owned the Unix System V copyrights when it filed its Caldera v IBM lawsuit. However, in March 2003 Linux Journal Editor Don Marti revealed that SCO did not own any Unix patents. Following that, Novell CEO Jack Messman announced in May that SCO did not acquire the Unix copyrights when it purchased Novell's Unix business in 1995. A week later, Darl McBride managed to come up with a later agreement conveying some, un-specified, Unix copyrights to SCO.

However, the real issue, which McBride managed to evade in SCO's press release and his teleconference announcement is whether the kernel.org Linux kernel infringes on any SCO copyrights. GNU/Linux community spokespeople have repeatedly denied SCO-Caldera and McBride's claims that GNU/Linux infringes on SCO copyrights. Moreover, the German Courts have ruled it illegal for SCO and McBride to make such claims in Germany. Additionally, SCO is facing pending contempt of court charges for violating the German court orders.

It's just the same lame SCO claims that Linux contains SCO-owned Unix code that SCO-Caldera and McBride have been making for months -- in a new package with a new twist -- but the same old FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt).

Richard Gooch Denies SCO-McBride's Claims

For example we have discussed these same basic issues with kernel.org's Dr. Richard Gooch, the linux-kernel-mailing-list maintainer, before SCO filed its Caldera v IBM lawsuit and after the Caldera v IBM lawsuit was filed. Just to see if yesterday's SCO-McBride announcements had changed anything, we checked with Richard Gooch yesterday to see.

MozillaQuest Magazine: According to today's press conference Linux kernels 2.4 through 2.6 now infringe upon SCO's registered copyrights. Is that true?

Richard Gooch: They can claim copyright to the complete works of William Shakespeare for all I care. It's all bollocks.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Does IBM have registered copyrights for JFS, NUMA, and RCU?

Richard Gooch: Registered? I don't know. They do have copyright on the code they submitted. Note that SGI also has copyrights on NUMA code. In fact, SGI was first to contribute NUMA code to Linux.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Are the copyrights for JFS, NUMA, and RCU in Linux subject to the Unix copyrights that SCO has registered? Or do they come under GPL, or some other copyrights?

Richard Gooch: As I've said before, all code in the Linux kernel is under the GPL. I don't see the point of asking what is basically the same question every time SCO claims ownership over something else. SCO is screaming louder and louder, and I am hearing less and less.

We agree! MozillaQuest Magazine's editorial position about yesterday's SCO press release and teleconference announcements is that it is just more of the same old SCO-McBride FUD, reasonably calculated to muddy the SCO IP issues, and to stampede the more scared-rabbit Linux developers and users into buying UnixWare licenses from SCO -- in our opinion that is tantamount to extortion. It's really a shame that more people and organizations in the GNU/Linux community do not follow the Germans' lead and obtain court orders mandating SCO and McBride to stop this crap!

Germans Tackle McBride the Bully

SCO and McBride have been and are using bullying tactics in attempts to force GNU/Linux developers, distributors, and users into knuckling under to SCO and McBride's demands and dictates -- and to discourage people from developing and using Linux. The way to stop a bully is to stand up to the bully and to beat-up the bully.

The Germans have shown the way to do that. The Linux communities in all the nations need to stand up to the SCO-McBride bully just as did the Germans. It's time for Linux user groups, developers, distributors and so forth everywhere to file lawsuits against SCO and McBride.

Moreover, SCO and McBride can be in store for lots more legal beatings by the Europeans. Earlier today, LinuxTag's Klaus Knopper told MozillaQuest Magazine:

the austrian/european copyright law will be violated if SCO collects fees for programs written by other developers without their consent (also violating the GPL).

  • See SuSE Denies SCO-McBride's Claims on Page 2 ----->

  • 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


    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

    About the "Hey SCO, sue me" Petition


    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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    Copyright 2000-2003 -- MozillaQuest -- Brodheadsville, Pa..USA -- All Rights Reserved
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