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October 27, 2003

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Tom Carey, Elizabeth Phillips, Blake Stowell, and Mike Angelo dissect HP's Linux Indemnification Promise

Can Hewlett Packard Protect Its Linux Customers from SCO Lawsuits?

By Mike Angelo -- 27 October 2003 (C) -- Page 6

Article Index

SCO-Caldera v. IBM:

SCO-Caldera Sues IBM in Intellectual Property Dispute

UNIX-Linux Dispute, a PR Nightmare for Caldera

Linus Torvalds Comments on SCO-Caldera's Linux-Related Allegations

Conectiva's Gordon Ho Responds to SCO-Caldera's Linux-Related Allegations

Alan Cox, Richard Gooch, and Dave Weinehall Respond to SCO's Linux-Related Claims

IBM Replies to Some SCO Allegations but Hides Lots Too

IBM Moves Lawsuit from State to Federal Court -- IP Attorney John Ferrell and MozillaQuest Magazine's Mike Angelo Discuss the Lawsuit

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

German Courts order SCO-Caldera to Stop Anti-Linux FUD - German Penguins Launch Successful Counter-Attack in SCO v Linux War

Munich Court Rules SCO Anti-Linux Statements FUD - Tarent Seeks Contempt Order Against SCO

Only 80 Lines of Common Unix and Linux Code -- SCO-Caldera Shows No Proof That Linux Was Derived from Unix

SCO Registers Unix System V Copyrights -- IBM, SuSE, and Richard Gooch Deny SCO-Caldera Copyright Claims

GNU/Linux Might Be Free of SCO Threats --SCO Agrees IBM Owns AIX, JFS, NUMA, RCU Copyrights

Is IBM's Irrevocable Unix License Revocable?

Does SCO's Amended Complaint Meet Burden for Summary Judgment? -- SCO-Caldera v IBM Complaint Changed Dramatically

Are SCO's Rebuilt IBM Lawsuit and Unix License Revocation Winners -- Or More SCO FUD?

Part I: Overview and Prologue

Part II: Tom Carey and Mike Angelo Discuss SCO's Amended IBM Lawsuit Complaint and Unix License Revocation

U.S. GNU/Linux Community Fights Back -- Red Hat Files Complaint Against SCO FUD & Funds Defense Against SCO Claims

IBM Seeks Money Damages and Injunctions Against SCO-Caldera - IBM Answers SCO's Amended Complaint and Adds a Counterclaim to Boot

Get full IBM to SCO Answer and Counterclaim text -- 22-KB download

IBM Ups SCO Lawsuit Ante to Include Copyright and Patent Infringement - Counterclaim Adds Linux Copyright Issues to the Fray

SCO Asks Court to Throw out Red Hat Complaint Against SCO - Tom Carey and Mike Angelo Discuss SCO's Motion to Dismiss Red Hat's Lawsuit


SCO-Caldera & the GNU/Linux Community:

Article Index

Conclusions

As Tom Cary stated, HP is stepping up to the plate with its Linux-product indemnification program. Whether HP's Linux-product indemnification program is based upon some Unix license piggybacking notion, HP's risk analysis, or a sincere commitment to GNU-Linux, the other first-level Unix licensees should be pretty much in the same or similar circumstances as HP as to providing a Linux-product indemnification program.

Isn't it time the other first-level Unix licensees that claim to support GNU-Linux step up to the plate as HP has done? Should they not also, then, provide a comparable Linux-product indemnification program?

In some ways indemnification programs and Unix License piggybacking could be a sort of win-win situation. SCO is compensated for its Unix code that might be in the GNU-Linux operating system. Meanwhile Linux-product customers of Unix licensees that provide indemnification for possible SCO copyright enforcement actions are protected.

There is an interesting little, but important, sidebar to that. Some Unix licensees such as HP and IBM have perpetual Unix licenses. Thus, if they can piggyback their Linux products on top of their existing Unix licenses, SCO does not gain any additional revenues from such Unix license piggybacking. Yet, SCO has been compensated for any of its Unix code that might have seeped into GNU-Linux because SCO (and or its predecessors in title to Unix) were compensated when the perpetual Unix licenses were issued -- and paid for.

Thus, indemnified Linux-product users can use their Linux products without fear of reprisals from SCO. Moreover, SCO is justly compensated (which is what SCO says is all it wants for all this SCO v Linux stuff) either directly, or indirectly via its predecessors in title to Unix.

Of course, this particular scenario only happens if Unix-Linux piggybacking is viable.

Another scenario is one in which Linux products are indemnified by their distributors without any Unix license piggybacking. There too, indemnified Linux-product users can use their Linux products without fear of reprisals from SCO and SCO gets compensated. However, as Blake Stowell notes in such a scenario SCO gets direct and additional compensation because: SCO's position on this is that [indemnified] customers can either purchase a license now, or they can have [the Linux product distributor] pay for this license later. Either way, a license will have to be in place to properly compensate SCO for this intellectual property.

Hewlett Packard's offer to indemnify its Linux-product customers from SCO lawsuits certainly is attractive. Moreover, HP is using that indemnification offer to grab customers away from other Unix licensees and vendors such as SUN -- and perhaps even SCO also.

However, any person or organization relying on HP's indemnification offer ought to make its own risk assessments, particularly as to just how rock-solid is HP's indemnification promise. Our analysis here today is substantially handicapped because HP has not been fully forthcoming nor has HP made full disclosure of all the parameters of its indemnification program.

Nevertheless, Hewlett Packard's Linux-product indemnification program is creative, shows leadership, and shows a significant commitment to the GNU-Linux operating system.

<-- Back to Page 5

Resources

Thomas C. Carey

Books

Much of the SCO v IBM, Red Hat v SCO, and the in general SCO v Linux controversy involves the underlying architecture of the GNU/Linux operating system and Linux kernel structure plus Linux and Unix source code. Perhaps you would like to have a better understanding of some of this stuff so that you can have a better understanding of what all the SCO v Linux feud is all about.

If you already are generally familiar with Linux at an intermediate or advanced level and would like to know more about the underlying architecture of the GNU/Linux operating system and Linux kernel structure, you might want to check Linux Kernel Development, Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition, and The Linux Process Manager: The internals of scheduling, interrupts and signals.

If you are not generally familiar with Linux and would like to know more about the underlying architecture of the GNU/Linux operating system and Linux kernel structure, you might want to start with Red Hat Linux 9 Bible, Red Hat Linux 9 Professional Secrets, or Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed. These books are for intermediate to advanced readers.

Linux Kernel Development, Robert Love, ISBN: 0672325128, Sams. Price: $45.

Red Hat Linux 9 Bible, Christopher Negus, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-3938-8, $50

Red Hat Linux 9 Professional Secrets, Naba Barkakati, Wiley, ISBN: 0-7645-4133-1, $50

Red Hat Linux 9 Unleashed, Bill Ball and Hoyt Duff, Sams, ISBN: 0672325888, $50

Understanding the Linux Kernel, 2nd Edition, Daniel P. Bovet and Marco Cesati, O'Reilly, ISBN: 0-596-00213-0, $50

The Linux Process Manager: The internals of scheduling, interrupts and signals, By John O'Gorman, Wiley, ISBN: 0-470-84771-9, $35



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