In March of 2002, my company shifted three-fourths of our CUW Systems Team (kern-devs) -- which had been untouched, platform-wise, the previous two years -- onto a parallel development path with Linux 2.4.18.
This bold (in my opinion) decision was made despite Wind River International, the dominate embedded software technologist, matter-of-factly asserting at the time that they view Linux as inferior to their preferred platform, VxWorks, and would never include Linux in their product line. (They eventually changed their minds.)
Four months later, on July 19, 2002, my company, in consultation with our customers, announced that we were ending all new development for CUW, were placing it into maintenance mode, and were solely developing for Linux. On a personal level, myself and most of my team were ecstatic about the new direction the company was taking.
As we are all so evidently aware, the SCO Group began its grandiloquent and legal smear campaign against Linux in February, and March of 2003. Well almost four months ago, I was assigned the somewhat informal task of determining the validity of the SCO claims of ownership to Linux. Despite the seemingly preposterous evidence offered thus far by SCO, I'm saddened to reveal that they may have a solid case for copyright infringement in the 2.4 Linux kernel.
There are three code pieces that appear to be copied verbatim. The first is forty-two lines of packet handling code. Following the ip_vs_state_table variable is where most of the infringement takes place. Only the state transition handling seems to be original. The second is sixteen lines of VM allocation code. Five lines after CONFIG_DISCONTIGMEM, and eleven lines after VMALLOC_VMADDR. And the last is seven lines after SELFPOWER, USB specific power management code.
It's possible, some would say probable, that this is actually code that SCO copied from Linux. Not the inverse. I'm not knowledgeable enough of the history to determine that, but it definitely needs to be looked into. Nevertheless, it's still accurate to state that the vast majority of the Linux kernel code is original. And that's really the only fact that matters to the nontechnical mass media.