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Did SCO 'Borrow' Linux Code? 688

An Anonymous Reader writes "Apparently someone inside SCO has stated that SCO(actually Caldera) copied Linux code into System V. They did it to build what they now market as Linux Kernel Personality - the ability to run Linux software on their Unix. Now, the open source community(of course they don't mention who) is jumping on this, because they didn't return the changes to the OS community or give the community credit. Of course, SCO says it's a misunderstanding and, get this 'SCO also never used any of the Linux kernel code.'"
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Did SCO 'Borrow' Linux Code?

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  • by ObviousGuy ( 578567 ) <ObviousGuy@hotmail.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:45PM (#6166323) Homepage Journal
    Someone heard something that someone said that someone else knew someone in some other division that stole Linux code and put it into the SCO code.

    Hints and allegations! Jump on it!
    • by DataPath ( 1111 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:46PM (#6166343)
      As they say, turnabout is fair play.

      From what I can see right now, these allegations have about as much chance of being true as SCO's claims.
      • The problem is that SCO's allegations are damaging to Linux's public image, and SCO has nothing to lose (they've already forfeited their reputation). It's kind of like a swan song for them, except it's a very fucking nasty and twisted song in this case, and someone should get a stick and kill the swan already with a good blow to the head.

      • by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:27PM (#6166683)
        From what I can see right now, these allegations have about as much chance of being true as SCO's claims.

        Perhaps a lot more. Anyone stealing code from SCO would likely at least change the comments, as they know the source code is going to be public. On the other hand, anyone doing code for SCO knows that the code is not open source, and likely never expects anyone who could match it to Linux code to see it. Might have even been done by a coder who wanted a quick fix without the knowledge of the management of SCO (or Caldera or whatever name the software was done under at the time). Then later someone at SCO finds the matching code. What is their first impulse? To say "Oh, we may be stealing code"? Or to say "Our code matches code in Linux so IBM must have stolen our code".

        I still like Cringley's explination best, that SCO did exactly what they openly said they were doing and merged Linux with Unix. But assuming they didn't make this up completely and indeed there is some code in Unix that matchs code in Linux down to the comments, it seems much more likely that some of the widely available open source Linux code was improperly put into Unix than some of the closely protected source code for Unix was put into Linux.

    • by WalletBoy ( 555942 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:47PM (#6166826)
      My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this kid who's going with a girl who saw the SCO borrow the code at 31 flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.
  • by Cooty ( 9783 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:49PM (#6166379)
    Everyone knows that this is just a ploy by those OPEN SOURCE FREAKS trying to get bought out by SCO!

    They have no intention of taking it to court!
  • by Surak ( 18578 ) * <surakNO@SPAMmailblocks.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:49PM (#6166381) Homepage Journal
    Of course. I'm hoping someone who knows something about the Linux kernel code can get a look at this code. Maybe *we* (as in FSF or Linus Torvalds or maybe even IBM) should be suing *them*. This could be the case that tests the GPL. We *need* this and should embrace it. It will put to the death once and for all the FUD that Open Source licenses won't pass legal muster.

    • by EmbeddedJanitor ( 597831 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:05PM (#6166537)
      Just like M$ antitrust brought you Seattlement, time for some new words:

      SCOicide: to kill yourself the SCO way.

      SCue: to sue people to your own detrement.

      SCOurce code: invisible, yet high value code that does not exist in any physical form. Beyond quantum code.

    • by Mensa Babe ( 675349 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:00PM (#6167974) Homepage Journal

      This could be the case that tests the GPL. We *need* this and should embrace it. It will put to the death once and for all the FUD that Open Source licenses won't pass legal muster.

      There is no need to prove the legality of GPL. If it was invalid, or if someone doesn't want to agree with its terms (because no one has to accept GPL, as it is stated in the GPL itself -- you don't have to sign it, after all) then the only rules there are, are those imposed by the copyright law, which makes it illegal to distribute copyrighted works. If anyone wants to distribute GPL'ed software while saying that she doesn't agree with the GPL, or while questioning its legality, then all she has is a copyright law, which clearly states that what she's doing is illegal. I have posted a comment [slashdot.org] about it, but it has only Score:2, so obviously no one has read it. Basically, if SCO thinks GPL doesn't mean anything from the legal point of view, then, after rejecting the GPL, when they look at the Linux kernel, what they have is just a piece of software with "Copyright (C) 1991-2003 Linus & Co. All right reserved."

  • by c0dedude ( 587568 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:50PM (#6166386)
    This is the last gurgle of a dying corperation. SCO produces, for all purposes, nothing. Why didn't they pursue these claims when they manufactured Caladra, a form of Linux? because they know they're groundless. There's no way that the Linux kernel isn't in public domain. To try to prevent distribution based on 80 lines of code of a program with thousands of lines is ridiculous. Not only that, but any 80 lines of code could be easily removed, thus SCO can't reveal it. When this goes to trial and they're forced to reveal the lines of code and the lines are promptly removed, no one will care and SCO will fade into obscurity. Good Riddance.
    • by innosent ( 618233 ) <jmdorityNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:07PM (#6166549)
      Another interesting point. I was reading a story [yahoo.com] on Yahoo about converting to Linux from Windows. Ernie Ball (a company that primarily makes music hardware/parts/guitar strings) was ordered to pay $90,000 to Microsoft within 120 days to be compliant (not enough licenses). The company used the court ordered 120 day compliance period to evaluate and install Linux, and from the article, never paid a dime.
      The same thing could easily happen in this case. IF there is SCO IP in Linux, whatever code it is can be changed in minutes or hours, and even IF SCO was right, they might not get anything! Of course the other good example is USL vs. BSDI, but SCO apparently never paid attention in their history or business law classes...
      • Yeah, if that is precedent applicable to this case, then I would expect to see the fastest Kernel revision ever happen if SCO win.

        Personally however I have been pointing out that SCO had this Linux integration program for a while now (ref: This Post [slashdot.org]) and moreover that SCO have been releasing this code under the terms of the GPL themselves by continuing shipping Caldera Linux.

        To be quite honest, the only people who benefit from this are the Lawyers. Quick, someone check to make sure Darl hasn't invested
    • by John Hasler ( 414242 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:10PM (#6166567) Homepage
      > There's no way that the Linux kernel isn't in
      > public domain.

      There's no way that the Linux kernel _is_ in the public domain. You clearly don't know what the public domain is.

      > To try to prevent distribution based on 80 lines
      > of code of a program with thousands of lines...

    • by geekee ( 591277 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @08:37PM (#6167166)
      If SCO was suing MS for theft of code you'd think they were heroes. I'm sick of people modding up people with no principles as insightful. It's not insightful to claim SCO suit is baseless for the simple reason that you like Linux. And it's not insightful to present half truths as fact. SCO isn't claiming there are only 80 lines that were copied. They merely showed 80 lines as an example to one person signing an NDA. And it's not insightful to claim SCO suit is baseless for the simple reason that you like Linux. SCO has no interest in helping Linux after being wronged by the Linux community, so your "show me the code" comment doesn't prove anything either.
  • by SHEENmaster ( 581283 ) <travis@nOSpAM.utk.edu> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:50PM (#6166391) Homepage Journal
    the code in question is roughly 80 lines in length and contains matching comments...
    • by Daniel Phillips ( 238627 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:03PM (#6166517)
      the code in question is roughly 80 lines in length and contains matching comments...

      You must have read a different report than I did. The one I saw said that one region has 80 matching lines, including some comments that match. The article did not say whether or not both Unix and Linux had borrowed those lines from, say, BSD, or whether, hrm, SCO borrowed them from Linux.
  • by cabalamat2 ( 227849 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:50PM (#6166392) Homepage Journal

    Does this mean that Linus can now sue SCO for a billion dollars?

    In other news, SCO have announced they are changing their name to reflect changes in their business model. The new name will be SCUM.

  • by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:52PM (#6166403) Homepage Journal
    So that teorical 80 lines in the Linux kernel are ok not only because was released by SCO embedded inside they own distribution's linux kernel, but also because those lines was already GPL because SCO source becomes GPL after including there code from Linux? And this, even if those 80 lines were really from SCO originally.

    Look like a lose-lose situation for SCO. I hope that greek tragedy end soon so we can worry about meaningful problems.

  • by Dr_Marvin_Monroe ( 550052 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:52PM (#6166409)
    If you belive the merits of this claim....If you belive them, now's your chance to cash out from the pot those greedy bastards at SCO have on the table...it's something like $9.50 / share now! ....grab it... .....SELL SHORT.....first thing when the market opens....

    Take all of that money before the greedy bastards grab it off the table!!!!....Monetary damages are the only thing the SCO mgmt. and the speculators funding this operation respect. Take their money before they figure out that the knife cuts both ways...
  • by Znonymous Coward ( 615009 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:53PM (#6166413) Journal
    "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury... This is Chewbacca..."

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:53PM (#6166417)

    This is exactly the kind of scenario that Cringely pointed out in his latest column about the SCO vs. IBM situation on his PBS.org website:

    I, Cringely: Technician, Steal Thyself [pbs.org]

    Related past columns:

    May 22, 2003 [pbs.org]
    May 29, 2003 [pbs.org]

  • by Mensa Babe ( 675349 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:53PM (#6166418) Homepage Journal
    read Eric S. Raymond's OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint [opensource.org], I suggest to read it. It is very interesting and shows that we have nothing at all to worry about. Great job, ESR!
  • by autopr0n ( 534291 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:53PM (#6166419) Homepage Journal
    Isn't this the same problem that came up with the BSD code? I.E. AT&T liberally copied the BSD code and then sued BSD for using their code. At the time, it was a sever problem for BSD and lead to the widespread adoption of Linux.

    I doubt the same problems would happen with SCO, because unlike AT&T back then, which was the Unix company, SCO is just some pissant company no one cares about.

    That would also explain why SCO has been so unwilling to show exactly which bits of code they used. People would quickly realize that Linux developers wrote the stuff, not SCO.

    On the other hand, I don't think anyone would be stupid enough to claim that Linux used code stolen from their own Linux compatibility layer. What are they going to claim "Without our code, Linux would never be compatible with, um, Linux"
  • Get this! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Otter ( 3800 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:53PM (#6166425) Journal
    Thank heavens! Here I thought we were going to have to spend a day without debating vaporous claims of SCO code in Linux, and instead we get to argue about some nameless guy's claims of Linux code in SCO?

    Two questions, though:

    1) Out of curiosity, how does FreeBSD handle Linux binaries? Is it Linux kernel code included under the GPL somehow or did they implement it themselves? If the latter, isn't this accusation against SCO the same as SCO's argument of "Well, they must have misappropriated our code because, well, they must have!"?

    2) What am I supposed to get about "get this 'SCO also never used any of the Linux kernel code.'"? What's the issue? The extraneous "also" that wandered in from the next sentence, probably an eWeek typo? Or is it supposed to be a claim that SCO never used Linux code at all, despite the nect sentence making it clear that "used" means "used in the LKP"?

    • Re:Get this! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Arker ( 91948 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:17PM (#6166605) Homepage

      1) Out of curiosity, how does FreeBSD handle Linux binaries? Is it Linux kernel code included under the GPL somehow or did they implement it themselves? If the latter, isn't this accusation against SCO the same as SCO's argument of "Well, they must have misappropriated our code because, well, they must have!"?

      No, they had to reimplement it because while you can make BSD code GPL you can't take it the other way, at least without copyright holders permission. They were free, of course, to look at the linux code while doing it, making it a relatively easy task. Probably if you looked there are sizeable chunks of identical code and comments there too. I bet the header files are a real treasure trove for those.

      Identical chunks of code and comments do not prove copying or copyright infringement. It takes more, in a case like this, because there are plenty of perfectly legitimate reasons for it to occur. To determine if something illegal happened, whether we're talking about Caldera copying from Linux or vice versa, you've got to do a much more fine-grained analysis than just counting lines that match.

    • Re:Get this! (Score:3, Informative)

      by stox ( 131684 )
      Answer to #1, FreeBSD maps the Linux system calls into its own. No Linux code or kernel is used to provide this interface. However, to "really" use it, you need to copy Linux libraries and binaries onto the system.
  • Hrm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Squidgee ( 565373 ) <squidgeeOO1@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:54PM (#6166428)
    While all of the /.ers are jumping up and down screaming "We already knew this!", this is actually quite helpful to Linux's cause on the SCO front. This "source" (Oh come on, come out and be supenad (I have no clue how to spell it)) has pinned down where the Linux code is; much better then wading through all of SCO's code to find where the Linux code is.

    It's also interesting to note just how easily SCO found their code in Linux; you'd think it'd be too difficult to find such things unless you were looking...or if you already knew they were there...

  • Pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane ( 209368 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:56PM (#6166453)
    SCO sues IBM because they use Linux code that SCO says has SCO code in it. Novell says Unix isn't SCO's. SCO says Unix is theirs to exploit. Linux geeks angered by SCO says SCO copied Linux code into its products, ... etc etc ...

    When I was, oh what?, five years old, I remember that kind of talk in the courtyard at school during recess :

    - Hey, Johnny stole my yellow marble
    - No I DID NOT !
    - YES YOU DID !
    - It's not your marble anyway, it was mine, I just told you to borrow it, I didn't give it to you
    - I'll tell my Mom Bruce stole Robert's marble, and you'll be GROUNDED !
    - I DID NOT !
    - YES YOU DID ! ...

    Replace one of these kids by SCO, another by Novell, a third by IBM, a fourth by the Linux community, the one who tells Mom by Microsoft, the courtyard by the computer industry and Mom by the DOJ and there you have it.

    • Re:Pathetic (Score:5, Insightful)

      by etymxris ( 121288 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:21PM (#6166631)
      The difference hear is that SCO is basically asking us to take their word for it. It's like the proselytizer who asks us to believe in his god on "faith". If I balk at the proselytizer, he will tell me that the "truth will be seen" when I die. Similarly, SCO will show us the "evidence" when we sign an NDA that basically prevents us from practicing our livelihoods. It's an unexceptable condition to see the evidence. And just as god will "test" us by not showing evidence of his existence, similarly bizarre reasons exist for SCO not showing evidence of infringement.

      Things will hopefully wrap up on Friday, when SCO is supposed to revoke the AIX license. If they take IBM to court, they will have to show evidence. If they don't, then they lose credibility. Either way, they lose.
  • by Jack Comics ( 631233 ) * <jack_comics@@@postxs...org> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:57PM (#6166460) Homepage
    The User Friendly comic strip summed the whole SCO thing up nicely here [userfriendly.org]. Funny? Hidden truth? You decide.
  • by kzinti ( 9651 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:57PM (#6166464) Homepage Journal
    Here's what I've been wondering: if linux has code that's the same as code in SCO unix, why assume that linux copied it from SCO and not vice-versa? You can't just point to code that's the same and say "Aha! linux copied!".

    It's not about seeing the same code in both places, it's about establishing which was developed first. You can't look at just the current version of either linux or SCO - you have to look at the change history of the common code. In one version, the code should show some evolution over time - across RCS versions, or across versions of kernel releases. In the copied version, a whole bunch of code will have appeared "Poof!" all at once. You can't just look at the surface - you have to look beneath the surface, into the code's history.

    Of course, there is the possibility - I consider it unlikely - that large chunks of code appeared in both places all at once. This will mean that the code was developed over time external to whichever version of linux or SCO unix had it first, then copied in as part of a major rev... but somebody, some developer somewhere, will have interim versions, notes, design docs. Code doesn't just spring from the head of Zeus - it evolves, and whoever developed it will have to be found to prove its origin.
  • by Jeremy Erwin ( 2054 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:58PM (#6166474) Journal

    That could violate the conditions of the GNU GPL, which states that any amendments to open-source code used in a commercial product must be given back to the community or a copyright notice must be displayed attributable to Linux, he said.

    Sounds as if the source doesn't understand the difference between the BSD license and the GPL.
  • by appleLaserWriter ( 91994 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:58PM (#6166478)
    At Microsoft, Windows NT (XP) source code is only available to general employees through a web based search engine. It would be very interesting if segments of open source code were found inside Windows itself.

    At the policy level, Microsoft is extremely paranoid of Open Source. At the individual developer level, the quality and depth of code reviews varries substantially from group to group. As a result, Microsoft is highly unlikely to be aware, as a company, if Open Source has penetrated its products. This presents a significant risk to shareholders.

    Apple, on the other hand, has done an excellent job of integrating Open Source into their commercial product(s). They are certainly aware at the marketing level that there is a combination of Open Source and Apple code in OS X, so I assume they have a very good handle on the situation at an engineering level.

    Now SCO is in the worst position. Not only do they have the same tech-industry turnover rate as companies like Apple and Microsoft to deal with, but they've changed hands repeatedly in the last decade, further randomizing the org structure. While the SCO legal team may be able to construct threatening arguments aimed at IBM, Linux and friends, they are really exposing their vulnerability to counter suit. Again, significant shareholder risk exists in SCO.
    • by SiMac ( 409541 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:10PM (#6166570) Homepage
      Microsoft is not paranoid of open source, just anything GPL'd. If you read the documentation that comes with Windows, you'll discover that Microsoft uses some BSD licensed code in Windows (see more [everything2.com]).

      However, I'd be very surprised if Microsoft used anything from Linux, considering it's actually legal and therefore far more tempting to use something from the BSDs, and there are not many features Linux has but the BSDs lack.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:58PM (#6166483)
    I have already sent threatening letters to all of SCO's customers telling them to cease and desist. It was a hassle and cost me almost three dollars in stamps, but in the end I think it will pay off.

    I have warned them that I am seeking 4.2 trillion dollars in damages, plus they must give ESR a full body massage.

    This seems more than reasonable to me.
  • by Gnulix ( 534608 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @06:59PM (#6166490) Homepage
    OK, so perhaps they borrowed some code from Linux, but I'm sure they returned it by now. It might be a little overdue, but I'm pretty sure the source is in the same condition as when they borrowed it!

    Neither a borrower nor a lender be...
  • SCO's goal (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:01PM (#6166510)
    I think nearly everybody is missing what SCO's real goal is. Of course they would like it IBM gives them a truckload of money, or SCO's own product sales pick up, but they do NOT really expect either to happen.

    What they actual want: Defacto or Actual CONTROL OVER LINUX.

    Chris Sonntag made it completely clear when he publcly said 'we hope to get our arms around all the Linux out there' and 'there is no legal use of Linux'?

    Defacto control can be achieved by establishing (at least in business people's minds) that Linux infringes their IP, but never revealing exactly how. They will simply say: Look MS settled (and yes they really were threatened with a SCO lawsuit), Look IBM settled (they might, I bet they would if SCO offered to settle for a undisclosed ($1) amount), Gartner, Aberdeen, Yankee Consulting say Linux may infringe, etc.

    Full control (SCO owns Linux copyright) may be established by asserting Linux is a combination of public domain work (GPL stuff) and copyrighted SCO stuff. In other words, they want the courts to assign them OVERALL COPYRIGHT FOR LINUX. Their Legal complaint makes this 100% clear that this is their position:

    Paragraphs 77 to 81 of SCO's complaint [sco.com] describe their view of "General Public License" [sic]. In Paragraph 80, read their claims on GPL copyrights (they say there aren't any). Paragraph 77 (and their general claims overall) seek to thus establish Linux is a combination of public domain and nefariously obtained proprietary SCO IP. If the court accepts this line of reasoning, we are left with the situation, where SCO will be able to claim exclusive copyright on the overall work of Linux.
  • by Gerad ( 86818 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:01PM (#6166511)
    SCO owns all of their own product, so they can claim standing when you they sue. The copyright to the Linux kernel, AFAIK, is owned by a large number of people. While Linus may have written the core of it, there have been a large number of contributors. In order to sue someone, you must prove that YOU were wronged by that person (there are rare exceptions, like parents suing on behalf of their children). Without knowing with piece of code was copied, there is no way to prove you have standing.

    Does anyone out there know any ways around this? I would love to be corrected, because as things stand, this just looks like another case of the big guy using the legal system to screw over the little guy =(
    • by Jaywalk ( 94910 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:24PM (#6166656) Homepage
      In order to sue someone, you must prove that YOU were wronged by that person . . . Does anyone out there know any ways around this?
      IANAL, but I think IBM has the best bet. You can bet they're looking the whole thing over very carefully for any hint of a countersuit. SCO says IBM's backing of Linux undermines their UNIX. Maybe IBM can counter that the lawsuit is baseless and undermines IBM's Linux business, or that the charges amount to libel. Once SCO's code is opened, maybe some AIX code wandered into SCO UNIX.

      Maybe someone else has standing as well (were those intimidation letters legal?) but I suspect the interesting stuff won't happen until IBM's lawyers start speaking up. They're suspiciously quiet at the moment.

  • GPL (Score:3, Informative)

    by sparkz ( 146432 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:04PM (#6166526) Homepage
    That could violate the conditions of the GNU GPL, which states that any amendments to open-source code used in a commercial product must be given back to the community or a copyright notice must be displayed attributable to Linux, he said.

    Err... hello? If you distribute it (SCO did) it must be given back; I can't find anything in the GPL which mentions a copyright notice as an alternative.

  • by Mensa Babe ( 675349 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:06PM (#6166542) Homepage Journal

    "Did SCO Violate the GPL?"

    No. If they had published Linux code as proprietary software, they have violated the copyright law.

  • by Reminiscent Troll ( 675608 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:08PM (#6166558) Journal
    Sometime late last fall I received a call from a local business. They had a Unix box that was on the fritz, but unfortunately only had MCSE's on their support staff.

    After meeting up with my contact at the site, I tried to get a little more information about what kind of problem it was having. As we walked to the elevators he explained that no one really knew exactly what the box did, or if it was even in use anymore, but it was obvious that the machine was rebooting itself for no apparent reason.

    We got out of the elevator at the basement level of the building. The server was sitting alone in a damp room with a concrete floor and concrete walls. I was already pretty sure it was going to be a hardware problem, since Unix boxes don't tend to reboot for absolutely no reason. I pointed out that the damp environment was undoubtedly bad for the machine.

    He said, "The honest truth is, no one wants anything to do with this box. It's sitting down here because we're out of space in our server room, and the only guy that knew anything about this box quit three years ago, so we don't even know if it's doing anything useful." With that he turned and left me to figure out the problem.

    The machine was plugged in, the power switch was on, but the console was blank and mashing on the keyboard didn't seem to have any affect.

    As I was unscrewing the side panel from the case I started to notice that there was a really rank stench in the room. When I first entered the room I figured it was just mildew from the dampness or something, but it was really strong now. I really just wanted to get out of that dimly lit room and out into the sunlight and fresh air.

    It was hard to see anything in the case, so I fumbled around inside it with my hands making sure all the internal cables were securely attached to their respective components. Suddenly I felt something squishy and slimy on my hand and jerked it out of the box.

    At that instant the machine came on and began to POST. As the memory counted up, I turned the box so I could see into it by the light of the screen. Now I could see the cause of the problem. A rat had crawled into the case via an open drive bay and made a nest near one of the power supplies. She and several hairless newborns had died in there a week or two previous, and I had just stuck my hand in the middle of it all.

    As I was wiping my hands off on my pants, I noticed the machine had finished booting. I was like "Ugh, gross! This thing is running SCO Unix!"

    Needless to say, I marched right up to the IT offices and told them that the machine was undoubtedly no longer relevant to their business and that they should just throw the whole mess in the dumpster.
  • by SkewlD00d ( 314017 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:34PM (#6166748)
    Here's what I said in response to a previous /. story.

    SCO copied Linux code?

    Just a random, alternative explanation.

    Or maybe, the same monkies they got to write Shakespear (sic) by random chance, wrote the same exact code in two different places. Let's think... the odd of randomly producing the same 1K of code have an upper-bound of about 1 in 64^1024, still not exactly zero. A Lower bound would be a big factorial expression. Ignoring the comments and differences in names and variables, most becomes VERY similar (hence OOP & patterns).
  • by Hugonz ( 20064 ) <hugonz@gmaEULERil.com minus math_god> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:35PM (#6166752) Homepage
    AT&T/SCO - You stole our code
    BSD/Linus - Yes, but guess what? you have a load of mine too

    AT&T/SCO - mmm, ok, let's settle.
  • by borgdows ( 599861 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:39PM (#6166775)
    SCO also never used any of the Linux kernel code
    is : Copyright (c) 2003 SCO Minister of Information. All rights reserved.
  • by rifter ( 147452 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @07:50PM (#6166840) Homepage

    From the article:

    A source close to SCO, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told eWEEK that parts of the Linux kernel code were copied into the Unix System V source tree by former or current SCO employees.

    That could violate the conditions of the GNU GPL, which states that any amendments to open-source code used in a commercial product must be given back to the community or a copyright notice must be displayed attributable to Linux, he said.

    That would be the BSD license. The GPL requires a project that incorporates GPL code to be GPLed as well, which means the source must be made available to people who get binaries and their rights to distribute the program under the GPL cannot be infringed. If this does not happen the right to distribute the GPL code is revoked and its distribution is therefore a copyright violation. Therefore if SCO really stole GPL code for its Linux Kernel Personality it has a serious problem on its hands.

  • I don't understand (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 73939133 ( 676561 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @08:11PM (#6166999)
    "During that project [Linux Kernel Personality for SCO] we often came across sections of code that looked very similar, in fact we wondered why even variable names were identical. It looked very much like both codes had the same origin, but that was good as the implementation of 95 percent of all Linux system calls on the Unix kernel turned out to be literally 'one-liners'," the source said.

    I don't quite understand this. If the guy was working on the LKP project and they discovered similarity between SCO UNIX and Linux during that work, then SCO did not copy that code as part of the LKP project (although they may have copied it before). Or did he join the LKP project late and alleges that other people on the same project copied the code before he joined? Or is he saying that SCO had copied Linux source code for other reasons and they were just discovering that fact during the LKP project at SCO?
  • Replay (Score:4, Funny)

    by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @08:29PM (#6167126)
    'SCO also never used any of the Linux kernel code.'

    'I did not have sexual relations with that woman.'

    'There are no American infidels in Baghdad. Never!'
  • by Xformer ( 595973 ) <avalon73@c[ ]leon.us ['aer' in gap]> on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @08:29PM (#6167127)
    One has to wonder if Mohammad Saeed al-Sahaf is on their board...
  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @09:19PM (#6167434)
    Actually, believe it or not, SCO is on OUR side. They've duped everyone except certain Microsoft competitors who are paying them to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. See, SCO KNOWS that they've violated the GPL by copying code from Linux, and they KNOW they're going to get run through the ringer. And that's the POINT! See, once it's out in the open that SCO has been lying, the FSF, IBM, and others will sue SCO into oblivion over GPL violations, finally testing the GPL in court and proving its validity.
  • From /SCOsource/ (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DAVEO ( 61670 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @09:26PM (#6167482)
    Whilst checking up on a previous post [slashdot.org] pointing out SCO's characterizations of the GPL:

    The primary purpose of the GNU organization is to create free software based on valuable commercial software. The primary operating system advanced by GNU is Linux....

    I came across another page [sco.com] with quotes from select quotes from RMS and Bruce Perens:

    Richard Stallman

    I consider the law prohibiting the sharing of copies with your friend the moral equivalent of Jim Crow. It does not deserve respect.
    Richard Stallman, Free as in Freedom, Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software: O'Reilly (2002) at p. 72

    The whole GNU project is really one big hack. It's one big act of subversive playful cleverness...
    Richard Stallman, Revolution OS (DVD)

    Bruce Perens

    This is becoming a tradition. I go there and break the law every year in the name of free speech.
    Bruce Perens, explaining his plan to demonstrate how to modify DVD technology to attendees of an Open Source convention.

    We have to remember that Linux is a follow-on to UNIX. It's not just a UNIX clone. It's actually a UNIX successor.
    Bruce Perens, mpulse magazine, December 2001.

    As if the lawsuit were not damaging enough -- we have heard of businesses halting further Linux deployments due to these allegations and the lawsuit, we have high levels of FUD around people outside the open source software community in general, and Linux's, and perhaps even OSS's image is being tarnished, at least for now -- we have mischaracterizations of the nature of Linux in numerous ways, all out insults the hard work and ingenuity of the many developers who've contributed to give us a true alternative to proprietary computing by claiming they were incapable of performing such a task without corporate assistance (as if 80 to a few hundred lines of code out of about a million really gave Linux the boost from being "fringe" software to being a competitive alternative to the big boys, as stated in the first link of this post), and they are outright using character assassination on some OSS proponents with no shame whatsoever on their website.

    Now, I'm not one to be shocked when businesses show disregard for truth and ethics, but this is quite a campaign they've got going here. I, for one, would hate to see IBM buy out SCO, as it would reward acting in this sort of fashion, not only for SCO, but for companies in similar situations in the future -- I'd much rather see them either get their pants countersued off by IBM and possibly other organizations as well, or have the judge throw out their case and give them a good censuring.

  • by princeofweasels ( 652594 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @09:31PM (#6167513)
    "We have also never contributed Unix source code to the Linux kernel," he said.

    So they claim, but install the sources from an old Cladera linux distro. Grep for Caldera and see the code they contributed. Infact they even say it's GPLed in there comments. Is it cut and pasted from Unix? I don't know I don't have the source to Unix (I don't know anyone who does? do you?). Is it the same lines that they're claiming people stole from them? I don't know that either, IANAA

    Fast forward to the present and you have SCO suing IBM about getting chocolate in their peanut butter. SCO would have a much better chance of winning if they sued themselves.

  • by hackus ( 159037 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @10:57PM (#6167960) Homepage
    And exactly why is this news of worth?

    The IP laws fundamentally work against Open Source.

    Any company can extract code from an Open Source project, such as Microsoft and then incorporate it into its product.

    As such, IP law protects the company from this sort of illegal appropriation because of disclosure rules governing IP law and the DMCA act.

    What we need, is something akin to the BSA and SPA. A "tattel-tale" website.

    SPA encourages employees to tell on thier companys if they are pirating binaries.

    Why don't we have such a website that allows employees to tell on companies that pirate GNU Source Code by incorporating it into thier products, and not contributing the changes back to the community?

    After all, do to the enourmous amount of corporate corruption in the US, under the table political manuevers our #1 enemy is doing, there must be a huge number of burned out pissed off Microsoft/ACME employees out there.

    We only need one.

    Rewards would be part of the legal settlement, should money be awarded.

  • Possible Suggestion! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hackus ( 159037 ) on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:15PM (#6168066) Homepage
    Something I sent to Slashdot Editors a few days ago...

    Didn't get any bites though.

    I think it would be a good idea, to bring a class action lawsuit against SCO.

    I think we should use slashdot as a place to organize such a lawsuit.

    For the following reasons:

    1) I think technically, this lawsuit given the recent changes in management at SCO, involves fraud. That is, the companies officers know privately they do not have a case against Linux, and are fraudulently misleading thier investors/shareholders too personally enrich themselves with regards to stock price using a lawsuit to falsify product value to said shareholders/stock holders.

    This is due to the recent in jump in SCO's stock price. The company simply isn't worth the current stock price, historically and is therefore artificially inflated.

    2) Technically, I think, from the perspective of most Linux Kernel developers, including myself and SCO's own development group, that SCO may have abridged GNU code illegally. If this wasn't the case, I don't believe SCO would have continued to sell thier own distro after they committed the lawsuit.

    The suit should include full disclosure of all SCO source code. Furthermore, seperate suits should be filed against SCO should GNU software be found in thier kernel.

    3) The suit is affecting the industry, consulting firms, companies in real, economically negatively, in a measurable way. Customers are being lost, companies are having to spend money to switch, or consult legal people. This is all because of SCO's suit.

    We do not need to wait to the end of this suit, we can file class action suit immediately to get damages/satisfaction.

    I also believe that if we ajoin the company officers in #1, we should be able to file a seperate lawsuit against each officer of the company, and not just the company as a whole.

    I think, we should use slashdot as a place to:

    1) Ask people to generate documentation. Documentation of an official nature, which supports points 1-3. For example if you are a consultant, and you lost a job based on SCO's injunction and public statements, ask the customer to write a letter detailing the loss of business because SCO makes Linux too risky.

    2) Internally, if you are working for a company, obtain permission to use corporate Email disclosures for any migration plans away from Linux.

    3) Detail any personal damages as a result of not being able to make medical insurance payments, bankruptcies, or personal financial hardship as a result of the loss of business as a direct result of SCO's pending lawsuit and its affect on your salary/business.

    I would be happy to help organize my time with regards to this, and would encourage anyone to Email from Slashdot as to how to proceed.

    Please post.

    Afterward, we can begin the process of selection of legal counsel once we organize.

    -Gregory Carter
    -Applied Engineering Software Group

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 10, 2003 @11:43PM (#6168239)
    I've heard that things often get lost in translation when talking to journalists but there are some elements in this article which just plainly don't sound consistent.

    Especially to any one who worked as an engineer at SCO.

    My suspicions were raised by the quote:

    The source, who has seen both the Unix System V source code and the Linux source code and who assisted with a SCO project to bring the two kernels closer together, said that SCO "basically re-implemented the Linux kernel with functions available in the Unix kernel to build what is now known as the Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) in SCO Unix."

    Unless they were a real newbie no engineer who worked at SCO would refer to SCO Unix because this would be internally confusing. SCO had two flavours of unix - SCO Openserver and Unixware.

    LKP was really an enhancement on the basis of the lxrun application developed originally by Mike Davidson - I think Sun now doesn't some work with this - also I think it is open source. By implementing a system call trap handler you can implement a system call handling interface for our linux binaries. The LKP was really about making this system call handling and environment emulation more realistic and efficient. You don't 'necessarily' need to put parts of the linux kernel in your kernel to do this.

    It is also quite suprising how much lxrun could actually do without all the LKP stuff.

    I get the impression that the 'SCO source' didnt really understand how this emulation worked.

    This statement is dodgy: Parts of linux were copied in to "The Unix System V tree".

    Presumably this refers to OpenServer, it certainly doesn't refer to Unixware. This is inconsistent because UnixWare is OS on the LKP was implemented - and it certainly would not be refered to as Unix System V.

    The facts seem a bit muddled to me. It might be that the engineer was telling truth but some facts got lost in translation - and just don't ring true to me. I left SCO before the LKP project was in full flight and I guess they would want to engineer some system calls into the kernel.

    There was a lot of crap (usually ignorant or laughably incorrect) on slashdot about SCO before all of this stuff happened. But I do know that SCO had plenty of customers who were very happy with the products and that it was a great place to work.

    And by the way, I and no one I've talked to since have seen any Unixware source in the Linux kernel.

    Its a massive shame to me that a decent company was taken over by the bandits and shysters called Caldera. It beats me why they had change the company name back to 'SCO' before launching this pointless action.

"Live or die, I'll make a million." -- Reebus Kneebus, before his jump to the center of the earth, Firesign Theater