SCO Battle Rages On

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-08-22 Print this article Print

Use of open-source continues amid attacks on GPL, vendors.

Prominent members of the open-source community are angry that The SCO Group is including open-source technology in its products while attacking the community and the license that governs its work.

The latest controversy follows the SCO announcement last week here at its Forum event that it has included Samba 3 in its latest OpenServer product. Samba is free open-source software that allows Linux and Unix servers to interoperate with Microsoft Corp. Windows clients.

Samba is developed and distributed under the GNU GPL (General Public License) in the same way as the Linux kernel code is used; SCO has targeted the Linux code in its intellectual property lawsuits and license fees.

"We observe that SCO is both attacking the GPL on the one hand and benefiting from the GPL on the other hand. SCO cant have it both ways," said Jeremy Allison, Samba lead developer, in San Jose, Calif. "SCO has a clear choice: Either pledge not to use any open-source/free software in any of their products, or actively participate in the open-source/free software movement and reap the benefits.

"For SCO to continue to use open-source/free software while attacking others for using it is the epitome of hypocrisy," Allison said.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds was less polite. "The SCO people seem to have a few problems keeping the truth straight; but if there is something they know all about, its hypocrisy," Torvalds said in an interview with eWEEK. "While they are attacking the GPL and open-source licenses, they are happily still using Samba on their platform."

Read eWEEKs recent interview with Linus Torvalds. SCOs critics are also becoming more vocal about the Lindon, Utah, companys strict NDA (nondisclosure agreement) surrounding the offending code. Linux luminary Eric Raymond, president of the Open Source Initiative, and Jeff Gerhardt, an active member of the community, are leading the charge in this regard.

Next page: SCOs position on the NDA.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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