Page 3

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-05-19 Print this article Print

Does Linux contain infringing SCO code? Without any evidence, theres no way to say for sure. However, if Linux does contain such offending code, the biggest victim of Caldera/SCOs cluelessness may turn out to be the company itself. Caldera/SCO has shipped numerous Linux distributions, and it has done so under the GPL. As Caldera/SCO stated in Point 80 of its own complaint, "Any software licensed under the GPL (including Linux) must, by its terms, not be held proprietary or confidential, and may not be claimed by any party as a trade secret or copyright property."
Caldera/SCO last week stopped shipping its UnitedLinux offering, but anyone to whom its already distributed that code may now distribute it to others, per the GPL. The fact that Caldera/SCO has distributed Linux under a license that prevents it from claiming this code as a trade secret or copyright property should make it tough for the company to succeed in a case in which its claiming this code as a trade secret or copyright property. Wouldnt you agree?
I think that Caldera/SCOs campaign is an attempt to build momentum for its legal action against IBM by frightening firms into questioning their choice of Linux and, I suppose, prodding Linux-cheerleader IBM into a speedy settlement. However, the only businesses with cause to be scared over their OS of choice are those running Caldera/SCO products such as OpenServer and UnixWare. Thats because an IBM buyout is the very best result to this conflict that Caldera/SCO could hope for, and IBMs not interested in taking on the care and feeding of a new set of old platforms. To sum up: Linux users, fear not. Caldera/SCO customers, start looking over your migration options—your OS vendor may not be long for this world. Read the Caldera/SCO complaint, read the Raymond position paper, then give me your take at

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel