Whats the endgame

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2003-06-24 Print this article Print

?"> Whats the endgame? Theres no question that most modern operating systems trace back in some way to Unix. Unix concepts and internals have been taught in university computer science departments for many years now, and industry and government standards such as those for POSIX compliance have imposed a sort of Unixness on products far removed from the ancestral Unix source that SCO has come to own. Does this mean, then, that SCO owns a piece of every modern operating system? The last time the owner of Unix attempted to assert this sort of control—in a case between Unix System Laboratories and the backers and originators of the BSD (Berkeley Software Design) operating system—the matter ended in a sealed settlement that severed BSD from AT&T and opened the way to free distribution of BSD.
Matters may have been more clear if that case had been allowed to run its course, but its encouraging to note that the judge in that case refused to grant USL a preliminary injunction, citing the improbability that USLs copyright and trade secret claims would prove successful at trial.
Now SCOs moving to press the issue again. If its successful—which I heavily doubt—the repercussions will stretch far beyond Big Blue and its penguinista pals. Whos SCO coming after next? Talk to me at jason_brooks@ziffdavis.com.

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 jbrooks@eweek.com.

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