However, as Eric Raymond points out in his very good counterpoint to/evisceration of the SCO complaint, Sun and IBM both ported their Unix flavors to Intels 386 and marketed these ports. Sun still sells Solaris for x86.
Forget about that, though, because the key to understanding SCOs infringement claims is accepting that the only road to Unixness on Intel hardware runs through SCO. As the story goes, the only way for Linux to have become the viable enterprise contender that it is was for IBM and the hordes of copyright-disrespecting Linux developers to have lifted large chunks of SCO-owned code and dropped them, more or less whole, into Linux.
However, major Linux distributors such as Red Hat and SuSE employ personnel charged with seeking out and eliminating potential copyright infringements, and both of these vendors have stated that, as far as theyve been able to ascertain, theyre not shipping any illegal code. In any case, neither company is worried.
You may be wondering, "Wheres the proof, wheres the code?"
Im wondering this too, but although SCO claims that Linux is chock-full of dirty code from the kernel to the periphery, it refuses to make public even one example. SCO has, however, said that its planning on showing some offending examples to selected analysts, under a non-disclosure agreement, sometime in the next several weeks.
… then there was Caldera
This is a good place to mention that the company that now calls itself The SCO Group is actually Caldera, a Linux distributor that got its start in 1994, and that in 2001 purchased most of the intellectual property of the original SCO, including the Bell Labs Unix codebase and the code for SCO/Unix.
In 2002, Caldera "returned to the SCO brand," because it seemed better to be known as a relatively minor Unix player with a small but entrenched user base than an even more minor Linux player thatd already been eclipsed by the likes of Red Hat and SuSE.
I mention the fact that SCO is actually Caldera because it seems strange that, as a Linux distributor, Caldera was apparently unaware of the all the infringing SCO code that supposedly teems throughout the product it was selling. Even after Caldera took on the SCO mantle, it joined with SuSE, TurboLinux and Connectiva to produce a new enterprise distribution—UnitedLinux, which Caldera/SCO began shipping in January.