CNET News: Getting a Glimpse at SCO's Evidence
Aug 19, 2003, 17:00 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Lisa M. Bowman)
"Many attendees of the conference are longtime SCO fans, so
convincing them that the company has a case by showing them the
code probably wasn't too tough. However, at least one attendee was
appalled by SCO's decision to sue IBM. The man, an exhibitor on the
show floor who asked that his name not be used, said that SCO's
hands aren't clean either, because the company has probably taken
code from other sources and incorporated it into its products. 'It
looks to me like there's been a lot of cross-pollination' between
Unix and Linux, said the attendee, who jokingly called SCO's legal
saga 'As the Stomach Turns.'
Legal experts agreed that SCO faces a challenge of proving that
it has the original rights to the code--a task that could prove
especially daunting because of a special license popular among
makers of free and open-source software known as the GNU Public
License, or GPL. The GPL requires companies that incorporate code
into their product to share their changes. In its response to SCO's
legal filing, IBM claims that SCO can't assert claims to the
disputed code because it was originally covered under the GPL.
"'Even if there is literal copying, you'll have to say, 'What's
the source of the code?'' said Stuart Meyer, a partner with Fenwick
& West, who is not involved in the case..."