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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..."

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