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Slashdot: This is the End of SCO for Sure

Mar 07, 2003, 17:00 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Bruce Perens)

"SCO is the thief who puts a gun to his own head and says give me your money or I'll shoot.

"I haven't read the filings yet, but it sounds as if SCO's main claim is that IBM (and perhaps others) violated their non-disclosure agreements by allowing employees who had seen the Unix source code to work on Linux. However, Linux was developed first on the Intel i386 processor family, way back in 1991, at least five years before IBM took an interest in it. Linux follows MINIX, an even earlier published-source-code system that very clearly isn't derived from Unix--its architecture was very different.

"SCO claims that Linux could not have become ready for the enterprise so quickly without use of art originating in Unix. They seem to ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have been educated in operating systems programming, and that very healthy communities of scientific research exist for systems design, and that most of the enterprise-ready features originated in research operating systems and only later were ported to Unix.

"They claim that the Linux libraries could not have been produced without input from Unix. But these libraries are written to a printed specification called POSIX, published by the U.S. government and available to the general public. The GNU C library, and many other Linux libraries, existed long before IBM's involvement. We also had printed 'man pages' for Unix available in bookstores without restrictions on implementation of the documented facilities, and shelves of published documentation on Unix in every technical bookstore.

"So, I think the claims I've heard are specious, and not enforcible in court. Why, then, is SCO doing this? They want to be purchased..."

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