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BusinessWeek: Does Linux Have a Dark Secret?

Jun 03, 2003, 20:30 (38 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Alex Salkever)

"In his sci-fi western tale The Dark Tower, Stephen King's gloomy hero Roland the Gunslinger utters the sage observation, 'Only enemies speak the truth. Friends and lovers lie endlessly, caught in the web of duty.'

"So, people who hate you are far more likely to level with you. It's a message the open-source community might want to heed as it prepares for what could be a nasty battle against SCO Group. This Lindon (Utah) software concern claims it holds key rights to the Unix operating system. More importantly, SCO has sued IBM for allegedly lifting key software code from Unix and dropping that code lock, stock, and barrel into Linux. That, the $1 billion suit claims, is proscribed by the agreement SCO has with IBM. Big Blue says it has done no such thing...

"In essence, SCO is challenging the entire Linux community: 'Prove you wrote this code.' That's a challenge only an open-source foe would make. And while Wall Street and Main Street have embraced the Penguin tribe, the SCO litigation has brought to the fore a nagging worry about open-source software: What are the exact origins of the code going into popular open-source programs? Could the code have been stolen or lifted...?"

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