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ZDNet: SCO vs. the Linux World... What's a Linux User to Do?

Aug 13, 2003, 17:30 (18 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Thomas Carey)


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"SCO's basic argument is that IBM has swindled it out of lots of valuable source code and contributed it to Linux, which it had no right to do. SCO's complaint relies heavily on a 1985 license agreement between AT&T and IBM. While SCO's complaint quotes extensively from that agreement, it makes scant mention of the 'side letter' to that agreement, which SCO filed as Exhibit C to its complaint.

"That side letter expressly permits IBM to create new products using 'ideas, concepts, know-how or techniques' found in the UNIX code, as long as the programmers creating the new products do not (1) copy code from UNIX or (2) refer to the UNIX code or manuals in creating those new products. In addition, on page 2 of the side letter, AT&T agreed that 'modifications and derivative works prepared by you [IBM] are owned by you.' Thus, unless IBM actually copied UNIX code into its Linux contributions rather than re-coding the ideas it found there, its contributions to Linux were probably proper.

"Even if IBM did copy code from UNIX, SCO will have to establish that it (or its predecessor owners of UNIX) wrote the code, rather than taking it from some other source..."

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