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informIT: SCO and the Battle Over UNIX: A Clear Explanation

Jun 19, 2004, 18:00 (6 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael Faulkner, Eric Goldman)


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"The battle involves UNIX, a computer operating system. The term UNIX describes a family of software products that conform to certain common standards promulgated by the Open Group. The 'original' version of UNIX was developed by Bell Labs in 1969. Since then, the efficiency and reliability of UNIX have made it a very popular operating system, spawning a wide variety of compatible versions. For example, IBM has a version of UNIX called AIX, which traces its lineage to the original Bell Labs software. Another UNIX-compatible program is Linux, an open source project that includes some code contributed from AIX by IBM.

"In 2003, Caldera Systems, Inc., doing business as The SCO Group (hereafter just 'SCO'), announced that it was going to assert ownership over the original Bell Labs version of UNIX source code and all derivations of it. SCO's claims sent shockwaves through the software community. Given UNIX's ubiquity, SCO's claims potentially affect anyone using AIX, Linux, and other variations of UNIX..."

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