Skip to comments.IP Cops to target Linux end-users?
Posted on 05/14/2003 2:29:38 PM PDT by Bobalu
Letter To Linux Customers SCOsource
May 12, 2003
Dear commercial Linux user:
SCO holds the rights to the UNIX operating system software originally licensed by AT&T to approximately 6,000 companies and institutions worldwide (the UNIX Licenses). The vast majority of UNIX software used in enterprise applications today is a derivative work of the software originally distributed under our UNIX Licenses. Like you, we have an obligation to our shareholders to protect our intellectual property and other valuable rights.
In recent years, a UNIX-like operating system has emerged and has been distributed in the enterprise marketplace by various software vendors. This system is called Linux. We believe that Linux is, in material part, an unauthorized derivative of UNIX.
As you may know, the development process for Linux has differed substantially from the development process for other enterprise operating systems. Commercial software is built by carefully selected and screened teams of programmers working to build proprietary, secure software. This process is designed to monitor the security and ownership of intellectual property rights associated with the code.
By contrast, much of Linux has been built from contributions by numerous unrelated and unknown software developers, each contributing a small section of code. There is no mechanism inherent in the Linux development process to assure that intellectual property rights, confidentiality or security are protected. The Linux process does not prevent inclusion of code that has been stolen outright, or developed by improper use of proprietary methods and concepts.
Many Linux contributors were originally UNIX developers who had access to UNIX source code distributed by AT&T and were subject to confidentiality agreements, including confidentiality of the methods and concepts involved in software design. We have evidence that portions of UNIX System V software code have been copied into Linux and that additional other portions of UNIX System V software code have been modified and copied into Linux, seemingly for the purposes of obfuscating their original source.
As a consequence of Linuxs unrestricted authoring process, it is not surprising that Linux distributors do not warrant the legal integrity of the Linux code provided to customers. Therefore legal liability that may arise from the Linux development process may also rest with the end user.
We believe that Linux infringes on our UNIX intellectual property and other rights. We intend to aggressively protect and enforce these rights. Consistent with this effort, on March 7, we initiated legal action against IBM for alleged unfair competition and breach of contract with respect to our UNIX rights. This case is pending in Utah Federal District Court. As you are aware, this case has been widely reported and commented upon in the press. If you would like additional information, a copy of the complaint and response may be viewed at our web site at www.sco.com/scosource.
For the reasons explained above, we have also announced the suspension of our own Linux-related activities until the issues surrounding Linux intellectual property and the attendant risks are better understood and properly resolved.
Similar to analogous efforts underway in the music industry, we are prepared to take all actions necessary to stop the ongoing violation of our intellectual property or other rights.
SCOs actions may prove unpopular with those who wish to advance or otherwise benefit from Linux as a free software system for use in enterprise applications. However, our property and contract rights are important and valuable; not only to us, but to every individual and every company whose livelihood depends on the continued viability of intellectual and intangible property rights in a digital age.
THE SCO GROUP
By: _________________________ Darl McBride President and CEO
IBM statement on SCO lawsuit
The SCO Group, the owner of the UNIX operating system, has filed a complaint against IBM in a Utah court. We have released the following statement to the press on this issue:
Frankly, I think SCO has discovered that they are still uncompetitive in the marketplace. They can't innovate their way to a more favorable market position, so they resort to sending they lawyers out to hurt everyone else. I once recommended SCO as the platform for a MUMPS based application that my company distributed to over 750 military hospitals. If they persist in threatening people instead of improving their product, I won't even consider them as a candidate in the future.
Sure if you don't mind random reboots, security holes, sluggish performance, Big Brother monitoring, enriching a monopoly, poor backward compatibility, fussy hardware requirements and vanishing user controls.
Novell Opens Unix
January 19 94 / News & Views / Novell Opens Unix
Novell has transferred the Unix trademark to the international X/Open standards organization. The transfer, which was announced last October, when combined with other standards efforts, may yet result in multiple implementations of Unix that conform to a single specification.
Novell's transfer of the Unix trademark to X/Open is, said Kanwal Rekhi, executive vice president of Novell's Unix Systems Group, the next logical step for Unix. (In September, over 75 companies, including Sun, Hewlett-Packard, DEC, IBM, Novell, and SCO, agreed to adopt a single set of 1170 API calls.) X/Open will be responsible for certifying that vendors' operating systems meet the Spec 1170 definition of Unix.
The idea behind the common API is to let developers write to a single set of memory, file- system, and other kernel-level cal ls so that they need to do only a source-level recompilation to support another Unix platform. With multiple compatible implementations of Unix, vendors will then compete on the basis of price, quality, service, and reliability, or as X/Open's president and CEO Geoff Morris said, "a single specification, a single brand, and as much innovation as the industry can deliver."
The movement toward a unified Unix will continue throughout this year. SunSoft, IBM, and SCO officials say they expect to have versions of Unix that comply with Spec 1170 this year. But Morris said that the suite of software tests to verify Spec 1170 compliance will likely not be available until the end of the year. Until then, there is an interim specification that says companies must use USL operating-systems technology, conform to SVID (System V Interface Definition), and conform to XPG3 (X/Open Portability Guide) or XPG4.
Novell will not give up its right to license Unix System V source code to other vendors, but once the t est suites are available, Unix vendors will no longer be required to use Unix code developed at USL/Novell.
And I found this press release at Novell's site
Novell Completes Sale of UnixWare Business to The Santa Cruz Operation
OREM, Utah -- December 6, 1995 -- Novell, Inc. today completed the sale of its UnixWare business to The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. (SCO), finalizing an agreement first announced in September, 1995. Under the agreement, Novell receives approximately 6.1 million shares of SCO common stock, resulting in an ownership position of approximately 17 percent of the outstanding SCO capital stock. The agreement also calls for Novell to receive a revenue stream from SCO based on revenue performance of the purchased UnixWare business. This revenue stream is not to exceed $84 million net present value, and will end by the year 2002.
In addition, Novell will continue to receive revenue from existing licenses for older versions of UNIX System V source code. Also, Novell will receive royalties from SCO's licensing of its NetWare networking software, including NetWare Directory Services (NDS), for use in UnixWare based operating system products.
The transaction positions SCO to consolidate the UNIX System on the Intel platform. SCO plans to merge the SCO OpenServer Release 5 and SCO UnixWare product lines to create a standard high-volume UNIX operating system that contains integrated NetWare networking software. SCO has announced that the merged product will begin shipping in 1997. SCO has also announced that it will ship the next release of UnixWare in the first quarter 1996, and that this UnixWare product will include NetWare networking software to help customers integrate UNIX Systems with Novell networks.
They'll get a reputation like Microsoft if they don't watch out.
They don't care. I'm convinced the only way their actions make any sense at all is if they're trying to get IBM to buy them out. Fortunately it looks like IBM is refusing to play the extortion game.
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