12.20.09

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Truisms About SCO

Posted in GNU/Linux, GPL, SCO, UNIX at 5:12 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Caldera’s GPL violations as indicators of sheer hypocrisy

GROKLAW seems to be on a mission to inform SCO lawyers, now that it knows for sure that they regularly read the Web site. We gave some examples yesterday and more parts are coming which shed light on:

Answering SCO Bit by Bit – Caldera’s GPL Fingerprints All Over the Place

Remember when SCO said it never released any of its own code under the GPL? Methinks it spoke with forked tongue.

I have now had an opportunity to look at files in another Caldera Linux distribution, Caldera OpenLinux 2.3-16, and I see Caldera’s GPL fingerprints all over the place, much as I discovered using emacs to open up source files in OpenLinux eServer 2.3 the other day. And Caldera did write code itself that it released under the GPL. It also tweaked GPL’d packages and distributed with its own branding under the GPL. And it can’t seem to stop distributing binutils under the GPL, while claiming in the SCO v. IBM lawsuit that it never did so.

[...]

On page 23 of this PowerPoint from SCOforum 2007 about open source tools SCO provided, you will see that SCO recommended installing “GNU binutils” with OpenServer 6. And on page 26, they listed all the places you could get Skunkware. On page 30, they suggested getting source code from the Linux source RPMs, so as to get the latest patches. And on page 37, it says that in 2001, SCO “submitted UW7 changes to FSF to standardize SVR5 triplet.”

In case SCO doesn’t have any techies left, here’s a big hint for them. Binutils includes ELF, one of the things SCO’s expert Dr. Thomas Cargill, claims is infringed. And here’s where they were still distributing it, in 2006, and here and here. All distributed under the GPL. I wonder if, at trial, Novell will ask SCO’s technical witnesses about this. Did Ron Record, Caldera/SCO’s Skunkworks maintainer, ever warn them that they were distributing binutils under the GPL, and that ELF was in there? Did anybody? If not, I’m sure IBM will, when it gets its turn at bat.

Answering SCO Bit by Bit – more a.out.h and errno.h and elf.h, this time in OpenLinux 1.3

Groklaw member valerio checked the contents of Caldera Systems OpenLinux 1.3, a CD from 1998, and you’ll never guess what he found. Yes, friends, the CD contains, in the archive file col/install/RPMS/linux-kernel-include-2.0.35-1.i386.rpm, two files SCO claims are infringing if placed in Linux:

/include/linux/a.out.h

and

/ include/asm-i386/errno.h

This is the second time we’ve caught SCO/Caldera distributing these two files in a Caldera distribution under the GPL, despite its claim that it never authorized them to be in Linux or under the GPL. The first was copyrighted 2000, two years before this instance valerio found. What? Inadvertent twice? As you will see, they put the files there themselves. In Linux. Under the GPL. And now they want to sue people using Linux because they are in there.

Groklaw’s coverage of SCO is still a lot more accurate than that of the mainstream press, which increasingly relies on Groklaw for input (documents, analysis, and other information). Today’s journalists are naturally sloppy/lazy [1, 2] because news moves faster and they cut corners when investigating, if they investigate at all. Unless that changes, press releases from companies will resemble the subsequent coverage, which is recipe for disaster because PR lies [1, 2, 3]. That’s its goal and there are very recent examples. The previous post says a lot more about it because stories are a lot simpler than people are led to believe (complexity discourages exploration and proper investigation).

“…Microsoft wished to promote SCO and its pending lawsuit against IBM and the Linux operating system. But Microsoft did not want to be seen as attacking IBM or Linux.”

Larry Goldfarb, Baystar, key investor in SCO

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