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First IBM, now SGI - SCO Strikes Again

SCO claims XFS journaling file system developed by SGI is a breach

Mountain View, California-based, Silicon Graphics International (SGI) has revealed that The SCO Group Inc intends to terminate its Unix System V license. The grounds: that SGI has breached the license terms.

The notice to terminate was revealed in Mountain View, California-based SGI's annual 10-K filing.

The company, the filing states, "recently received a notice from SCO Group stating its intention to terminate our fully paid license to certain Unix-related code, under which we distribute our Irix operating system, on the basis that we have breached the terms of such license."

An SGI spokeman said: "We believe that the SCO Group's allegations are without merit and that our fully paid license is non-terminable. Nonetheless, there can be no assurance that this dispute with SCO Group will not escalate into litigation, which could have a material adverse effect on SGI, or that SCO Group's intellectual property claims will not impair the market acceptance of the Linux operating system."

Last month SGI asserted that its conversion of XFS into an open-source program is permitted. "We believe our release of XFS as open source to Linux was consistent with our Unix contract with SCO," SGI spokeswoman Marty Coleman said.

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Most Recent Comments
A Smith 10/04/03 12:53:23 AM EDT

This is somewhat off topic as regards SGI, but relates to the IBM case


SCO spokesman Blake Stowell said Tuesday that he understood the extension is being sought "for the purpose of gaining documents from IBM related to the patents they claim. . . . Some of the patents aren't even filed with the U.S. Patent Office, as far as we can learn."

From the patent numbers are:
4,814,746 4,821,211 4,953,209 5,805,785

Go here

Type in the patent numbers into form

You will find them all. Immediately. In fact they load up immediately after typing in the number.

Now compare that to the Blake Stowell quotation above.

A Smith 10/04/03 12:50:14 AM EDT

According to SCO, SGI's action is not enough, and it is not even possible for SGI to do enough.

SCO said they were terminating IBM's AIX license and sued IBM for alleged contract violations.

According to IBM's countersuit: IBM asked SCO what the alleged violations were, and how SCO thought IBM should cure them.

According to IBM's countersuit: SCO refused.

According to SGI's SEC filing, and various press reports: SCO wrote a letter to SGI saying their license would be terminated for alleged contractual violations.

According to various press reports: SGI asked SCO in the press and private letters for clarification of what the alleged contractual violations were, and what remedy SCO wanted.

According to various reports: SCO has refused in public, and it looks like they did not respond to the letters.

In fact in the VNUNET
- SCO says in the original termination letter from SCO to SGI, SCO says the breaches can not be remedied, no matter what SGI does:-

"We don't believe that SGI has taken all of the steps necessary to cure all of the breaches, and in fact in our letter to them, we state 'SGI's breaches of these agreements cannot be cured'.

"Nonetheless, we will provide SGI with two months to remedy all violations of these agreements."

That is it. SCO alleges IBM and SGI have performed contractual violations, but refuses to identify with any specifivity what the violations it alleges are or what remedies it wants. In SGI's case, it even says that no remedy is possible.

peter 10/02/03 01:40:15 PM EDT

I figure Charles Lancaster is not the brightest mind ever having walked on Earth? Has Mr. Lancaster missed some news in recent times? The code in question was fairly trivial, relased into the open by SCO itself, about 200 lines in all and is already removed and made redundant. I figure it follows from that that SCO will win. Sure. And that Linux developers will have a hard time rewriting 200 trivial lines that are already removed. Sure. Boy, do they fear that daunting task.

M Fausett 10/02/03 01:26:04 PM EDT


The Unix license states:

"Such right to use includes the right to modify such SOFTWARE PRODUCT and to prepare derivative works based on such SOFTWARE PRODUCT, provided the resulting materials are treated hereunder as part of the original SOFTWARE PRODUCT."

SCO's theory is that if code created by a Unix licensee touches Unix, SCO owns that code and it cannot be separated from Unix. Thus they justify stealing SGI's rights to XFS (among others) even though it was entirely SGI's work and contains no code from Unix.

I (and presumably most sentient organisms) think their interpretation is a tad too broad. If Micosoft had a similar interpretation of their license, it would own any piece of software written for their platform, provided it installed something that could be interpreted as OS altering (eg most software written for those platforms).

It further seems odd that SCO seems to be trying to enforce copyright on code that *they* released open source earlier -- see

Simon Gibbs 10/02/03 03:35:43 AM EDT

In defence of Charles, I believe he was trying to argue that SCO do own Unix because why paid for it. However, Charles, what exactly did they pay for again? Personally I haven't a clue, I see more fundamental arguments against SCO e.g. consistent factual errors and mendacious lies.

Julio Monroy 10/01/03 08:26:02 PM EDT

Charles Lancaster sounds like a non-techie. It's only true non technical people who put their foot in their mouths without so much as a hesitation. Charles, go frequent MSN, it sounds more your speed and intellectual capacity.

Jud L. 10/01/03 07:28:00 PM EDT

>If SCO had no rights to the UNIX code why did they pay in the first place?

Hey Lancaster! Do u know anything about IT? Seems to me that you don't know squat about the current SCO comedy tour... or worse! (gasp!) you're an MS lackey! SGI bought UNIX license from SCOmbag for use in IRIX not for Linux, that's why they paid (gave money as payment) SCO, capisce? Or do u want me to sign language it for u? Go and ctrl-alt-del yourself!

M Fausett 10/01/03 05:34:08 PM EDT

RE "SGI stole SCO intellectual property" --
before you embarass yourself again.

Charles Lancaster 10/01/03 05:10:23 PM EDT

SGI stole SCO intellectual property and gave it to Linux. If SCO had no rights to the UNIX code why did they pay in the first place? SCO will win and the Linux crowd will have do some of their own coding rather than nick things from other people.