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SCO Rebuts IBM's Latest Charges, Lights Out after GPL

SCO Rebuts IBM's Latest Charges, Lights Out after GPL

The SCO Group's lawyers answered IBM's amended counterclaims last Friday and repeatedly denied the enforceability and applicability of the General Public License (GPL) on which the Linux model, such as it is, hinges. They say the GPL is trumped by copyright and antitrust law.

SCO, of course, is suing IBM for $3 billion for allegedly throwing SCO IP over the wall to Linux, a seminal case on which the fate of Linux and open source may very well hang.

It is SCO's position that the Free Software Foundation (FSF), which dreamed up the GPL and the whole notion of copyleft, is trying to usurp the right granted Congress under US copyright law to regulate copyrights and that the FSF is unjustifiably trying to suck up copyrighted work that it feels should be made public domain.

SCO also alleges that the Free Software Foundation has only selectively enforced the GPL and so any GPL claims made against SCO can't stand up "as a matter of equity."

SCO flicks off those belated patent claims that IBM suddenly threw at SCO when IBM amended its countersuit and says the claims are so broad they could apply to anyone who sells software. If SCO is violating the claims - and SCO's lawyers say they have reason to believe that the purported patents are invalid and that IBM may not even own them - then everyone else that sells software is too and that IBM would basically have to sue everyone else for the same thing that it's suing SCO for.

SCO calls it a "frivolous attempt to try to put pressure on SCO."

SCO continues to maintain that "Linux is, in actuality, an authorized version of Unix that is structured, assembled and designed to be technologically indistinguishable from Unix, and practically is distinguishable only in that Linux is a 'free' version of Unix designed to destroy proprietary operating system software."

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Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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Most Recent Comments
Louis Olivier 11/23/03 05:56:04 PM EST

It is just funny how sco's actions coincide with their dealings with microsoft. Whats the deal here? Two whores in the same bed? Two OS companes on their way out? Good luck to SCO. It was nice having them around.

George Bluhm EdD, CDP 11/01/03 07:53:45 AM EST

If SCO was hoping IBM would by them out by sueing IBM for more than SCO is worth, this latest ploy is a "YOU WOULDN'T DARE" response.

Arthur Guy 11/01/03 01:02:02 AM EST

Gentlemeen:
Teacher has a stool and dunce hat in the corner of the
classroom for miss behavior of students. Teacher sends
SCO to corner to sit with hat on until SCO learns to
behave.
Arthur Guy

D 11/01/03 12:49:41 AM EST

Linux is base on MINIX. MINIX was developed to be completely independent of UNIX. It has never had one line of AT&T code to avoid the licensing restrictions. MINIX was developed by Tanenbaum. http://www.cs.vu.nl/~ast/minix.html is a link.

David 10/31/03 08:34:29 PM EST

Except that Linux isn't an authorized version of Unix. It was written without Unix -- otherwise they would have taken the Unix source code and ported it to the x86 platform. Much of "visible" GNU/Linux is really made up of the GNU parts, and these are copyrighted just fine using the FSF's copyright and GPL for licensing that code to be used elsewhere. These were all created without Unix code, so it's clearly not an "authorized" version of Unix. Did SCO authorize it since they claim to own Unix, which they probably won't even be able to prove because of all the copyrights inside Unix that never belonged to AT&T or Novell or now SCO.

SCO will die trying to fight this cause, but at least nobody will cry when that occurs, at least everyone who isn't in the MSFT or SUNW pocketbooks.