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SCO Specifies Alleged "Offending Code"

SCO Specifies Alleged "Offending Code"

The following posting, just made in another thread here at LinuxWorld, is a cross-posting from lwn.com.]

 

This is a copy of SCO's December 19 copyright letter, as received from Avi Dines via Don Marti.

December 19, 2003


Re: The SCO Group, Inc. (“SCO”)

Dear Unix Licensee,

In May 2003, SCO warned about enterprise use of the Linux operating system in violation of its intellectual property rights in UNIX technology. Without exhausting or explaining all potential claims, this letter addresses one specific area in which certain versions of Linux violate SCO's rights in UNIX.

In this letter we are identifying a portion of our copyright protected code that has been incorporated into Linux without our authorization. Also, our copyright management information has been removed from these files.

These facts support our position that the use of the Linux operating system in a commercial setting violates our rights under the United States Copyright Act, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. We are notifying you of these facts so you can take steps to discontinue these violations. We believe these violations are serious, and we will take appropriate actions to protect our rights. No one may use our copyrighted code except as authorized by us. The details of our position are set forth below. Once you have reviewed our position, we will be happy to further discuss your options and work with you to remedy this problem.

Certain copyrighted application binary interfaces (“ABI Code”) have been copied verbatim from our copyrighted UNIX code base and contributed to Linux for distribution under the General Public License (“GPL”) without proper authorization and without copyright attribution. While some application programming interfaces (“API Code”) have been made available over the years through POSIX and other open standards, the UNIX ABI Code has only been made available under copyright restrictions. AT&T made these binary interfaces available in order to support application development to UNIX operating systems and to assist UNIX licensees in the development process. The UNIX ABIs were never intended or authorized for unrestricted use or distribution under the GPL in Linux. As the copyright holder, SCO has never granted such permission. Nevertheless, many of the ABIs contained in Linux, and improperly distributed under the GPL, are direct copies of our UNIX copyrighted software code.

Any part of any Linux file that includes the copyrighted binary interface code must be removed. Files in Linux version 2.4.21 and other versions that incorporate the copyrighted binary interfaces include:

include/asm-alpha/errno.h

include/asm-arm/errno.h

include/asm-cris/errno.h

include/asm-i386/errno.h

include/asm-ia64/errno.h

include/asm-m68k/errno.h

include/asm-mips/errno.h

include/asm-mips64/errno.h

include/asm-parisc/errno.h

include/asm-ppc/errno.h

include/asm-ppc64/errno.h

include/asm-s390/errno.h

include/asm-s390x/errno.h

include/asm-sh/errno.h

include/asm-sparc/errno.h

include/asm-sparc64/errno.h

include/asm-x86_64/errno.h

include/asm-alpha/signal.h

include/asm-arm/signal.h

include/asm-cris/signal.h

include/asm-i386/signal.h

include/asm-ia64/signal.h

include/asm-m68k/signal.h

include/asm-mips/signal.h

include/asm-mips64/signal.h

include/asm-parisc/signal.h

include/asm-ppc/signal.h

include/asm-ppc64/signal.h

include/asm-s390/signal.h

include/asm-s390x/signal.h

include/asm-sh/signal.h

include/asm-sparc/signal.h

include/asm-sparc64/signal.h

include/asm-x86_64/signal.h

include/linux/stat.h

include/linux/ctype.h

lib/ctype.c
include/asm-alpha/ioctl.h

include/asm-alpha/ioctls.h

include/asm-arm/ioctl.h

include/asm-cris/ioctl.h

include/asm-i386/ioctl.h

include/asm-ia64/ioctl.h

include/asm-m68k/ioctl.h

include/asm-mips/ioctl.h

include/asm-mips64/ioctl.h

include/asm-mips64/ioctls.h

include/asm-parisc/ioctl.h

include/asm-parisc/ioctls.h

include/asm-ppc/ioctl.h

include/asm-ppc/ioctls.h

include/asm-ppc64/ioctl.h

include/asm-ppc64/ioctls.h

include/asm-s390/ioctl.h

include/asm-s390x/ioctl.h

include/asm-sh/ioctl.h

include/asm-sh/ioctls.h

include/asm-sparc/ioctl.h

include/asm-sparc/ioctls.h

include/asm-sparc64/ioctl.h

include/asm-sparc64/ioctls.h

include/asm-x86_64/ioctl.h

include/linux/ipc.h

include/linux/acct.h

include/asm-sparc/a.out.h

include/linux/a.out.h

arch/mips/boot/ecoff.h

include/asm-sparc/bsderrno.h

include/asm-sparc/solerrno.h

include/asm-sparc64/bsderrno.h

include/asm-sparc64/solerrno.h

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Most Recent Comments
bea 01/10/04 11:35:30 PM EST

These folks are mad indeed (SCO).

From technical point of view it
is nonsense, but I understand them,
If they win every single application
in linux will be affected ...

I think they just finished botle
of VODKA and filled an revolver
with a single bulet :))

fdearle 01/02/04 07:49:10 AM EST

This is what happens when software companies are run by people without the IQ to understand the technology they have under their control. I'm sure the folks in charge of SCO really believe that they have a case. They are just too dumb to realize that on a techical level.... this is pure balderdash.

This is like the Ford motor company deciding to take a case 20 years after the Model T was releases..... on the basis that other cars use nuts and bolts just like the Model T........

WISE UP YOU BUNCH OF POND LIFE IDIOTS!!!!!

hi_muga 12/27/03 11:12:24 PM EST

Nothing deters Santa Cruz. When they loose the case, the next thing is they'll try to sue their own lawyers for malpractice.

ryosuke 12/26/03 12:17:51 PM EST

My opinion : we need lawyers with computer science background to deal with such coding legal issues. Sadly, there ain't any experts in this world besides the normal IP lawyers that only know generic IP laws. As far as i know, commercial product IP are not the same as software IP because you cannot clearly say which line of coding belongs to you. Imagine the loop for(int i=0;i

bb 12/25/03 11:20:50 PM EST

sco has pretty much peed in the whiskey so to speak. poor folks that listen to them belating are being sold a one way ticket on the ship of fools...

Eddie Yeboah 12/24/03 03:28:30 AM EST

This would be funny if it didn't have serious repercussions on open standards.
The focus of the industry has been convergence not paying lipservice to standards but developing their own just in case some misguided fool decides to stick their neck out.

Mad as hell 12/23/03 12:00:32 PM EST

The lawyers will fight it out in court. Hopefully they will listen to the truth from the real experts, not the so called experts paid by SCO and see the truth. The only thing we can do is move forward with developement and keep an eye on what developes. There have been worse injustices commited in the courts of this country

David Mohring 12/23/03 11:30:25 AM EST

The SCO Group cannot expect to win any case based upon application interfaces which its AT&T, USL and Novell predecessors released in open standards specifically for the purpose of interoperability.

signal.h, errorno.h,and ioctl are all parts of many released standards including The Open Group and IEEE POSIX Base Specifications and the Federal Information Processing Standards Publication 151-2.
http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/007904975/basedefs/signal.h.html
http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/007904975/basedefs/errno.h.html
http://www.opengroup.org/onlinepubs/007904975/functions/ioctl.html

Note that The SCO Group does not own the copyrights on any of those standards and it does not own clear title to the copyrights on most of the AT&T Unix source code and manual base.
http://www.novell.com/news/press/archive/2003/12/pr03080.html

It is a requirement of the ISO, IEEE and ANSI standards body that participants involved in the development of standards must pre-declare and clearly lable and identify any section of a standard in developent that an implementation would be dependent upon a patent for which royalties must be paid.

Both AT&T and Santa Cruz Operation participated in the development of the POSIX / FIPS 151-X standards and they did not identify any such royalty/patent dependent section as required for federal endorsed standards.

In terms of copyright, anyone and any organization who has purchased an ISO standard and any subsequent recipients, are free to release implementations based upon those standards.

Linux kernel developers are free to develop implementations based upon publicly documented interfaces.

bert 12/23/03 08:05:28 AM EST

SCO's action is criminal in my part of the world and it's time for the United States to file a lawsuit against SCO's managers. It is awful to see journalist quoting SCO's press releases and it's baseless accusations. Media doesn't work, again emperor's clothes.

Max 12/23/03 07:20:25 AM EST

OK We need a real time adjustment.

It is disturbing that SCO is still allowed to be associated with UnitedLinux. There is nothing "united" about SCO and Linux, given this bogus case of theirs.

Or perhaps it is just a *money* thing as I believe fees are paid to have this association. I hope I am wrong. If not then UnitedLinux needs to stand up and refund fees to SCO and reject their association.

In other words Get lost SCO !! Fade away!.and change your name to MSSCO.

Eddie Yeboah 12/23/03 03:34:38 AM EST

This is a lot of hooho haahaa.
I always knew lawyers and technology didn't mix.
Now I have the proof.
Today, If you told an IP lawyer that an application you've written included other peoples' work given freely, (s)he'll advice you to keep it quiet.
This is sad indeed.

Unbelievable 12/23/03 03:11:47 AM EST

The question is: how do make a compatible system, such as POSIX without using UNIX header files or their derivatives.

But, as said, from a legal point of view, God knows what it means. I think Richard Stallman will be vidicated again. Developers are slowly being driven out of the development business by big business and their legal machine. You can code, only with the backing of a multi billion $ corporation. Not that many around! All this is done under a Constitutional permission to Congress to introduce monopolies which the goal of furthering the development of Science and Art. Hahaha.

Ravi 12/22/03 11:48:20 PM EST

Is SCO crazy ??? What has been listed is just header files. I was expecting some .c files which would show up as code copies. Just on the basis of these files, I do not think there is any case (This is a developer's perspective ... not a lawyers !!!). So, there better be more files with more substantial material.

Kevin Michel 12/22/03 10:48:55 PM EST

I am stunned. That is it. THAT IS IT!!! Are these people really as dumb as they appear to be?

Ok. I am going to go back to pretending that SCO doesn't exist.

dAN o'mARA 12/22/03 08:36:00 PM EST

LMAO

sCaldera has ended the year by bringing us April in December.

Never had a case, cant even make one up. It's easy to get a settlement out of the guilty, but criminal to attempt to force an unjust one from the innocent.

P.S OpenSewer 5uX0Rz, as it always did: Coherent RULES! (better paint too.)