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Re: SCO after BSD settlement

From: Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 12:05:03 -0800 (PST)

:BSD license != GPL, true. But I have not seen anyone claim that SCO's
:SVRx products uses Linux code. Ever. This is a different case from
:Berkely vs. whoever owned SVRx then, in which case it would be
:difficult to see what is derived from what.
:Try signing a NDA for the souces to Windows NT and then taking parts of
:it and putting it into your own GPLed OS. The equivalent is what SCO is
:_claiming_ IBM has done. How can such code be _legally_ under the GPL?
:_If_ IBM had done it, it would have been beyond their legal right to do
:so being that do _not_ own but only _license_ SVRx code. Their
:agreement would specifically prohibit them from doing so. _If_ they
:did, they are in the wrong. If they didn't, SCO's claims _are_
:baseless. So the end results does not depend on GPL vs. BSD licenses or
:the sacred power and sanctity of Open Source: only on what IBM did or
:did not do and can be shown in the court case.

    I think you're coming into this late and playing a bit of catchup :-)

    Actually, people have claimed that SCO has integrated GPL'd code into 
    their base offering.  There are claims that SCO's linux personality 
    module copied code from linux.  But that's a minor issue.

    What IBM is saying is not that SCO accidently polluted its own
    software under GPL.  That would be hard to prove and the GPL has an
    exception that allows companies to back out of a distribution if the
    pollution was accidental (though it should be noted that SCO has not
    pulled any of the supposedly polluted offerings).  

    What IBM is saying is that SCO is violating the GPL license for the
    GPL'd code that SCO itself is distributing but not claiming to own
    (and they distribute a *LOT* of GPL'd code such as GCC and Samba).
    this is simply due to the fact that SCO is suing IBM, making IP claims
    against the linux community, and trying to hit linux users up for money.

    This is in direct violation of clause 7 of the GPL.  Because SCO is doing
    this, the GPL states fairly unequivocally that SCO no longer has a right
    to distribute GPL'd software.  So, for example, SCO no longer has a right
    to distribute GCC or SAMBA.  "If you cannot  distribute so as to satisfy
    simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other
    pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute
    the Program at all".

    In otherwords, SCO cannot legally distribute GPL'd software.  SCO's
    response to this is that the GPL is invalid and all GPL'd code is public
    domain.  No judge in the land will ever agree with that interpretation.
    SCO is basically backed into a corner here (a mess of their own making).
    They can't live without GPL'd software.  SCO's vendors and resellers 
    absolutely depend on GCC and other GPL'd bits to be able to keep their
    SCO based offerings up to snuff.  So SCO can't live without GPL'd
    software, but they can't legally distribute GPL'd software either.

					Matthew Dillon 

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