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Re: SCO after BSD settlement

From: Gary Thorpe <gathorpe79@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 23 Nov 2003 23:13:03 -0500 (EST)

 --- Matthew Dillon <dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote: > :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.

If IBM violated their license, I don't see how SCO can be in violation
of the GPL, since the IP claims against Linux can be valid. The GPL
cannot invalidate ownership/license claims. If IBM put SCO's code into
Linux, the GPL has no legal power to _force_ SCO to just accept that.
_IF_ IBM put SCO's code into Linux. The GPL does not say that someone
can steal your code and GPL it to make it irreversibly open sourced. If
it does, it  itself is illegal and its time someone slapped it down.
Are you trying to say the GPL has a piracy protection clause?

>     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. 

Actually, the clause implies a specific program not any program which
happens to be GPLed i.e. "the Program" which I assume to be Linux. And
as far as I know, SCO is continuing to distribute the GPLed software
they distribute, so I have no idea where you are going.

> 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.
>     Oops!
> 					-Matt
> 					Matthew Dillon 
> 					<dillon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

I just don't even see why the GPL is an issue at all. Linux could be
under the BSD license and SCO would still be suing IBM for relicensing
their code (true or false).

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