[oclug] Canadian LUGs and SCO
bb at L8R.net
Fri Jul 25 22:16:41 EDT 2003
On 25 Jul 2003 21:18:58 -0400
Rod Giffin <rod at giffinscientific.com> wrote:
> On Fri, 2003-07-25 at 19:36, Brad Barnett wrote:
> > On 25 Jul 2003 17:10:17 -0400
> > Rod Giffin <rod at giffinscientific.com> wrote:
> > > Personally I think that the more pressure that is brought to bear on
> > > SCO and Canopy the better it will be for us in the long run,
> > > however, if IBM looses the lawsuit, it won't matter. Canopy will
> > > have a subsidiary they have effective control of with a billion+
> > > dollar bank account.
> > Even if they do win, that does not mean they will garnish the amount
> > they request. A win could even result in a non-cash settlement,
> > although I have incredible doubts that SCO will even be able to get to
> > a court case.
> Then, my take is SCO will likely fail. Their success now hinges on it,
> since they have alienated nearly the entirety of their potential
> customer base.
They have at that. Funny thing is, they could have done what they are
doing a different way, and _not_ alienated that user base. They could
have nipped at the knees of IBM, exhorted money from them through vicious
lies, and still look at lot better to the community.
Now, as you say, they look just horrible in the eyes of many.
> > > I think the ultimate ulterior motive here is that SCO would, if they
> > > were to win the law suit, have effectively become the owner of the
> > > current Linux kernel, as distasteful as that sounds. It would
> > > propel
> > Not at all. Firstly, SCO themselves have put limitations on what they
> > claim was appropriated and copied into the Linux kernel. For example,
> > they claim that 2.2 does not infringe at all, and much of 2.4 is 2.2
> > with dozens of minor patches per specific area. Additionally, they
> > have indicated only tiny, specific bits of the kernel that are
> > effected. When you look at the overall size of the kernel sources, and
> > then look at the specific parts they claim ownership on, it is
> > actually quite minute.
> > These things do not give them control of the kernel, any more than a
> > court determining that you somehow own all the doors in my house,
> > would give you ownership of the my entire house. The court case is
> > between IBM and SCO, and even if these tiny bits of the kernel are
> > found (mistakenly, most likely) to be from SCO copyrighted material,
> > that does not mean that the court will order other kernel copyright
> > holders to somehow give up their rights.
> Brad, that's not what I said. I said they would become the effective
> owner of the current Linux kernel. All that has to happen for that to
> occur is they levy and collect a license fee from users of the SCO
> copyrighted material - if it exists in the Linux kernel. This is
> exactly what they intend.
You did say effective owner, but they won't become the effective
owner. For example, if Linux is found to have copyrighted SCO code, the
kernel can be purged of this tiny bit of code (yes tiny, see below). Once
purged, there is nothing SCO can "claim". They do not own the kernel,
effectively or otherwise, since they won't have anything in that kernel
to hassle people over.
After all, I can not even *begin* to envision a world where SCO would win,
and the Linux community would just say "OK, let's leave that code in
there, and be done with it.. and make sure SCO gets a payout each time a
kernel is sold".
Can you honestly see the GPL extremists allowing this to happen? People
will work night and day to remove and replace that code! I can actually
envision people taking their annual vacation to assist in the transition
from an SCO dirty kernel to a clean one. People grabbing code from 2.2
kernels and BSD kernels and racking their brains.
Heck, SCO won't even get the pleasure of extracting a license fee the
minute after the court case happens, because people won't be infringing
until AFTER that court case occurs. The individual is allowed
reasonable time to make a changeover once they realise something
like this has happened. People using Linux right now are not liable,
since they have done nothing wrong. The community is under the impression
that Linux is GPL pure, and if IBM is found out to have had made improper
additions to the kernel, they are not liable (the end user).
For example, it isn't your fault if you paid for and are driving a stolen
car, especially when you bought that car from a legitimate dealer. You
may end up losing your money when people find out that car is stolen, and
the car as well of course, but you won't be charged. You aren't liable.
You did not intent theft. You were scammed.
So, if the case does succeed, I can see a lot of people rolling back to
2.2. This will actually do in many, many Linux installations.
Furthermore I can see a quick and fast patch of the 2.4 series kernel
where SCO code is just removed, and portions of 2.4 are rolled back to
2.2. Quick and easy? No. Would it be done? Yes!
> See this video (well, the video linked to on the page about 1/2 way
> down.) for an interesting interview with Darl McBride.
Direct URL for mplayer:
> pay special attention to the scope of what SCO's CEO is claiming. This
> is not a few lines of accidentally pasted in codei.asf - a tiny bit of
> kernel code that he's talking about. He's basically saying, roll Linux
> back to 2.2, or pay.
Sure, and he's full of it. Again, he claims 2.2 doesn't
infringe. 2.4 and 2.2 have very clear and slow patch paths for tons
of hardware drivers, and other Linux code. Secondly, he's mostly talking
about multiprocessor code during the entire interview.
What they claim does not mean anything. What they can prove does. They
certainly can't prove that most of Linux is a derivative of SCO. The
development path is right in the open, little by little, from 2.2 to 2.4.
> You'll need Real Player(or Windows I guess). He does not rule out going
> after Linux distributors and other Linux players even when asked
> directly either.
> Also, if you're good at interpreting body language, Darl McBride is an
> open book.
He does seem to do a lot of fidgeting and nose scratching during certain
points in the interview. ;) I don't see a lot of creative activity going
on in his brain, but one can rehearse enough that you don't need to access
those centres to answer a question with a "creative" answer.
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