SCO suit

Paul Richards paul at
Tue Jun 24 16:38:08 BST 2003

On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 02:07:19PM +0100, Pete French wrote:
> >
> The article linked off that one
> (
> is also pretty interesting as an insight into IBM's mindset though isnt it?
> I'd be very surprised if SCO wins this case. But on the other hand I would
> also be very surprised if IBM isnt, in some part, guilty as charged.
> In fact I think I'd be disappointed if IBM wasnt guilty - the idea that
> they have been freeing up bits of UNIX  by putting thme into Linux is quite
> appealing somehow. Wasnt the whole impetus behind all of this, from
> Minix onwards, that we all wanted UNIX to be free ? If somebody achieves this
> by illegal means, and then uses its huge bulk to crush the legal copyright
> owners when they try and sue, then part of me is pretty happy about that.

That's great until IBM change their mind about open source. Remember,
SCO were an open source company a few years ago. Companies change
strategy when it suits their commercial interests.

In fact with IBM it could be worse, since they'd most likely use
their patent portfolio rather than copyright, and the GPL won't
protect you from that. I don't think releasing patented ideas under
the GPL would negate the patent rights since the idea behind the
patent is published anyway and you can't use it without a license
from the patent holder.

I'd much rather Linux and all other open source projects stay clean, so
that no company can ever lay claim to them and Linux needs to tighten up
their act a bit in this regard. I wonder if they cheque whether code
contributed from companies like IBM incorporate any of that companies


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