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326 Lines of Code

Time for the showdown.


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Time for the showdown. SCO have to put their cards on the table. After all these years. After listening to all this silly ballyhoo. Here come the cards. And remember: this is a BILLION DOLLAR LAWSUIT.

  • All told only 326 lines of code are called into question.
  • Those 326 lines of code are distributed in 12 source code files.
  • Of those 12 source code files 11 are header (.h) files containing no code.
  • Of those 326 lines 121 are lines with macro preprocessor definitions.
  • The remaining 205 lines are typedefs, struct declarations, prototypes, and comments.
  • According to PJ IBM have a right to use all 326 lines anyway.
  • You can't claim copyright on header files as they don't contain code.
  • You can't claim copyright on comment fields as they technically contain nothing.
  • OTOH it's been contended SCO infringed on 700,000 lines of real IBM/GPL code.

As it turns out, SCO's Linux 4 (powered by UnitedLinux) which is also supposed to be a 'free' product also uses these 326 identical lines of code.

And IBM have had a business agreement with Caldera to use this code, to prepare and have derivative works, to distribute and sublicense, to grant other rights, and so forth. And Caldera suggested the agreement after seeing the results of the 1999 study by Santa Cruz on the similarities between Unix and Linux - similarities SCO at the time deemed 'understandable and acceptable'. As part of the agreement Caldera (now SCO) gave IBM a FORMAL WARRANTY THE CODE DID NOT INFRINGE ON ANY INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS OF ANY THIRD PARTY.

As soon as news of the SCO stink began to spread all but the numbest saw Bill Gates behind it. Then the Baystar mess was exposed. And now after all this the code itself - the code responsible for this ballyhoo - gets forced out into the light of day.

Behold the most successful capitalist in the world. The reason the unMcBridled free market is so superior.

But it's not really a free market at all. And tie up IBM for years in a stupid legal battle is one thing - but 326 lines of code? Is this the best you can do, Bill?

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