15 May 2003 rasjani   » (Journeyer)

My Thoughts On Sco
    This whole case seem to get messier day after day. As most of you know allready, sco has now "scosource" website which does 2 following things
    • Promotes their new product called ScoSOURCE
    • Acts as propaganda engine in their lawsuit against IBM

    Now, last part was kinda what people could expect but the first wasnt. Incredible! Could these two cases be related to one and another? What ScoSource is all about is that now Sco is licensing their libraries for $149 of single cpu and why you may ask ? In the past there was ibcs2 and now, its successor Linux Abi. There are sco compatibility modules that allow linux to run sco unix (and some other formats too) binaries. If and when these binaries are dynamically linked, one would need sco's libraries too and this is what scosource is (at least, thats what assumption). On the pdf file found on scosource website, its stated that ibcs2 was and is open standard so most likely the case against IBM is not about this allthou, there is warnings to linux sysadmins about this issue:
    "In addition, SCO has cautioned Linux users who may knowingly or unknowingly have used SCO's shared libraries in enabling Unix applications to run under Linux. "

    Ok so what would the case then be ? In Gartner: Warning To Linux IS Shops page on scosource site, there are slight hints where people might want to look for clues. Lets see the following paragraph:

    SCO's claim against IBM of theft of intellectual property contributed during Monterey for a high-end Unix OS for Intel is arguable. Sequent (later acquired by IBM) was another member of the Monterey Project that had expertise in high-end Unix capability for scalable Intel servers -- for example, nonuniform memory access (NUMA) scaling. However, Sequent was a licensee of System V source code.

    So there might be a change that their claims are true ? Time will tell.. But also there's been some talk that some of the ip code has been in the kernel for years. Could they still use ibcs2 and linux abi some way ? Or is there something other too that we dont know off. I dont know and i dont care. I know one thing for sure. With this lawsuit and Scosource product, they are shooting themselves on the head in the eyes of oss community. And they are after scoring a lot of money since their "head product" after sco/caldera sell-out, tarantella, wasnt that big hit. Gartner warning puts its quite nicely:

    If IBM is found to be in violation according to the complaint, its options will be to settle on a compromise in damages or to buy out SCO. It is unlikely IBM will acquire SCO and add to an already complex portfolio with SCO's aging OSs, especially with Linux as IBM's mainstream direction. However, IBM is committed to protect its users and maintain Unix license rights. Thus, IBM would opt for a settlement (0.8 probability if the suit is upheld).

    This thing gets really messy when "ip code" gets revealed ...

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