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futurist 05-28-2003 10:46 PM

Is Linux illegal ?
Recently i read news like this:
Novell, the second in the chain of four companies to own rights to the Unix operating system, is challenging the copyright infringement claims that the current owner of those rights, SCO Group, is making against Linux.

Will it be a setback to linux development, and succumb to Microsoft ?

DavidPhillips 05-28-2003 11:03 PM

I believe it's a sham, and that they do not own Unix.

check this out

Buying SCO stock may be a bad move at this point in time.

frieza 05-28-2003 11:05 PM

as far as i know, linux is built separatly from the ground up and doesn't borrow any proprietary code from unix flavours, besides, there isn't one company to own the copyrights to UNIX either, there are several flavours of unix as well as linux, no linux is just a posix complient *nix OS, so i dobt that that holds much water

DavidPhillips 05-28-2003 11:17 PM

I believe that this says it very well

frieza 05-28-2003 11:52 PM

woudn't the owner of tue main UNIX copyrights be AT&T bell labs, or some derivitive of such? after all they were the ones to if not invent it, at least the first to write it in C. in fact the invented C for the purpose of rewriting unix instead of rewriting it in assembly everytime they upgraded. so SCO's clame would be bogus, besides, look at all the flavours of unix
SCO unix
'Macos X
whatever os cray uses
whatever version of unix ibm uses
sun solaris
so to say that SCO has sole copyright ownership of UNIX isn't just a sham, i'ts total Bull$hit to make a buck and sounds almost worse than micro$oft's tactics

Hangdog42 05-29-2003 09:00 AM

What has been missing from these discussions is what happens if the worst case scenario comes true. The SCO suit claims that System V code is in Linux (of course it would be nice if SCO actually pointed to the code rather than simply claiming it is there). If that is true, wouldn't the Linux community simply re-write the "offending" portions until it was no longer System V code? Then Linux continues on and SCO ends up looking even more idiotic than they do now.

trickykid 05-29-2003 09:12 AM

Moved: More suitable in General where we have many discussions that are related to this one.

whansard 05-29-2003 09:53 AM

you never really know what the legal system is going to
do. i mean, OJ is free, but then again, you're only in danger
if you're married to him, or screwing his wife or ex-wife.

but anyway, copyright doesn't cover algorhythms. that's
patent law. so any algorhythms in the original unix over
17 years old can't be covered anyway. but copyright,
as we know here in the US, is the God given right to
permanent ownership to anything you write, which can
never expire for any reason.
anyway, SCO's claim is under trade secret and
contract law. you can't be held responsible for
disclosing a trade secret unless you had reason to know
or the responsibility to know that it was a trade secret.
so only ibm or somebody there could be expected to
know, and that only affects ibm, really. and thats
assuming sco's version of lies are believed by a court..
there really can't be a patent still valid coming from
original unix code. copyright violations would be
possible, but who had access to the originals. and if
trade secrets were let out by ibm, they aren't trade
secrets anymore, because they were let out. there could
only be damages paid by the letter outter.

t3stm0nk3y 05-29-2003 11:25 AM

McDonald's Copyrights Hamburger
Wouldn't this be kina' like McD's trying to copyright the hamburger? I hope that Novell is not that nieve. Mayber they are just grasping for a piece of hope. It would be nice to claim a piece of the copyright to an operating system that is installed on 80% of the WWW servers. $$$$$$ In fact I think I want in on that...... :tisk:

GtkUser 05-29-2003 11:53 AM

The SCO has plans to kidnap Ronald McDonald and force Americans to go hungry unless IBM gives the SCO a bizillion dollars...or no... a bizillion euros.

schatoor 05-29-2003 03:03 PM

"Wouldn't this be kina' like McD's trying to copyright the hamburger?"

Actually, you can't copyright an hamburger. You could how ever patent it.
Really, somtimes I think that if gready corporations existed it the stone age, the weel would have been patented. Imagin that!

Crashed_Again 05-29-2003 03:48 PM

Can I safely say that maybe a handfull of people really know if the Linux kernel has parts of Unix code?

schatoor 05-29-2003 04:52 PM

Yep. I thinks so If it is true, which I doubt, the programmers at IBM would know. And maby the boss of those programmers. Who else?

finegan 05-29-2003 09:45 PM


Originally posted by schatoor
"Wouldn't this be kina' like McD's trying to copyright the hamburger?"

McDonalds couldn't copyright the hamburger, but they can claim that the recipe is a trade secret and sue you if they can prove you acted in bad faith while procuring their recipe. If you just tried and tried to recreate it and eventually succeeded, that's fine, that's reverse engineering... more or less, which is evidently still legal and proper these days as long as the hamburger wasn't protecting a copyrighted work, like a movie, song or ebook. Also, you would be quite surprised how long it took McDonalds to actually get a Trademark with that name.


Originally posted by Crashed_Again

Can I safely say that maybe a handfull of people really know if the Linux kernel has parts of Unix code?

Oh goodness no, up until about... well, '95-ish and maybe even still, Universities could purchase the source code to their unices from the vendor at a minor add-on cost, so just about every CS undergrad for 20 years or so learned C with Sys V source as an example.


Originally posted by whansard

is the God given right to
permanent ownership to anything you write, which can
never expire for any reason.

75 years from death of author or 100 years from date of publication in case of corporate or multiple author. Of course, the Sonny Bono Copyright foreverment Act I think adds another quarter century.

The trick with making this a Trade Secret case is that it made it scary. They don't want to win, they want to spook companies into hiccup'ing cash. Copyright strictly would have been a bad move, especially since Berkely already beat AT&T in basically the same case back in '90-93! And all of the patents, pretty much, are dead or pointless (like the .Z compression algorithm). Claiming that IBM diluted some unknown quantity from Unix due to Big Blue's support of Linux is far fetched, but not ridiculous like the other moves, and remember, they don't want to win anything, they just want money.

The interesting thing to wait and see is what happens on June 3rd when the AIX license IBM has from SCO technically runs out.



whansard 05-30-2003 12:05 AM

Originally posted by whansard

is the God given right to
permanent ownership to anything you write, which can
never expire for any reason.

i was trying to be facetious, but i did a poor job.
i think copyright out to be somewhere in between
5 and 20 years. maybe news articles about 6 months.
i am law school educated, and it goes horribly against
what out forefathers had in mind for copyright for it
to be as long as it is now.
copyright SHOULD be only as long as MINIMALLY
necessary to induce authors to produce works, and
ONLY that long.

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