February 23, 2019

SCO Turns Cartwheels for SCOx - page 4

SCOx App Framework Now Works With "Unauthorized Unix Derivatives"

  • May 19, 2003
  • By Jacqueline Emigh

Many observers have also questioned SCO's reluctance to specify which portions of Linux contain the alleged code violations. "There are many factions out there - from hobbyists, to hackers, to commercial users - who want us to show (the code violations). It wouldn't be prudent to show all our discoveries (while) the lawsuit is pending. In the short term, though, we will be prepared to show some of the (alleged violations) under nondiscosure," Huntsaker responded during the interview.

Moreover, during a teleconference with analysts, also last week, SCO said "it appeared that somebody had tried to obfuscate the code violations," noted DH Brown's Iams, one of the analysts who took part in the call.

"SCO feels they have a real smoking gun. The reality is that people come and go in this industry. Misappropriations of code have happened before. In the old days, though, if someone went from Company A to Company B, the only way to find out that a misappropriation occurred was if the same bug showed up in a new program. Linux is open source, however, and the whole world can look at that source code. The initial conflict took place back in 1998 and 1999 during Project Monterey, and presumably, SCO could have started monitoring what happened any time since then," Iams told LinuxPlanet.

Like some others in the industry, including Jim Johnson, chairman of the Standish Group, Iams is willing to believe that SCO might be proved right when the vendor gets its day in court.

"If SCO identifies the Unix code now, however, people might write it out of there. Then what would SCO do?" Johnson asked.

Since launching the lawsuit in March, SCO officials have consistently reiterated that the action is limited to IBM only for the time being, while leaving the possibility open that other companies - such as SuSE and/or Red Hat - might become later targets. "We felt it was clear tampering by IBM," Huntinger told LinuxPlanet last week.

Meanwhile, though, many observers have been puzzled by other seeming contradictions.

Also last week, for example, SCO sent out a letter to commercial customers, reportedly cautioning them that Linux impinges on SCO's "Unix intellectual property and other rights." Also in the letter, SCO warned that legal liability arising from Lux development "may also rest with the end user."

"Based on SCO's recent announcement, it appears that HP was one of 1500 other companies to receive a letter regarding Linux," said HP, as part of an "official response" provided by an HP PR person. "HP is unaware of any intellectual property infringement within Linux. The complaint is focused on alleged inappropriate behavior by IBM, it is not about infringement by Linux itself of SCO's IP rights," the written response goes on to say.

SCO soon turned around and softened some of its message. "We won't sue our customers," Huntsaker told LinuxPlanet last Friday. "We hold them harmless."

"Over the past 18 months, SCO has been lurching from one action to another action. Nobody at SCO seems capable of long-term strategy," charged Illuminata's Haff.

Other analysts, however, see SCO's exploits as better choreographed. "I am not so cynical as to think that SCO's actions are just a series of kneejerk reactions," Iams contended.

"SCO, after all, is working with David Bois" Iams added. Somewhat ironically, as it turns out, Attorney Bois was a member of the prosecution team in the federal government's antitrust suit versus Microsoft.

Most Popular LinuxPlanet Stories