SCO withdraw Caldera Linux
Posted: Thu May 15, 2003 9:45 am
Well just in case you have not heard the Caldera Linux has now been removed from distribution.
Void Main's Beautiful Site
also, for those with time on their hands there are some links to interesting reactions from sources as diverse as the OSI and Microsoft at the bottom of this page here.Linux stands to be harmed by the suit as well. Even if SCO's claims are not upheld, as long the possibility remains it could have a chilling effect on contributions made to Linux development from IBM and other Unix vendors, such as HP and Sun. The suit also dovetails nicely with Microsoft's plans for IP-based attacks on Linux; it might slow adoption of Linux and the development of new applications to run on Linux, as well.
Who did what with the code?
But there may be more reasons that SCO will be looking at legal troubles. Even before Caldera bought out SCO's Unix, SCO was adding Linux functionality to UnixWare .
Specifically, SCO added Linux compatibility to its Unix properties with operating system packages like UnixWare's Linux Kernel Personality (LKP) . The LKP enables UnixWare to run Linux binaries.
So SCO was adding Linux functionality to its own Unix products, and was also considering bringing Linux functionality to its older OpenServer Unix. Given SCO's own reasoning, could all this Linux functionality be added to Unix without introducing Linux code into Unix?
Look at the history. When Caldera first bought SCO in August 2000, it suggested that it was going to open source a good deal of Unix . That never happened.
But what Caldera did do, as described in a Caldera white paper dated March 8, 2001, with the then new tag-phrase of "Linux and UNIX are coming Together" by Dean R. Zimmerman, a SCO writer, was to try to merge the best features of both operating systems. Early on there's a line that fits perfectly with open source gospel. "For a programmer, access to source code is the greatest gift that can be bestowed." And then, getting straight to the point, Caldera declares: "Caldera has begun the task of uniting the strengths of UNIX technology, which include stability, scalability, security, and performance with the strengths of Linux, which include Internet-readiness, networking, new application support, and new hardware support. Caldera's solution is to unite in the UNIX kernel a Linux Kernel Personality (LKP), and then provide the additional APIs needed for high-end scalability. The result is an application 'deploy on' platform with the performance, scalability, and confidence of UNIX and the industry momentum of Linux."
Isn't this exactly what SCO is accusing IBM of doing? In SCO's March filing , SCO states, "Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment."
Isn't this what SCO had said they were doing? I don't see any significant difference. Do you?
ESR makes some very good points, many along these lines. i also found this more hastily dashed off response from the same author quite an interesting read.Furthermore, SCO is barred by the terms of the GNU General Public License from making copyright or patent-infringement claims on any technology shipped in conjunction with the Linux kernel that SCO/Caldera itself has been selling for the last eight years. Therefore, SCO may accuse IBM of misappropriating SCO-owned software to improve the Linux kernel only if that software does not actually ship with the Linux kernel it is alleged to be improving!
so... how come Caldera's site is still offerring all the usual Caldera downloads including source code then???SCO withdraw Caldera Linux