[Posted and mailed]
Quote:> Today, I was on the SCO Internet sight and I read that they were
> temporarily suspending the Caldera Linux distribution because of
> possible property rights dispute with some version of UNIX.
> Does anyone know anything about this? I certainly hope that Linux is on
> solid ground as I sure would hate to be stuck with Windows.
There's been a big stink raging about this for quite some time. Here are a
My personal take on this is that SCO is facing bankruptcy -- their
business prospects aren't that good, and their morals are already in
Chapter 11, so they're making a grab using claims that make a typical
used-car salesperson look like an extraordinarily honest person. (IMHO,
ESR, in the final URL I referenced, does a good job of demolishing many
of SCO's claims.) They're either trying to get some quick cash through an
out-of-court settlement or (more likely) they're looking to get bought by
somebody, either to shut them up or to get the IP rights and carry on the
fight. I suspect they'll lose, if this goes to court -- IBM can afford
more and better lawyers than SCO can, and as I mentioned, I don't believe
they've got much basis for a claim. (OTOH, I am not a lawyer, so take my
opinion with a grain of salt.) The real dangers would be an out-of-court
settlement that would open the door to further claims (from SCO or from
others) or purchase of SCO by Microsoft or some other force that's
hostile to Linux.
In any event, I wouldn't start writing Linux's obituary just yet. Even
SCO's vague claims don't seem to implicate the whole of Linux so badly
that they couldn't be worked around even if SCO won. Even if SCO somehow
managed to outlaw the Linux kernel and perhaps some other open source
tools, there are alternatives, such as the BSDs, the GNU HURD, etc.
Attacking each of these, and any new projects that crop up in the
meantime, would take quite a few years. This might divert resources,
diminish business interest in Linux and open source, and generally be a
pain, but it won't completely kill Linux or other open source OSs.
Author of books on Linux, FreeBSD, and networking