Several months ago, Scummy Computer Operations sued IBM claiming that IBM had copied code from UNIX into Linux. They refused to say what code had been copied. Already this sounds fishy. In their initial filing, they insulted the ethics and competence of the entire Open Source community. Eventually they started making wilder and wilder claims. They called into question the entire open source development model. They started threatening Linux users, and made noise about how they were going to start issuing license terms for Linux, without having proven that they actually own anything in Linux. The only specifics anyone’s managed to get out of them involve code IBM wrote itself and contributed to both OSes.
All they had to do was say “This code here is in violation of our copyright.” At which point the Linux kernel developers could look at it, say, “Hmm, that was contributed by so-and-so on such-and-such a date.” (The entire development process is open to the public – SCO could do this themselves.) An investigation could then be made, and the code could be either shown to be not in violation or removed and replaced with something else. Instead, they’ve remained (deliberately?) vague, such that over the course of four months, with the entire source code for Linux available to the entire world, no one has managed to find anything and say, “this must be what they’re complaining about.”
Yesterday Red Hat got fed up and sued SCO, saying the accusations were a load of bull and accusing them of anti-competetive practices.
Now, not only is SCO claiming that Red Hat’s suit proves that SCO is right (they deny it, therefore it must be true!), their licensing terms for Linux would make it more expensive than Windows.
And you know what really makes me sick? SCO’s stock price just went up. These people are deceptive scumbags. They’re making claims that they refuse to back up. They’re setting prices and threatening to go after people for money, but they refuse to prove that they own what they’re selling. Even in the unlikely event that they’re telling the truth and there is UNIX code in Linux, they’ve acted unethically by not giving anyone a chance to correct the issue.
See also: TWikiWeThey: SCO vs. IBM [archive.org] and OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint