OK, I haven’t written much on the SCO vs. Linux debacle in a while, mainly because others have done so much better and in much more detail than I possibly could, so here’s a summary of the situation as I see it.
SCO: Linux stole from us!
Linux: Uh, no. What did we steal?
SCO: Linux stole from us!
Linux: No, we didn’t. What are we supposed to have stolen!
SCO: Linux stole from us! They’re un-American commie terrorists!
Linux: Dude, what the heck? Tell us what we stole or stop accusing us!
SCO: Linux stole XYZ from us.
Linux: No, we got that legally from so-and-so.
SCO: Uh, never mind. We meant to say Linux stole ABC.
Linux: No, we got that legally from such-and-such.
SCO: No, we mean JFS and NUMA!
IBM: Hey, we invented those ourselves.
SCO: We have proof! We have millions of lines that Linux stole!
Linux: Such as?
* crickets *
SCO: We have millions of lines! Millions of them!
Linux: Shyeah, right.
SCO: But don’t worry, for a mere $699, you can assure yourself that we won’t sue you for this chunk of Linux that we haven’t actually proved we own yet!
Linux: $699? For a small piece of something you won’t even prove you own? What’s next, charging Windows users an extra $700 for Notepad because they can write code with it? [Looks up definition of “protection racket”]
SCO: Did I mention we own BSD, MacOS, and Windows too? They’re next! (Well, except Windows, ’cause Microsoft gave us money. For something else, I mean.)
BSD: You’re kidding, right? We went through this in court a decade ago.
SCO: Wait, we never said anything about BSD.
BSD: But in this interview right here —
SCO: Linux is evil! The GPL is unconstitutional! If you let people use software for free, then the terrorists have won!
Linux: What are you people smoking?
Then there are the lawsuits:
SCO: IBM stole from us and put stuff into Linux!
IBM: Such as?
IBM: Details, please?
SCO: They stole ABC, DEF, and GHI!
IBM: Dude, we invented those things ourselves! What are you talking about?
SCO: Aha, but you developed those for AIX, and we own AIX!
IBM: No, you own Unix. We have a contract with you that lets us use Unix in AIX, but we own anything we wrote. Besides, half those things started out in other IBM products anyway.
SCO: Aha! You admit it!
IBM: No, we own those things, and we can do whatever we want with them.
SCO: Fools! We own all your code! If it even touches Unix, it’s ours!
IBM: And these guys call the GPL viral?
SCO: We’re revoking your license! You can no longer sell AIX!
IBM: What about this clause that says “irrevocable?”
SCO: Hey, look over there!
SCO: Oh, nothing. Now, Judge, I have proof that IBM stole from us and put stuff into Linux! Proof! Millions of lines!
IBM: Fine, prove it.
SCO: Well, we can’t actually prove it without looking at IBM’s code…
IBM: Wait, you have access to your own code, everyone has access to the code in Linux, and you need to see our code to prove that it’s infringing? I thought you said you already had proof…
* several more rounds of this go on *
RedHat: SCO, I want a declaration that we don’t infringe on your copyrights.
SCO: Oh, don’t worry, we’re not going to sue anyone but IBM.
RedHat: I’ll believe that when I don’t see it.
SCO: Red Hat and SuSE will get theirs, don’t you worry. BTW we’re going to start suing Linux users any day now.
Linux: (Didn’t they just say…)
RedHat: (Yeah, they did.)
* a few months later *
Linux: I thought they were going to start suing Linux users.
SCO: Wait for it…
* crickets *
SCO: We’re suing AutoZone and Daimler Chrysler! They use Linux!
AZ&DC: Yeah, but you didn’t sue us for using Linux. You sued us because we stopped using your products.
SCO: Pay no attention! They’re thieves! They’re filthy little thieves!
GrokLaw (an excellent resource!)
TWikiWeThey: SCO vs. IBM [archive.org]
OSI Position Paper on the SCO-vs.-IBM Complaint
FAQ: SCO and Linux
That’s quality. I like your style! I can actually hear the tone of voices in the writing…
What’s interesting to note is that if you put “we own all your code” into Google (with speech marks) then it brings up a SCO webinar page.
The plot thickens!
Hmm, not anymore. My first thought was that Google had caught the Google-bomb and counteracted it, but then I noticed it’s still there, 5 hits in. Apparently news about the website hack has taken over the top spots.
I’m glad you like the piece, though! Thanks!