View Full Version : Linux admits IBM copied code, FSF states there is no such thing as licenses

31-07-2003, 20:56:05
I've lost complete respect for the entire Open Source community.

Linus has admitted that IBM did copy code into Linux. And that it is ok, because they didn't copy ALL the source code. He is arguing that other people's software is only protected as an entirety, but that any subset of that entirity is free and open software... so long as it is not Linux. That's a double standard, and not the legality that he's preached in the past. Can we say, he's just one step below Bill Gates in the Legions of Devils on this earth? His code, and his alone is special. He's arguing that all other code are encyclopedias, and not protected except as a collection all together. And he's QUOTING those copyrights and rulings (Collective Copyrights, which were brough up and refined through various cases involving, get this, encyclopedia.)

The FSF president is arguing that because SCO has at one time mirrored a product under GNU, all their products, forever, from that moment onward, through all incarnations the company may make, and all fields they may ever enter, are free and public domain, so it doesn't matter if any code was ever stolen, as the day they permitted a copy of a GNU product on one of their computers, they stopped being a commercial company.

This is all taken from News.Com, which is owned by CNET.Com, which is owned by AOL Time-Warner. This is a serious change of tone for them (which previously had been a pro-Linus and a slight-pro to mostly neutral-Open Source slant). I take this sudden, blantant shift of coverage, and terms used (Some of that is taken directly from there articles today), to mean AOL has decided to join the anti Open Source crusade.

if Linus has really said such a thing, that will show up in court and screw all of Linux users, everywhere. That's the chief guy admitting he knew the code should not have been put in, cause its controlling ownership was SCO, and he is trying to change the legal defination and policy via his civil disobediance. Which means, Linux, in all flavors, just became legally SCO owned intellectual property, and every Linux user had better pay up, or face the fines, penalties, etc... as under IP law, you owe them. Not Linus, or Red Hat, or any other upstream provider. Cause you are using stolen property...

You open types, better start paying attention to what is being spread around...

Sir Penguin
31-07-2003, 21:52:31
Why don't you ever post your sources?


31-07-2003, 22:32:48
Because I already stated it in the thread, and if cannot bother to find it, what's the point of you reading this forum?


It won't take you a minute to find the link, unless you are having a bad day. In a week, it will take a search, but that search will turn up all the instances Linus has stated that he always and completely respects all parts of IP law, which makes him making this statement such a complete turn around.

Sir Penguin
31-07-2003, 22:42:17
I should have said, links to your sources. It's not a matter of me bothering to find it, it's a matter of you being courteous enough to present your arguments without expecting me to go looking for your reputable source that backs you up.

Damn, I sound like a Polytubbie.


31-07-2003, 23:00:45
That's cause you are acting like one. :)

If you cannot be bothered to look where I found it, you aren't going to bother looking at any direct link in the first place, Pengy. That's what CG has demonstrated to me.

If, however, you really cannot find it on your own (honest, it will not take you any time to find, TODAY), then post your failure at basic reading here, and I might go track it down on News.Com. Or just laugh at you forgetting to put your glasses on, Katie.

Sir Penguin
31-07-2003, 23:08:48
Again, it's not a matter of my reading skills, it's a matter of what I expect people to do when they expect people to respond to what they have to say. You could say, what the entire Internet has demonstrated to me.


Sir Penguin
31-07-2003, 23:09:18
Well, the Web anyway.


31-07-2003, 23:31:58
Because DS continues, as ever, to refuse to post a direct link, I’ll assume this is what he is talking about:

But I still can’t find where Torvalds said it was OK because they only copied bits of it. He is saying the copyright on the IBM contribution was IBM’s, and that they gave it to both SCO and Linux.

01-08-2003, 05:17:45
They've removed a couple of paragraphs from first printing. Cute. Still, Linus is arguing that code has to be copied, in tota, or it's not a violation. That's a serious change from his "I know IP Law and I'd never allow a violation" stance from earlier.

I didn't bother to check to see if they changed anything other then Linus stuff. I wonder if he contacted them or their own "validation" made them change it? Curious... I've noticed that they've changed a few things over time without marking it as such. (They usually mark articles with an "update" when they do that.)

01-08-2003, 07:23:09
I'd love to see SCO lose this.

If IBM writes some code, it's theirs to license. The idea that "this bit of software does something similar to mine so I can sue" is insane. SCO could sue Microsoft for creating Windows NT.

If IBM cuts and pastes from System V, the code is still SCO and it would be stupid to cut and paste it into Linux, no matter what is tacked on or stripped off.

Of SCO's three charges, only one makes any sense, and it can be disproven, provided the people who maintain the kernel aren't allowing bits of Windows, OS/2, or whatever into the kernel.

01-08-2003, 07:53:43
The trick is that IBM doesn't have that right, according to their license. The license between SCO and IBM states that SCO has control over what UNIX code IBM develops that can be released, not IBM. It's very similar to contracts between employees and employers when you develop software. That's a significant difference then you or me just making up some code at home. IBM signed a license that says that SCO effectively owns code IBM develops. IBM just has the right to keep using it and further developing it, so long as they don't share it without SCO's prior permision.

SCO will win their lawsuit. You can see that word has gotten back to Linus and FSF, with their change of tactics and claims. Otherwise, Linus would still be standing by his original claim, that as far as he knows, no IP property is in Linux except what individual developers have crafted themselves and DONATED to the public domain, and FSF wouldn't be trying to claim that because SCO once had something that had a GNU license bounce across one of their machines, they've lost their rights forever to everything they own.

I wouldn't roast Linus if bits of Windows, OS/2, or SCO Unix got into Linux, as long as he didn't know that's the source. After all, if you don't know the source in the first place, how could you know it was someone's IP that was lifted (unless it says things like (C) 1993 Microsoft or (C) 1992 IBM). That was always something I though Linus was overstating... that he made sure that no stolen code from somewhere else got in. How could he know, unless he had the source code to all other stuff?

The entire "Collective" approach is not software IP law, and is a pubic hair of hope for him. I don't see it holding water. There's plenty of software illegal/unlicensed copying of source on record. And it was decided long ago that software is not a collective. Their goose is cooked. Expect a run of assets out of the US... as there isn't one thing that Linux has to offer in cross licensing to SCO and enough capital to tempt. It will just take ownership of all Linux, as is what happens when you incorporate stolen IP into your product. Open Source? Nope, SCO IP Property. I would expect they'll send cease and desists to all Linux Open Source development efforts after that... license from us, or face prosecution sorts of things.

Of course, it will have to go through base courts, then appeals. And the Supreme will take a pass on it. So you got another 6 to 8 years before SCO owns it free and clear. On a wild guess...

01-08-2003, 12:03:55
Originally posted by Darkstar
They've removed a couple of paragraphs from first printing. Cute. Still, Linus is arguing that code has to be copied, in tota, or it's not a violation. That's a serious change from his "I know IP Law and I'd never allow a violation" stance from earlier.
OK, first, that’s a lame excuse. ‘Ooh, they changed it!’ Maybe if you, like, posted quotes and links more often that would be more believable.

Second, he still isn’t saying that. He is saying it’s IBM’s code. You’ve said that it belongs to SCO a lot, but still not provided any sources, or evidence.

Qaj the Fuzzy Love Worm
01-08-2003, 19:41:08
Originally posted by Deacon
SCO could sue Microsoft for creating Windows NT.

Hey, I'd like to see that, but then again some days I'm just unreasonably vindictive :bash:

02-08-2003, 05:31:56
NT is a much better OS than DOS. Now that MS has a good environment and a good OS too, all they have left to do is kill the bugs that weren't intentional. So as much as I hate their guts on some issues, like the registry (Which Sun is wrongheadedly copying in GNOME 2 using XML), I want them to stay around. :)

02-08-2003, 06:52:11
Sean, I didn't feel like changing my first post, even though News.Com had changed there post. Fuck it. It happens. I'd thought you'd know better then say "Lame". It's just what happened. You don't like it, stop reading my posts.

And you really need to work on your memory Sean. Novell admited SCO owns control of all source code developed by IBM for UNIX. Remember when SCO first started the lawsuit? Novell protested it, as they had the sold the UNIX license to SCO in the first place (which was called Caldera). After a bit of steam blowing between them over the exact terms of that sale, SCO produced an addendum that cleared up exactly what Novell had sold. After that, the terms of IBM's license has come up and Novell has confirmed it... SCO owns the right and control on UNIX source code. IBM does NOT own it's own code developed for IBM UNIX. SCO does. That's the terms of their license, according to Novell and SCO. You really need to keep up with these things Sean. That was posted here a good bit ago, and linked back to news.com, and other, sources where such was reported. You want to learn the truth, go hit google about it.

SUN has a slightly *different* license then IBM for UNIX. I don't recall the difference offhand, as license text tends to put me to sleep.

I expect IBM is busy shredding a ton of documents right now, shredding back up tapes, and purging all backups. They are in it deep. Not that it will help them, but that's standard corporate behavior when they know they are caught these days...

02-08-2003, 11:46:01
I didn’t say you should change your post.

Links :rolleyes:.

No longer Trippin
02-08-2003, 15:16:59
He said to google it. :)

02-08-2003, 15:34:45
Yes, but when I Google DS’s claims, I inexplicably come up with sites that contradict what he says or are ambiguous. I never seem to find anything to support that absolute certainty.

No longer Trippin
02-08-2003, 16:05:16
Well... they play poly and keep on asking for links I guess. :)

02-08-2003, 17:20:36
Oh, I will :).

05-08-2003, 21:50:08
Ah. The difference between IBM, (Red Hat,) and SUN...

Linux carries with it no warranty or indemnification

SUN carries with it a warranty from indemnification

This probably explains why Red Hat has now sued SCO. Latest studies had showed that developers hadn't moved off Linux completely... so much as the were just migrating to SUN.

SCO is now pressing a countersuit and charges against Red Hat now, and is making equally nasty remarks back. I especially like how they are countering Red Hat's remarks that their code is "pure as the driven snow".

SCO''s Miller "Red Hat's lawsuit confirms what we've been saying all along--Linux developers are either unable or unwilling to screen the code that goes into the Linux".

Well... D'uh! You cannot know that any particular code submitted isn't from someone else, unless you know all other source code. Just how stupid has everyone gotten?

07-08-2003, 23:07:16

Trial starts April 11, 2005? Nuts.

11-08-2003, 23:39:56
IBM's countersuit.

It admits that SCO owns Linux, and is suing them for the unlicensed use of 5 of its patents.

This is a very cute turnabout. IBM is going for an out of court settlement, and is covered no matter what hijinks come to light that they, and other Linux developers, may have committed.

IBM's claim is that if the GNU Open Source license isn't legally binding, then SCO does own all Linux... and owes it for those patented works IBM has contributed to Linux. And it will hold SCO responsible for ALL Linux installs using thier stuff.

Of course, IBM is also claiming the fact that anyone has ever looked at the GNU Open Source license on a browser at SCO legally means that SCO did give up all rights, forever, to all their property, but that IBM is excluded from that due to it's old license...

Let the lawyers feast mightily!

Sir Penguin
11-08-2003, 23:51:37
Quote of the week: "An outside observer would be forgiven if he thought this lawsuit is all about a bunch of acronyms suing each other"



19-08-2003, 20:59:05
Follow up: SCO has started revealing portions of the multi-million lines of code that have been copied from UNIX directly into Linux, bad typos, spellings, and all. Including showing off more than 829,000 lines of SMP (symmetrical multiprocessing) code had been duplicated exactly in Linux.

Areas of exact duplication of enterprise features currently listed as : NUMA (nonuniform memory access), RCU (read-copy update), SMP (symmetrical multiprocessing), schedulers, JFS (journal file system) and XFS (extended file system). Then there's a few million more lines of obfuscated code... the code is identical or near identical, with the only significant changes being comments.

SCO also states it's ready to destroy the GPL as well, due to federal copyright laws protecting the company's intellectual property would trump any software license, no matter the terms.

Should prove interesting.

19-08-2003, 23:54:13
I still don’t understand how they can release something, say go copy it, and then say it’s protected by conventional copyright and the license never counted.

20-08-2003, 05:15:46
Did System V even have a journalling filesystem?

20-08-2003, 20:05:22
Well Sean, just because you and I make a contract to sell you an animal I have that is on my property, and has always been, doesn't mean that the contract of sell will hold up in court... if it is, say, an endangered female lynx, for instance. Federal law doesn't permit the sale of endangered animals without the approval of all sorts of departments and agencies, IIRC.

Just as federal law prevents a 14 year old from being able to sell their own rights away to be photographed.

(Darkstar sidebar: Remember: all our legal systems are based on the concept that people are actually property of the government. It has the final say on anything and everything. That's why it can decide that you don't know best... it's the Mommy, Daddy, Nanny, Coach, Teacher, Second Cousin, Town Idiot, and Used Car Salesmen. People are just cogs for its machinery, and money trees to be harvested at every opportunity.)

If Federal Law states one thing, and license terms state something different, the license will be null and void. It just won't be legal. If the license isn't legal, then it certainly cannot be binding. And frankly, we've got plenty of cases where license terms were found to be voided due to federal or state laws. Ever read any licenses or contracts that state "Void in the states of NY, NJ, DC, WA"? Or "Void in the crountries of Saudi Arabia, France, Thailand, PRC, and Saint George and the Vincents"?

Now, what the courts decide to do about something... :shrug: If the intent was to enter a product into the public domain at the time of the licensing, then a court may decide that the intent is more important then the law (does happen from time to time, that's why we have judges), and thereby grant some form of amnesty or safe harbor to all that make use of those product; and furthermore rule that all new products based on the originally destined public domain shall have to remain free for use, while still requiring anyone that wants to develop derivatives having to pay a license to do so, or whatever. (No telling what form of settlement or compromise may be made, actually.) Or it may find that only a small bit was ever meant to be public domain, and as there was malefesense on the part of others, that the invalid license and illegal use of IP combined with purposeful theft means that all products to use that IP or it's derived works belong to SCO.

It will ultimately end up being resolved between IBM and SCO as a contract dispute... but the effect will ripple out way past just IBM customers, as other LINUX users and developers have incorporated much of the code in question.

And of course, SCO has discovered other licensees who have stolen from their source and put it into LINUX, without their permission. IBM was just the contractee they suspected first, as IBM was such a big front runner working on those bits of LINUX while having access to the UNIX source that did the same thing. And programmers are programmers... being lazy, why reinvent the wheel? Coders are, by action, believers in all information is a virus, and wants to spread. Regardless of their ideologies... that's just due to them being lazy and copying code they've used before... save times, proven to work. It's a founding principle of coding... "Reuse". Regardless of what corporation or business "thinks" it owns it. After all, the coder made it, or improved it...

And SCO owns more then just the software rights to System V. Although it does not own the trademarks for UNIX or System V. That's a different group.