Suramya's Blog : Welcome to my crazy life…

March 16, 2007

SCO v IBM: SCO shows the copyrighted code

Filed under: Linux/Unix Related,News/Articles — Suramya @ 5:53 PM

On March 6, 2003, a company called the SCO Group which was doing very poorly financially decided to earn some revenue by filing a $1 billion lawsuit against IBM for allegedly adding copyrighted code from Unix (For which SCO is the copyright holder) to Linux. Over time this amount rose to $5 billion. SCO then sent letters to most fortune 500 companies using Linux and demanded licensing fees from them.

This case quickly became one of the most watched cases in computer law as it would determine the future of Linux and the ruling would set a precedent for other cases where open source projects are involved.

The lawsuit caused a huge outrage in the open source community and its members pointed out that it was highly unlikely that Linux contained code from Unix as it had been written from scratch by many programmers all over the world and its code was available for all to check. They demanded that SCO show the code that is supposed to be infringing so that they could verify the claim and remove it from the kernel if required. But SCO refused to show the code, it made many excuses and delayed it a lot.

On the 7th of March 2007 they finally showed the code that was included in Linux and it was a whooping 326 lines of code out of which 121 lines are #define headers. These headers basically allow the programmer to define easy to remember aliases for values/data. e.g. we can have the following statement: #define NAME Suramya Tomar in the code and now we can use NAME (which is easier to remember and type) instead of using “Suramya Tomar” in the code.

Now if we follow the pricing model that means each line of code is supposed to be worth $15,337,423.31. Howz that for quality code? I hope they paid the guy/girl who wrote it really well…

NEways now that the SCO case has been shown for the time waster it was, I suppose it will get thrown out of the court soon. They should be made to pay IBM and OSS community for all the grief they caused, but I guess since the company is almost bankrupt it will just file for Chapter 11 (Bankruptcy) and shutdown. Good riddance I say.

Read the transcript of the Hearing with detailed commentary/analysis : Groklaw – Transcript of Hearing in SCO v IBM

For more detailed info on the case check out: SCO vs IBM

Thanks to OpenDotDotDot for the link.

– Suramya

1 Comment »

  1. After visiting the great town of Santa Cruz, I wonder how they got an work done there. It seemed like a slacker’s hometown.

    Comment by Anomalizer — March 31, 2007 @ 11:27 AM

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