Saturday, March 17, 2007

SCO is a Microsoft Shill No More!

I hate to say this. But SCO *was* a Microsoft shill. SCO had brought a lawsuit, several years ago, against Novell and IBM. It accused Linux of copyright infringement of Unix code (that SCO owns) and sued. Today, we discover the 'extent' of this infringment.

Linux users all knew that this was FUD. However, just to be safe, the core developers went through every single line of Linux code just to make sure. And after doing that, there were no worries and Linux stood it's ground. Microsoft exploited this lawsuit to 'support' it's claim that Linux infringes on numerous IP. It also pumped in a lot of money to keep SCO afloat for this litigation. Hence, SCO became a front for Microsoft to cast Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt on Linux, it's single largest threat.

The case dragged on for years, while SCO tried to present the 'mountain of evidence' on Linux copyright infringement. As *all* Linux code is available for public viewing, one would have expected SCO to very easily identify any copyright infringement. However, as the whole purpose of the lawsuit was to spread FUD rather than prove infringement, SCO dragged it on for as long as possible.

Then, IBM got fed up and filed to have the whole suit thrown out if SCO cannot caugh up the evidence. So, crunchtime for SCO. Today, the have presented their 326 lines of infringing code. Wait, the situation is much funnier. Most of the infringing lines of code, to be exact, 121 lines are #define statements that specify abbreviations, 12 lines are function prototypes and much of the rest are code comments! WTF??!! So, not a single line of functional Linux code infringes on any SCO IP.

Wait, even more irony ahead! Not only has SCO failed to prove any amount of infringement on the part of Linux, IBM has managed to show that SCO infringed on 700,000 lines of Linux kernel code! It's all quite amusing to watch SCO try to wriggle it's way out of this one. It'll be even more interesting to see how their company stocks will do now.

SCO had been surviving on nothing but Microsoft money for the last few years. This litigation was the only thing that kept it going. As long as they continued to spread FUD on Linux, Microsoft kept pumping money in to keep them afloat. Now that the problem has been squashed, and Microsoft has found a new way to tackle Linux (via Novell), SCO's future sure looks like doom and gloom to me.

Note to Self: It's a bad idea to accept money from someone in order to sue your customers, business partners and vendors. It's stooopid when there is no evidence.

UPDATE: It's being argued that statements and comments aren't protected by copyright since it isn't technically an original creative work.


YC said...
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YC said...

This may just suggest that it wasn't such a bad idea for SCO's management. They may have known all along that there wasn't much meat in the claim...