[linux-elitists] SCO: Free Download

Willy Smith willy@linuxgazette.com
Fri Aug 8 21:23:10 PDT 2003


> The Register reports
>
> "SCO has told the public that its version of Linux is no longer for sale
> due to its legal pursuit of IBM and Linux users. That much is true. In
> fact, the code does not cost a penny with SCO providing a rather swift
> download site for SCO Linux."
> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/61/32233.html
>
> I suppose there's not much more we can do to figure out whether they are
> truly complete morons or not, but it might be worth getting a nice, free
> copy of linux 2.4.13 source!
>
> ftp://ftp.sco.com/pub/updates/OpenLinux/3.1.1/Server/CSSA-2003-020.0/SRPMS/linux-2.4.13-21S.src.rpm
>
> How they could claim any continuing trade secret protection now is really
> beyond me.  Trade secret holders are expected to make some investment in
> "fencing costs" (to prevent disclosure), but not an unreasonable amount
> (i.e., the fencing costs shouldn't have to rise to the value of the
> secret being protected).  But at this point they're paying bandwidth
> costs to disclose their trade secrets!
>
> And whatever "mutual mistake" theories they've advanced around
> distributing the kernel under the GPL before, that mistake is now *over*!
>
> Okay, I've had my fill for the day.
> --
> Adam Kessel
> http://bostoncoop.net/adam
>

This is obviously getting to be a very big oops. From the SCO site, a
notice was just put up today:

ftp://ftp.sco.com/pub/scolinux/Legal_Notice

"NOTICE:  SCO has suspended new sales and distribution of SCO Linux until
the intellectual property issues surrounding Linux are resolved. SCO will,
however, continue to support existing SCO Linux and Caldera OpenLinux
customers consistent with existing contractual obligations. SCO offers at
no extra charge to its existing Linux customers a SCO UNIX IP license for
their use of prior SCO or Caldera distributions of Linux in binary
format.  The license also covers binary use of support updates distributed
to them by SCO.  This SCO license balances SCO's need to enforce its
intellectual property rights against the practical needs of existing
customers in the marketplace.

"The Linux rpms available on SCO's ftp site are offered for download to
existing customers of SCO Linux, Caldera OpenLinux or SCO UnixWare with
LKP, in order to honor SCO's support obligations to such customers."

Also, another notice from today:

ftp://ftp.sco.com/welcome.msg

"            ** Please read the following export notice **
Please note that the electronic transfer of this data to a destination
outside of the United States constitutes an export (as defined by the
U.S. Bureau of Export Administration) and is authorized ONLY to the end
user. Any subsequent re-exportation of this data requires that the end
user obtain an additional export license. Also note that it is illegal
to re-route Caldera product to Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea,
Sudan or Syria and that you must file a special license if you intend
to re-route goods to the embargoed regions of Serbia or the Taliban
controlled areas of Afghanistan.   Placement of this order constitutes
an agreement to comply with these stipulations."


Not much of a fence to jump over, took a long time to find it. You'd think
if they were really concerned:

1) This Legal_Notice would be in every FTP directory where you might
"accidentally" download the code to which they have any (disputed)
proprietary claims.

2) They could at least email all their current customers a login and
password, which even if it were the same would show some kind of effort to
keep people from stealing the multi-billion-dollar secrets.

They obviously *don't* value the secrets, if this new notice is all they
can muster. What a contrast with the carefully orchestrated media circus
we're seeing.

Willy Smith
Editor in Chief
http://WorldWatch.LinuxGazette.com
Costa Rica



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