[linux-elitists] [mds@hsmds2.prnewswire.com: SCO Suspends Distribution of Linux Pending Intellectual Property...]

Mister Bad mr.bad@pigdog.org
Thu May 15 09:59:34 PDT 2003


>>>>> "DM" == Don Marti <dmarti@zgp.org> writes:

    DM> Played a little guessing game with Chris Sontag today
    DM> regarding the alleged code copied from UnixWare.  Yes, he's
    DM> willing to say more than the "intellectual property" folderol
    DM> and finally claim straightforwardly there's deliberately
    DM> obfuscated UnixWare source in Linux.  The kernel.  The
    DM> official kernel.  Like on kernel.org.  (I was very sure to pin
    DM> him down on that.)

    DM> There is "signficant copyrighted and trade secret code within
    DM> Linux".

    DM> "It's all over the place".

So, does "deliberately obfuscated" code mean that somebody just took
an idea and rewrote it? Or does it just mean they ran it through
something like this:

   http://zork.net/~mrbad/jerkcitify.4th
   http://zork.net/~mrbad/unjerkcitify.4th

?

The GNU standards doc says this about having seen Unix code of any
kind:

        "If you have a vague recollection of the internals of a Unix
        program, this does not absolutely mean you can't write an
        imitation of it, but do try to organize the imitation
        internally along different lines, because this is likely to
        make the details of the Unix version irrelevant and dissimilar
        to your results."

        From: http://www.gnu.org/prep/standards_3.html

Is this the type of thing SCO is talking about? Interfaces and
mechanisms in Linux or GNU that _work_ like Unix, but were written in
a different way ("deliberately obfuscated")?

I think it would be fair to state that in some ways GNU/Linux works
like Unix. But is that actionable? Isn't it really just a
look-and-feel problem at the kernel interface level?

        http://lpf.ai.mit.edu/Copyright/copyright.html

Also, I'm wondering: are any Linux vendors filing against SCO for
their FUD letter?

~Mr. Bad

P.S. I forget... is there any forth in the Linux kernel?

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