Referencing: Judge opens up Unix code for SCO
IBM has to cough up the code and any notes or other documents that the folks involved in making code changes might have. Groklaw (and IBM, of course) insist that there's nothing to be found, but they do get to look. SCO has an awful track record in finding anything, and with regard to Linux, if it was IBM's "stolen" code that is in there, why can't SCO just point at it in Linux source? Why am I so confused by this?
I am confused even more. I thought the Groklaw position was that SCO doesn't own anything - didn't the Novell agreement only give them the right to sell Unix? Obviously the judge must not agree, or we're talking about code SCO developed themselves, or bought, or.. oh well, it's as complicated and confusing as ever, but at least it's moving along.
Remember, folks, the ultimate decision will have nothing to do with morality and may have little to do with legality either: this is a highly technical and confusing mess that is going to be decided by non-technical people. Anything can happen, including the truly awful. Just look at our patent mess for an example of what happens when non-techs make decisions about these things. Judges and juries are going to be even more confused than I am, and the final results will be created from their confusion.
I'm still hoping for Linux walking away clean, of course. Anything else will be damaging to all of us, even those who have no investment in anything but Microsoft. If this lawsuit damages free code, Microsoft is strengthened, which of course locks more people into proprietary systems, where innovation is just a funny word marketing uses and engineering spends most of its efforts protecting code from unlicensed use and munging interfaces so that they are useless to competitors.
But it's too soon for doom and gloom.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence