SCO has sent out a
on a new version of SCO Linux Server 4.0. It is a
fairly mundane offering; SCO, too, wants to sell high-priced "enterprise"
version of its distribution; the version just released starts at $999 and
runs on the Itanium architecture. It is only "licensed" for up to four
processors, however; bigger machines will cost more.
If you go to the product page on
SCO's site, though, you see some interesting things. They advertise all
sorts of "next-generation enterprise features" including logical volume
management, asynchronous I/O, the O(1) scheduler, journaling filesystems
(including JFS), PCI hotplugging, high availability features, etc. All the
sort of stuff that an aspiring business distribution with a (probably) Red
Hat-derived kernel should have.
The only problem, of course, is that these are all features that, according
to SCO's suit against IBM, could not exist in Linux unless SCO's
proprietary technology had been stolen and put there illegally. SCO is
even advertising features (JFS, EVMS) that were directly developed and
contributed by IBM; JFS was even listed explicitly in the company's
complaint. This is all stuff that, according to SCO, is
destroying SCO's Unix business and depriving the company of a billion
dollars (minimum) worth of intellectual property.
The proprietary technology that, according to SCO, was misappropriated is
certainly contained in this new distribution. And SCO is shipping it with
source, licensed under the GPL. Before filing suit, SCO might have been
able to claim that they didn't know that "their" property was contained
within their Linux distribution. But they have no "plausable deniability"
now. SCO is, itself, shipping the code that, it claims, is destroying
its business. The company is trying to have it both ways, selling Linux
while claiming that the product is tainted. It would be interesting to
hear how SCO justifies this position. Unfortunately, SCO did not respond
to questions sent by LWN, so we can't tell you.
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