Since the above article was published, a few more things have happened on
the SCO front...
Linus has posted a response to SCO's claims
of ownership of various include files in the Linux kernel. In particular,
he examines the "ctype" macros, which he wrote personally, tracing their
development from very early kernels. Needless to say, he does not concur
with SCO's claims in this regard.
Since then, a significant effort has been underway to find the true origins
of the errno.h include file. This file, it turns out, was added
in version 0.97 of the kernel; Linus has concluded that it was automatically generated
from libc-2.2.2 (note that's "libc", not "glibc", which came much later).
Tracking down the source for that version of the library was a challenge,
but, once it turned up on an FTP site, Linus was able to verify that it was the source for
errno.h. The next question would be how the error numbers and
descriptions got into libc, but, as Linus says:
But it shouldn't much matter, since I don't think SCO really is
going to try to claim copyright ownership of the result of standard
C library interactions like using "sys_errlist". (I take that
back - _of_course_ they are going to try to claim ownership. After
all, they already claimed ownership of code I provably wrote).
In any case, errno.h was not copied from anything owned by SCO.
It is also worth looking into ancient history (October, 2003) to review a
quote by SCO's spokesperson Blake Stowell:
End users have a choice. They can go back to using Linux based on
the 2.2 kernel which includes no infringing code, or they can
continue using SCO's UNIX code as it is being found in Linux and
properly compensate the company for using it.
Files like errno.h have been in the kernel since well before 2.2,
which, apparently, "includes no infringing code." Either SCO has changed its mind in
the last couple of months, or they know that this code does not actually
infringe upon any copyrights owned by the SCO group. We requested
clarification from Mr. Stowell, but, predictably, got no response.
Meanwhile, SCO has announced the
abrupt departure of Steve Cakebread from its board of directors, ostensibly
due to "personal time constraints." We note (thanks to a pointer from Don
Marti) that Mr. Cakebread's day job is Chief Financial Officer at
Salesforce.com, which is a heavily Linux-based application service
provider. Could it be that Salesforce.com got a shakedown letter from SCO,
and has given its response?
SCO's offices are, apparently, shutting down for the holidays. Expect more
interesting developments in January after they return to work and,
according to the Monday conference call, set a significantly larger staff
on the task of shaking money out of Linux users.
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