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glibc got forked

glibc got forked

Posted Jun 27, 2013 16:10 UTC (Thu) by dakas (guest, #88146)
In reply to: glibc got forked by mpr22
Parent article: Richard Stallman becomes a Hall-of-Famer

The main part of the court debacle were the claims of code getting copied over from UNIX into Linux. This has not actually been resolved, instead Novell prevailed in court (in a separate case) with its claim of never having actually transfered copyright to SCO. Now if any successor in interest of Novell would want to restart where SCO has left off, that would be feasible. Except that SCO's case had already been looking quite loco even assuming that they had copyright of UNIX: some of the things they complained about were provably actively contributed by Caldera employees, some stuff had just been lifted without attribution from BSD and they complained that they found it in Linux and so on and so on.

Nevertheless, SCO's opponents have paid a _lot_ of money to defend against this nonsense. The FSF has never been drawn into anything even remotely as extensive as that, and part of the reason may well be its assignment and attribution policy.

Whether or not you want to assign the blame for this fiasco to the U.S.A. court system, it is the court system that the FSF has to work with.


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glibc got forked

Posted Jun 27, 2013 16:52 UTC (Thu) by dlang (subscriber, #313) [Link]

given that SCO sued IBM about code that IBM wrote and contributed to the kernel, I don't think that there is any possible assignment scheme that would have prevented the SCO lawsuit.

SCO was ruled against multiple times, but appeals courts have given them second and third chances, but even so, 99.9999% of what they originally claimed has been thrown out, even without the Novel intervention.

At this point, if Novel were to try and pick up where SCO left off, they would not get very far. Between all the work that went into showing the weaknesses in SCOs claims, and the estopple that would be able to be claimed by anyone sued, there is basically no chance of anyone winning.

Now, that doesn't mean that nobody could take a case to court and eat up a lot of legal fees on the part of the defenders, that doesn't take having a great case, it just takes having a great lawyer who can convince the Judge that they may have a case.

glibc got forked

Posted Jun 27, 2013 20:12 UTC (Thu) by anselm (subscriber, #2796) [Link]

The main part of the court debacle were the claims of code getting copied over from UNIX into Linux. This has not actually been resolved

A necessary prerequisite for the »resolution« of that claim would have been for SCO to come up with some (non-trivial) code that had actually been copied – by IBM – from (proprietary) UNIX to Linux. Despite loads of public noise to the contrary, and despite being ordered multiple times by the judge to produce something – anything, really – to support their claim, SCO couldn't present anything interesting in court, so the issue became moot.

glibc got forked

Posted Jun 28, 2013 7:00 UTC (Fri) by micka (subscriber, #38720) [Link]

> The FSF has never been drawn into anything even remotely as extensive as that,
> and part of the reason may well be its assignment and attribution policy.

I don't think so. I think it's more sensible to assume that it's because the FSF doesn't have the financial resources of IBM that it didn't happen.

If you're SCO and want to get a massive amount of money by trolling some other entity, you don't target a company that doesn't own a massive amount of money.

glibc got forked

Posted Jun 28, 2013 10:13 UTC (Fri) by anselm (subscriber, #2796) [Link]

You also need to own (or believe you own, anyway) something that the other party can plausibly be accused of having ripped off.

On its face the claim that Linux, being very much like Unix and having been worked on by companies like IBM which also worked on Unix, might include at least some proprietary Unix code is not completely out of this world – at least to people who are not well versed with the history of Linux. On the other hand, the whole point of the FSF was to develop a »workalike« system from scratch in order to give it away, so the FSF would be a much more difficult target to attack in the first place, on top of their not being quite as rich as IBM.

(Some people thought at the time that The SCO Group was basically betting the farm on making themselves obnoxious enough to IBM that IBM would acquire them just to shut them up and make the lawsuit go away, which turned out to be a fatal miscalculation.)


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