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OpenServer Copyright Ownership - Updated 2Xs
Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 02:28 PM EDT

In Judge Dale Kimball's July 2008 order in SCO v. Novell, he described OpenServer like this:
E. OpenServer

OpenServer is the brand name for the release of UNIX System V, Release 3 that Santa Cruz developed in the 1980s. Novell never owned, or had any license to, OpenServer. OpenServer was Santa Cruz's flagship product through the 1990s. OpenServer produces two-thirds of SCO's UNIX revenue and has thousands of customers, including small to mid-sized businesses and large corporations, such as McDonald's.

I think that isn't completely accurate. SCO began declaring their full ownership, but it's not that simple a story. Santa Cruz was, after all, a licensee, using AT&T's -- later Novell's -- UNIX System V Release 3 code. So obviously not all the code in OpenServer would belong, in the copyright sense, to SCO. In fact, we would expect that we'd find copyrights belonging to AT&T and Novell. And we do. Let me show you.

Here's what the output of the "copyrights" command under OpenServer 5.0.5 gave, and I've highlighted all the owners that I found particularly interesting, in addition to Novell and AT&T:
This SCO software includes software that is protected by these copyrights:

(C) 1983-1996 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
(C) 1989-1994 Acer Incorporated
(C) 1989-1994 Acer America Corporation
(C) 1990-1994 Adaptec, Inc.
(C) 1993-1994 Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
(C) 1990 Altos Computer Systems
(C) 1992-1994 American Power Conversion, Inc.
(C) 1988 Archive Corporation
(C) 1990 ATI Technologies, Inc.
(C) 1976-1992 AT&T
(C) 1992-1994 AT&T Global Information Solutions Company
(C) 1993 Berkeley Network Software Consortium
(C) 1985-1986 Bigelow & Holmes
(C) 1988-1991 Carnegie Mellon University
(C) 1989-1990 Cipher Data Products, Inc.
(C) 1985-1992 Compaq Computer Corporation
(C) 1986-1987 Convergent Technologies, Inc.
(C) 1990-1993 Cornell University
(C) 1985-1994 Corollary, Inc.
(C) 1994 Dell Computer Corporation
(C) 1988-1993 Digital Equipment Corporation
(C) 1990-1994 Distributed Processing Technology
(C) 1991 D.L.S. Associates
(C) 1990 Free Software Foundation, Inc.
(C) 1989-1991 Future Domain Corporation
(C) 1994 Gradient Technologies, Inc.
(C) 1991-1995 Hewlett-Packard Company
(C) 1994-1995 IBM Corporation
(C) 1990-1995 Intel Corporation
(C) 1989 Irwin Magnetic Systems, Inc.
(C) 1988-1995 IXI Limited
(C) 1988-1991 JSB Computer Systems Ltd.
(C) 1989-1994 Dirk Koeppen EDV-Beratungs-GmbH
(C) 1987-1994 Legent Corporation
(C) 1988-1994 Locus Computing Corporation
(C) 1989-1991 Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(C) 1985-1992 Metagraphics Software Corporation
(C) 1980-1994 Microsoft Corporation
(C) 1984-1989 Mouse Systems Corporation
(C) 1989 Multi-Tech Systems, Inc.
(C) 1991-1995 National Semiconductor Corporation
(C) 1990 NEC Technologies, Inc.
(C) 1989-1992 Novell, Inc.
(C) 1989 Ing. C. Olivetti & C. SpA
(C) 1989-1994 Open Software Foundation, Inc.
(C) 1993-1994 Programmed Logic Corporation
(C) 1989-1995 Racal InterLan, Inc.
(C) 1990-1992 RSA Data Security, Inc.
(C) 1987-1994 Secureware, Inc.
(C) 1990 Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG
(C) 1991-1992 Silicon Graphics, Inc.
(C) 1987-1991 SMNP Research, Inc.
(C) 1987-1995 Standard Microsystems Corporation
(C) 1984-1994 Sun Microsystems, Inc.
(C) 1987 Tandy Corporation
(C) 1992-1994 3COM Corporation
(C) 1987 United States Army
(C) 1979-1993 Regents of the University of California
(C) 1993 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
(C) 1989-1991 University of Maryland
(C) 1986 University of Toronto
(C) 1976-1994 UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
(C) 1988 Wyse Technology
(C) 1994 X Consortium
(C) 1992-1994 Xware
(C) 1983-1992 Eric P. Allman
(C) 1987-1989 Jeffery D. Case and Kenneth W. Key
(C) 1985 Andrew Cherenson
(C) 1989 Mark H. Colburn
(C) 1993 Michael A. Cooper
(C) 1982 Pavel Curtis
(C) 1987 Owen DeLong
(C) 1989-1993 Frank Kardel
(C) 1993 Carlos Leandro and Rui Salgueiro
(C) 1986-1988 Larry McVoy
(C) 1992 David L. Mills
(C) 1992 Ranier Pruy
(C) 1986-1988 Larry Wall
(C) 1992 Q. Frank Xia.
All rights reserved.

Now, we're guessing that most of these copyright attributions were actually for added-on packages (Larry Wall being a good example) rather than copyright attributions for actual OpenServer code. But not the copyrights belonging to Berkeley, AT&T, Novell, USL (which Novell bought), or the Regents of California, for example.

Isn't that interesting? So just because code is in OpenServer, it doesn't mean it necessarily belongs to SCO. It will have to provide evidence that any code it alleges is infringed actually does belong to it. If it's AT&T's UNIX code, it obviously does not, since Novell didn't pass along any UNIX copyrights to SCO in the 1995 deal, as the Utah District Court ruled.

As it happens, in the older OpenServer, there was a developers kit that you got separately, as you can see in this announcement [PDF]:

The SCO OpenServer Development system is comprised of a set of state-of-the-art compilers, debuggers, application programming interfaces (APIs), and libraries needed to develop applications. The SCO OpenServer Development System can also be augmented by over 200 third-party development tools to create the most robust and efficient development environment.
Maybe all of that belongs to SCO and maybe that is where the code in the AutoZone case comes from?

Not so fast. Notice this posting from 2000 to comp.unix.sco.misc, and please in particular notice the copyright notices he finds in the UnixWare/OpenServer Development kit:

Subject: Attempting to install Openserver Development kit
Date: 2000/05/12
Message-ID: #1/1 X-Http-Proxy: 1.0 (Squid/1.1.22) for client [redacted ip address]
Organization: - Before you buy.
X-Article-Creation-Date: Fri May 12 16:10:16 2000 GMT
X-MyDeja-Info: XMYDJUIDmalci
Newsgroups: comp.unix.sco.misc
X-Http-User-Agent: Mozilla/4.72 [en] (Win98; U)

I am hoping to install Openserver development kit on this PC Unfortuneately, there the instructions on the back of the attached paper are woefully incorrect as there is no '/cdrom/info/install.htm' Anyway I blundered through all the files and figured this was how to do it, obviously I was wrong, or am i doing something wrong. I have seen there is some patch to install but this is a fresh install of OSR5.0.5Eb ....

UnixWare/OpenServer Development Kit
Version 7.1.1 (IA32)
(C) Copyright 1996-1999 The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. All rights reserved.
Copyright 1984-1995 Novell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

So even in this development kit, Novell owns copyrights on some of the contents, it appears all of it up to 1995, judging from this posting. So, the question in AutoZone will be, who owns the CompX and DecompX and other allegedly infringed code? Did the licenses restrict use to only OpenServer? We're researching that very thing, actually, at Groklaw, and we'll share whatever we find. So far, SCO's hoped for allegations in the proposed amended complaint include this list:
33. To illustrate, SCO's limited discovery to date confirms that AutoZone engaged in the following activities, among others, in violation of SCO's contract rights and copyrights:
AutoZone developers copied 1,681 separate COFF files onto at least 387 AutoZone store machines located throughout the United States.

AutoZone developers copied 28 COFF files consisting of sort files, help utilities, and other miscellaneous files, onto all its machines in 3,500 AutoZone stores in the United States and Mexico.

AutoZone copied two COFF files, Compx and Decompx, onto the machines located in those stores. These files were programs that AutoZone had licensed from a third party which contained proprietary SCO code. AutoZone used these files at least from January 2000 until it deleted them during the Court-ordered discovery process. When AutoZone deleted Compx and Decompx from its Linux servers, the replenishment system used by AutoZone to replace inventory from its warehouses failed on approximately 650 machines.

AutoZone's machine load computer was found to contain a program entitled dexpand.x that was compiled under SCO's proprietary OpenServer operating system.

AutoZone copied over 4,500 programs that were compiled to run on OpenServer onto AutoZone's "Spirit Server" which was used to store AutoZone's source code in its headquarters. The vast majority of these programs contain some portion of SCO's proprietary static libraries. AutoZone has admitted to copying on Spirit at least 1,130 programs compiled to run on OpenServer.

In addition, with the aid of a software tool written by SCO's technical consultant, AutoZone discovered an additional fifteen SCO Extensible Linking Format ("ELF") and Xenix files which were also compiled to work on SCO proprietary operating systems (earlier versions of OpenServer that were licensed by AutoZone). AutoZone admitted that those files "likely also exist on all 3500 AutoZone store servers."

AutoZone copied approximately 370 programs onto its Linux development machine known as "Wrangler." The majority of these programs appear to contain some portion of SCO's proprietary static libraries.

AutoZone developers copied numerous SCO files, the precise number of which has not been disclosed in discovery, onto AutoZone's "Vision" server which was used in part by AutoZone to compare the output of programs that it was porting from OpenServer to Linux, to ensure that the output was identical.

AutoZone has debunked much of this already, years ago when SCO first started talking about it, and its primary points include the fact that it had a license to OpenServer. And it had a license from a third party, as SCO acknowledges, to use CompX and DeCompX. So what is the beef about that, one wonders? Of course SCO's initial claims are always as big as the sky, and by the time trial comes around, they get smaller and smaller until, at least in the Novell case, they disappear almost entirely.

SCO mentions COFF files, and in fact when it sent the letter to Linux users [PDF] about alleged infringement years ago, it listed AT&T code it claimed to own that SCO alleged Linux wasn't allowed to use according to the terms of the then-secret settlement agreement, including the file arch/mips/boot/ecoff.h.

Well, as we learned later, SCO doesn't own any of those files, because they didn't get those UNIX copyrights from Novell in 1995. Does that impact the AutoZone claims? What if the COFF files SCO is now accusing AutoZone of copying actually stem from that older UNIX code SCO doesn't own? I believe this is the right question if the case is permitted to go forward.

SCO now wishes to amend its complaint to sue AutoZone over copyright third party files Compx and DeCompx. It says it believes there is proprietary code of SCO's inside those two files. It "believes" it? Remember these are binary files, which is one reason Autozone had no possible way to know what was in them. It's comparable, in my mind, to getting sued for copyright infringement by a third party for using Microsoft Word, because of allegations some third party code is in Word. Why wouldn't you sue Microsoft instead of me? What is SCO's basis for its belief it has copyright ownership of anything in CompX, etc.? I think this PDF is pertinent. You'll find both compx and decompx showing up in the installation log in the instructions from the US Department of Education on page 15, but first, this is what the paper is about:

Welcome to the U.S. Department of Eduction's Federal Student Aid (FSA) Student Aid Internet Gateway (SAIG) that offer Title IV-eligible post-secondary institutions, third-party servicers, state agencies, lenders and guarantors, a secure, Internet-based method of exchanging Title IV data with the FSA Applications Systems. The SAIG replaces what was formerly known as "TIV WAN" by moving Title IV transmissions from the General Electric (GEIS) value-added network to the Internet.
And here's what you find on page 15:
Installing TDAccess in directory /home/jtest/TDAccess2.2...

Decompressing TDAccess 2.2 Installation file (this may take a minute or two ...)

TDCompress Build 0465 (master, triple DES) (c) Copyright 1990-2003
DECOMPRESS STARTED - Tue May 20 11:52:00 2003

Decomping ./install.dat
Decomped ./cmdparsepfx
Decomped ./compx
Decomped ./decompx

So, if this is the same code SCO is referring to, the next correct question would have to be, what were the license terms for using Compx and Decompx?

So, there's the map with the X on it. If you'd like to help us dig, please do share whatever you find. If you weren't with Groklaw back in 2005 when SCO first raised some of these allegations, you might like to read the article we published, SCO v. AutoZone - What Are Statically Linked Libraries, Anyway?.

Update: Here's an article in Unix Guardian, SCO OpenServer 6 Launches with Unix SVR5 Kernel, from June 2005, in Volume 2, Number 24, by Timothy Prickett Morgan, that talks about the kernel in OpenServer in the version that AutoZone might have licensed, if not an earlier one, replaced only in 2005 by a SVR5:

While OpenServer 5.0.7 is notable in that it provided some limited support for UnixWare 7 applications,OpenServer 5 was based on the Unix System V Release 3.2 kernel, which is very old and has some pretty severe limitations in terms of threading, main memory, and file system support. That's why SCO bought UnixWare and the rights to the Unix operating system created by AT&T from Novell to have a more scalable Unix than OpenServer. To preserve backward compatibility with the large installed base of OpenServer customers--there could be as many as 1 million servers installed in the world that are running OpenServer and UnixWare--SCO has not messed with that kernel, even as Unix System V was updated to Release 4 and then Release 5. With Legend, that changes, and OpenServer now uses the SVR5 kernel while maintaining backward compatibility with all prior generations of OpenServer, Unix, and Xenix Unixes from SCO. Yes, you can still run Xenix 286 binaries developed in 1986 for the 16-bit 80286 processor on today's 64-bit Xeon processors from Intel on top of OpenServer 6, bragged Sandy Gupta, SCO's vide president of development, at the announcement this week. He said, in fact, that some game developers had tested Xenix 286 games on OpenServer 6 to make sure they still ran.
Obviously, SCO does not own the copyrights on Unix System V Release 3.2. Novell does [PDF]. Although SCO tried to claim it [PDF] too, the Utah District Court has ruled it remained with Novell and did not pass to SCO in 1995 under the APA. So in the AutoZone case now going forward in Nevada, the judge there has said to go forward with the Utah decision, and in that context, SCO doesn't own the code at issue, from all that I can see. You might notice that in both attempted copyright registrations, SCO and Novell agree on one thing: the date of the OpenServer System V release 3.2 code is 1988.

Update 2: Incidentally, if you are interested in COFF files, here's a good place to start, a SCO manual for SCO OpenServer Release 5.0.7 dated February 11, 2003, which is smack dab in the middle of SCOsource, while it was still ambulatory, and notice this page tells us who developed ld:


ld -- invokes the link editor

ld [options] filename [[options] filename]


The ld(CP) command combines several object files into one, performs relocation, resolves external symbols, and supports symbol table information for symbolic debugging. Both ELF and COFF file formats are supported (see ``Generating COFF vs. ELF binaries'') and ld can operate in either static or dynamic modes (see -d). ...

Generating COFF vs. ELF binaries

When ld is called, it scans all object files and library files (if any) given through filename arguments on the command line. It determines whether an object file is in COFF or ELF format and executes the appropriate binaries in each case. The file format of a library is treated as the same as the file format of the first module in that library file. ld defaults to ELF format if none of the user specified object files are in ELF or COFF format. If at least one of the user specified object files is in ELF format, all COFF modules in the group will be converted to ELF and the resulting binary will be in ELF format. If none of the user specified object files are in ELF format and there is at least one user specified COFF object, then the resulting binary will be in COFF format. To force the resulting binary to a particular format, use, for example, the option -b elf or -b coff. Since this utility relies on the files in /usr/ccs/bin/coff, /usr/ccs/lib/coff, /usr/ccs/bin/elf and /usr/ccs/lib/elf, changing or moving any files in those directories results in an error....

ld is not part of any currently supported standard; it was developed by UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. and is used by permission.

See what I mean? Those of you who are programmers may find even more helpful info in that manual than I would.


OpenServer Copyright Ownership - Updated 2Xs | 175 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections if needed
Authored by: jesse on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 02:33 PM EDT
Please use the title to indicate what

[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks
Authored by: jesse on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 02:34 PM EDT
Thank you

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic
Authored by: jesse on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 02:35 PM EDT
Thank you

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:03 PM EDT
Coff is a very old file format that has been replaced by elf. I have never used
SCO products and virtually all the Unix systems that I used during that period
had COFF.

I find it hard to believe SCO owns COFF.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • COFF - Authored by: sjvn on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:23 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:33 PM EDT
      • COFF - Authored by: J.F. on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 06:19 PM EDT
        • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 06:56 AM EDT
          • COFF - Authored by: PJ on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 09:58 AM EDT
  • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:32 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 04:12 PM EDT
      • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 04:32 PM EDT
      • COFF - Authored by: red floyd on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 04:35 PM EDT
        • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 05:51 PM EDT
          • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 09:08 AM EDT
            • COFF - Authored by: red floyd on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 10:51 AM EDT
            • CCOFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 11:10 AM EDT
        • COFF - Authored by: tiger99 on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 06:17 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: tknarr on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 10:02 PM EDT
  • COFF, COFF... let me clarify - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:33 PM EDT
  • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:59 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: PJ on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 04:30 PM EDT
  • I think the assumption is - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 04:14 PM EDT
  • COFF - Authored by: red floyd on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 07:04 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 07:35 PM EDT
    • COFF - Authored by: Ed L. on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 08:49 PM EDT
      • COFF - Authored by: red floyd on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 10:52 AM EDT
    • Not more funding for newSCO - Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 01:27 AM EDT
OpenServer License
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:48 PM EDT
The Openserver License Rubnt TIme License allowed a licensee to use all or part
of the product. I have copies up to 5.0.4, which was I beleive the current
version in 1999 when Jim Geer started his port.

I have searched for a separate license for the Software Development Kit which
was the developmenr kit for OSR5. I haven't found one.

SCO's development kit included not only the libraries and complier, it also
included the header files. It was possible to compile binaries using GNU
compiler, but the lack of headers made it difficult to do without also having a
Development Kit license. Later SCO allowed the headers to be loaded without a
separate license so people began to use GNU.

GNU worked better for portable code, so much code that was ported was ported
using the GNU compiler.

I believe the Software Development K (SDK)it is what Jim Geer would most
probably used for compiling SCO binaries and possibly what compx and decompx
were compiled with.

The Software Development Kit discussed above is different than the Unixware
derived Development Kit mentioned in PJ's article..

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 03:59 PM EDT
TDAcess is a product of a company called bTrade, which may be related to

It is a secure ftp product which makes perfect sense for AutoZone's application
apparently it used to be owned by a company called Click Commerce.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OpenServer Copyright Ownership
Authored by: roxyb on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 05:01 PM EDT
Just some comments:

(C) 1988-1994 Locus Computing Corporation
As a source of AIX/PS2 and AIX/370 it should be interesting.

(C) 1989-1991 University of Maryland
Certain Copyrights on AIX is coming from the work of people at this location.

My 2c.


Roland Buresund

I'm Still Standing...

[ Reply to This | # ]

Not completely accurate?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 05:03 PM EDT
Which of the Judge's statements is not completely accurate?

OpenServer is the brand name for ...

Novell never owned, or had any license to...

OpenServer was Santa Cruz's flagship product through the 1990s.

OpenServer produces two-thirds of SCO's UNIX revenue ...

All look correct, and unrelated to copyright, to me.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OpenServer Copyright Ownership
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 05:12 PM EDT
Corollary, Inc (acquired by Intel in 1997) designed SMP chipsets and
motherboards for x86 processors. They licensed their technology to many box

In addition, in late 80's and early 90's, they did modifications to SCO
OpenServer so it would run reasonably well on multi-processor machines. Before
that, OpenServer was a uniprocessor OS.

[ Reply to This | # ]

OpenServer SDK License?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 05:55 PM EDT
Does anyone have a copy of the OpenServer SDK license?
It would be helpful to know what it actually says.

I can't find one but I seem to recall it had no restriction on what you could do
with the binaries you created. It was a royalty free license. It seem likely
that no one ever considered that you would run those binaries under another
operating system,

[ Reply to This | # ]

dependency hell
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 06:28 PM EDT

So Autozone is basically making an .exe of sorts -- in other words, the stuff they moved over to Linux doesn't "fit in" to apt-get or .rpm or whatever system the distro uses -- it's a separate deal -- it contains everything it needs to run -- including the c libraries and so forth (otherwise, of course, it probably wouldn't run anyway).

So they're taking all the libraries with them, compiled into a _static_ binary (or else the app won't run), whereas with apt-get, etc, the package manager downloads the libraries it needs a la carte. Actually, they'd probably be looking for the dev-* type packages, so they can use gcc to compile the code, at least initially, anyway. Then they could either make it static or dynamic (tie it into apt-get, etc... or not).

There is the code that Autozone wrote -- C, C++, whatever language they used - that copyright belongs to Autozone (obviously). This programming language code is then interfacing with SCO's operating system's libraries and taking those libraries along with it into the .exe type static binary as it's being compiled on SCO's operating system's compiler -- those libraries they used, probably, no doubt contain AT&T copyright stuff, BSD copyright stuff, Novell copyright stuff, and, it wouldn't surprise me if SCO had to tweak some stuff in there to integrate it with their OS as well. All of the above, and probably many more parties as well, so to speak.

Then there's a third party writing code - the Compx, Decompx -- in whatever programming language they are using to do that with, copyright by that third party, compiling that code to run on SCO's os -- there is probably a strong likelihood they're using SCO's libraries and compilers to do that - there's a good chance there's SCO OS specific-type stuff going on in there. Each platform's libraries are probably at least slightly different, although they all probably share AT&T and BSD, etc., code as well. SCO would have to show how they tweaked and integrated those libraries, and that (or how) those changes they made (if any) are their copyright.

So -- #1 -- is Autozone fully paid up to SCO -- i.e. # seats, # servers? #2 - define fully paid up -- here's where it gets complicated. Which is the better analogy? a) libraries = MS Word document, Linux=Open Office, or b) libraries=MS Word, Linux = Word running in Wine?

If Autozone completely ports over their copyright code (C, C++, whatever language they programmed in) to Linux, for example, using gcc, and the equivalent Linux opensource libraries, then, obviously, there's no way that would ever count as a "seat" in any way, shape, or form. Except the code written by any third parties, of course (Compx, Decompx) which is probably also going to eventually (or should, if it hasn't been already) ported over fully to Linux via gcc and opensource libraries.

So isn't SCO saying that, for instance, there is no OpenOffice-type equivalent to those libraries in Linux, so what Autozone was actually doing was like using MS Word in Wine? Which counts as a seat, right?

Or, does the act of compiling the libraries into machine language via a compiler change all that? In other words, if they were paid up on the compiler used to compile the static binaries, isn't that enough? Could that binary be thought of as a MS Word document, essentially, and Linux (the platform the binary runs on then) could be thought of as Open Office opening up that MS Word document? My understanding is that the libraries are complied in, they're in machine code generated by the compiler, they're not in source (programming language) form. Isn't using static libraries essentially just a way to avoid dependency hell, so if SCO updates their OS and those libraries get modified, then the apps might break, so this way Autozone doesn't have to recompile a dynamic binary if and when an OS upgrade changes those libraries which are relevant to Autozone's binaries (which might break those apps)?

Certainly, if Autozone was fully paid up, counting every instance of each of those binaries running on Linux as a "seat", just as one would count every instance of MS Word running in Wine as a "seat", then there's obviously no problem.

However -- if compiling the libraries into a static binary essentially gives Autozone the perpetual right to use that binary however they want, (e.g. end product of MS Word is a Word document, end product of a c compiler is a static binary) then they wouldn't need to consider each instance of those files running on Linux as a "seat".

Those are just my quick thoughts on the matter. Obviously, the safest thing for Autozone to do is to fully port over the apps using GNU compilers and GNU libraries (or some other open- source) compilers and libraries. But if the binaries were compiled with a fully "legit", paid up instance of the compilers and libraries, wouldn't that be enough right there?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Caldera/SCO Invite You To Mirror Their COFF/ELF Files
Authored by: sk43 on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 09:08 PM EDT
At one time SCO put its entire OpenServer and UnixWare support repository onto
IBM-donated servers at

The relevant directories are "openserver5", "openunix8", and

Caldera/SCO encouraged people to set up mirrors -


Here's how to get set up as a Caldera Systems mirror:

** NOTE **

The process of mirroring Caldera ISOs has changed. ISOs are now hosted
at and can be mirrored using rsync. If you
would like to mirror the ISOs, please follow steps 1, 3 and 4 below and I
will email you the rsync username and password to access the ISOs.

1) Subscribe to by sending a blank
email to This list has
very little traffic so it should not be a burden. This will help us
keep coordinated especially during new releases when there is a
lot to mirror.

2) Mirror (nightly, if possible).
The preferred method of mirroring is anonymous rsync to although you may use other mirroring
tools as you prefer.

To see available mirroring options:

$ rsync

3) Allow full anonymous ftp access to your mirror site.

4) Send a note to with the URL of your
mirror so it can be listed in the MIRRORS file and on our web
site. Also include the canonical hostname of the machine running
the mirror process (not an alias, and not necessarily the ftp
machine) so I can list it in the special "mirror" class that is
never denied anonymous FTP access to
(not applicable to rsync users)

5) You can get a good idea of the sizes of various directories by
reading the du-s files.

6) If you are tight on space, you may want to exclude some directories.
Good candidates might be:


Let us know if you have any questions.


The actual binaries are not archived by Wayback, but you can likely still fetch
them from

Oh yes, you can still fetch a source code copy of the entire GNU compliler
toolchain from here:

This package includes such favorites as binutils, gcc, and gdb. One of the
maintainers of GCC was Kean Johnston of SCO, who provided source code that
enabled GCC to create ELF binaries that can be run on OpenServer. At one time
it could also create COFF binaries, but that capability was dropped. (check

[ Reply to This | # ]

Shared libraries in compx and decompx
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, July 15 2009 @ 10:08 PM EDT
I've never seen these programs, but there is an analogous case in the GNU
toolchain. In certain program-generating-programs (such as flex, gcc, gas, and
others) there are portions of the generator that are embedded in the output
program. The FSF deals with this by exempting (as a specific license) that part
of the generator "work" from the GPL binary distribution

Some of this specific code includes the "stub" functions from
flex/bison that you are supposed to replace with your own, the
"driver" functions such as yy_parse() and the initial app
initialization code from gcc.

If the developer of compx and decompx compiled these programs on OpenServer, and
it embedded some portion of the SCO toolchain, there might be a portion of the
executable that can be traced back to that toolchain.

So, assuming SCO owned the copyrights to that toolchain code, and assuming the
embedded "work" would not fall under a de minimis or scenes a faire
defense, there may be some liability somewhere. However, this would place a lot
of Openserver developers in a bad spot- anyone who compiles code for openserver
can never distribute their binaries without also distributing SCO's IP.

Assuming all that is correct, though, there is a reasonable reliance on the
promise that the Openserver toolchain can be used to create programs, which
would give a strong defense of equitable estoppel.

The final point I'd like to make is that the better MS-word analogy is:

Microsoft sues a company for e-mailing a word document to all its employees. The
grounds for this is that they believe that the (binary) file format written by
Word contains part of the Windows product.

The scary thing is, this is technically believable-- many parts of the binary
DOC format (and even some OOXML objects) are basically a memory dump of the Word
application memory. Some part of that memory could accidentally or
intentionally contain parts of winword.exe or kernl32.dll or something.

(Not logged in)

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OpenServer Copyright Ownership
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 02:50 AM EDT

FreeBSD (and others) has this kind of kernel configuration:

# Enable iBCS2 runtime support for SCO and ISC binaries
options IBCS2

this should have attracted SCO's attention too, yes?

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Larry Wall copyright?
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 09:49 AM EDT
While I agree with PJ (Now, we're guessing that most of these copyright attributions were actually for added-on packages (Larry Wall being a good example)), I am a bit surprised by the dates listed ((C) 1986-1988 Larry Wall).

Nowadays, everyone's first thought for code written by Larry Wall is, of course, Perl. But, the first public release of perl was late 1987 - and versions of perl that were ready for serious commercial work came over the next few years. I would be surprised to find a 1988 version of perl being used in a production-ready capacity - and astounded if that version of perl was never updated to a later one.

I suspect that, rather than perl, the copyright refers to the program "patch" - which allows one to remotely update a source code tree by comparing the old and source trees with the diff program and sending only the output of the diff. That program, in fact, could be considered the grandparent of modern package/update systems (like rpm and dpkg/apt).

Or, perhaps, they included "warp" in their games section. :-)

John Macdonald

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Ordered free OpenServer by mistake?
Authored by: hAckz0r on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 10:38 AM EDT
From the comp.unix.unixware.misc FAQ
Free UnixWare can be ordered directly from SCO See The current media costs are USD $19 (or #12.26 UK pounds). Be sure to specify you want the UnixWare - I ordered it yet received SCO OpenServer :-).

DRM - As a "solution", it solves the wrong problem; As a "technology" its only 'logically' infeasible.

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"Free SCO OpenServer Has Its Place"
Authored by: hAckz0r on Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 10:46 AM EDT
At Linux Journal

The link to "" is now gone, and no joy with the Internet Archive wayback. Perhaps someone knows how to go back in time?

DRM - As a "solution", it solves the wrong problem; As a "technology" its only 'logically' infeasible.

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