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Answering SCO Bit by Bit - Binutils in UnixWare and OpenServer Too - Updated
Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 01:43 PM EST

I thought you'd find the slides from a talk given at SCOforum 2004 of interest, because they show that SCO also distributed, under the GPL, binutils in UnixWare and OpenServer. The talk was titled, "Open Source Components in SCO OpenServer and SCO UnixWare", and the credits list Ron Record at SCO engineering, who we've written about before on Groklaw in this context. One of the talk's slides lists the binutils package in OpenServer as OpenServer gnutools package, which means they had to know, I think, where it came from and that it is GPL'd, and there is a list of ftp sites to get the package. And indeed they knew:
3. The programs in this supplement are provided here free of charge in accordance with the authors' licensing policies.

4. The source code for all of these packages is freely available, although not as part of this supplement. If you wish to see the source code, please download the original packages from the Internet. The source code for the collection as it was compiled will be made available on the SCO ftp site.

Actually, SCO's right hand did not know what it's left hand was doing, and they did list all the source available here, including gnutools. I made screenshots at the time, and I note that the talk's slides are still listed on Google as being available here on SCO's website.

These screenshots follow up on prior Groklaw articles, as we attempt to inform anyone new to the SCO litigation follies:
That last article listed the same talk, but the link where you could find it back then in 2006,, no longer works. As usual, SCO removes evidence after Groklaw presents it, in our experience. So the new link is being provided. And, of course, I have the PowerPoint presentation, saved at the time, for evidentiary purposes. Here's some SCO documentation on binutils, specifically mentioning the GPL.

Here are the screenshots, now that you have the context:

Keep in mind, once again, that SCO claims [PDF] the following about binutils-2.14, downloaded from

1. SCO, as the copyright owner of source code and/or documentation upon which the following files and lines of code were copied or derived, has never contributed or authorized these lines of code or the documentation related thereto, for use in Linux as specified under part 0, or any other provision, of the GPL.

2. SCO, as the copyright owner of source code and/or documentation upon which the following files and lines of code were copied or derived, has never granted a license to any party that knowingly authorized use of these files or lines of code outside a UNIX-based distribution.

3. All of the following files or lines of code, or files and lines similar thereto, have appeared in major releases of Linux, and have also appeared in SCO's redistributions of Linux. At the time it redistributed Linux, SCO was not aware that its intellectual property had been copied or misappropriated and placed into Linux without SCO's authorization or consent.

Update: Interestingly, a Groklaw member took the time to see exactly which version SCO distributed with OpenServer. The report:
It is still available from SCO in gnutools-5.0.7K, downloadable from the ftp address. In the gnutools package you find binutils-2.14, the very one that SCO claims is infringing, and it arrives with the GPL in the COPYING file and the COPYING.LIB file, as well as a pointer to it in the README file.


Answering SCO Bit by Bit - Binutils in UnixWare and OpenServer Too - Updated | 230 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: Erwan on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 01:44 PM EST
If any.


[ Reply to This | # ]

News Picks discussions
Authored by: Erwan on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 01:45 PM EST
Please, quote the article's title.


[ Reply to This | # ]

OT, the Off Topic thread...
Authored by: Erwan on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 01:46 PM EST
As usual.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Maybe I'm being dense today
Authored by: rsteinmetz70112 on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 03:24 PM EST
I'm not sure what the significance of distributing bintils is.

Over the years Santa Cruz and SCO before them distributed lots of GPL software
including these and Samba and others.

Rsteinmetz - IANAL therefore my opinions are illegal.

"I could be wrong now, but I don't think so."
Randy Newman - The Title Theme from Monk

[ Reply to This | # ]

Do we know
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 03:40 PM EST
what files SCO claims infringe its precious copyright, because
they're under seal. So we can't know if SCO did, accidentally
or otherwise, release them under GPL. Only IBM (& maybe Novell)
knows, oh and Judge Kimball, but he doesn't count now that SCO
have a new judge to bamboozle.

Do all these binutils matter? Everybody knows they're GPL'd.
IIRC the files under dispute are those in the category
"Is this all you've got?" which were listed with absolutely no

[ Reply to This | # ]

Thank you!
Authored by: The Mad Hatter r on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 05:40 PM EST

Once again let my express my thanks for all of the hard work you've put into the
articles you've written on this case. The information is presented in a manner
that is clear, and easy to understand.

Thank you very much. We owe you.


[ Reply to This | # ]

Removing evidence
Authored by: LocoYokel on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 06:01 PM EST
As usual, SCO removes evidence after Groklaw presents it, in our experience.
Could this not get them in some serious trouble with the courts? I believe it is called "Destruction of Evidence", and AIUI, it is seriously frowned upon - even to the point of resulting in summary judgments against those found to have engaged in it.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Reminder--SCO's schizophrenic hypothesis
Authored by: Anonymous on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 07:38 PM EST
In the SCOverse, there is a distinction batween the actions of the Santa Cruz
operation (oldSCO) and the later SCO group and its antencedents (SCoG, Caldera,

In the SCOverse, SCOg is operating as the successor in interest of oldSCO.
anything done by Caldera is irrelevant. OldSCO "owned" certain IP.
OldSCO was wronged by outsiders (RedHat, IBM, etc.) who "stole"
OldSCO's precious IP. SCOg, as successor in interest of OldSCO, wants redress
for the wrongdoing of these transgressors. The fact that Caldera was one of the
transgressors against the interests of oldSCO is trivial, irrelevant and of no
effect: the jury should disregard any ridiculous evidence associated with such a
claim: it is irrelevant to the claims of SCOg as successor in interest of
oldSCO. Just because some company named "Caldera" one of the many
transgressors against oldSCO, does not absolve all the other transgressors
against oldSCO.

--Reality check--

1) OldSCO released the Skunkware CDROMs prior to the advent of newSCO.
2) newSCO released code under GPL after the acquisition of oldSCO.

Conclusion: If BS convinces the jury that the SCOversse is reality, SCOg is
still destroyed by any GPL done by oldSCO, and by any GPL done by SCOg after the
acquisition by SGOg. So we, the Groklaw community, should concentrate on these
areas. releases under the GPL by Caldera are not relevant in the SCOverse. They
will kill SCOg for any rational jury, but they are irrelevant for a jury that
becomes persuaded of the SCOverse hypothesis.

I hope that Novell's lawyers can prevent BS from swaying the jury to the SCO
hypothesis, but in some sense it will be more fun to crush SCOg even if the jury
accepts this hypothesis.

[ Reply to This | # ]

I think I'm confused...
Authored by: Vic on Sunday, December 20 2009 @ 07:55 PM EST
Are SCOG claiming that they didn't know ELF was in Linux?

I'm perusing the Openlinux 1.3 CD. The LICENSE file (dated Aug 28 1998) says:-

"All of the Software in this release is distributed under
the GNU General Public License ("GNU GPL"), except for DR-DOS, the
NetWare components, the LISA utility, StarOffice, Looking Glass, and the BRU
Backup and Restore utility."

So if ELF is on this CD, it's part of the stuff under GPL, right? Unless,
mysteriously, they didn't know it was in there.

Let's turn now to the file (dated Sep 2 1998). There's a section
marked "OpenLinux Features". What's the very first feature they

"- Full 32-bit architecture, supporting both ELF and a.out binaries"

Does this have the significance I think it does?


Solving problems with Free Software

[ Reply to This | # ]

A lot of anti-Groklaw sentiment lately....
Authored by: Eeyore on Monday, December 21 2009 @ 11:08 AM EST
Has anyone else noticed that there seems to be a LOT of folks trying VERY hard
to punch holes in Groklaw in the last little bit (yes, more than normal even)?
PJ has done a WONDERFUL job of documenting this case from day one and it appears
that a few "people" really want to discredit it in any way they can.

I wonder if there is a fear that people who matter (the Trustee or his legal
advisers perhaps) are actually reading Groklaw (if so, HI and happy reading!)
and they don't want them to be confused by... Ummm... what's the word? Oh yeah,
I remember "the TRUTH"! :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authorized Distribution
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 21 2009 @ 12:38 PM EST

There seems to be some confusion with regards the effects of SCOG continuing to distribute code under the GPL and whether that actually punches a whole in SCOG's boat.

I'll try, with my limited non-Legal knowledge, to clear that up in as simple a fashion as I can.

I think we can all agree on the following:

    A) Copyright protected works which is distributed by someone not authorized to distrbute is a breach of Copyright Law and an illegal copy.
    B) Copyright protected works which is distributed by someone authorized to distribute is valid under Copyright Law and is a legal copy.
    C) The owner of the copyright is the only one Legally authorized to distribute the copyright protected works under Copyright Law without having a specific license entitling them.
    D) Everyone who is not the owner of the copyright on a copyright protected work is not entitled to distribute the work without an appropriate license allowing them to do so.
Ok... so... I believe I've established the basic rules of Copyright Law with regards to the issue at hand. Now... for the mistake SCOG made. Additional facts:
    1) SCOG owns the code they claim is illegally under the GPL.
    2) As owner, SCOG is Legally authorized to distribute the code in question under any license they choose. Nothing forbids the whims of SCOG's choosing.
    3) SCOG choose to distribute said code under the GPL knowingly and willingly. As SCOG is a Legal Party authorized to distribute the code... This constitutes a Legal distribution thereby authorizing everyone else receiving a down-stream copy of SCOG distributed code.
That should help clear things up. Of course, the simplicity of the logic should have been clear... but for those that the logic escaped, SCOG has authorized the code to be distributed. No more future Copyright Lawsuit potential though they may still have a case against IBM for breach of Contract (good luck on that one too).


[ Reply to This | # ]

A Question about the FTP Server
Authored by: Anonymous on Monday, December 21 2009 @ 09:45 PM EST

With all the workforce turnover and reductions, does SCO have anyone left that understands the FTP server, what it contains, and why?

[ Reply to This | # ]

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