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Answering SCO Bit by Bit - Streams and more GPL'd header files in Caldera OpenLinux 2.2
Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:09 AM EST

A reader sends us some more screenshots of Caldera, now SCO Group, distributing header files under the GPL. This time, it's from OpenLinux 2.2-4, dated from 1999.

Let's start with the CDs, so you know where the rest are coming from:

Here are the include/asm-i386 header files, and you can see elf.h, a.out.h, errno.h, ipc.h, all of which SCO claims [PDF] it owns and has never authorized to be used in Linux or under the GPL:

And here's a look inside elf.h, and you might note the reference to SVR4/i386 ABI and dynamic linking:

And streams, another thing SCO is suing about [for anyone new to this, here's more info on Streams, where you will find that SCO said SCO's expert, Thomas Cargill's report found the following: "For example, the Cargill report alleges that IBM has misused the 'totality of the Streams framework', drawing in every line in over 150 new files...." but here it is under the GPL, put there by SCO, as it looks to me]:

And finally, the README file which says that OpenLinux is a Caldera Systems-maintained distribution of Linux, starting with a standard kernel and adding "other unique features":

Is this not utterly ridiculous?


Answering SCO Bit by Bit - Streams and more GPL'd header files in Caldera OpenLinux 2.2 | 201 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Corrections here
Authored by: Steven W on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:23 AM EST

[ Reply to This | # ]

Off Topic thread
Authored by: Steven W on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:24 AM EST
You know the deal.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Newspicks -- discussion and comments
Authored by: Steven W on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:25 AM EST
Yada, yada.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Can you provide larger screenshots?
Authored by: Steven W on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:31 AM EST
Maybe links to be kind to dial-up users. Could upload them to ImageShack:

[ Reply to This | # ]

Answering SCO Bit by Bit - Streams and more GPL'd header files in Caldera OpenLinux 2.2
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 04:34 AM EST
Am I right to understand that they didn't just retroactive-accidentally
distribute something as one part of the Linux kernel, they actually
retroactive-accidentally distributed at least one of the things they are suing
over as a separate patch to the Linux kernel?


[ Reply to This | # ]

Elf -- X86Open
Authored by: Steven W on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 05:14 AM EST
I think the new folks at SCO needs to understand what that project was,
Caldera's role in it and Santa Cruz's role in it.

Surely, someone at both organizations knew what Linux ELF was made of and,
obviously, were encouraging a "standard binary executable".

[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO has made the list
Authored by: rsmith on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 06:15 AM EST

... of the the 87 lamest moments in tech, 2000-2009. And well deserved. :-)

"SCO doesn’t end up getting much out of the affair except for the undying enmity of Linux geeks everywhere."

That does sum it up quite nicely, doesn't it?

Intellectual Property is an oxymoron.

[ Reply to This | # ]

  • nah - Authored by: designerfx on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 10:12 AM EST
I have another one.....
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 06:16 AM EST
I bought it on Ebay as a curiosity, and the box is still sealed. I think it is called Caldera Linux Desktop, in a green box. As soon as the snow permits, I will fetch it and have a look. I rather suspect it will be quite similar.

Unfortunately it is 20 miles away, and mostly due to idiot drivers, the roads are impassable for now. It is truly remarkable how the South of England can't cope with an amount of snow which would be regarded as relatively minor elsewhere. Along with several others I was trapped at work for quite some time yesterday evening as the local roads were gridlocked.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Possibly interesting history of the ABI files?
Authored by: tiger99 on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 06:48 AM EST
While looking out the window at the snow, it occurred to me that the family of Caldera Linux products came from somewhere. I doubt that they did all the development of the distro themselves. They would have built upon previous work by others, which is precisely what the GPL encourages, for reasons of efficiency.

So why did they not sue the preceding distro (Slackware, perhaps?) for illegally using the allegedly infringing files? Because they did not do that in a timely manner, could they be precluded from suing anyone for the same thing now?

I probably don't still have my copies of ancient distros like Yggdrasil and early versions of Slackware, but someone probably will, and it may be interesting to have a look at the relevant files, such as errno.h, because it seems likely that Caldera got the major part of these files from elsewhere, and if none of the upstream developers had access to Unix source it might show that the files were simply created to meet the POSIX spec, and not by Caldera.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Some more tidbits from OpenLinux 1.3
Authored by: Vic on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 06:53 AM EST
I'll post a few bits in reply to this mail so that it doesn't become one
enormous post. And so I can add stuff as I find it...


Solving problems with Free Software

[ Reply to This | # ]

That "original licensor" wording
Authored by: Wol on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 07:03 AM EST
I know SCOG can't claim this as a defense, but if somebody else puts your code
in a GPL project I think I've twigged the legal niceties :-)

If you spot it, you obviously have to stop distribution immediately, to stop
your customers getting a licence from *you*.

But, the "original licensor" wording, imho, means that until you are
AWARE of it, the "licence to use" comes from the person who put the
code in. If they didn't have any right to do so ... well ... they're wide open
to damages.

But I think, if you *stopped* distributing *immediately* you realise there's a
problem, you can argue with a high chance of success that *you* *never* licenced
it (it was "the other guy") and you can ...try... to get the code


[ Reply to This | # ]
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 07:28 AM EST
This seems interesting, at least for digging up names and can
browse info, including credits, on all of the kernel releases from 1.0 -

[ Reply to This | # ]

Don't Waste Your Time With Screenshots ...
Authored by: sk43 on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 08:41 AM EST
... when you can have a Caldera OpenLinux for your very own. The following site

contains complete installation .iso images of Caldera eDesktop (OpenLinux 2.4)
and eServer (OpenLinux 2.3)

Under the updates directory, it also contains a partial set of source RPMS for
many versions of OpenLinux, including 1.0, 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.3, and eDesktop
and eServer.

I have eDesktop installed on a laptop, complete with the "streams.o"
module. Still having a bit of trouble getting X to work - any advice?

[ Reply to This | # ]

This one /is/ rediculous
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 10:29 AM EST
Ok, I'm sorry, but this one really is rediculous. This redistribution occured
two years before Caldera even purchased Santa Cruz's unix business. Which means
that even if errno.h and a-out.h are infringing, they couldn't possibly have
even known it in 1999 because they hadn't purchased the rights to it yet.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is this not utterly ridiculous?
Authored by: Yossarian on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 11:40 AM EST
IMO SCO legal argument is as follows:
1) GPL is unconstitutional.
2) The courts are not in the business of enforcing illegal
contracts, so SCO does not have to respect GPL.

A good line of defense is to claim that "constitutional" is
a question of law and therefore judges, not juries, should
decide this question. (I suspect that a couple of good
lawyers, working for free software, will submit "friend of
the court" letters with pretty good legal arguments.)

[ Reply to This | # ]

Darl McBride promoted SCO open source products in 2002
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 01:47 PM EST
Here is an old Groklaw post which links to an event where Darl McBride promoted SCO open source products in 2002, the year before suing IBM.



[ Reply to This | # ]

SCO the official sponsor of GPL software
Authored by: IMANAL_TOO on Tuesday, December 22 2009 @ 02:10 PM EST
SCO, the official sponsor of GPL software - KDE!

From http://www.kdev
Sponsors of the KDevelop Project
SCO - The Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) has sponsored KDevelop-Developer Ralf Nolden a new PIII/600 machine (512 MB RAM, 2x 15GB HDD) for programming on KDevelop and helping to make KDE 2.0 and KDevelop available on SCO´s UnixWare7 Operating System.

Siemens Germany, supports us with sponsoring Ingo Zevenbergen to write a new C/C++ reference for the upcoming KDevelop 2.0. The reference will be written in docbook style and integrate seamlessly into KDevelop and fully KDevelop-copyrighted.

Linuxports Linuxports,sells a printed version of the KDevelop manuals. Up to 40% of the gross profits go back to the KDevelop project to help continue development.

Cuxhafen Ferienwohnungen cuxreise, donated 500 euros. Domain Name (June 1999-June 2000)

Sorry for the poor formatting.

But, the gem is that SCO sponsored a GPL software project, which wasn't even inhouse.

How, could they possibly blame IBM for helping Linux?



[ Reply to This | # ]

Damning stuff from 10 years ago.
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 23 2009 @ 07:03 AM EST
Type the following into google;

skunkware more sco propaganda

Pick the first link... this dates back to 1999, (archived) emails that expose
SCO for what they are. Emails also talk about all the people involved with


[ Reply to This | # ]

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