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To read comments to this article, go here
Downloading the Linux kernel from SCO in 2004 [large graphics]
Friday, June 23 2006 @ 03:03 PM EDT

I earlier presented screenshots with time and dates showing that one could freely download OpenLinux 3.1 in June and July of 2003 from ftp.caldera.com, months after SCO sued IBM and claimed infringements in the Linux kernel. I saw no indication of any restrictions on the download, and there was no legal notice of any kind. Also, the software was still available at a number of web sites on the web for purchase.

Groklaw member jbeadle informs me that he took screenshots of the 2.4.13 kernel being available for download from SCO's website ftp.sco.com in August of 2003. Better than that, he did it again in February of 2004, when the 2.4.21 kernel was freely available for the world to download from SCO's linuxupdate.sco.com site. February of 2004 is almost a full year after SCO sued IBM. Note in the first picture that the date the directory was updated is May of 2003, also post-litigation, which began in March.

He took it one step further than I did, in that he took snapshots of the actual downloads in progress. You will see the date at the bottom right of the screen. He saw no legal notice or any wording at all about who could and who could not download and there was no password required or any prompt.

Note that the third screenshot shows a snip from Ashlee Vance's article in the Register dated August 6, 2003, showing a download in progress and reporting that close to 30 people had sent him the url to an ftp site where the Linux kernel associated with OpenLinux 3.1.1 was stilll freely available for download. There is then no question in my mind that SCO continued to distribute the kernel under the GPL to the general public until at least February of 2004.


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