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To read comments to this article, go here
SCO uses IBM-donated ibiblio servers too! - Updated 2Xs
Sunday, April 08 2007 @ 12:54 AM EDT

It's true. Hilariously true. An eagle-eyed Groklaw ninja, sk43, has spotted an ftp site where you can get binary copies of Linux libraries needed by SCO's OpenServer and UnixWare customers who use lxrun. But you can't get the source code from that sco.com ftp site. SCO directs their customers to .... sunsite.unc.edu. Why bless my stars, sunsite.unc.edu is the old name for what is now ibiblio! So here's a headline for you, and it's absolutely accurate:
SCO Relies on IBM-donated Servers to Provide Support for OpenServer/UnixWare Customers

Absolutely accurate and totally misleading, just like the headlines about Groklaw. Will we see this SCO headline in the mainstream media? We should. Simple fairness requires it. I'm sure they wouldn't wish to appear to be biased, lordy no. Or they might just want to mitigate their damages. Besides, they might print it just for fun. As we've seen, some journalists love to write up a good conspiracy story, even when it isn't true. This one actually is. Here's another possible headline:

SCO violates the GPL by directing customers to another site for source code

Hmm. Unless SCO has an official agreement with ibiblio, that is, in which case the link becomes even stronger.

In any case, there we are, Groklaw and SCO, holding hands, together at last, sharing the same servers and with an identical IBM connection. Perfect.

IBM has donated to ibiblio, as have others. That amazing sleuth, Dan Lyons, printed that piece of non-news years ago, and Information Week ran with it once again recently, and in an amazing coincidence both show up in SCO's motion about Groklaw, with SCO having the nerve to present it to the court as *evidence* that if one is on ibiblio servers, it must mean IBM is secretly funding you. And yet here's SCO, on ibiblio servers themselves.

Nevah mind.

What a small world, isn't it? So there we have it. IBM must be secretly funding SCO. Somebody better depose somebody and get to the bottom of this. Another motion! Quick! What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Hmm. Let's see if we can solve this puzzle. I believe that I have figured out IBM's cunning plot. IBM subsidized SCO by getting ibiblio to host its source code years ago, so SCO could afford to sue IBM, which realized such goofball litigation was bound to generate a lot of positive publicity about Linux, thanks to IBM subsidizing Groklaw. Eureka! That's it. Of course, I'm kidding. But it's true about SCO using ibiblio servers.

I say it's non-news because Groklaw has had a link that reads: "hosted by ibiblio" since it first moved here and the link takes you to their website, where you can read their list of contributors (Hi! Mandriva! Thank you for helping me fall in love with GNU/Linux!) and their list of collections, which is enormous. No wonder it calls itself the public library on the Internet. If your company, foundation or other group is interested in being an ibiblio partner by contributing funding or hardware, contact Paul Jones, jones@unc.edu and if you are interested in contributing content to ibiblio, read this page and this one. This would, in fact, be a perfect time for the community to show its support and respect to ibiblio, because it has been smeared in the media for no just cause, and having experienced that myself, I know what it feels like to be perfectly innocent and yet wake up to find yourself covered in SCO manure.

Check it out for yourself about the name change, on ibiblio's homepage, at the very bottom, where you can read it for yourself:

ibiblio.org
formerly sunsite.unc.edu
formerly metalab.unc.edu
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Another Groklaw member, Weeble, downloaded everything sk43 found and verified it. Wait. I'm not done. Just for fun, I searched for Caldera on ibiblio, and sure enough, Caldera binaries, as Roblimo pointed out in his Linux.com article about SCO's ibiblio assertion, specifically rebutting Information Week spin:

A library can and should host all kinds of material. For instance, ibiblio has downloadable binaries of Caldera Linux in its collection. Since Caldera is what SCO used to be called, does this mean (gasp) that IBM is sponsoring SCO?

I suppose I could write an inflammatory headline that said so, although I'd rather write one about how IBM "sponsors" the ibiblio-hosted Tibetan Center for Conflict Resolution, a group whose services SCO CEO Darl McBride could certainly use.

One could also point out that IBM is not the sole sponsor of ibiblio. The ibiblio about page points out that ibiblio was founded by the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill's MetaLab, formerly known as SunSITE, and the Center for the Public Domain in September of 2000, well prior to the SCO suit against IBM. In addition to IBM, ibiblio also lists VA Software, OSTG's parent company, as a partner.

Go to ibiblio yourself and just type in Caldera in the upper left search bar.

Oh, the lawyers and any judges reading this article might want to check those files SCO is still distributing. I believe you'll find some headers and system calls. We can't match them up with SCO's sealed list of allegedly misused items, because we can't see the list, but you can.

And here's the comment from sk43:

SCO Relies on IBM-donated Servers to Provide Support for OpenServer/UnixWare Customers

Authored by: sk43 on Saturday, April 07 2007 @ 06:30 PM EDT

The file ftp://ftp2.sco.com/pub/skunkware/ emulators/lxrun/mirror/linux-libs/linuxlibs.tar.gz contains binary copies of Linux libraries needed by SCO's OpenServer and UnixWare customers when running the "lxrun" emulator, which allows Linux binaries to be run unchanged on SCO's operating systems. The ftp site does not provide source code directly, but rather directs SCO customers to a website to obtain the code: ftp://ftp2.sco.com/pub/skunkware/emulators/lxrun/mirror/linux-libs/README

"These archives contain pre-packaged Linux libraries for use with lxrun. Source code for these libraries is available from thesunsite Linux archive and its mirrors: http://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/welcome.html"

In case people are not aware, "sunsite.unc.edu" is now called "ibiblio.org"

Another file also directs SCO customers to sunsite:

ftp://ftp2.sco.com/pub/skunkware/emulators/lxrun/mirror/FAQ.html

"Q0.1: How can I get started using lxrun!"

"A: Follow these steps:" ...

"1. Copy a Linux binary to the /usr/local/linux/bin directory If you don't have a Linux system at hand, use one of the mirrors at ftp://sunsite.unc.edu/pub/Linux/welcome.html to download an app off the net."

We thus have the interesting situation that both groklaw.net and sco.com rely on the services of the same IBM-donated servers at ibiblio.org.

Isn't it a hoot? Actually, we're just assuming the servers are the ones IBM donated, and you are assuming that Groklaw is on IBM servers. But other entities also donate to ibiblio.

Bottom line? Ibiblio hosts literally thousands of entities. It's a public library on the Internet. No matter who is on ibiblio's servers, it doesn't mean IBM is connected or secretly subsidizing any of the collections. It donated to a nonprofit library. Its reward is to be smeared in the press. Me too. I really find it some low-down skunkery.

Many entities contribute to ibiblio, besides IBM. You can too. It's a nonprofit, so you can even get a tax deduction if you donate hardware or money.

And so the slapstick SCO Keystone Kops routine marches on, recklessly into sink holes and then stubbornly onto landmines, ever forward.

Well. Lurches forward.

Well... Backward, actually. Then it falls down and can't get up, with some of the media stumbling along right behind them. Or do I have that backwards?

I told you this was the stupidest lawsuit in the history of the world.

Update: Mathfox points out that IBM provides SCO hosting directly as well for the following:

$ host ir.sco.com
ir.sco.com is an alias for cald.client.shareholder.com.
cald.client.shareholder.com is an alias for webcenter360.shareholder.com.
webcenter360.shareholder.com has address 170.224.5.57

$ whois 170.224.5.57
OrgName: IBM
OrgID: IBM-1
Address: [witheld]
City: Research Triangle Park
StateProv: NC
PostalCode: 27709-[redacted]
Country: US

It gets better. Steve Martin suggests we look at Netcraft, where we see that not only is IBM hosting SCO. It does it on Windows servers. So mainstream media, let's see those headlines:

IBM Provides Webhosting to SCO Group - Collusion Revealed

Fair's fair, gentlemen. Of course, you won't, because it's silly. So were the stories about Groklaw. I think you should correct those stories you put out that SCO immediately used as court exhibits. Just ask yourself: did you get the facts exactly right? If not, do you have a duty to correct the record? Is there a higher requirement for a journalist than to get the facts right? How about this for a headline?

SCO Again Smears PJ and Groklaw Because It Finds Them Incredibly Annoying
- A Few in the Media Fall For It

Update 2:

Groklaw member DaveJakeman has done some more research and finds that Caldera and SCO seem to use ibiblio and sunsite for many of their documentation needs. Take a look at his comment for an incredible list (note one corrected link, for the MetaFAQ). A couple of highlights. First, I enjoyed this Caldera page, where it lists a Caldera website page as a *mirror* for the main site to get documentation, and yes, the main site is none other than sunsite. It made me laugh.

Even better, SCO has a page where it tells you all about ELF. Let me allow DaveJakeman to take you on the tour:

The document http://docsrv.cal dera.com:8457/ en/FAQ/Linux/x1683.html encourages the use of and tells us how to make an ELF shared library:
6.11. How Do I Make a Shared Library?

For ELF,

$ gcc -fPIC -c *.c
$ gcc -shared -Wl,-soname,libfoo.so.1 -o libfoo.so.1.0 *.o For a.out, get tools-n.nn.tar.gz from tsx-11.mit.edu/pub/linux/packages/GCC/src/. It comes with documentation that will tell you what to do. Note that a.out shared libraries are a very tricky business. Consider upgrading your libraries to ELF shared libraries.

Nice of SCO to tell us it's OK to use their precious ELF.

Then the document links to the ELF-HOWTO at metalab.unc.edu, but unfortunately the HOWTO file no longer exists there. The ELF HOWTO can still be found easily enough though. Here is one dated 13 September 1995. It has this at the beginning:

1. What is ELF? An introduction

ELF (Executable and Linking Format) is a binary format originally developed by USL (UNIX System Laboratories) and currently used in Solaris and System V Release 4. Because of its increased flexibility over the older a.out format that Linux currently uses, the GCC and C library developers decided last year to move to using ELF as the Linux standard binary format also.

Hmm. So in 1995, official Linux, the Linus tree, so to speak didn't have ELF, although the page is all about how to do it yourself, if you wish, and adds, "The Kernel. As from at least 1.3.8, the development 1.3 series have a make config option to build using ELF tools." And this page says ELF was adopted by Linus by 1998. Say, didn't Darl McBride and the gang tell us repeatedly that it was only Linux 2.4 and above that was a problem? Why, yes. Here is just one place he did so, saying "We're not aiming at pre-2000 Linux." Here's another in French. But ELF was adopted by Linux prior to 2000. So how can SCO sue IBM over ELF after telling the world that we were all safe up to the 2.4 kernel in the year 2000? How mysterious SCO's claims are.


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