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Caldera GPLing in 2001, Gave "Open Access" to Open UNIX 8 Source Code
Monday, March 02 2009 @ 06:47 PM EST

You're going to laugh. I certainly am. Remember when SCO claimed in the SCO v. IBM litigation and to the press that it never knowingly released code under the GPL? We debunked that GPL-virginity story back in 2007, but you'll never guess what I just found, a press release from 2001 on the release of AIM under the GPL and... drum roll... SCO granting "open access" to Open Unix 8 source code. It's titled "Caldera to Open Source AIM Performance Benchmarks, UNIX Regular Expression Parser and Give "Open Access" to Open UNIX 8 Source Code". AIM was released under the GPL. My stars, but SCO is in the following pickle now: it sued IBM for trade secret violation, although it later dropped that claim, then it claimed at trial in the Novell litigation that UnixWare is just the latest version of Unix System V, and we know that Open UNIX is what they called UnixWare briefly in SCO's very complicated history. Connect the dots.

I know! How do you sue anybody for trade secret violations after doing that? Methods and concepts?!? How about SCO's NDA requirements to peek at what they claimed was allegedly infringing code? According to the press release, SCO had a special web page set up where you could go to download the Open UNIX 8 source code. The subhead of the press release was "Open Source Community, Users to Benefit from Access to UNIX Intellectual Property." My dears. How will they explain that away? How do you like this paragraph?

The UNIX Regular Expression Parser is a library function from Open UNIX 8 used by a number of standard UNIX utilities for complex pattern matching of pieces of text. By Open Sourcing this, along with the awk and grep utilities, Caldera begins a process of making some of the original UNIX utilities, upon which the GNU/Linux system was modeled, available as reference sources. This gives the Open Source community an opportunity to reference these implementations and incorporate the best of both source streams into future GPL implementations of these tools.
"Into future *GPL* implementations of these tools"! These guys are a sketch, as my dear grannie used to say. She was very polite, and I'll try to emulate her, but inside, I am guffawing.

I told you it'd be worth it to go through the old stuff we had lying around. By the way, I started out looking for the press release about SCO open sourcing their version of DOS. They did that too. I remembered it, because of Microsoft's FAT patent litigation against TomTom, and I realized that press release wasn't in the Groklaw collection either. So here's the press release on OpenDOS.

Guess what else Caldera GPLd? It funded Samba libraries, according to their own press release, "Caldera Sponsors Samba Client Library Development", and released them under the GPL:

Caldera Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CALD), today announced that they have contracted with Richard Sharpe of the Samba team to create a client library that will make Linux and Microsoft integration easier for developers. The Caldera-funded project includes the development of library source code, associated reorganization and reuse of Samba code and documentation of the library application program interface (API). As part of the Samba project, the library and documentation will be available under the General Public License (GPL). Caldera's engineering group will work with the Samba team to complete the project by February 2001.

"Richard Sharpe is perfectly suited for this project," said John Terpstra, vice president of technology and Open Source strategist for Caldera Systems, Inc. "We believe this library built with Samba code will become the standard for developers writing software that integrates with Microsoft networking."

My grandmother wouldn't approve if I said SCO is full of it, so I'll refrain. But isn't this fun?

Here's the meat of the press release about AIM and Open Unix 8:

**********************************

Caldera to Open Source AIM Performance Benchmarks, UNIX Regular Expression Parser and Give "Open Access" to Open UNIX 8 Source Code

CALDERA TO OPEN SOURCE AIM PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKS, UNIX REGULAR EXPRESSION PARSER AND GIVE “OPEN ACCESS” TO OPEN UNIX 8 SOURCE CODE

Open Source Community, Users to Benefit from Access to UNIX Intellectual Property

FORUM 2001, SANTA CRUZ, CA—August 20, 2001— Caldera International, Inc. (Nasdaq: CALD) today announced it will Open Source the AIM performance benchmarks and the UNIX Regular Expression Parser, along with two UNIX utilities awk and grep. These technologies will be released under the GPL (Gnu General Public License). In a related move, Caldera will also be making the Open UNIX 8 source code available to members of its developer program who request it. Information about the Caldera developer network is available at http://www.caldera.com/partners/developer/.

These announcements reflect the continued intention on the part of Caldera to progressively contribute source code and to provide ongoing support to the Open Source community. Caldera expects to release further components of the UNIX intellectual property in coming months.

The AIM performance benchmarks are industry-standard server benchmarks acquired from the former AIM Technology. By Open Sourcing the benchmarks, companies may use them to establish independent validation of internal benchmarking. For example, Caldera can independently establish scalability and stability comparisons between Open UNIX 8 and other platforms. Although the sources will be released under the GPL, the use of the AIM Benchmark trademark in connection with these programs will be restricted based on published guidelines to assure the integrity of these tests as industry standard references.

The UNIX Regular Expression Parser is a library function from Open UNIX 8 used by a number of standard UNIX utilities for complex pattern matching of pieces of text. By Open Sourcing this, along with the awk and grep utilities, Caldera begins a process of making some of the original UNIX utilities, upon which the GNU/Linux system was modeled, available as reference sources. This gives the Open Source community an opportunity to reference these implementations and incorporate the best of both source streams into future GPL implementations of these tools.

“Many in the Open Source community have asked Caldera to GPL these technologies,” said John Terpstra, vice president of technology for Caldera International. “We have now delivered these utilities and benchmarks. We have chosen the GPL license to directly support corresponding GNU projects.”

The Regular Expression library and tools will be made publicly available on SourceForge this week at http://unixtools.sourceforge.net. In coming months, Caldera will Open Source other UNIX tools and utilities, including pkgmk, pkgadd, pkgrm, pkginfo, pkgproto and more, as well as the Bourne shell, lex, yacc, sed, m4 and make. The licenses under which these technologies will be Open Sourced will be decided based on community and business needs.

“We are very pleased to offer much of the UNIX source code that laid the foundation for the whole GNU/Linux movement,” said Ransom Love, CEO of Caldera International. “In each case, we will apply the right license – GPL, Berkeley, Mozilla, Open Access, or other license – as appropriate to our business goals.

“Our intention is to steer the middle course in the public debate – it’s not a case of free or Open Source versus proprietary, but both, as the situation warrants. We believe the industry is evolving to a model where source code is freely available, innovation is nurtured at the grass roots, and businesses, such as Caldera, can add value as both product and service companies.”

Open Access to Open UNIX 8

The Caldera Open Access license is intended to give customers the ability to both reference and modify the source code. However, the initial release of source code will be read only, giving customers and software developers a significant reference as they develop applications for Open UNIX 8. In the future, customers and developers will be allowed to change the source code as long as they return the changes to Caldera. This will allow Caldera to maintain a standard business quality platform.

Open UNIX incorporates some proprietary third party technology which means source code for certain third party modules will not be available due to licensing restrictions.

“Over time the licensing and delivery of our Open Access sources will evolve and improve,” explained John Harker, vice president of product management. “Our immediate goal was to provide basic source reference access following the model of SCO’s source products by simply eliminating the license fee. We’re looking at ways to make this as streamlined as possible.”

The Open Access license is free, but will require a signed license agreement. Delivery of the sources in CD form will require a nominal media payment. Further details will be available when the sources are released in October of this year.

Open Source

From its inception, Caldera has shared technology with the Open Source community. Technologies that have been Open Sourced include Webmin – a Web-based administration tool, LIZARD – the award-winning Linux Installation Wizard, Linux Unattended Installation (LUI), Linux Installation Administration (LISA) and Caldera Open Administration System (COAS). Please visit www.openlinux.org to download Caldera’s technologies that have been open-sourced.


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