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Proof SCO Knew IBM Was Involved in Linux From 1998 Onward
Monday, August 23 2010 @ 02:20 PM EDT

Look what I just found, SCO's Partners page from 2002, on Internet Archive, and lo and behold, it provides proof positive that SCO, then calling itself Caldera, knew that IBM was involved with Linux as far back as 1998. That's the year Santa Cruz and IBM signed the agreement regarding Project Monterey, executed in October of 1998. No one, therefore, Santa Cruz or Caldera, had any reason to be in the dark about IBM's Linux activities while IBM was also working on Project Monterey.

Now that the old caldera.com pages are on Internet Archive again, thanks to SCO selling off the domain name, many interesting things are surfacing, and we find out why SCO tried to hide them for so long. They should have waited a little bit longer.

I took some screenshots for you:

And here's a closeup:

I know the type is small, so I've placed a larger version here, where you can clearly see that the date was 2002 for that page, December 7, 2002. Darl McBride was already the CEO by then, having joined the company in August of 2002.

Here's the relevant paragraph about IBM that Caldera, now SCO, put on its website and was available in 2002 on Caldera.com's Partners page:

IBM offers the industry's most comprehensive lineup of solutions for Linux®. IBM's efforts to advance Linux stretch back to 1998 and signify an unrivaled show of support via technology, skills, services, and corporate focus. With the industry's largest portfolio of hardware, software and services for Linux, IBM support continues to expand, allowing more companies to leverage Linux to grow their e-businesses.
So they knew. Caldera knew. And it's SCO Group, then calling itself Caldera, that knew. Note this is after the 2001 date that SCO complains about loudly in the SCO v. IBM litigation. As The SCO Group, it spins it that they were positively gob-smacked to find out IBM was involved in Linux, but looking at this 2002 page, do you think that's true? They knew at the time, obviously, before the events complained of in the lawsuit. They certainly knew it in March of 2003, therefore, the year they sued IBM. Note that their unfair competition claim has to do with Caldera, not Santa Cruz, which is the entity SCO usually likes to pretend it is.

And you can clearly see from the wording on its Partners page in 2002 that Caldera, when it was a Linux company, thought it was a wonderful thing that IBM was involved in Linux since 1998. It *helped* Caldera's business, which was then selling Linux. And although IBM chose not to do Project Monterey with Caldera after Santa Cruz altered the picture by selling assets that were relevant to that project to Caldera -- and remember, the contract gave IBM that choice -- IBM did work with Caldera on a number of Linux projects. Here's then-CEO of Caldera, Ransom Love, interviewed in 1999 by Linux Journal praising IBM to the heavens for all it was doing. He also mentions that he was freeing up Ralf Flaxa's time so he could use all his time on Linux:

Ransom: ...Our announcement last week with IBM where they are going to roll these courses out through all of their educational training centers is a significant and unique announcement in this industry. So we are very excited about the potential of that, because now, corporations and VARs and integrators worldwide can deploy solutions and be able to get people educated, trained and supported. Another aspect of that announcement is IBM is doing worldwide support of OpenLinux—now we have the mechanism to deploy solutions globally.

Margie: I thought that was surprising too, because everybody thought IBM was just working with Red Hat.

Ransom: No, and the relationship with IBM is significant—let me make this clear—not because they are playing favorites. They literally are playing with all Linux providers. But because of our business model and our focus on business, many aspects of the things we are doing match up on a broader scale for what IBM wants to do. Thus, you'll see more and more relationships with us. Anyone else could step up and offer the same things if they had the same focus and business model as we do. Again, this is just a confirmation of our focusing Linux for business in the match you see now forming with IBM as we roll forward. And you'll probably see that with other companies as well, on that same level.

Margie: We received a good response to our article on standards in the June issue. In particular, your part of it, because you were willing to say more than anyone else. You dominated the conversation, people liked it, and as a result, see you as a leader in the Standards drive. Are you just giving it lip service or do y'all actually have people on the inside working with LSB?

Ransom: Well, Ralf Flaxa, who is actually the head of our engineering team in Germany, is heading up that whole reference platform, which we feel is a critical part of that LSB certification. The reason being, because as you agree to a written specification, you need a proof of concept of that specification—to be sure it actually works and everyone is happy with that specification. You can then do re-integrations on the specification to improve and enhance it. We have freed up Ralf—almost 100 percent of his time is now allocated to working on the Linux Standard Base to help drive, manage and chair it. He isn't the only one working on it, but he is the chair and therefore we are trying to free up his time so that he can, in fact, deliver the reference platform of the standard. In addition, we have and will continue to provide resources to the Linux Standard Base group of committees. For example, for their last meeting we did fly a number of the Debian developers in to attend the meeting, so they could all come together. We are expending resources in other ways to try to facilitate and push and help things along. IBM is also doing some wonderful things, now rallying behind Linux Standard Base and working and collaborating with many other ISVs. They are looking for ISVs to come in and help put additional pressure into this area of standards. We are very excited about that. ISVs are starting to become more vocal about the needs and I think that will help others. Once people realize that ISVs are serious and the applications need to be there—it's just a matter of time and momentum—the pressure will bring about significant movement. One of the reasons why we are so passionate about that is we have worked with VARs from day one. The VAR channel and system integrators have been key, because they have a lot of those applications. We heard about this need a long time ago because of our business focus. That's one of the reasons we have been so vocal and such a strong advocate of standards.

If there was, as SCO alleges now, a plot to make Linux ready for business, Caldera, now calling itself SCO Group, was an enthusiastic co-conspirator.

For context, you might like to reread IBM's Motion for Summary Judgment on SCO's unfair competition claim, that's on SCO's 6th claim of action. Here's SCO's opposition memorandum, and IBM's reply, and oral argument on the motion, which is mostly about Project Monterey.


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