Exclusive This week The SCO Group hinted that BSD distributions would be next under the Utah microscope. SCO carefully safeguards the intellectual property rights to UNIX™ and has demonstrated its willingness to defend them by suing IBM for $3 billion damages for letting this IP seep into Linux. SCO this week said it was "examining" the AT&T settlement to see who might have leaked the ancient AT&T-derived UNIX™ code and put it into a BSD distribution. Allowing such hallowed innovations to be used under an open source license, would, we agreed thoroughly devalue SCO's IP assets.
So we set about looking for who could perpetrate such a foul violation. And deep on a warez site of dubious origins, we unearthed a highly incriminating statement.
There we found a script kiddie shameless boasting of his crime. The poster claimed that he'd released -
"... the ancient UNIX releases (V1-7 and 32V) under a "BSD-style" license. I've attached a PDF of the license letter hereto. Feel free to propogate it as you see fit"
Propagate? We shivered. The subject line of the email confirmed our worst fears.
Subject: Liberal license for ancient UNIX sources
When correctly spelt "librul", as our mentor The General advises us, this is simply a code for propagating all kinds of evil ideas: the teaching of evilution, for example, or the spreading of wimmin's whereabouts. Or the acceptance of hummer-sexuality - whatever that is.
We have no truck with this, and for comfort, we recalled SCO CEO Darl McBride's defense of his UNIX™ IP as we read this. McBride said, quite rightly
"You can't take code based on a license you signed, change it a little and then give it away for free (as in the case of XFS from SGI). If SCO allowed companies to contribute derivative UNIX code to Linux and give it away for free, it would destroy the value of all
other versions of UNIX, including SCO's own, not to mention the versions of UNIX made by SUN, HP, IBM, SGI, Sequent, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Siemens, and every other one of the 6,000 other licensees. Why would SCO not have such a provision in their licenses? This line of thinking is absolutely ludicrous."
So after a little digging, we traced this serious UNIX™ violation to a hacker outfit called "Caldera Inc." The email was datelined 23 Jan 2002.
Perhaps using an assumed identity, the hacker signed himself as "Dion L. Johnson II - Product Manager and one of many open source enthusiasts in Caldera Intl."
We shall be doing some more digging soon, to see where these hackers can be traced.
And as dutiful citizens, we shall inform The SCO Group of these violations as our enquiries continue. As soon as we find out who these Caldera hackers are. Can you help? ®