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Linus Comments on SCO v IBM

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the this-is-only-gonna-get-more-interesting dept.

Linux 631

djtrippin writes "Linus comes forth on the SCO v IBM suit and how it pertains (or doesn't, for that matter) to Linux." He definitely puts a fair amount of perspective on the whole thing. This story really is only going to get more bizarre.

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631 comments

Linus says... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482214)

"Who is SCO again?"

Honestly, isn't "linus" a virus? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482323)

Isn't "linus" a virus strain?

Re:Honestly, isn't "linus" a virus? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482337)

No, he's a viral license, like GNU.

Would it help to email to SCO & IBM... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482345)

I thought it'd be a fun thing to email ibm's contact us page and say "best of luck guys -- for your support i'm much more inclined to recommend your solutions" to IBM, and something like "what? are you nuts? i'll never work with anyone who buys your company again" to SCO.

would this help

Linus says (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482215)

to suck his balls and give him a rimjob.

fp (-1, Troll)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482216)

I'm posting anon this time, but this'll be my second fp in a week :)

Re:fp (0, Funny)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482234)

Jesus Mary and Joseph i'm a fucking idiot. Feel free to mod my ass into oblivion.

Thanks and goodnight.

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482250)

argh, I left the fucking karma bonus on.

I think it's all the weed smoke leaking into my apartment from the neighbors...

Explains why I'm so hungry too...

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482266)

The fact this is insightful is very funny to me as well. At least the mods have a sense of humour...

Re:fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482272)

One of the best posts ever to grace the pages of Slashdot. Bravo!

SCO needs to close shop (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482218)

SCO needs to close shop

FP!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482219)

FP eat shit and die! I am teh rules! RULES! from kdawg

Hey It's Time (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482221)

To Eat A Fat Cock. Word. Greets 2 GOBBLES, LLC.

Happy FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482223)

And to all a good night! (Hopefully...)

First Post from a fresh FreeBSD install (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482231)

Bye Bye Redhat..
Cross my heart - Redhat linux is really bloat.

BSD is not dying.!!

Dear Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482239)

Dear Apple,
I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

The crux of the article (5, Informative)

sielwolf (246764) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482247)

For those of you looking for the 5 second MS Word XP autosummary.

[snip]
MozillaQuest Magazine: What sort of impact do you believe this sort of lawsuit filed by SCO-Caldera has on the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, UNIX, and the Linux and free-software communities?

Linus Torvalds: None, really. The people I work with couldn't care less.
[/snip]

Re:The crux of the article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482290)

Insightful? My raw, red ass is more insightful than this pitiful comment. Jesus fucking Christ, /. is getting shittier by the second. Dumbass moderators!

CmdrTaco

Re:The crux of the article (2, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482299)

If the people he worked with jumped off a bridge, would he?

Seriously. Did they ask for the 'people he works with's opinion? No.

Think for yourself man! Dont live through others.

Form an independant thought!

Oh wait, patrairch of the Linux community. Nevermind, just copy everyone else then.

Re:The crux of the article (4, Interesting)

ComputerSlicer23 (516509) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482456)

Hmmm, I'm going to assume your being sarcastic, but if you aren't, and you truely believe Linus isn't his own person, and doesn't have his own opinions, you've never read Linus in the middle of his own flame wars. If you want a really good one, just look up the one he had with a Professor Tanenbaum, one of the leading authorities on Operating Systems back in 1990 or 1991. Definitely has is own opinions, not afraid to tell you what he really thinks.

Kirby

Re:The crux of the article (4, Interesting)

s20451 (410424) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482305)

Great. Where's his law degree from again?

Re:The crux of the article-Aim for the eyes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482397)

"Linus Torvalds: None, really. The people I work with couldn't care less."

More the question: "Were's there's?"

Re:The crux of the article (1)

josh crawley (537561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482308)

This is the whole article, hands down.

Everything else is just talking head arguments (like on Fox News, but less important).

Re:The crux of the article (5, Funny)

silvaran (214334) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482524)

Actually, the MS Word XP autosummary might look a little more like this:

MozillaQuest&nbsp;Magazine:&nbsp;What&nbsp;sort& nb sp;of&nbsp;impact&nbsp;do&nbsp;you&nbsp;believe&nb sp;this&nbsp;sort&nbsp;of&nbsp;lawsuit&nbsp;filed& nbsp;by&nbsp;SCO-Caldera&nbsp;has&nbsp;on&nbsp;the &nbsp;Linux&nbsp;kernel,&nbsp;GNU/Linux,&nbsp;UNIX ,&nbsp;and&nbsp;the&nbsp;Linux&nbsp;and&nbsp;free- software&nbsp;communities?<BR>
<BR>
Linus&nbsp;T orvalds:&nbsp;None,&nbsp;really.&nbsp; The&nbsp;people&nbsp;I&nbsp;work&nbsp;with&nbsp;co uldn't&nbsp;care&nbsp;less.<BR>
<BR>
&copy;&nbsp ;2003&nbsp;Microcrap&nbsp;Corporation<B R>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>
<BR>

The point is something else... (3, Insightful)

tanveer1979 (530624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482527)

SCO wants to be bought. Either by M$ or by IBM.... Only Satan know what will M$ do with this if they buy SCO... If IBM buys them... well thats another story.

"Linus came forth"? (5, Funny)

Call Me Black Cloud (616282) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482254)

I suppose he was carrying his comments on 2 stone tablets... Let's see, what did he spake unto us? "Ho humm..." Wow...words to live by.

Re:"Linus came forth"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482289)

Why was this post modded "overrated" before it had been rated? That's just laziness on the mod's part...geez

Re:"Linus came forth"? (0, Offtopic)

unitron (5733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482497)

"Why was this post modded "overrated" before it had been rated?"

It was rated. The poster didn't turn off his (her) +1 good karma bonus point, thereby expressing his (her) opinion that his (her) post deserved to be rated at +2 right out of the gate. (Of course this is probably really because you have to opt out of the extra point manually each time you think it unjustified instead of going to the trouble of adding it if you think it justified.)

Re:"Linus came forth"? (4, Insightful)

SmokeSerpent (106200) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482329)

"Ho humm..." Wow...words to live by.


I think so. We should all cultivate a more detached and relaxed attitude when confronted with the writhing death pains of a Corporate Dinosaur.

Not only is SCO not going to get a penny out of IBM if this went to trial (I'd like to see the battle of the expert witnesses as to whether Linux is to Unix as a Bicycle is to a Luxury Car), but they don't intend to go to trial or to do anything else other than get IBM to put some of the money the money they would of spent on a trial directly into SCO's pocket instead.

The "Slashdot thing to do" is often to start with the wailing and gnashing of teeth on every issue. Many of those issues, like this one, that sort of thing simply isn't appropriately spent on.

Linus is a smart guy. He walks softly, but carries a big stick.

Re:"Linus came forth"? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482384)

Sorry to be an off-topic nitpicker, but I just have to point out a couple of things:

> ...they would of spent...

Should be, "they would HAVE spent". The sentence uses the perfect tense conjugation of a verb ("to have"), the word "of" is not a verb.

> He walks softly, but carries a big stick.

The Teddy Roosevelt saying is "speak softly...". Many people say "talk softly", which sounds like "walk softly".

OK, end of rant, and feel free to moderate me down into oblivion.

Re:"Linus came forth"? (4, Funny)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482437)

I suspect he put a very polished spin on something that might be looked at in a very public fashion.

Take IBM's response to the press - IBM denied SCO's charges and said that it had no prior knowledge of the matter before being served with the lawsuit. You just know IBM's IP lawyers really wanted to say 'Get up, boy. I bet you can squeal. I bet you can squeal like a pig.' Perhaps it is just wishful thinking on my part...

Re:"Linus came forth"? (1)

MegaHamsterX (635632) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482493)

I second that wishful thinking and raise you another line from that infamous movie...

Looks like we got us a sow here instead of a boar!

Re:"Linus came forth"? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482551)

That should be "came fourth", as in came after Richard Stallman, Anal Cox, and Rob Malda, but before Jon Katz and Eric Raymond during the big gay Linux-faggot orgy last week.

Poor ESR almost didn't come at all, until Malda finally agreed to shave all his body hair so Raymond could pretend he was an 8 year old boy.

Apple is also suing linux (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482256)

They claim it couldn't have become anywhere near as gay as it is without stolen IP from Apple.

Re:Apple is also suing linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482282)

Oh yeah, and Linus says "Thilly Gooth!"

THAT'S LAUGH OUT LOUD FUNNY (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482297)

see subj.

Re:Apple is also suing linux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482304)

Linux could never be as gay as Apple.
By the way, have you read this [wired.com]?

Linus says it best. (-1, Troll)

archen (447353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482259)

"Ho humm..

I'm not all that excited about commenting a lot on lawsuits, since quite frankly I want to have as little as humanly possible to do with such things.


My thoughts exactly. SCO will be dead soon (deader than BSD even - like for REAL). If there's one thing vendors should keep in mind it's that you don't pull stunts like this that go against the linux community. And seriously, who in the fuck sues IBM... they're IBM!!!

Re:Linus says it best. (1, Funny)

talis9 (166451) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482288)

SCO has been dead for some time. All we're seeing now is the fumes rising from the dead corpse.

Re:Linus says it best. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482494)

That twitching you see is just rigor mortis. Nothing else to see, move on.

Atypical of a dying company's last gasp... Sue 'em (3, Interesting)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482274)

SCO, heralds from the better iron-Unix era, derived from Xenix, a Microsoft-created Intel-based Unix O/S from the copper-age.

Why am I not surprised?

What they say at law school (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482349)

That if you can sell, you do. If you can't sell you open source. If you can't even do that well, you sue!

Re:What they say at law school (1)

j-pimp (177072) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482528)

So what your saying is
Step 1: Sell product
Step 2: Opensource it (as a means of EOL like watcom or product life extension like netscape)
Step 3: Sue, or as we call it in americia:
<b>Profit!!!!!</b>

So the underpants gnome are real. They turn underpants into a robust desktop envirorment.

Well Miguel, <Mel Gibson voice>you can take my tighy whities, but you'll never take my boxers</Mell Gibson voice>

Re:Atypical of a dying company's last gasp... Sue (4, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482481)

I think this is a point that a lot of people are missing.

SCO is claiming special expertise on running Unix technology on *Intel* hardware. So the basis of their claim doesn't really rest with UnixWare (a failed Unix aquired from Novell), it rests on Xenix (now Open Server), a failed technology they only *licensed* from Microsoft.

They're claiming IBM, the research giant, and the mass of Open Source developers, couldn't have matched triple recursively *failed* technology of a bygone age, actually developed somewhere else in the first place.

I think ESR was giving them the benefit of the doubt and trying to be kind in his comment.

This goes way beyond "deeply stupid." It's doofey. ( My word of the year. I wish I had far less oppurtunity to overuse it)

KFG

Who cares what Linus thinks? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482281)

No, really. I mean, yes, he's the figurehead of the Linux movement, but who cares? This is a legal matter, we should go ask Lawrence Lessig instead.

He has already said he does even think about patents, and that pretty much shows his attitude towards the whole thing.

Mozillaquest asking Linus for his comments were a typical waste of time, because everyone already knows what he is going to say.

Re:Who cares what Linus thinks? (5, Insightful)

DataPath (1111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482332)

Well, the question involved is whether IBM has been insinuating UNIX (SCO owned, apparently) IP into the Linux kernel. And apparently their claims are that Linux could not POSSIBLY have advanced as fast or as far as it has without stealing UNIX IP, it MUST be stealing UNIX IP. Linus knows better than just about everyone else WHAT goes into the kernel, if not necessarily where it comes from. Since you can be pretty sure IBM isn't talking, Linus is the best source for evaluating with the community is capable of.

Re:Who cares what Linus thinks? (5, Insightful)

ehiggins (35174) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482394)

And there's the beauty of open source. We could ask SCO, "fine, you've got the source, show us the alleged Unix IP-infringing code".

Bizarre? (-1, Flamebait)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482292)

I'll tell you what's bizarre about this story. The fact that /. is spending SOO much time talking about it, and discussing the implications.

I mean sure /. is famous for beating trivia into the ground, but expending effort on this story? That's BIZARRE!

rejoinder (3, Funny)

Alomex (148003) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482298)

....for once a lawsuit that isn't really Microsoft's fault.

Re:rejoinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482341)

Actually, it may very well be Microsoft's fault...

Check Slashdot Posting [slashdot.org]

What are you talking about (4, Funny)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482346)

This is all Microsoft's fault. If they hadn't made XENIX, and then gave up on and sold it (or whatever) to SCO we wouldn't be in this mess!

It's all microsofts fault! :P

Re:What are you talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482442)

Few people seem to know that Microsoft was licensed to write Xenix (IIRC). It was actually this big affair involving several companies, and it ceased to be Microsoft Xenix rather quickly; SCO snatched it up within several years.
--os

Re:rejoinder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482457)

Arithmetic according to C: float x = 3.14159; float y = 1/2 * x; Value of y? zero.

You find that confusing? Integer division in C yields an integer result. Why wouldn't it? 1/2 is 0 with a remainder of 1. Hence, the integer result is 0. If you need floating point division, 1.0/2 will do you fine. Instead of complaining about the language, learn it.

Re:rejoinder (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482537)

Dear Sir,

Poster does not find his observation confusing. Indeed, he clearly understands enough C to pose the joke.

No, what he does is understand *mathmatics* to a degree that makes the joke. In other words, rather than being confused he is amused.

This indicates a certain intelligence as well.

Since you are confused by the humor of his little jest we can only asume. . .

Oh, nevermind. It isn't worth it.

KFG

Not too bad of a write up (2, Insightful)

Hardwyred (71704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482306)

Ya know, while the article was short, it was nice to see mozillaquest take great pains to ensure that they added no bias of their own, but instead simply acted as a scribe. Nice to see.

The deleted text from the interview? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482309)

MozillaQuest: When did you first realize that you enjoyed taking it in the pooper?

Linus: Well, it all started when my uncle Bjorn came over to my parents' house while they were away to babysit. He wanted to play a game he called 'stinky finger.' I was naive so I played along. Next thing you know, I had my pants around my ankles and was getting an ass-pounding like no other. And then I came to the realization that I was a homosexual.

MozillaQuest: Fascinating. Any other gays in your line of work?

Linus: Absolutely. Alan Cox (which is kind of fitting, since his last name is Cox and switch 2 letters of his first name and you have the word 'anal'), RMS, who can be a bit hard to be with because he smells so bad and doesn't bathe on a regular basis. Yet he is hung like a mule. Who else...hmm, all the guys over at Slashdot, of course...

MozillaQuest: Didn't one of those guys get married to a girl though?

Linus: Sure, but that doesn't mean he still doesn't like the old meat thermometer once in awhile. Same with Michael. I hear CowboyNeal is also very large in the genital area as well, although I can't attest to it.

MozillaQuest: Well, thanks for your time. We really should be going...

Linus: Wait a minute...sure you won't stay around for a little longer? Guys?

Spin (4, Insightful)

IIRCAFAIKIANAL (572786) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482310)

Normally, we end our articles with a summary and/or conclusion. We do not do so with this article. That's because we want you to have the benefits of Linus Torvalds' comments about the SCO-Caldera v IBM lawsuit without any spin from us.


The fact that CmdrTaco left out snide comments as well as these guys just proves how stupid this whole SCO thing is. Well, it doesn't really prove anything :P - but it's nice to get an article without the OSS "zealot" spin (I mean that nicely, really!)

Very interesting how he put in into perspective - basically, SCO is alleging that Linux wouldn't be enterprise class without

(1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment
which it got indirectly from SCO.

Course, that's bullshit (at least point 3, which is the only one that really matters as far as I can tell - correct me if i'm wrong).

Sam Davis is a cuntrag. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482311)

eat my shits

From the complaint... (4, Funny)

darkov (261309) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482313)

84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment.



I think SCO missed them most important ingredient, the one they haven't got: a clue.

SCO is wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482452)

I replaced SCO with Slackware on all my servers over 6 years ago. That was a couple years before IBM joined the Linux party. Somebody needs to tell the folks at SCO that Linux was enterprise-ready without IBM before they do something profoundly stupid like, say, sue IBM.

SCO is just trying to proclaim relevance where none exists.

Re:From the complaint... (4, Funny)

steve_l (109732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482468)

Also they've missed out the fact that bicycles are lower cost and often more practical than a luxury car, better suited to european cities and third world countries, and perhaps the future of transport for humanity :)

I think I have access to the SysV code. I also have access to VMS somewhere, and NT. Do I look at them? Why bother? All you can learn is what not to do.

Re:From the complaint... (5, Insightful)

lenski (96498) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482518)

  • a high degree of design coordination: The internet
  • access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment: dyadic (to quote the old evil empire...), quad, and higher-count multiprocessors that have become far more common under the influence of Moore's "law"
  • Access to UNIX code, methods and concepts: People have been studying OS technology for 40+ years... Including IBM! :-)
  • UNIX architectural experience: Again, this is standard upper-classman study. I studied this stuff at the age of 18, 28 years ago. (Back then, our studies were somewhat "academic", given how many System/360. /370, CDC supercomputers existed at the time...)
  • A very significant financial investment: Add up the contributions of the core teams, the hundreds of regular patch providers, thousands of enthusiasts, and hundreds of thousands of people studying this stuff (Gnu very much included): The cost of paying that many smart people professional wages would be, in a word, huge.

SCO has completely missed the effects of common availability of computational resources. I remember when crossing the gigaflop "barrier" was a big deal. Today it's your average laptop. 18 years ago, a UNIX source license in a business context could cost about $125,000 (as priced by a friend of mine, working on Sequent boxes). Apparently, that's when SCO executives seem to have stopped noticing the progress of technology.

Correct me if I'm wronge... (3, Interesting)

PapaSMURFFS (592303) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482315)

Correct me if I'm wronge, but isn't the SCO Group involved with several linux projects itself? I think the one real reason for the lawsuite is pointed out in the article-->The fear of loosing the revinue from the IBM liscencing on AIX

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482327)

Okay, I'll correct you. It's "WRONG", not "WRONGE".

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482371)

not only that -- it's a lawsuite???

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482417)

And Smurf not Smurffs. Gotta love someone who misspells their UID.

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482344)

As well, it's "LAWSUIT" not lawsuite, "LOSING" not loosing, "REVENUE" not revinue, "IBM" not "the IBM" and "LICENSING" not liscencing.

Learn English, motherfucker.

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482373)

"liscensing" is English.

"licensing" is American. It's one of the words you had to remove silent letters from to make it easier to remember. Like you do to honour, colour, valour.

Oh yeah, and lieutenant is pronounced "leftenant".

Re:Correct me if I'm wronge... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482395)

You are on British Crack.

There is no such word as liscense. Look it up in your fucking Oxford dictionary, fag (and by that I mean "cigarette").

Sod off, you limey wanker, before I kick your bum.

Funny (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482322)

SCO-Caldera says in paragraph "82" that "it would be difficult or impossible for the Linux development community to create a grade of Linux adequate for enterprise use

This is interesting... Linux just happens to have partition ID 82 when you use fdisk...

Hmmm...

Re:Funny (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482339)

And Linus 8 Stallman's #2

Mirror in case it's slashdotted (5, Informative)

jsse (254124) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482336)

SCO-Caldera v IBM: Linus Torvalds Comments on SCO-Caldera's Linux-Related Allegations

Nearly One-Half of SCO-Caldera Income from IP Licensing and Enforcement

By Mike Angelo -- 10 March 2003 (C)

For more than a month now, SCO-Caldera has been doing some intellectual property (IP) saber-rattling and market posturing [mozillaquest.com] regarding its UNIX source code ownership and Linux. On 6 March 2003, SCO-Caldera stopped its saber-rattling and pulled the sword out of its sheath when it filed a legal action against IBM regarding [mozillaquest.com] claims involving the UNIX and Linux operating systems.

Of the 136-paragraph Complaint filed by Caldera Systems, Inc., d/b/a The SCO Group, six are particularly significant regarding the Linux kernel, and the GNU/Linux operating system, and Linux distributions.

Paragraphs 74 and 82 through 86 of SCO-Caldera's Complaint belittle and insult Linux developers, the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, Linux distribution providers -- in essence the entire GNU/Linux and free software community.

In an e-mail discussion, we asked Linus Torvalds to comment on the Linux-related allegations SCO-Caldera makes in its Complaint against IBM. Here is Linus Torvalds' uncensored commentary.

Linus Torvalds: Ho humm..

I'm not all that excited about commenting a lot on lawsuits, since quite frankly I want to have as little as humanly possible to do with such things. At the same time I obviously do find the SCO one a bit interesting, since it's the first lawsuit ever I know of that actually involves Linux, even if Linux itself seems pretty peripheral.

Just as well, that "peripheral" thing ;)

MozillaQuest Magazine: SCO-Caldera says in paragraph "82" that "it would be difficult or impossible for the Linux development community to create a grade of Linux adequate for enterprise use." (Without the aid of the alleged actionable conduct of IBM) Is that true?

Linus Torvalds: I don't think IBM would have started using Linux if it was true. I think IBM got serious about Linux because it noticed that it _was_ "adequate for enterprise use" from a technical perspective, but lacked a lot of things IBM could bring to the table (marketing, of course, but even more than just marketing, just the presence of IBM made Linux be taken much more seriously).

So I think IBM's involvement has been very important, but while IBM has fine engineers, the most important part by _far_ has been the "mindshare" part of it.

But what does "adequate for enterprise use" really mean? The marketing and mindshare certainly _matter_ a lot for pretty much all enterprise customers. So in _that_ sense maybe SCO is right, even though I don't think that is really what SCO _meant_.

MozillaQuest Magazine: It sounds as though this lawsuit is not a suit alleging copyright infringement, patent infringement, or trademark infringement (the standard three prongs of the intellectual property complex). Rather, it appears the Caldera v IBM action is more in the nature of a contract or tort action.

Linus Torvalds: Yeah, I don't personally think they have any IP rights on Linux, and I agree, it looks more like a suit over the contract rather than over Linux itself.

I don't think they are going to win it (very very weak arguments, since at least from a technical perspective I don't think the IBM involvement has been that significant, and SCO was losing out _long_ before IBM started pushing Linux). However, my personal (maybe overly cynical) suspicion is that even _they_ don't think they'll win the suit, and it may be nothing more than a way to force IBM back into license discussions over UNIX itself.

So I think that 100-day license revocation thing may actually be the most important part of the whole suit, and that the rest might be just the excuse. If I was SCO and looking at IBM, I'd have long since noticed that IBM has been talking about Linux taking over more and more of their current AIX usage, to potentially eventually replace it altogether.

So SCO sees IBM largely going away as a licensee in a few years - and while I certainly don't have any knowledge of how much that means for SCO, I would not be surprised if IBM licenses are quite a noticeable part of SCOs receivables.

And what would you do? You want to get IBM back to the discussion table over licensing _before_ IBM starts to consider the UNIX licenses for AIX to be no longer worth it. I think IBM has announced they'll drop AIX eventually, but I do _not_ think that IBM is willing to drop it within three months. They tend to pride themselves on supporting their existing customers.

MozillaQuest Magazine: What sort of impact do you believe this sort of lawsuit filed by SCO-Caldera has on the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, UNIX, and the Linux and free-software communities?

Linus Torvalds: None, really. The people I work with couldn't care less.

The thrust of paragraphs 74 and 82 to 84 of SCO-Caldera's Complaint against IBM is that without the aid of the alleged actionable conduct of IBM, GNU/Linux would not be an enterprise/server grade operating system. Although in paragraph 84 of its Complaint, SCO-Caldera does not directly say it, when taken in context of the entire Complaint, SCO-Caldera is alleging that it is the alleged actionable conduct of IBM that provides items (1) through (5) set forth in paragraphs 84 to the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux, and Linux distributions.

84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car. This re-design is not technologically feasible or even possible at the enterprise level without (1) a high degree of design coordination, (2) access to expensive and sophisticated design and testing equipment; (3) access to UNIX code, methods and concepts; (4) UNIX architectural experience; and (5) a very significant financial investment.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Did the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux developers and groups lack the technological capability of producing an enterprise level Linux without being bailed-out by IBM as SCO-Caldera claims?

Linus Torvalds: "Bailed-out by IBM"? Hardly. Oh, IBM has certainly been very helpful, and I like the IBM engineers I work with, but Linux was running on 16-cpu Sun sparc computers long before IBM really got into it.

In paragraph 85 of its Complaint against IBM, SCO-Caldera alleges that the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux are limited to handling a maximum of four CPUs.

85. For example, Linux is currently capable of coordinating the simultaneous performance of 4 computer processors. UNIX, on the other hand, commonly links 16 processors and can successfully link up to 32 processors for simultaneous operation. This difference in memory management performance is very significant to enterprise customers who need extremely high computing capabilities for complex tasks. The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts.

MozillaQuest Magazine: Is this true? I thought the Linux kernel and GNU/Linux can handle 32 CPUs?

Linus Torvalds: We still claim 4-8 CPU scalability. Yeah, it sure works on bigger machines, but they are just so uncommon as to not be a big issue yet, and most of peoples' resources are certainly spent on the mass market (well, UP is the _real_ mass market, but most of the kernel people tend to be fascinated by SMP issues, so we tend to target slightly higher ;)

Normally, we end our articles with a summary and/or conclusion. We do not do so with this article. That's because we want you to have the benefits of Linus Torvalds' comments about the SCO-Caldera v IBM lawsuit without any spin from us. You are getting this just the way Linus said it and in context. Moreover, Linus Torvalds' comments are concise, well-expressed, and to the point. The only material in this article is Linus' comments with just enough background added by us to put the comments in perspective and context with the allegations of SCO-Caldera's Complaint. Thus, Linus Torvalds' comments need no interpretation or spin from us.

Re:Mirror in case it's slashdotted (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482478)

Whore.

SMP? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482352)

UNIX, on the other hand, commonly links 16 processors and can successfully link up to 32 processors for simultaneous operation. This difference in memory management performance is very significant to enterprise customers who need extremely high computing capabilities for complex tasks. The ability to accomplish this task successfully has taken AT&T, Novell and SCO at least 20 years, with access to expensive equipment for design and testing, well-trained UNIX engineers and a wealth of experience in UNIX methods and concepts.
Um, SysV doesn't do this. Good SMP for UNIX has been added to all the VendorOSes, but without any help from SCO.

Re:SMP? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482367)

SysV IPC? Semaphores, shared memory segments and queues?

Has a bunches to do with SMP if that's how you apply it.

Mozillaquest? (4, Insightful)

ebuck (585470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482355)

Let's all take a step back, and take a deep breath.

Remember that this is Mozillaquest.

Keep breathing.... KEEP BREATHING!!!

(read some of the past articles if you don't already know, or better yet... don't).

Wow (-1, Flamebait)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482366)

What an ugly website!

I mean reall, this page (mozillaquest) looks like it was designed by a blind monkey.

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482424)

It doesn't even display properly under *Mozilla*. What the fuck is with that? @_@

Dennis Ritchie Comments and Documents from (5, Informative)

zoid.com (311775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482369)

Here are Dennis Ritchie's Comments [google.com] from usenet and some supporting documentation [bell-labs.com] from the USL vs. BSDI case.

Re:Dennis Ritchie Comments and Documents from (5, Insightful)

Greg Koenig (92609) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482531)

Actually, I immediately thought of the USL v. BSDI case when I heard about SCO's recent filing. My OS of choice tends to lean towards the BSD side (simply due to my background as a CS Ph.D. student, I suppose) but I certainly use Linux for many projects. I used FreeBSD back in ca. 1992 when it seemed that it might be encumbered due to licensing difficulties from USL.

I think the important thing to realize is that while different open source software camps may at times compete against each other (Linux vs. BSD, Gnome vs. KDE, etc.), in the end the diversity we have within our ranks is a very powerful asset. Had the lawsuit in 1992 turned out differently, Linux would have been an unencumbered alternative that would have allowed the movement to continue forward. Likewise, in the extremely off chance that SCO did do something to encumber Linux today, the open source community has many other fine operating systems that are alternatives and which could be a basis to continue moving forward.

IMHO, an important lesson to realize from this after it finally settles down (and I have no doubt that SCO will end up appearing kind of stupid in the end) is that the diversity in open source software is the biggest benefit and allows it to overcome these kinds of things.

Fear (3, Interesting)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482385)

I don't fear for IBM, even in the worst case it wont be so much affected (but I doubt that this could cost much to IBM). I fear what will come after. This insecurity is doing much more harm to Linux and Unix in general than is doing Microsoft with its "fair" antilinux campaigns [linuxtoday.com].

What I fear is that a way to win the case could be IBM showing some hidden card in their software patents pool. What about something generic enough to say "I own the patents on multitasking"? or concurrent file access, or even the "while" loop, something in some way that disables SCO claims but puts on the table something big enough to be considered a threat to all the industry. Is like using atomic bombs in a war, after one of the parts uses one, all the others feel validated to do the same and we all lose.

Ho Hummm.... (3, Insightful)

cranos (592602) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482387)

Okay the site design looked like a dogs breakfast but at least Linus's comments were interesting? Weren't they?

He basically said what everyone else knows, SCO is going to hell in a hand basket and in desperation is trying to suck more money out of IBM. The bullshit claims about linux are nothing more than that, bullshit.

Ho hummm...

POOP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482391)

I have to go poop.

POOPING! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482401)

Unnh... uuunnnnh.... uuuhhhhhuuuhhh... unnnh.

POOPED! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482410)

Okay, I'm done.

Whew, somebody needs to light a match or something!

Loud-mouthed weasel! (4, Funny)

fzammett (255288) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482404)

Why does Linus Torvalds feel the need to open his big, fat mouth any time there is something happening regarding Linux?

You'd think the guy INVENTED Linux or something like that. What a jerk!

(Yes, it's carcasm. Calm the f**k down!)

A Bicycle?!?? (4, Interesting)

revery (456516) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482409)

From SCO's document: 84. Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car. To make Linux of necessary quality for use by enterprise customers, it must be re-designed so that Linux also becomes the software equivalent of a luxury car.

A bicycle??!? Ok, a free bicycle...that seats as many as a luxury car, on just as comfortable seats, and has the same horsepower as the luxury car, and that comes complete with design schematics and a suite of tools that allow you to build more "bicycles", oh and you can give them away to your friends.

Oh, and now nobody is really interested in luxury cars anymore... maybe that's that's what SCO is so mad about.

--

Was it the sheep climbing onto the altar, or the cattle lowing to be slain,
or the Son of God hanging dead and bloodied on a cross that told me this was a world condemnded, but loved and bought with blood.

Economic Perspective (4, Interesting)

EvilSuggestions (582414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482413)

Just took a look at a financial site and noticed that dear old SCO/Caldera appears to have a market cap of $32.9 million today. As such, I wonder, what will be the total cost to IBM to properly defend themselves in this suit, plus the amount that they spend on "licensing" Unix from SCO? At least $32.9M perhaps? Maybe more...

Seems to me that the logical step for IBM now is to settle this suit by simply acquiring the plaintiff. Even before this suit was filed, it kinda made sense for quite a few reasons:

  • IBM's services division apparently loves to support old OS's and software, so the SCO support contracts would be a good match.
  • They would now own all the former members of the Project Monterey alliance (Sequent being the other member). No more sticky legal issues about code developed during that project.
  • There's the bragging rights of owning the Unix trademark. Certainly would give them a leg up marketing against Sun and HP.

Well done. (1)

paroneayea (642895) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482414)

Once again, Linus has shown his ability to intelligently respond to a situation. I think this has to be his best response since he said something (regarding microsoft) loosely along the lines of "I don't think anything good can come out of trying to destroy something." (once again, I know that's not the exact quote.) I found it to be a good commentary not only on Microsoft, but on zealous advocates trying to force it to choke and die. (It's doing good enough of a job doing that on it's own.) Also, kudos to the authors for leaving this article without a summary or commentary. In other words, both Linus and the writers did an excellent job here. Long live intelligence. Well done.

Should IBM buy SCO? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482441)

I've heard some people mention it would just be cheaper for IBM to buy SCO. After taking a look at SCOs current market cap of not quite 33 million it makes me wonder. If IBM has so much invested in UNIX would it not make sense to buy them outright rather than continue to pay license fees? Would it really cost all that much for IBM to buy SCO?

Re:Should IBM buy SCO? (2, Insightful)

steve_l (109732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482500)

no, but there is no point. They'd be better of buying Sun, or Apple. Sun for Java, Apple for power PC systems people still want.

SCO are like microsoft: a company trying to make money out of middleware. It seemed a good idea when everyone was prepared to pay for middleware, but now that's just, well, silly. Linux, Apache and to an extent the OSS Java projects (apache, jboss and sforge hosted) have helped reduce the value of middleware. Which leaves cash for the hardware vendors and the consultants. Which is where IBM fits in.

A Question (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482446)

I have trouble following this mess and am not a lawyer so I'll ask a question.

Linux & Unix both descend from the same ancestral home at AT&T (I believe).

Caldera owns the AT&T IP.

The DMCA is an insane piece of legislation.

By connecting the following points is it possible that the sky could fall and all OS descendants of Unix could be affected?

Odds are I am horribly wrong, and hope I am - but please, enlighten me.

MozillaQuest? (4, Insightful)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482486)

I've never read MozillaQuest, but I find it wierd that a site with the word "Mozilla" in its title doesn't render properly in my copy of Mozilla (1.2.1 from Debian Testing)

or maybe they intended the page to have a 3-inch margin?

Re:MozillaQuest? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482544)

Last time I saw anything from mozillaquest, it was another of their mozilla "news" articles. The whole site was essentially an anti-mozilla troll.

Linus Comments on SCO v IBM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5482511)

Now all we are waiting for are the reporters to come in and twist things into something completely different. Hmm, I think SCO already have. But, not to fear, any good (bad) reporter can twist with the best.

Soon we will see headlines saying Linux is being disbanded as SCO is the real owner since they actually developed it. News at 11.

What IBM should do (3, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482539)

is buy SCO, market cap is 25 million which is a steal to ensure the future of AIX and Linux. IBM has put untold Billions into AIX over the decades and is planning on putting over one billion into linux over the next couple years. Heck the lawyers will probably cost in the millions on this one, buy the IP and make sure they never have to worry again.

And Lo..... (4, Funny)

Nemus (639101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5482549)

He Came from A Mountain On High. And Borne Upon His Shoulders Was Borne The Sacrificial Bull of An SCO CEO. And Thus He Spake

"Be Not Afraid My Children, For I Have Busted Them Gorts Up."

Amen

Btw, as I noticed the site had been slashdotted, a thought occured to me. When this happens to a site, does anyone else sit back and imagine a poor, defenseless server shrieking its last, dying breath, before being blown through the stratosphere while melting off slag? No. K.

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