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SubjectRe: SCO offers UnixWare licenses for Linux
On Thu, 24 Jul 2003, Larry McVoy wrote:

> On Thu, Jul 24, 2003 at 04:52:09PM +0200, Felipe Alfaro Solana wrote:
> > On Mon, 2003-07-21 at 20:59, Diego Calleja Garc?a wrote:
> > > El Mon, 21 Jul 2003 13:52:21 -0400 Michael Bernstein <> escribi?:
> > >
> > > > To put it simply, just because they "may," - and I say may here simply
> > > > because we have no evidence to prove their claims but cannot flatly
> > > > deny them - own the rights to Sys V, does NOT mean they own the right
> > >
> > > So they want to sell us something that still hasn't
> >
> > And can be rewritten from scratch if necessary... They're crazy!
> There seems to be a prevailing opinion that if there is stolen code in
> Linux that came from SCO owned code that all that needs to be done is
> to remove it and everything is fine. I don't think it works that way.
> If code was stolen and the fact that it is in Linux helped destroy
> SCO's business then SCO has the right to try and get damages. I.e.,
> Linux damaged SCO by using the code.
> It's also not a simple case of rewriting. _Assuming_ that there was
> something significant in Linux which came from SCO, i.e., they can make
> the case that the Linux community wouldn't have thought of it on their
> own, then you don't get to rewrite it because now you know how whatever
> "it" is works and you didn't before.
> The business world takes their IP seriously. If, and it is a big if,
> there is code in Linux from SCO, that's going to be a nasty mess to
> clean up and we had better all pray that IBM just buys them and puts
> Unix into the public domain. Otherwise I think SCO could force Linux
> backwards to whereever it was before the tainted code came in. If that
> happens, I (and I suspect a lot of you) will work to make sure that
> things which couldn't possibly be tainted (like drivers) do make it
> forward.
> If SCO prevails it won't be the end of the world. A lot of that scalability
> stuff is just a waste of time, IMO. 32 processor systems are dinosaurs that
> are going away and I'm not the only one who thinks so, Dell and IDC agree:
> Don't get me wrong, there are some cool things in 2.5 that we all want but
> if SCO puts a dent in the works Linux will recover and maybe be better.
> --
> ---
> Larry McVoy lm at

At least in the United States, you are not going to get away with
claiming there is some stolen code that caused damages. The sole
responsibility of a person who discovers stolen property is to
make "good effort" to return it. So the party that claims that
his property was stolen needs first to identify that stolen property.
Then, and only then, the party that has possession of the property
needs to make "good effort" to return it. Good effort means that,
amongst other things, the person who returns the property must not
suffer undue cost.

Child's poem describing this point of law; "Finders keepers, losers

This is a very important concept. If it did not exist, I could
lose my personal property anywhere and then claim that somebody
stole it, causing damages. Instead, to prevent this kind of
"legal theft", the only thing a person found in possession of
"stolen" property needs to do is to return it, unless there is
evidence that the possessor actually stole the property in question.

Of course there's always some lawyer(s) that attempt to make
new case-law. See for details.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.4.20 on an i686 machine (797.90 BogoMips).
Note 96.31% of all statistics are fiction.

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