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<nettime> Linux strikes back...
. __ . on Mon, 16 Jun 2003 19:27:34 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Linux strikes back...

Nice to see that not all people concerned are paralysed... let's remember
this as a positive example for the future... The GPL can be a potent
weapon against attempts to commercialize all aspects of the net,
especially such integral things as alternatives to commercial OS and

If only people would organize more and believe in the power of
decentralized Orgs, than they could really be a controlling element. With
NGOs more and more able to participate on the International Stage (UN,
WTO, EU), this could well soften some of the nonsense, which is passed
under the name of computer law, including such elements like data
protection and privacy, which do have a huge social impact and should not
be only argued by companies and states...




Linux kernel coder puts SCO on notice

Exclusive As the worm turns

By Egan Orion: Sonntag 15 Juni 2003, 17:57

SCO, THAT PARIAH of the IT industry, has received what might turn out to
be legally damaging return fire from a Linux kernel developer. An email
presenting SCO with formal notice alleging copyright infringement was sent
to the firm this weekend. The email to SCO is reproduced below.

It's perhaps worth noting in passing that over 400 individuals worldwide
are credited as authors who have added significant contributions to the
Linux kernel, and thousands of others have also contributed kernel code.
All of these Linux kernel developers have the right to transmit similar
demands to SCO, and possibly pursue lawsuits, as this email suggests.

The author of the following email isn't seeking any personal publicity, so
information that might identify him has been redacted by request. 

Sunday, 15 June 2003:

Sender information:


Recipient information:

To: The SCO Group
355 South 520 West
Suite 100
Lindon, Utah 84042 USA

Cc: SCO GmbH
Country Manager: Hans Bayer
Norsk-Data-Strasse 3
61352 Bad Homburg v.d.H

Sent via: E-Mail to licensing {AT} sco.com, cc to infod {AT} sco.com


[If your are not the correct recipient for such a notice, please forward
this letter to the appropriate recipient, and send me a notice that I can
address further mails directly to the appropriate person. Thanks.]

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

I've noticed that the FTP server from your company contains the file
linux- 2.4.13-21D.src.rpm (md5 checksum: 73cad7e5db287a962de14109fa126354)
in the directory /pub/updates/
OpenLinux/3.1.1/Workstation/CSSA-2003-020.0/SRPMS/ [1].

I'm the co-author and copyright owner of several parts of the source code
that is contained in that file[2], among them [snip].

According to your press releases [3], the file also contains source code
that you consider as your own property and that you did not license under
the GPL.

I've granted everyone the right to sell, distribute and use my work under
the condition that they obey the restriction of the GPL. The GPL requires
that a work that is based on a works that is licensed under the GPL must
be put under the GPL. I've never authorized any other use of my work.

This means that your distribution of the above given file, and any sale of
OpenLinux 3.1.1, is not authorized by me and infringes my copyright.

I demand that you immediately cease and desist the distribution of the
above listed file, and any other work that contains my work.

Additionally, I ask you to provide me with a detailed list that shows the
amount of unauthorized distribution that happened in the past. As far as I
can see, this includes at least any logs from your FTP server for the
relevant directories, and a list of the sales of OpenLinux 3.1.1 and any
other product that contains my work [4]. I reserve the right to sue you
for damages and any profits you made by selling my work. Note that my work
is not of U.S. origin, thus the lack of a formal registration at the USPTO
does not bar me from filing an infringement suit. I also reserve the right
to sue your subsidiary in Germany or any other subsidiary.

As an alternative, I'll abstain from suing you for copyright infringement
if you drop your claims that the source in linux-2.4.13-21D.src.rpm
infringes your copyright, for example by putting the part that you claim
copyright on under the GPL. The exact details would have to be discussed

Best regards, [snip]

[1] i.e. the URL to the file is ftp://ftp.sco.com/pub/updates/OpenLinux/
3.1.1/Workstation/CSSA-2003-020.0/SRPMS/linux-2.4.13-21D.src.rpm I've
verified the existance of the file on Sat Jun 14 08:44:15 UTC 2003.

[2] Note that I'm not claiming to be the sole copyright owner, I did a
significant improvement and partial rewrite of source code written by

[3] Among others, the press release titled "SCO Suspends Distribution of
Linux Pending Intellectual Property Clarification; Announces Greater Focus
on UNIX and SCOx Strategy".

[4] Virtually all of my contributions to the linux kernel are tagged with
either my name ([snip]) or the email address [snip]. Thus you can easily
identify the affected products with a global search on the uncompressed
sources for these names.

[5] I'm only speaking for myself, I do not know what the other copyright
owners will do.

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