[Talk] TSG and lawyers: volunteers please

Leon Brooks leon at cyberknights.com.au
Sun Jul 27 14:47:10 EST 2003

On Sun, 27 Jul 2003 09:30, Greg 'groggy' Lehey wrote:
> May 9 17:51 linux-2.4.13-21S.src.rpm

> This is three days before they announced that Linux was an
> unauthorized derivative of UNIX.  They don't seem to have anything
> more recent.

This one is odd. Same date, but a much later version, and although RPM 
lists it as containing linux-2.4.19.tar.bz2 it doesn't, just a flock of 


Some of the patches are interesting (IRQ balancing and other SMP stuff 
which I'm sure would contravene IBM's IP that has been GPLed if TSG 
actually owned it), so I've listed them (786 of them) here:


> I'm trying to interest some lawyers in the issue, so far with only
> limited success.

Jeremy Malcolm, currently SLPWA's President of Vice and a qualified 
lawyer specialising in IT issues including fighting and winning against 
local spammers (and being harrassed by loonies, so TSG should be 
nothing new for him), is interested in pressing a case on many counts, 
but needs a volunteer with the following properties:

  * Has suffered measurable financial damage from TSG's actions;

  * Either can survive losing to TSG, or are willing to crash and
    burn if justice is mocked;

It would probably be easier for Jeremy to do for a WA resident but I'm 
not sure on that point. He'd be happy to do it on the basis of only 
being paid if he wins, modulo any significant out-of-pocket expenses 
(e.g. airfares). If you're interested, tell me or contact him as jeremy 
at ilaw.com.au.

WRT SCO making demands on Australians in Australia, consider this slice 
from an email to me by Kieran O'Shaughnessy <kierano at sco.com>, ANZ area 
manager from SCO, in answer to a query about licencing:

    In May, SCO announced that Linux contained SCO's UNIX System V
    source code and that Linux was an unauthorized derivative of
    UNIX. SCO also indicated that Linux end users could face
    liability for running it in their organization.

    It was announced yesterday that SCO will offer UnixWare(R)
    licenses tailored to support run-time, binary use of Linux for
    all commercial users of Linux based on kernel version 2.4.x
    and later. SCO will hold harmless commercial Linux customers
    that purchase a UnixWare license against any past copyright
    violations, and for any future use of Linux in a run-only,
    binary format.

    I cannot provide any assurance that there is no misappropriated
    code in earlier than the 2.4.x versions of the Linux kernel,
    however at this time SCO has not identified any issues with the
    older kernels.

The phrase "to support" is weasel words. Kieran didn't come out and say 
"you *must* buy a licence" and hasn't got back to me since Wednesday 
morning, so I think I'll ask her point blank: "If I want to deploy the 
Linux kernel version 2.4.19, do I need to buy a licence or licences 
from The SCO Group to do it?"

I'm more than willing to be someone's witness in a well-supported case 
and will quite happily foot my own airfares etc if they lose against 
TSG. I'm mulling over being a sacrificial victim based on how much 
financial damage TSG could do to my family if I lose.

Cheers; Leon

http://cyberknights.com.au/     Modern tools; traditional dedication
http://plug.linux.org.au/       Committee Member, Perth Linux User Group
http://slpwa.asn.au/            Committee Member, Linux Professionals WA
http://linux.org.au/            Committee Member, Linux Australia

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