Welcome!

Open Source Cloud Authors: Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Open Source Cloud, Linux Containers

Open Source Cloud: Article

SCO Claims Linux Lifted ELF

SCO Claims Linux Lifted ELF

SCO's two latest filings with the Utah district court hearing its $5 billion suit against IBM claim that SCO's Unix Executable and Linking Format (ELF) codes are in Linux illegally.

The charge was made by SCO VP of engineering Sandeep Gupta in a declaration that is currently under seal, but is quoted, albeit tersely, in the new filings.

If the ELF charge stands, SCO believes it would topple the whole Linux edifice.

ELF is like mortar to the operating system. Stripped out, all its applications would break. And, according to SCO spokesman Blake Stowell, it would not be something that the Linux community could simply rewrite, which is the Linux adherent's pat solution to SCO's infringement issues.

ELF is sorta like Microsoft's DLLs and was developed by AT&T's Unix System Labs as part of the Unix Application Binary Interface (ABI) before Unix was sold to Novell in 1993.

In 1995, the year Novell sold Unix to the Santa Cruz Operation, an industry group calling itself the Tool Interface Standard Committee (TISC) came up with a ELF 1.2 standard and to popularize it and streamline PC software development granted users a "non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free license" to the stuff, effectively putting it in the public domain, SCO says.

SCOsource chief Chris Sontag, the SCO VP in charge of the company's hate-inducing IP push, claims TISC, which folded immediately after the spec was published, exceeded its rights even though both Novell and the old SCO - as well as Microsoft, IBM and Intel - were on the committee.

Sontag also says that any entities that ignore SCO's ELF copyrights are infringing. Such a claim is likely to put SCO on a war footing, if it isn't already, with the Free Software Foundation, whose GNU operating environment makes broad use of ELF.

The Free Software Foundation is also the creator of the GPL, the viral license that makes Linux so provocative. SCO calls the GPL "quicksand" and claims it's invalid. IBM's countersuit against SCO claims SCO breached the GPL so the GPL could be tested in the court for a second, possibly definitive, time.

Where SCO is going to go with ELF is still up in the air, according to Sontag. It's still early days in fleshing out all its claims, he said.

SCO also claims "substantial similarity" between the Read-Copy-Update (RCU) routine in Linux 2.6.5 and Linux patches and SCO's copyrighted work, specifically SVR4.2 MP.

It thinks that Unix SMP 4.2 System V initialization (init) code was copied into Linux 2.6, that there's "substantial similarity" between the user level synchronization (ULS) routines in Linux and Unix, that its Unix System V IPC code was copied into Linux 2.4.20 and that copyrighted Unix header and interfaces were copied into Linux.

It also says the journaled file system (JFS) module from later versions of AIX, which SCO believes may derive from the JFS Unix, is in Linux 2.6. - MOG

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

Comments (75)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.
The Jevons Paradox suggests that when technological advances increase efficiency of a resource, it results in an overall increase in consumption. Writing on the increased use of coal as a result of technological improvements, 19th-century economist William Stanley Jevons found that these improvements led to the development of new ways to utilize coal. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Thiele, Chief Strategy Officer for Apcera, compared the Jevons Paradox to modern-day enterprise IT, examin...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
DSR is a supplier of project management, consultancy services and IT solutions that increase effectiveness of a company's operations in the production sector. The company combines in-depth knowledge of international companies with expert knowledge utilising IT tools that support manufacturing and distribution processes. DSR ensures optimization and integration of internal processes which is necessary for companies to grow rapidly. The rapid growth is possible thanks, to specialized services an...
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...