Why the GPL Sinks SCO's Copyright Infringement Claims, Even if it Owned the Copyrights

Posted by Scott_Ruecker on Nov 17, 2009 4:33 PM EDT
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I've started to wonder if Novell or IBM has explained to SCO's Chapter 11 Trustee Edward Cahn how the GPL works. It cuts through all the other ways SCO is bound to lose, in my view. Then, I thought: why not just explain it myself? You never know. It might prove useful to put it all in one place. So, here goes, SCO and the GPL. As you may recall, if you've been around since 2003, SCO's position on the GPL has been that while it may have distributed its code under the GPL, it didn't mean to do it, that it never knowingly distributed Unix or Unixware code under the GPL. I'd like to briefly explain why that excuse doesn't matter to either Novell or IBM. IBM of course has always taken the position that it hasn't infringed any copyrights, no matter who owns them. But let's take SCO's words at face value, and pretend that they are true. Then how does the GPL moot their claims?

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