By patrickf on Aug 13, 2007
Self-styled Cyber Cynic Steven J Vaughan-Nichols published this piece suggesting that recent developments in the IBM-SCO case may compromise the OpenSolaris project.
To be clear, I think that people like Steven J Vaughan-Nichols do an important job. There are times when self-conscious cynicism should be one's guiding light (as anyone who has recently wasted three hours of their weekend trying to get rid of a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson can tell you). Moreover, I can't comment upon the legal merits of his argument, being under-qualified (i.e. not qualified at all), not authorised and generally lacking the requisite ambition. But I can comment on the article itself.
"Sun's Jonathan Schwartz -- then Sun VP of software and today Sun's president and CEO -- said in 2003 that Sun had bought "rights equivalent to ownership" to Unix.
SCO agreed. In 2005, SCO CEO Darl McBride said that SCO had no problem with Sun open-sourcing Unix code in what would become OpenSolaris."
As I read this, Mr J Vaughan-Nichols seems to be implying that Sun believes it bought the rights necessary to open source Solaris from SCO.
However, clicking on the link he provides that quotes Jonathan Schwartz, one quickly realises that Mr Schwartz appears to assert rights equivalent to ownership to Unix based upon Sun's agreement with AT&T in 1992. Which is not the impression I got from Mr Vaughan-Nichols' piece. With that in mind, the article may, perhaps, seem rather less Slashdottable.
ps. the views expressed here are not necessarily those of my employer