SCO vs. IBM - the Anatomy of a Defining Case for Open Source
Many of the technologies that create operating systems, power the Internet and produce applications, are the result of open source code, meaning code that is freely distributed by those who write it. Unix as one of the earliest examples dates back to the late 1960s and is to this day part of the bare essentials of our computing infrastructure. When the SCO Group sued IBM Corp. over the improper use of code from SCO's Unix system in IBMs contribution to Linux, the reactions reached from disbelief to scorn to downright fear for the future of open source. Without going into legal details we will try to deconstruct the complex case and look at some interesting artifacts that continue to define the life of intellectual products and of the people who conceive them.
Erich Bonnert is a technology and business writer for German media based in Silicon Valley and has been chronicling the technology industry since early 1999. His work has appeared in some of the most widely read publications in Germany, Austria and Switzerland including Cash, c't Magazin, CHIP, Handelsblatt, Monitor, Welt and Wirtschaftswoche. Before moving to California, he worked in various editorial positions at technology publications in Germany. He graduated from the University of Karlsruhe with a diploma degree in Computer Science in 1988.