SGI's code scrub not clean enough for SCO

Missing words

Cat 5 cable

Silicon Graphics says that after an internal review, it has removed 200 lines of source code in response to The SCO Group's threat to revoke its irrevocable UNIX™ license. SGI acquired the rights to UNIX™ System V from AT&T in 1985.

The code in question belongs to SGI's high-throughput journaled file system XFS, which was developed in house at SGI several years after UNIX&tm;'s protozoan file system NFS began its long crawl from the swamp. XFS is only under the microscope because SGI promised to release it as open source, which after years of due diligence - ensuring the code was clean of IP nasties - it eventually did.

SCO yesterday said that this wasn't enough.

SCO argues that 'derivative' software libre works devalue its intellectual property. Which is a great argument, until you remember that most of the intellectual labor was made by parties other than SCO, and where plagiarism took place - as it undoubtedly did - the 'plagiarists' had every legal entitlement to do so. The SCO Group has a defensible case if it can prove that its commercial prospects were harmed by infringement. It has yet to show an example of this. Then again, it doesn't have to: what matters is how effectively it can convince a court, rather than the peanut gallery.

Meanwhile, the long phony war is set to continue well into next year. SCO has requested a four month delay to IBM's countersuit, which is due to be heard on February 4. The case isn't expected to be heard until 2005. ®

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