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SCO pesters Fortune 1000 for money (again)

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The SCO Group has sent another letter to Fortune 1000 companies, requesting that they stop using Linux, or reach an agreement with the Utah company over what it claims are copyright "binary interfaces".

"Any part of any Linux file that includes the copyrighted binary interface code must be removed," according to the demand. The SCO Group identifies a number of files which, once machine-specific versions are discounted, boil down to simply four header files. The files signal.h, ioctl.h, errno.h, stat.h and ctype.h contain copyright infringing code.

These files, according to SCO, "must carry USL / SCO copyright notices and may not be used in any GPL distribution, inasmuch as the affirmative consent of the copyright holder has not been obtained, and will not be obtained, for such a distribution under the GPL."

However the header files contain simple error codes essential to the operation of any Unix-like operating system.

In a response to the Linux kernel mailing list, here, Linus Torvalds explains the derivation of some of the Linux error numbers.

But why trust Torvalds when we can have SCO's word for it? SCO spokesman Blake Stowell previously denied that the binary interfaces contain what the SCO Group claims is infringing code.

"This code is under the GPL and it re-implements publicly documented interfaces. We do not have an issue with the Linux ABI modules," he told Mozillazine's Mike Angelo earlier this year (thanks to Groklaw).

Which seems to be fairly definitive.

Meanwhile SCO's legal costs continue to wipe out its hard earned profit. SCOX reported a loss of $1.6 million for the quarter on sales of $24.3 million, after excluding a $9 million charge for legal fees. It would have posted a $7.4 million profit otherwise. ®

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