SCO–Linux Controversies - Background - UNIX SVRx - Control of Derivative Works

Control of Derivative Works

The third issue based on the UNIX licensees agreement is related to SCO's claims of control of derivative works.

Many UNIX licensees have added features to the core UNIX SVRx system and those new features contain computer code not in the original SVRx code base. In most cases, software copyright is owned by the person or company that develops the code. SCO, however, claims that the original licensing agreements define this new code as a derivative work. They also claim that they have the right to control and restrict the use and distribution of that new code.

These claims are the basis of SCO v. IBM. SCO's initial complaint, said that IBM violated the original licensing agreement by not maintaining confidentiality with the new code, developed and copyrighted by IBM, and releasing it to the Linux project.

IBM claims that the license agreement (noted in the $Echo newsletter of April 1985) and subsequent licenses defines derivative works as the developer's property. This leaves IBM free to do as it wishes with its new code. In August 2004, IBM filed a motion for partial summary judgment. The motion stated that IBM has the right to do as it wishes with software not part of the original SVRx code. In February 2005, the motion was dismissed as premature, because discovery was not yet complete. IBM refiled this motion along with other summary judgment motions as noted below in September 2006.

Read more about this topic:  SCO–Linux Controversies, Background, UNIX SVRx

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