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Licence restrictions will stop Sun open-sourcing Solaris, says SCO Group

The SCO Group has stated that licence restrictions prevent Sun Microsystems from contributing its work to the General Public Licence, less than a week after Sun chief operating officer Jonathan Schwartz pledged to open source its Solaris operating system.

Solaris is based on Unix System V, the source code to which has since been acquired by The SCO Group.

SCO marketing manager Marc Modersitzki said although the company was unable to discuss specific details of its licence agreements, it was confident that Sun will be very rigorous in complying with its Unix System V licence as the company defines its plans for open-sourcing any part of Solaris.

"While the details of Sun's plan to open-source Solaris are not clear at this time, Sun has broader rights than any other Unix licensee," Modersitzki said.

"However, they still have licence restrictions that would prevent them from contributing our licensed works wholesale to the GPL."

Modersitzki said by spending more than $100m in Unix licence fees Sun has the broadest rights of any of SCO's Unix licensees and has been a licensee in good standing for many years.

Although Sun has not publicly stated under which licence it intends to release an open-source Solaris, Schwartz said: "Make no mistake, we will open-source Solaris."

Last month Schwartz said that Sun was looking into open-sourcing Solaris.

Regarding SCO's lawsuit against IBM for allegedly improperly contributing code to Linux, Modersitzki released a statement by The SCO Group overnight requesting the trial be put back until September next year and to bifurcate the trials for IBM's counterclaims which include GPL violation and four patent infringements.

Rodney Gedda writes for Computerworld Today


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