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SCO Group Hires Boies After All

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the mendacity-mendacity-mendacity dept.

Patents 479

pitr256 writes "So it seems the SCO Group has decided to hire infamous Anti-Microsoft lawyer David Boies after all. This comes upon reversal of the SCO Group statement according to Chief Executive Darl McBride of having not engaged Mr. Boies to take legal action against our fellow Linux vendors. Now, CNet News is reporting that not only is SCO Group investigating the Linux vendors but that it is also going to investigate Windows, Mac OS X, and the BSD derivatives. So if your technology can't win on price and performance, break out the lawyers and sue everyone. Does anyone else see this as the end of SCO (Caldera) like I do? I certainly will never use anything from them ever again."

cancel ×


Of course they hire boies (4, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137000)

They are, after all, not interested in girls.

bastard (-1, Offtopic)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137058)

You beat me to it, did it better, and got first post.

Time to kill myself.

Gee thanks. (0, Offtopic)

nlinecomputers (602059) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137126)

While you off killing yourself please put a new monitor and keyboard in your will for me. I'm still trying to clean the Diet Coke out of mine.

ridiculous (-1, Redundant)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137005)

It's disgusting that in this day and age we still have companies who don't understand that girls can understand computers too.

Re:ridiculous (0, Troll)

mark_lybarger (199098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137050)

they do?

right, is this in the same manner that they understand the t.v. remote control. for some reason most view commercial time as an open invitation to flap their gums and not an opportunity to speed through the other 99 worthless channels on the tube...

Re:ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137240)

My girlfriend channelsurfs, and codes Java, Perl, and a bit of PHP. I'm hoping she wasn't previously a guy.

Possible outcomes (1, Interesting)

pope nihil (85414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137014)

Does anyone know if they have a legal leg to stand on? Are they pursuing software patents?

Re:Possible outcomes (2)

SpazAttak (104723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137067)

I doubt anyone can conjecture in either way at this point. All accounts have been far to vague to really say anything about.

Re:Possible outcomes (1)

Kadagan AU (638260) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137156)

For a lawsuit in America, a party must have injury. This may be financial, physical, emotional, or social, but there must be some form of injury. You can't just sue someone because you don't like them, or you need the money. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure this is common knowledge.


P.S. These laws may not hold true in California, none of the other laws do. :-P


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137016)

Sig File Patent Infringement (0, Offtopic)

Lucius Sour (636091) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137075)

Persuant to the DMCA, PATRIOT act and Magna Cartman I hereby give notice of procedings for patent infringement for my 310 patents on inane sig files. All Simpsons quotes are excepted, naturally (or else I'd have no conversation).

Well, good (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137022)

Does anyone else see this as the end of SCO (Caldera) like I do? I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.

I'm sure they are all broken up over the fact that you won't be installing any more warez copies of SCO anymore.

The Old Days (5, Interesting)

yamcha666 (519244) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137023)

Doesn't this entire SCO suing [insert vendor name here] for using the UNIX IP remind anyone of the days when AT&T was getting in Berkley's face over using the UNIX IP - then Berkley rewrote the entire BSD so there was no AT&T UNIX code in there?

I don't know about Windows or MacOS, but I don't believe Linux or Open/Free/NetBSD use any copywritten UNIX IP code in their kernels. Do they?

Re:The Old Days (4, Insightful)

M.C. Hampster (541262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137047)

I don't know about Windows or MacOS, but I don't believe Linux or Open/Free/NetBSD use any copywritten UNIX IP code in their kernels. Do they?

IANAL, but I believe the issue is with software patents, not copywrites. If they have software patents over processes that are used in other OS, it doesn't matter if the exact code was used, just the process that is patented.

Re:The Old Days (1)

levik (52444) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137182)

So what do these patents cover? Neither this CNet story, nor any linked off of it gave any indications to SCO's actual claims of what IP of theirs is being infringed upon.

Re:The Old Days (3, Insightful)

EricWright (16803) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137189)

The problem is that no one seems to know, or at least isn't saying, exactly what routines/IP/patents are being investigated. Remember, patents only last for 17 years from issuance of patent, or 20 years from application for patent, whichever expires first. Anything patented pre-1986 (or applied for before 1983) will have fallen into public domain already.

I'm not entirely sure what you can do if, after your patent expires, you find out that someone was violating your patent while it was still valid.

From what I gather... (4, Insightful)

Interrobang (245315) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137208)

...(IANAPL, and I'm not an expert on US patents) they may be able to get any UNIX-like system on that pesky "prior art" provision, not necessarily because it specifically violates any putative patents by reusing code. After all, as the other poster (and anyone who cares to do a little research) knows, both Linux and BSD originate from independent, non-UNIX codebases. The ideational structure, the "Unix-like-ness," however, that makes these OSes what they are, may be the problem, in fact (actually, de facto AND de jure). And that's a big problem, since it's utterly impossible (?) to get around.

Re:The Old Days (3, Interesting)

kp2sushi (638066) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137129)

There is a fundamental difference between the AT&T days and now. AT&T was concerned over the use of of AT&T code, not AT&T features. The issue back then was copyright, now it is software patents. BSD was able to give AT&T the finger by rewriting the entire code base. Linux may be in trouble because it may violate an SCO patent. Where the kernel does this is anybody's guess; I've never heard of anyone patenting system calls, the TCP/IP stack, the VFS layer, etc. A quick search of the US patent office does not return any SCO patents. If they have a leg to stand on, I do not know. I'd like to see these patents before I believe that SCO can do anything. Oh, and I'd pass the word on never using an SCO (Caldera) product again. They just dug a very deep hole. -Kp2

Re:The Old Days (3, Informative)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137137)

FreeBSD includes software compatibility layers (such as Linux, etc.) that also includes some System V shims and code that could be targetted by SCO. I believe the kernel module that could be in question is svr4.ko along with the stuff under /usr/src/sys/svr4.

NetBSD and OpenBSD may also have the same code or code derivatives in their base system's source.

I believe it was 4.4Lite that was the result of the BSD vs. AT&T court case, which in itself was a re-write to be "clean" of any AT&T source code... or at least clean enough for AT&T to allow it's distribution. I could be wrong though...

System V init (4, Informative)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137138)

SCO owns the IP for System V. Linux uses several concepts from the System V design, not the least of which is the Linux init system which is a direct take off of the System V method.

Re:System V init (3, Interesting)

kaisyain (15013) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137207)

Except for those Linux systems which don't use sysvinit, I guess you mean. I think Gentoo, for instance, uses something other than sysvinit. There's no real reason other distributions couldn't as well. sysvinit isn't part of the linux kernel, it is just a piece of software; you can put anything you want in /sbin/init.

Re:The Old Days (4, Interesting)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137192)

Yes it did, but as I understand it the issues was "copyrighted" code (i.e. chunks of code taken verbatim from AT&T). In this case it seems to be about patents. I.e. they don't give a shit about how you implemented something, they're only interested that you *did* implement it (assuming they own the patent).

My prediction: all the big dogs will cross license with each other (because if you dig deep enough I'm sure SCO/Caldera is infringing on some Apple/MS/IBM/Sun patent). The only thing I worry about is Linux and *BSD since the don't have any IP to hold over SCOs head to force them to cross license (maybe IBM will bitch slap them into not persuing the free unicies)

dyslexic (3, Funny)

greechneb (574646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137025)

my guess is they reversed the old quote:

"Instead of if you can't beat them, join them"

"They view it as if you can't join them, beat them"

ugh.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137140)

your incorrect use of quotation marks is going to make me dyslexic


cerskine (202611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137026)

...Boies hires SCO Group!

question (4, Funny)

tps12 (105590) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137030)

I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.

Does that include Linux?

Re:question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137186)

but ... but ... Linux is a kernel. And SCO didn't make the kernel. They just like to think that the concepts involved in a kernel's functionality belong to them.

(Of course, I didn't read the article. Whatever. :)

the end of SCO? (0, Offtopic)

bhsx (458600) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137031)

Well, maybe, but not the end of Ransom Love.
He'll be back in sequel after sequal that really wasn't a sequel afterall.
(Am I the only one who thinks he's a double-oh agent for MI5?)

Which Patents? (3, Interesting)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137036)

Anyone know which patents these are? SysV has been around a long time, and AT&T sold it a long time ago, the patents may not have a lot of life left in them.

Re:Which Patents? (5, Interesting)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137209)

I don't think it's patents, per se. Software patents just didn't exist in the days that most of what we now consider to be 'Unix' was written.

It's likely just plain-old-ordinary copyright and licensing issues. It seems that the argument would go that some people are using SCO software outside of the bounds of the license agreement that they originally agreed to.

I've heard some people assert that this means that SCO is asserting that they own 'ls', for example, and that nobody can use 'ls' without a license from SCO. That's only partially correct -- nobody can use *their version* without permission. But, that doesn't prevent the GNU people from writing 'ls' by themselves in a manner that behaves exactly like the SCO S/W.

I suspect that what they're really trying to target is people who use certain SCO software outside of SCO unix and aren't paying for the right to use it.

That being said, though, you gotta worry if a big chunk of SCO's revenue comes from lawsuits and not from new technology. It's 2003, for crying out loud -- how long can you milk 30-year-old technology?

Maybe they just want to kill Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137037)

This is a microsoft conspiracy I tell you!!!!


Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137071)


Terveisin: p3p3

Request, please read, important!!!!!!!!!1111111111 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137039)

SUX0r my dix0r!!!!111

note:I'm very very drunk!

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!
Reason: Please use fewer 'junk' characters.

Re:Request, please read, important!!!!!!!!!1111111 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137101)

It's me again.

This is vary importent to me! Sux my dix"!!"#!"#!"#!"#!"#123123123123

Seriously! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137149)

Sux my dix0r!!!!!!!1111111

T on trke (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137178)

Imekää mun pippeliä!

huom:ei typoja!

What about BE OS and Apple ][e? (2, Funny)

Dolemite_the_Wiz (618862) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137044)

I hear they are ripe for a lawsuit from SCO?


Aren't *BSDs 4.4BSD Lite-derived? (3, Interesting)

kwoo (641864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137051)

It seems to me that OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD are derived from 4.4BSD Lite -- which I believe is covered by the original BSD license. It would seem to me that trying to pursue something like that legally would simply be a great waste of time and money.

That being said, it does sound a bit like SCO has given up trying to make money the honest way and brought in the land sharks...

Re:Aren't *BSDs 4.4BSD Lite-derived? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137125)

The End of FreeBSD

[ed. note: in the following text, former FreeBSD developer Mike Smith gives his reasons for abandoning FreeBSD]

When I stood for election to the FreeBSD core team nearly two years ago, many of you will recall that it was after a long series of debates during which I maintained that too much organisation, too many rules and too much formality would be a bad thing for the project.

Today, as I read the latest discussions on the future of the FreeBSD project, I see the same problem; a few new faces and many of the old going over the same tired arguments and suggesting variations on the same worthless schemes. Frankly I'm sick of it.

FreeBSD used to be fun. It used to be about doing things the right way. It used to be something that you could sink your teeth into when the mundane chores of programming for a living got you down. It was something cool and exciting; a way to spend your spare time on an endeavour you loved that was at the same time wholesome and worthwhile.

It's not anymore. It's about bylaws and committees and reports and milestones, telling others what to do and doing what you're told. It's about who can rant the longest or shout the loudest or mislead the most people into a bloc in order to legitimise doing what they think is best. Individuals notwithstanding, the project as a whole has lost track of where it's going, and has instead become obsessed with process and mechanics.

So I'm leaving core. I don't want to feel like I should be "doing something" about a project that has lost interest in having something done for it. I don't have the energy to fight what has clearly become a losing battle; I have a life to live and a job to keep, and I won't achieve any of the goals I personally consider worthwhile if I remain obligated to care for the project.


I'm sure that I've offended some people already; I'm sure that by the time I'm done here, I'll have offended more. If you feel a need to play to the crowd in your replies rather than make a sincere effort to address the problems I'm discussing here, please do us the courtesy of playing your politics openly.

From a technical perspective, the project faces a set of challenges that significantly outstrips our ability to deliver. Some of the resources that we need to address these challenges are tied up in the fruitless metadiscussions that have raged since we made the mistake of electing officers. Others have left in disgust, or been driven out by the culture of abuse and distraction that has grown up since then. More may well remain available to recruitment, but while the project is busy infighting our chances for successful outreach are sorely diminished.

There's no simple solution to this. For the project to move forward, one or the other of the warring philosophies must win out; either the project returns to its laid-back roots and gets on with the work, or it transforms into a super-organised engineering project and executes a brilliant plan to deliver what, ultimately, we all know we want.

Whatever path is chosen, whatever balance is struck, the choosing and the striking are the important parts. The current indecision and endless conflict are incompatible with any sort of progress.

Trying to dissect the above is far beyond the scope of any parting shot, no matter how distended. All I can really ask of you all is to let go of the minutiae for a moment and take a look at the big picture. What is the ultimate goal here? How can we get there with as little overhead as possible? How would you like to be treated by your fellow travellers?


To the Slashdot "BSD is dying" crowd - big deal. Death is part of the cycle; take a look at your soft, pallid bodies and consider that right this very moment, parts of you are dying. See? It's not so bad.

To the bulk of the FreeBSD committerbase and the developer community at large - keep your eyes on the real goals. It's when you get distracted by the politickers that they sideline you. The tireless work that you perform keeping the system clean and building is what provides the platform for the obsessives and the prima donnas to have their moments in the sun. In the end, we need you all; in order to go forwards we must first avoid going backwards.

To the paranoid conspiracy theorists - yes, I work for Apple too. No, my resignation wasn't on Steve's direct orders, or in any way related to work I'm doing, may do, may not do, or indeed what was in the tea I had at lunchtime today. It's about real problems that the project faces, real problems that the project has brought upon itself. You can't escape them by inventing excuses about outside influence, the problem stems from within.

To the politically obsessed - give it a break, if you can. No, the project isn't a lemonade stand anymore, but it's not a world-spanning corporate juggernaut either and some of the more grandiose visions going around are in need of a solid dose of reality. Keep it simple, stupid.

To the grandstanders, the prima donnas, and anyone that thinks that they can hold the project to ransom for their own agenda - give it a break, if you can. When the current core were elected, we took a conscious stand against vigorous sanctions, and some of you have exploited that. A new core is going to have to decide whether to repeat this mistake or get tough. I hope they learn from our errors.


I started work on FreeBSD because it was fun. If I'm going to continue, it has to be fun again. There are things I still feel obligated to do, and with any luck I'll find the time to meet those obligations.

However I don't feel an obligation to get involved in the political mess the project is in right now. I tried, I burnt out. I don't feel that my efforts were worthwhile. So I won't be standing for election, I won't be shouting from the sidelines, and I probably won't vote in the next round of ballots.

You could say I'm packing up my toys. I'm not going home just yet, but I'm not going to play unless you can work out how to make the project somewhere fun to be again.

= Mike


To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. -- Theodore Roosevelt

FreeBSD is dying

Re:Aren't *BSDs 4.4BSD Lite-derived? (2, Informative)

questionlp (58365) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137171)

I believe that is the case, but FreeBSD (and possibly NetBSD and OpenBSD) include a System V compatibility layer that allows programs to use System V calls via shims and a kernel module. That could be the code that SCO is aiming at.

Re:Aren't *BSDs 4.4BSD Lite-derived? (1)

kwoo (641864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137241)

I believe that is the case, but FreeBSD (and possibly NetBSD and OpenBSD) include a System V compatibility layer that allows programs to use System V calls via shims and a kernel module. That could be the code that SCO is aiming at.

That could very well be. Wouldn't it be terribly ironic to have the Unix Wars settled by SCO? I always thought that BSD would come out on top, and if your suggestion is correct, that would pretty much assure it, at least in the open source space.

Re:Aren't *BSDs 4.4BSD Lite-derived? (1)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137239)

That being said, it does sound a bit like SCO has given up trying to make money the honest way and brought in the land sharks...

What does Chevy Chase have to do with this?

Danger of "defensive" legal costs (4, Insightful)

fetta (141344) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137062)

The real danger here, IMO, is the uncertainty. How much are companies going to have to spend to assess their potential liability and prepare a potential defense even if they are never sued? How many companies will go with proprietary solutions because they view them as "safer" from a legal perspective? What projects never get launched because they don't have the resources to even determine their own potential liabilities?

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (4, Insightful)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137087)

Uncertainty my ass. When was the last time Boies actually won a case? He's living proof that high-profile failures will advance your career more than low-profile successes. Short SCO.

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (4, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137180)

Let's just hope, for the sake of consistency, that "Boies will be Boies".

Quote from their site: SCO Linux 4.0 powered by UnitedLinux is the next generation enterprise class Linux operating system.

So, what's to keep Linus from asserting his copyright over the term "Linux" and not allowing SCO to use it?

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (3, Interesting)

ZoneGray (168419) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137227)

>> what's to keep Linus from asserting his copyright over the term "Linux"

Interesting point. Actually, there's copyright, and there's trademark; trademark is a right that you have to exercise in order to protect it. I wonder if Linus has ever enforced the trademark, and if he hasn't, maybe he ought to give it some thought.

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137235)

Another dumbass who can't keep patents/copyrights/trademarks straight. Nice job, dork.

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (2, Funny)

SpazAttak (104723) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137089)

Perhaps it's their version of an economic stimulus package

Re: Danger of "defensive" legal costs (4, Insightful)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137181)

The real danger here, IMO, is the uncertainty.

You have that exactly right. SCO is poisoning the market for Unix derivatives and the only winner here will be Microsoft. I can almost see the ads now, featuring Steve Ballmer pacing around a boardroom table like a caged tiger, grimly intoning, "Who knows how much Linux costs? With Windows XP, you don't have to worry about being sued."

What SCO is doing is exactly like the guy who shoots his ex-wife because, "If I can't have her, no one can."

OTOH, I doubt it will actually get out of hand, considering our friend IBM's ability to bury annoying IP pranksters like SCO under a ton of patent infringement suits. Moreover, if my organization used SCO products, I would take this as a dire warning to find other, more scrupulous vendors to deal with.

Re:Danger of "defensive" legal costs (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137225)

This is true no matter what software or hardware you use.

Patents can strike proprietary solutions just as easily as open source solutions. The difference is that with the open source solution you can say, "oh my, you're right... we infringe on that very patent!" and hire someone to replace the offending code. With a proprietary solution you may not even be able to get your vendor to confirm that the software does or does not infringe without taking them to court!

I love the irony. (0, Interesting)

ProtonMotiveForce (267027) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137064)

David Boiieies, hero of the Linux folk! God bless him, he went up against evil Microsoft!

Now, he's a pariah. Bad David, Bad!

I absolutely adore this. It's quite funny.

You're even hypocritical enough to say "if you can't compete, sue"! Nevermind that Sun, Netscape, and the various states' attorneys lived by the same mantra when they went after Microsoft.

This is great. I love it. I hope they tear a swath of destruction across your beloved Linux vendors. It's only fair, since you all cheered him on when he went after MS.

Where's my knife, I need to cut through the irony.

Re:I love the irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137120)

please mod this asshole to "troll" or "flamebait"

Re:I love the irony. (1)

Cyclometh (629276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137199)

He may be an ass, but he's got a point. Boies was at one point the hero, now he's the goat.

not everyone cheered attacks on Microsoft (1, Interesting)

timothy (36799) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137166)

"This is great. I love it. I hope they tear a swath of destruction across your beloved Linux vendors. It's only fair, since you all cheered him on when he went after MS."

No, not everyone.

I think that the DOJ case against Microsoft was motivated mostly by envy, greed, misunderstanding, spite and grandstanding. I think it sets a horrible precedent for allowing the government to decide matters which should be left to the market. (Trivial example: like whether and to what degree a web browser should be entangled with an operating system). I am not a fan of Microsoft software, and I don't think tax dollars should be used to pay for source-secret software, but I don't think Microsoft is evil.

Microsoft has done some things I think are bad, some of which are worthy of legal remedies, but that's beside the point I'm making here, which is that there is no single "pro-Linux" viewpoint on the Microsoft persecution / prosecution in which Boies was involved.


Re:I love the irony. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137237)

I don't think there is anything ironic or hypocritical about noting that a hired gun is no longer working for the same interests he supported before.

Guys, I need some help!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Amsterdam Vallon (639622) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137068)

I give up. I finally got epoch4.0p0 built on this lame-ass piece of sh*t because SCO puts those routines in libX.a.


And, it immediately barfs because the gethostname() method, thus bringing my machine and its software down with it.

The call is correct according to the spec, but it's returning -1. Perror tells me it's an "invalid argument" which sounds like a garbage error message and doesn't really tell me anything.

So I hack around that and I start getting "Xlib: sequence lost..." errors. The epoch process then goes into CPU-eating mode and I eventually kill it from the command line.

If anyone manages to get this very popular app working in SCO (I had it on Linux), please
let me know how you did it.

Astalavista SCO (2, Insightful)

FreeLinux (555387) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137070)

As I stated in a post from the earlier article, this action is a serious threat to SCO's future and I am not certain that SCO has fully examined the fallout that this announcement will cause, regardless of the final outcome.

The very fact that SCO flat out lied, yes lied, in last week's announcement will seriously impact the level of trust that any vendor or customer might have had in SCO.

The CNet article did not discuss the audience's reaction to this announcement but, I doubt very much that it was well received. Would anyone that witnessed the announcement and the audience's reaction care to report on it?

Re:Astalavista SCO (1)

valisk (622262) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137170)

They are a gang of backstabbing fuckers.
I emailed them to let them know that as a previous user of both Unixware and OpenLinux I would never buy anything which would give them money ever again, and today I have thrown both sets of software into the bin.
Astalavista indeed you cunts.

har har (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137073)

i simply enjoy having sex with their mothers

Demand SCO stop this nonsense/Cancel contracts (1)

nerdherder (71005) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137076)

Those of you that are SCO customers should demand they stop this nonsense or you will cancel your contracts and all other purchases with them. I know I am.

Beat by MS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137077)

I hate lawyers as much as the next guy, but MS beat these guys by not letting Caldera's version of DOS gain entry into the market place.

Does he ever win? (5, Interesting)

nearlygod (641860) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137080)

So he defended Napster... That ended well. He fought Microsoft... Does that count as a win? He worked on Al Gores case in the Florida voting fiasco... Good job on that, too.

Re:Does he ever win? (2, Insightful)

flux (5274) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137117)

Perhaps he was the only lawyer that would take the case?

I wonder who they'll try to scare first. (1)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137086)

If they will go after the small companies to bankroll enough to go after the larger companies, or go after the large ones first in an effort to scare the smaller ones to cave in.

SCO/Caldera. (-1)

Lord Hugh Toppingham (319381) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137093)

Say what you like about Caldera, for a while it was quite simply teh best distro evar!

Why shouldn't SCO use every means at their disposal to protect their intellectual property rights ? The USA is a democratic republic, if you don't like the laws, vote for someone to change them, but stop whinging and whining because someone hires a lawyer.

I suppose you are one of those people who thinks 'lawyer jokes' are funny.

*BSD is dying (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137096)

It is official; Netcraft now confirms: *BSD is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered *BSD community when IDC confirmed that *BSD market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that *BSD has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. *BSD is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last [] in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be a Kreskin [] to predict *BSD's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD because *BSD is dying. Things are looking very bad for *BSD. As many of us are already aware, *BSD continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

FreeBSD is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time FreeBSD developers Jordan Hubbard and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: FreeBSD is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

OpenBSD leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of OpenBSD. How many users of NetBSD are there? Let's see. The number of OpenBSD versus NetBSD posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 NetBSD users. BSD/OS posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of NetBSD posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of BSD/OS. A recent article put FreeBSD at about 80 percent of the *BSD market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 FreeBSD users. This is consistent with the number of FreeBSD Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Walnut Creek, abysmal sales and so on, FreeBSD went out of business and was taken over by BSDI who sell another troubled OS. Now BSDI is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

All major surveys show that *BSD has steadily declined in market share. *BSD is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If *BSD is to survive at all it will be among OS dilettante dabblers. *BSD continues to decay. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD is dead.

Fact: *BSD is dying

GPL, Linux and software patents. (4, Insightful)

wayne (1579) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137107)

The GPL requires people/companies that distrubute software under the GPL and hold patents for that software to grant royalty free use of those patents for everyone. Since SCO distributes a version of Linux, all code their distribution must be free of any problems with their patents.

Re:GPL, Linux and software patents. (2, Interesting)

13Echo (209846) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137236)

I was going to mention this. I wonder why they haven't figured this out already? Caldera's "OpenLinux" was GPL software.

Another thing that got me was the article's mention of "older versions of Windows" having BSD code. If I am not mistake, isn't the current NT/XP software still running off of some BSD-based network code?

Sue everybody on the way down.... (4, Funny)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137108)

...and hope you can salvage a few dollars for your shareholders after the Chapter 7 filing.

You could call it "Plan Be."

Didn't Caldera already sue Microsoft and lose?

Re:Sue everybody on the way down.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137244)

They sued over Dr. Dos.... and settled out of court...
This would be another seperate suit...

I'd love to see them sue some company in Canada. They sue, they loose, they pay the opposing parties legal costs...
best defence against stupid suits...

Boies & SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137110)

Hey, no worries, seems this guy's a spectacular failure (even when he "wins"):

Boies is noted in the computing industry for working on the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust case against Microsoft and for defending music-sharing site Napster. He also represented Al Gore in the Florida vote-counting controversy during the 2000 presidential elections.

I am sick of the idiots on this board. (1, Insightful)

bmetzler (12546) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137112)

Does anyone else see this as the end of SCO (Caldera) like I do? I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.

Have you ever considered legally licensing SCO's IP if you are going to use it? That's what the issue is all about.

Why am I not hearing outrage from the crowds because Microsoft still dares license their software? Shouldn't I be able to copy Windows at will? Of course not.

So let's adhere to SCO's licensing agreements and everything will be fine. Otherwise if you steal from SCO, I don't feel any more sorry for you then if you have stole from Microsoft.


Re:I am sick of the idiots on this board. (1, Interesting)

Neck_of_the_Woods (305788) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137214)

Most people don't like the idea of what you are saying. Someone made something to make money!!!OMG!

Just because you have been getting it for free does not make it yours to take. Apply that to mp3, software, or patents.

God forbid your boss walk up to you and say "you know I should not pay you for your work."

Think about all the overtime you work, do you think you should be paid for it? There ya go, someone is stealing from you and you let it happen does that make it right? Should you try to find a way to get your due money? Is that wrong?

Sorry, I don't have a problem with them doing this.

Re:I am sick of the idiots on this board. (1)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137221)

Um hello? This shouldn't have been patentable in the first place. Software code should NOT be patentable. This is just another sign that the US patent system needs a MAJOR overhaul and that we need to get the laws changed so that software (which is technically a mathematical process) can no longer be patentable.

Until that happens, lawsuits like this will continue to stifle innovation, prevent competition and hurt the economy as a result.

What we need is a broad coalition of software developers (big names and small) to start lobbying congress to deal with this longstanding problem before it gets any worse.

Re:I am sick of the idiots on this board. (4, Insightful)

Wateshay (122749) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137232)

I think the issue is that SCO is taking very old patents (let's face it, there's not much new in Unix/Linux) that have remained unenforced for a very long time, and now that they are in financial trouble they're trying to create a cash cow at the expense of the entire rest of the industry. Is it really fair for a company that has created nothing (remember, they bought the IP) to set the entire computer industry back 5-10 years in order to save themselves from their own bad business decisions. It may be legal, but it sure as hell isn't ethical.

(Let's also remember that they seem to be wanting to charge a rediculously high fee for these patents. A per processor cost of > $100 is hardly reasonable.)

Ways to Shoot Yourself in the Foot (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137114)

SCO: Here hold my beer while I show 'ya somethin'. Hey, everybody watch this!
SCO: Damn, I missed my foot. Here, lemme try that again . . .
SCO: There, that's better. Now I'll never be able to walk again!

Is the threat real? (1)

Maimun (631984) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137121)

I was asking the same question
last time this news came up.
*Precisely* which patents do
SCO have in mind? Does anyone
know? The article mentions
nothing concrete, just like last
time. Hmmm... FUD?

Oh brother (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137127)

The sad thing is I like SCO OpenServer. I ditched Caldera primarily due to poor support and a seemingly "go away, ya bother me" attitude. Then all the licensing hooplah. Not this? Someone must plan on profitting from their failure. This is just rediculous. Evidently Randsome Love is not too far removed from SCO or he's clean and it was someone else in the company all along. This, in mind opinion, also taints United Linux. >

"never use anything from them ever again" (1)

Karamchand (607798) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137133)

By doing so you support what you criticize: So if your technology can't win on price and performance, break out the lawyers and sue everyone.

If you are really against this then continue using what's best suited for your needs.

Cheers everyone.

threats to boycott Caldera (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137139)

Many posters to the original story and even the submitter of this story say something to the effect "I won't use their products! Take that Caldera!!!" Let me point out before we get a million more similar posts that Caldera doesn't care. Their business model is screwed and they know it. So they won't be caring at this point if they lose customers or goodwill. The only way they can now dream of making cash is to try and bully people who run unices or unix related technologies into paying a settlement or royalties. So they don't care. There is little you could do to them at this point that would make them care. Sure, ATT lost to BSD in a similar suit...but that was over copyright issues. Caldera could muddle the IP argument long enough to get some people to pay them of rather than fight themf. That's their goal. It sucks but this is a typical business tactic by a market loser.

Whats To Worry About? (5, Funny)

Steve Cox (207680) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137162)

Lets look at this guys track record:

Defending Napster: Failure
Representing Al-Gore: Failure
Anti-trust Against Microsoft: Failure

I'm shaking in my boots :)


Alternatives (1)

ZX3 Junglist (643835) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137164)

Well I guess it's back to MS-DOS for me. Oh wait, that's sorta similar to Caldera's DR-DOS isn't it? There's another lawsuit. Maybe I can hop to OS/2 and hope that I can keep out of SCO's crosshairs there..

Face it (5, Insightful)

ceswiedler (165311) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137172)

It's entirely possible that SCO's claims are accurate. If they inherited valid software patents on some of the basic designs of UNIX, then they have a government-granted right to sue any company which uses those designs.

We all view UNIX as being freely copyable in its design, because traditionally it has been. Linux shares no code with the original UNIX, but it does share both design and interfaces such as syscalls. This is not a copyright issue, it is a patent issue. If the patents are valid, then it's possible Linux is infringing by its very existence. The BSDs are in a different camp, because of their heritage and the previous agreements between Berkely and AT&T, but possibly they're infringing as well.

Of course, it's also possible that there is no actual patent infringement going on. But that depends on what AT&T decided to do back in the day regarding patenting UNIX. I know that IBM's standard policy is to patent *everything*.

(cue Gary Oldman at the end of The Professional: "EVERYTHING!" )

If he lives up to his track record... (1)

jj_johny (626460) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137176)

Then we don't have anything to worry about except the large legal bills that everyone on the other side will have. After all he did such a great job with MS that they have been broken up and are now several companies that compete with each other. (oh yeah that was how it was supposed to end.)

But wait... (1)

Fizzlewhiff (256410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137183)

I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.

If they are right and they win, then you are already using their stuff. :)

caldera has been dead (1)

dextr0us (565556) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137184)

caldera has been dead since after redhat 5 came out. i used to use caldera, but then i switched to deb and have loved it ever since. caldera hasn't had a damn chance ever, so i guess they need to recoup their investment, and suing everyone that "has your technology" seems like a good idea.

BSD's safe (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137185)

All the BSD's based upon 4.4BSD-Lite (which is all of them) are safe from any action by SCO....UCB was sued by AT&T in the mid '90s....the lawyers went through the code and the BSD's have the legal documents to demonstrate that they dont have any SCO code. Windows and Linux and others may have some issues here.

My very first PC based *NIX was SCO.... (1)

GeneralEmergency (240687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137197)

...and damn you SCO, and your smelly IP lawyers, for soiling that fond memory.

Lawyer Karma (1)

Prohest (642173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137202)

..In my next life I want to be a lawyer in the US.

I don't know what my problem is but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce!

poor SCO (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137203)

Didn't they know that if they broadcast their IP they might be subject to attack?

Which company is the most hated by geek? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137206)

MS or SCO?

Weird thought ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137211)

Didn't SCO used to have close ties with old MS? Maybe there's
some under the table stuff going on and is one of MS' way to
attack linux. Just a thought. A weird one at that.

It's Like Recycling (5, Insightful)

Googol (63685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137212)

Think of the internet as a big dump filled with potential, er, recycling materials. A lot of it is trash but there is some good stuff there. Anyone can go out and pick up stuff and build stuff with it. Only, digital copying and transmission technology means that if someone happens to throw away a split-level ranch house we can all live in nice houses.

So how do you keep this from happening if you are in the business of selling houses? (1) control the real estate market [hardware] so you can have a nice house but no place to put it; (2) cut off access to the dump; (3) make recycling illegal; (4) claim you own the stuff in the dump.

So SCO wants #4 today. What else is new. They'll all be tried. They're all a problem.

The real problem is not today's battle on thus-and-such a front. It's that there are a *lot* of people out there who have it out for recycling of *anything* that people can live in.


Dr DOS, M.D. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137213)

Does anyone else see this as the end of SCO (Caldera) like I do? I certainly will never use anything from them ever again.

The good news is that you can keep on using Dr DOS, as it is now the property of DeviceLogics, Inc. [] . You can download it from their web site without a cash payment.

SCOX is dead meat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137222)

The Caldera/SCO chart doesn't look very good. [] . They've alread flirted with getting de-listed and must maintain a per share stock price of over $1. They are hemmoraging money, losing almost $2/share. These guys are history. Chapter 11 filing. They know that geeks will boycott them but their only asset is the ownership of the "UNIX" trademark. So just sue everyone on the way down. Historicly, SCO was Bill Gates' trojan horse into the Unix community. This suit is just a continuation of the tradition.

Some clarification please!! (1)

binner1 (516856) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137229)

In all of these SCO is (not) going to sue stories, the jist is the same. Linux (and now apparently other OS's) are using some SCO IP somehow. What any of these stories fail to mention is which SCO IP this is.

SCO would like us to 'license' this IP from them, and that's all fine and good. Personally, I'd rather remove the code, give SCO the big FU, and carry on.

Does anyone know which libraries are being contested here? Just curious.


sco feedback form address (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5137234)

hey let them know- here's the url: _dir= and a sample (not very good) comment I dashed off- Just wanted to write a letter to let you know that because of your legal actions via David Boies against other Linux vendors (posted on Slashdot and exposed to millions of potential customers etc. this morning), I am going to make sure that I don't purchase anything or use anything from you guys ever again, and I will endeavour to make sure to let others know about this as well. I'm a lab computer administrator at a large research university, and a lot of people get in touch with me to ask about these sorts of decisions. I'm not sending a rant or trying to vent, but I thought if you could forward this to someone who might be able to see the volume of comments like this one and realize that they're going to go out of business and put you out of a job if they pursue this course I thought it might be constructive. Thanks a lot for your time.

I wouldn't be too worried.. (2, Interesting)

jmscott42 (205767) | more than 11 years ago | (#5137238)

As everyone else is saying, look at his track record. His cases seem to be presented with questionable tactics, not fully exploring the ramifications of what he is arguing for, and attacking the case on one tiny point, missing a bigger picture. I remember reading a lot about his work for Gore, that he was so focused on certain demands in the case that he missed arguing for other things he could have won. For the Microsoft case, he was obsessed with the browser issue, missing many points related to Microsoft's behaviour in the bigger picture.

For such a hugely hyped lawyer, he manages to make swiss cheese of the most open-and-shut cases. Now if they had hired Johnny Cochran, I'd be concerned...
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