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SCO Sues IBM for Sharing Secrets with Unix and Linux

CowboyNeal posted more than 11 years ago | from the suing-the-power-back dept.

The Courts 914

bstadil writes "The information is still sparse but the expected lawsuits from SCO over Unix/Linux patent infringements has been filed." SCO is asking for a billion dollars. and Forbes are also covering the story.

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OMG (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455972)

New comment creation has been disabled on this discussion.

IBM is smart.

Revolutions (-1)

The Lyrics Guy (539223) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455973)

Revolutions on 88.9 WERS in Boston. Playing the best electronic music from 11PM - 3AM every weekday. Tune in now!

it was bound to happen... (1, Insightful) (562495) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455975)

conflict of interest?

Re:it was bound to happen...Gimmee,gimme. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456115)

Money is always a "conflict"

BSODs done right []

IN OTHER NEWS... (3, Funny)

YOU ARE SO FIRED! (635925) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455979)

... Dr. Evil hired as president of SCO.

First post when posting is disabled?

Re:IN OTHER NEWS... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456001)

Anti-first-post mechanism!

billion dollars? (4, Interesting)

rppp01 (236599) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455980)

Yeah, and I am asking SCO for a unix that actually runs reliably, but it ain't gonna happen, buddy.

No, really. SCO should worry less about suing over linux and unix and secrets, and more about putting out a product that doesn't suck so badly.

Re:billion dollars? (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456020)

I've had great success with Openserver 5.5, although it only runs Progress.

The only limits I have is the freaking user licenses. That's killing me.

Re:billion dollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456123)

I think you mean 5.0.5? We haven't had great success :-( It's fallen over needing a reboot twice in the past two days. We're running Informix, gcc builds, a bunch of proprietary software, NFS and SMB shares from it and it sucks royally. That said, Red Hat isn't playing too nice either because the NFS implementation sucks so badly. I really wonder what amazing OS people are using when they say UNIX rocks on Slashdot. The only UNIX i've ever used that rocked (and never crashed or hung) was Digital UNIX. Is it a hardware issue?

Re:billion dollars? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456058)

Why bother? Billion has nine zeroes!!!
that's $1,000,000,000.00.
Fuck it - good enough.

Re:billion dollars? (1)

shepd (155729) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456111)

>Why bother? Billion has nine zeroes!!!

Or twelve if you're not American [] .

New comment creation has been disabled on this dis (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455982)

How am I to get first post with this shit in the way!?

Suck my dick Coyboi...

Re:New comment creation has been disabled on this (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456011)


i got the first post, read up ;)

Damn dirty apes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456027)


one *billion* dollars! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455983)

... he says with the evil pinky held to his lips...

They lowered the boom (5, Insightful)

ajf442 (139842) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455984)

When they hired Boies, you knew they meant business. But they are sueing someone with very deep pockets. I wonderhow deep SCO's are?

Re:They lowered the boom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456052)

"When they hired Boies, you knew they" a loser. The Microsoft mess is still a mess, and Gore got what he had coming to him.

Re:They lowered the boom (1)

archen (447353) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456054)

They're selling a product they essentially get for free (linux). I mean how can the NOT be making TONS of money?!? ;)

Re:They lowered the boom (1)

Penguin Follower (576525) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456075)

I *SO* hope IBM wins this...

Re:They lowered the boom (1)

hdparm (575302) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456131)

I wonderhow deep SCO's are?

I dunno but apparently deep enough to put $1B more into them. Proper translation is probably - Pretty Vacant.

This should do wonders for United Linux sales... (1)

chill (34294) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455986)

If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em. What a wonderful philosophy.

Re:This should do wonders for United Linux sales.. (5, Funny)

Fedhax (513562) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456048)

If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em. What a wonderful philosophy.

Yeah, Amazon is planning to file suit against SCO for violating its patent covering the process of suing someone for patent violations.

Re:This should do wonders for United Linux sales.. (2, Insightful)

rodgerd (402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456068)

More like: if you can't beat Linux, and no-one will buy it from you, make sure you destroy the Linux and Unix markets. Better to fuck up everything and hand it all over to Microsoft than to admit you're a worthless company.

wtf... (-1, Redundant)

ecchi_0 (647240) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455988)

i just saw a comment... hit refresh and it was gone! what the hell is going on?

LOC (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455990)

How many LOCs can be filled with 1 billion $1 bills?

secrets (1, Interesting)

trmj (579410) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455991)

no reply button

I would ask what kind of secrets are worth 1 billion dollars, but then I guess they wouldn't be that secret, now would they?

Re:secrets (2, Interesting)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456031)

Secrets or damages?

Just do some make-believe math. Estimate the base of Linux users, multiply it by the cost of SCO licenses and pow, you're done.

Re:secrets (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456043)

i'll tell you one secret that's worth one billion - Dick Cheney's underground bunkers :)

Re:secrets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456092)

I'll bet you that delay means people not only actually read the article, but, look no first posts.

it's grrrrrrrreat! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455992)

firrrrrrrrrrrrst post!

heh (1, Funny)

Spruce Moose (1857) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455993)

first lawsuit!

One Beeellion dollars? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455995)

Is Doctor Evil running the show at SCO now?

FRAWST PISTTE (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455996)

Frost pist??????:(

is that a crime? (-1, Flamebait)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 11 years ago | (#5455997)

everyone shares secrets, i mean how do you think we know where osama always is? i think its stupid for companies to nit pick at each other like that, it seems lame. and besides.. ibm is helping linux, so im not even going to start bashing on ibm today....

Re:is that a crime? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456033)

we know where Osama is?? You should tell the CIA!!! I don't think they have heard yet!

Re:is that a crime? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456037)

No you fucking retarded cock. Don't you have something better to do besides mindlessly spam online forums.

Jesus tapdancing christ go look at some gaping assholes or some other shit more up to your intellectual level.

I think I can say it for everyone, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5455999)

SCO is not our favourite puppy.

Btw, there is a OS News thread on the subject with lots of comments [] .

SCO is asking for a billion dollars. (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456002)

Does their lawyer look anything like Dr. Evil?

My earlier plea for sanity (5, Funny)

mosch (204) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456003)

During the previous article I made a call for peace. I suggested that it was too early to condemn SCO for they had done nothing vicious, and we had no way to tell precisely what was planned.

Clearly I was a fucking retard. They're fucking evil. Ban them. Send them emails which politely, yet firmly state that they smell like a llama's anus. Sick the Channel 7 ProblemSolvers on them.

Seriously, there's just no excuse. As a nation, we must rise up against this evil, and destroy it once and for all.

Re:My earlier plea for sanity (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456028)

I think this is the first time I've ever burst out laughing at something in the comments of slashdot. THat was too damn funny.

Thank You.

Re:My earlier plea for sanity (1)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456055)

I commend you for your honesty, and reccomend that you acquire the services of a lawyer should you ever have to go in front of the Judge. You're self-destructive!

As for the uprising, where do I sign?

I own my server outright, but I'm not going to add any more licenses to it. That's the only way I can vote.

Re:My earlier plea for sanity (1)

Z4rd0Z (211373) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456126)

Send them emails which politely, yet firmly state that they smell like a llama's anus.

Anyone have anything clever to add to that?

Who are they kidding?? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456005)

One billion dollars?

Did they consult with Dr. Evil to come up with that?

in other sco related news.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456007)

today sco also announced they are moving their centre of operations to a hollowed out volcano, and branching out to the lucrative area of 'fricken sharks with fricken laser beams on their fricken heads'

*pinky finger to mouth*

Re:in other sco related news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456096)

you know a movie has made its intended impact when out of the first 30 or so comments on this article, at least half were austin powers jokes, and all this triggered by nothing more than a sum of money...

now.. wheres my.. orange sherbeeerrrrt

Damn... (1) (637314) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456008)

I just got horrible flash backs of Dr Evil going "One Billion dollars!". Unfortunately I couldn't get to the main article... but the had an interesting point.

This suit is against IBM, not all of Linux.

Re:Damn... (1)

Chmarr (18662) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456106)

The suit is against IBM at the moment. There's no guarantee that they won't also go after other companies that have 'used versions of Linux containing contributions made by IBM who misappropriated them from SCO'. No guarantees at all.

A companies purpose is to make money. If they win against IBM (and I'm not betting on that one, no way), then they are dutybound to their shareholders to increase the value of the shares, and then they'll start going after everyone else.

The ONLY valid solution is to lobby government to abandon such intellectual property rights. I don't mean give them up completely, but the current state of affairs is certainly not working.

call me immature (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456012)

call me immature, but is it possible that I actually
have the first post?

personally, i think sco needs to just shut up.
but maybe that's just me.

Re:call me immature (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456041)

nope you are way off

i had the first post, sadly so.

SCO execs ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456013)

do the world a favor and close shop already.

this is not the way to get in the good graces of the linux community, which, i'm sure, you've already alienated.

No one tell Linus... (1)

ReverendRyan (582497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456015)

Linux is a variant of Unix and isn't copyrighted.
No one tell Linus/Alan/et.all that Linux isn't copyrighted! They'll be pissed ;)

Re:No one tell Linus... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456084)

no shit? [mailto]

Interesting (1)

El Pollo Loco (562236) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456017)

"The principal winners in that would not be SCO, but Microsoft and potentially Sun." I figure MS and SUN are on SCO's side, but I wonder to what extent. Maybe they are thinking that the lawsuit itself is good enough, but that if somehow they won and recieved damages of a billion dollars, that IBM would be done for, in this economy.

Best quote ever, same old from SCO (5, Interesting)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456018)

"It's a fairly end-of-life move for the stockholders and managers of that company," said Jonathan Eunice, an Illuminata analyst. "Really what beat SCO is not any problem with what IBM did; it's what the market decided. This is a way of salvaging value out of the SCO franchise they can't get by winning in the marketplace." - Best and most accurate quote on SCO/Caldera ever imo.

Seriously tho, IBM says nothing for linux to fear but FUD itself (literally). Caldera/SCO dropped every single ball they've EVER been thrown, so much so that every thread ever started or ended here is basically a litanny of their mistakes. Sun makes UNIX, they're still alive, IBM still makes AIX, they're certainly alive, poor SCO is dead in the water so they sue.

My guess is the next thing they'll do is sell all their IP to microsoft, and microsoft will use it as a giant club against other vendors. So it's in our best interests to see them stay afloat, otherwise some other patent-abusing, money hungry group of corporate bastards with more money will have all of their "intellectual property" and will actually have the cash to use it. IBM has the cash to hold things up in court long enough to A> Have the costs of the settlement (if ever reached) be deferred by inflation and B> Have the underlying patents they're being sued for actually expire.

Plus, IBM is the former evil empire, they have no qualms whatsoever using their vast horde of defensive patents to counter sue someone into the ground.

Evil empire or no... (1)

intermodal (534361) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456105)

defensively used patents are sure as hell more welcome than offenseively used ones.

Business model of the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456021)

This is the successful business model of the future:

1) Hire more lawyers than engineers.

2) Sue.

3) Profit.

They'll be teaching it in Harvard soon.

Everyone Jumping On the Bandwagon (1, Troll)

fuzdout (585374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456022)

Everyone's so "sue-happy" these days it's pathetic.

First a moron sues McDonalds for spilling coffee on herself and now we have this!

[sarcasm] what next? Commander Taco sues slashdot?? [/sarcasm]

Re:Everyone Jumping On the Bandwagon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456119)

Everyone's so "sue-happy" these days it's pathetic.
First a moron sues McDonalds for spilling coffee on herself and now we have this!
[sarcasm] what next? Commander Taco sues slashdot?? [/sarcasm]

How dare you slander my client Mr. Taco? How dare slashdot allow this libel to be posted on its forums? We'll see you both in court!

Talk about fouling your own nest! (1)

Alexander Rubio (187698) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456025)

Wouldn't this fly in the face of them distributing ng Linux themselves under the GPL?

Hmmm.... (1)

GreyWolf3000 (468618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456030)

[Dr. Evil voice] I'd like a gagizzillion billon dollars[/Dr. Evil voice]

SCO needs to find a new business model other than charging for IP that they didn't even create. I mean, I can understand an author wanting exclusive rights to his work, but when you just "buy" an idea or concept (granted these libraries are much more than that) and sell rights to it, you are just depriving people of knowledge who are no less responsible (and indeed in some cases more) for the existence of said knowledge.

Honestly, what prevents a small group of people from pooling capital, purchasing tons of obscure but still used IP rights, and making a killing off of license fees that users are unaware of?

No copyright on Linux (1)

the_raptor (652941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456032)

From the article:
"Caldera's business has been hurt by the free Linux software that IBM has been supporting, Dow Jones said, citing Darl McBride, Caldera's chief executive. Linux is a variant of Unix and isn't copyrighted."

So in other words they are trying to corner the entire UNIX (and variants market)?

And Linux isnt copyrighted WTF! If it wasnt the GPL wouldnt protect it.

IBM (5, Interesting)

finkployd (12902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456038)

IBM probably has more technology patents than any other company on Earth (and possibly other planets, too early to tell). I'm willing to bet they can find hundreds of violations in SCO's product lines and bury them.

Either way though, you just know this is going to become a bullet point on Microsoft's next Linux FUD page ("see, use linux and you can get sued).


Gack. (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456039)

If SCO are thinking of going after other Linux suppliers such as Sun and Red Hat, then what really gets my goat is that SCO (in their former life as Caldera) would have been as much in violation of the UNIX IP as any of these companies.

Maybe we'll be treated to the sight of SCO becoming the first company to file suit against itself (yeah right...).

hmm... (4, Interesting)

lingqi (577227) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456040)

on the second page [] of the eweek [] article [] , it seems that SCO may have pretended to be a market-research company that called around and asked how would the companies feel if SCO had sued them on intellectual property rights. including SONY and Ford, which also runs linux on... stuff.

my immediate question is, Ford runs linux? on what?

and second question is, isn't SCO like... Caldera?

aaaanyway; I guess linux is taking away the marked share of UNIX boxes a lot more than it's headway into the desktop (windows) arena. fighting the wrong crowd, I'd say...

maybe microsoft will file a suit that says "we want damages because linux makes our business model un-profitable."

SCO - on the way out? (1)

!Squalus (258239) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456044)

Not a good move at all. I am not surprised though. I do not know anyone that uses Caldera anymore. The analysis seems correct - a desperate move. Maybe a last gasp. Seems awfully brazen and certainlt cannot say that they have anything to add to the GNU/Linux scene. Too bad for them.

I would be embarassed to work there and claim to have any kind of association with GNU/Linux. This is really low. Sad for the people who work there and must hate this type of action.

Not good at all for the community, and it certainly makes their defenders look foolish in the public eye.

Damn - why do people have to be so greedy?

CEO Interview (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456046)

There's another good story [] on this on eWeek which has an interview with the CEO of SCO.

Patents and secrets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456047)

If it's been patented, then it's not secret is it? That's part of the reason to have a patent process.

Kathleen's ass must be sore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456049)

I stuck it in her butt.
Bitch can't sit down!

Worst. Haiku. Evar. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456088)

It should look something like this:

Kathleen's butt is sore
I just kept on ramming her
A blood covered dick

Way to go, SCO! (2, Insightful)

farrellj (563) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456053)

SCO/Caldera sells Linux, this lawsuit is may have a chilling effect on Linux sales...why is SCO shooting itself in the foot?

If they had an idea about things, they would donate said IP to Linux/GNU, and reap many billions of Dollars of good will and karma, and I would go out and buy their distro to support them if that is what they had did.

When companies litigate instead of innovate, you know they are probably not long for this world.


Who's Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456056)

The question I would like to ask is who's next?
Apple? Sun? HP-UX?

Didn't these guys already sue UC Berkeley and the various *BSDs (FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, BSDi)? Would they sue them again?

Would this be a replay of Novell suing them?

Would they try to sue Red Hat since they are not part of SCO's UnitedLinux effort?

It sounds like SCO Unix has fallen behind in technology and sales, now the only way they can make money is sue people.

Biting off more than they can chew (5, Interesting)

stwrtpj (518864) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456059)

Of course, just as I post my story submission to slashdot on this, no sooner than I reload the page after submitting it when the story appears from someone else. Doh!

Seriously, though, I think I'll repeat a comment that I made in my story submission. Does anyone else think that SCO has bitten off more than they can chew? I knew that they were going to make a move, but I thought for sure they were going to pick an "easy" target, like some small Linux distributor. About as big a company as I suspected they would hit was Red Hat.

Suing IBM was a huge mistake. Or more accurately: suing IBM first was a big mistake. They should have done what other companies have, which is take on the little fish in the pond hoping some will roll over and pony up the dough, before attempting to harpoon the whale.

Not that I'm unhappy about this turn of events, mind you. IBM, which has had more experience in dealing with IP rights and patents in the little finger of one of their lawyers than SCO has in their entire company, will pound them into the dirt. The sound you are now hearing is that of the death dirge for SCO.

Takeover (5, Interesting)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456062)

Can IBM take over (buy) SCO, effectively cutting this lawsuit off?

IBM out litigated the federal government (1)

leereyno (32197) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456063)

Doesn't SCO know that IBM fought the federal government for decades and finally won?

I don't remember the details of the case, but I don't think IBM is the best company to get into a legal pissing contest with.

Re:IBM out litigated the federal government (1)

rodgerd (402) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456127)

They didn't win. Ronnie Reagan let them off, ordering the DOJ to leave them alone.

The irony is that had it not been for the antitrust action (which left IBM too afraid to develop the PC and the operating system for it), Microsoft would still be selling poorly debugged BASIC interpreters.

What's next... (1)

AEton (654737) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456064)

"Cash-strapped lawyer sues local playgrounds for infringement on swing patent [] "? Honestly.

It seems to me that if you're not going to vigorously defend your patent for years on end in face of its open--literally, in the case of open-source IBM/Linux initiatives--then you shouldn't be able to sue every manufacturer on the block like this for what amount to arbitrary infringements. I grant that patent rights are important to protect, but inaction unfairly intimates apathy (cough Rambus) and obfuscation only exacerbates the problem.

As thousands of Slashdotters with nearly identical opinions have elucidated before far better than can I, the American patent system badly needs great reform. Tsk.

gpl is seriously flawed (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456070)

The ability of undeclared patents to encumber gpl software is a serious flaw in the gpl. A company can embed patented technology in Linux, then allow it to be distributed to the community. After that they can, at their discretion, insist on licensing fees for use or distribution.

At this point the GPL kicks in and says that since distribution is encumbered, the GPL does not apply to the software and distribution must stop unless it can be arranged under other terms that IP owners agree to. You can imagine that many Linux contributors wouldn't agree to distribution except under the terms of the license they agreed to.

For use the case is also bad. The company owning the patents may insist on licensing fees from all users, or that they stop using the product.

Of course, the Linux solution would be to reimplement around the patents, but it would pose a big problem until that happened.

Note that this can happen to proprietary software as well (Microsoft is being sued by a company in similar financial shape to Caldera/SCO that they licensed software from earlier), but the lack of redistribution means that individual users and institutions are much less liable to face financial harm.

Allege! (5, Interesting)

ic3p1ck (597610) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456072)

"We are alleging they have contaminated their Linux work with inappropriate knowledge from Unix," said Chris Sontag, senior vice president of operating systems at SCO
allege: To assert without or before proof
So they're alleging, they're not actually accusing because they have no idea! Just trying to see if they can make a quick buck.

Re:Allege! (1)

lizzybarham (588992) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456129)

uhm, no. They allege something before going to court to prove it (the "before proof" part). Compared with the vast majority of countries, this is very good.

When someone is charged with a crime, before the trial, they allegedly committed the crime. If they are found guilty by a jury, they are found guilty by a jury or if they confess to the crime, they are found guilty by confession.

We've all been found guilty by God, however, and our only hope is Jesus.

Perhaps (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456074)

Perhaps they want IBM to buy them out. In any case, I expect this to get ugly.

Illuminata Analyst should be ashamed (4, Insightful)

1nv4d3r (642775) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456076)

"Some claims, though, have more potential merit, Eunice said. One is that creating Unix on Intel processors needed expertise that SCO developed but IBM lacked, Eunice said."
(this was from the article)

If IBM lacked it, which I doubt, I guess we can all be thankful that Linus had the expertise needed to create a Unix on Intel processors. What an idiot.

which patents? (1)

TerraFrost (611855) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456078)

does anyone know which patents exactly SCO is claiming IBM infringed upon, by open sourcing them with the Linux community? Off the top of my head, I can recall IBM open sourcing JFS, but... i don't think SCO invented JFS...

here is one you havent heard before (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456079)


IBM sues SCO for sharing public information.

Wait, Russia is too poor to have technology to run software from these companies. Nevermind.


If Caldera is using their Patents in their GPL OS (4, Insightful)

loucura! (247834) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456080)

If Caldera is using their Patents in their GPL OS, then they have to give open use of all patents to everyone, or they cannot distribute their code under the GPL. If they are making modifications to their Linux OS with concepts under the patent, then they cannot distribute their Linux OS. Correct? Since they are precluding usage of their patented code by anyone else, then they are adding additional restrictions to the GPL which makes it no longer "free".

7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

Good one Caldera.

Scorched Earth Policy (2, Interesting)

toolz (2119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456083)

And here we were worried about Iraq setting its oilwells on fire in case of a war.

SCO is clearly heading south businesswise, and sees this as a last ditch effort to make some money. They will clearly fail - thanks to RMS & Co, as well as Linux & gang, there is way too much prior art in this department (and yes, I know that this isn't a discussion about patents).

But that isn't the worrying part - what is really worrying is that SCO is poisoning the well to ensure that if they cannot survive (and now it is fairly clear that they won't), then no one else will, either. And sadly, given the way the corporate world works, this part of the strategy is likely to see much more success than the part aimed at making SCO profitable.

I wonder what we can do about this? Can someone sue SCO for infringing on Linux technologies in their own work?

Wearing my tin foil hat... (2, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456085)

MS are happy campers. Mucho "IP hassles when chosing Linux" fodder for the Sales bots and white paper writers. If I was a paranoid, X-Files watching geek I'd wonder how much extra MS paid SCO (Caldera) to pull this crap when they settled thier civil anti-trust lawsuit?

Back in reality I think this is SCO's attempt at getting bought at a premium. Lets face facts, IBM can probably bitch slap them with their own IP, but I bet SCO thinks that buying out SCO is cheaper/easier than the time and effort (not to mention the FUD damage to IBM's linux/AIX biz) IBM would have defending this.

i dont know about you (0)

tokaok (623635) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456086)

Wow this sure came as a shock! why is it that some many companies take the "if i going down im taking all you with me" approach. personally i think we should review the kindergarden , gr 1 curriculum these days. cause i sure dont think peeps are getting the "Sharing is Fun" lesson.

Oh my god (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456087)

They could not have done this in a more suicidal manner if they'd tried.

Isn't IBM the company that owns patents on nearly everything related to computing, and a policy of only using them defensively? Like, the one company in the IT universe with the largest patent shield? The one with the horror stories about people challenging IBM with some submarine patent infringement, and IBM shows up with stacks of pages of submarine patents owned by IBM that the litigants are violating? What were they thinking? Maybe they just assumed that if they went after any small Linux distro, IBM would still consider it a threat, and step in with the patent shield?

And then beyond the practical concerns, there's the fact no one will ever take SCO seriously again:

Caldera claims that IBM has been unlawfully sharing trade secrets regarding Unix with the free-software community, Dow Jones said. Caldera's business has been hurt by the free Linux software that IBM has been supporting, Dow Jones said, citing Darl McBride, Caldera's chief executive.

I mean.. just.. owch. Could you imagine a more PR-insensitive thing you could possibly say? Where to start with the problems with this.. I mean, besides the fact it gives the impression to the uninformed that SCO created UNIX, or something. There's the fact that SCO has just told every admin in the world who got their start using BSD or linux-- many of whom, i'm certain, are now in purchasing positions-- that SCO should be owed damages for their existence. Not to mention that from talking to people I know who managed SCO UNIX for years, cursed its existence, and yearned for their company to transition to Solaris or BSD or Redhat, it would appear that SCO/Caldera's only worthwhile product at this point was... written by the free software hackers they are maligning here. I'm not much of a troll, but just reading that paragraph makes my fingers itch to flame.

And anyway, didn't SCO release the original UNIX code under the GPL at some point after they bought it? Did I just hallucinate that?

Also, I wonder if there's some way to tell bloomberg they made a small error here: Linux is a variant of Unix and isn't copyrighted.

SCO is out of its mind (1)

Andy Tai (1884) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456089)

This is the final act of SCO and Unix. GNU's Not Unix, founded in 1984, has finally about to put the original Unix to rest.

And what's more stupid is that SCO is sueing IBM, the company with the most resource to resist such lawsuits. All these ugliness associated with the story will just enhance the public's understanding of the problems associated with the current intellectual property system.

But it is bad that Microsoft is a bystander of the whole mass. Microsoft can gain from this fight between GNU/Linux and Unix.

If anyone has failed to notice... (1)

jericho4.0 (565125) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456091)

This is a Big Fucking Deal. If parts of linux are found to be patented, it threatens the entire codebase. This will also scare the hell out of companies thinking of switching. Why switch if a year later you have to cease-and-desist? Or pay a licence fee you hadn't seen coming.

Good luck IBM.

Well I guess this just... (0)

Tromeo (216969) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456097)

about wraps things up for SCO. We won't miss them one bit will we ;)

"Say goodnight, Gracie. Goodnight SCO."

The solution is very very simple. (4, Informative)

Soko (17987) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456098)

SCO has a market cap of $25.68 Million [] . IBM could buy them for $100Million and save %90. Or RedHat maybe.

Actually, someone with a clue should buy them now before, ummm, someone with an interest in seeing Free Software set significantly back figures out that the UNIX IP is pretty much a sitting duck...


This is where IBMs whips out it patent portfolio (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456099)

I would expect IBM to use its very very large patent portfolio to put the smack down on this law suit.

Is it really wise to sue the company that has been hoarding tons of patents for years?

Proofing (1)

evilpenguin (18720) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456100)

"expected lawsuits...has been filed."

In a related story, "/. copy have been proofread."

Sorry, this grammar police moment was inspired by the disabled comments when this story was first posted.

On to business. If IBM has been giving away code that was under copyright and they did so in violation of the terms of license they had with SCO, then this suit has merit.

Of course, my humble opinion (not knowing what they think IBM "shared") is that the same problem will inspire a similar solution in any two groups of competent programmers. Independent discovery is more likely IMHO than theft of copyrighted material. There are only so many sensible ways to page memory or write a circular buffer.

There are 13 Austin Powers references... (1)

maxmg (555112) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456101)

in the first 40 or so posts. I believe that sets a new record. But what do you expect, putting the term "one billion dollars" in the post...

This is fucking great (1)

secondsun (195377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456104)

SCO is suing the company that owns the patent on hardware and the OS, (maybe not quite but IBMs IP is quite extensive) and I expect them to get countersued into oblivion.

A better use for a billion. (2, Informative)

Angry White Guy (521337) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456107)

Buy Caldera outright, and drop the lawsuit.
Currently SCO's shares are trading below $3.

Change -0.05 (-2.21%)
2.26 Open
2.33 Volume

Funding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5456109)

I guess SCO is just after its next round of funding.

Freaking me out. (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456110)

"IBM is affirmatively taking steps to destroy all value of Unix by improperly extracting and using the confidential and proprietary information it acquired from Unix and dumping that information into the open source community," the suit said. "IBM's tortious conduct was also intentionally and maliciously designed to destroy plaintiff's business livelihood and all opportunities of plaintiff to derive value from the Unix software code in the marketplace." - hopefully IBM wins this one and shuts SCO the hell up.

Linux's rapid maturity--for example, growing up to work on large multiprocessor servers--is evidence of the presence of Unix intellectual property, the SCO suit said. "It is not possible for Linux to rapidly reach Unix performance standards for complete enterprise functionality without the misappropriation of Unix code, methods or concepts to achieve such performance, and coordination by a larger developer, such as IBM," the suit said.
- cool. I guess these allegations have only to do with what IBM has been adding to the GNU/Linux code. Will it be possible to prove that there was no contamination, especially if the former AIX team was working on Linux software? I remember, maybe a year and a half ago, there was an interview on /. with AIX team working on GNU/Linux, does anyone else remember? This is going to be a tough battle, I hope Caldera loses it.

Berkley (1)

thynk (653762) | more than 11 years ago | (#5456117)

Once was said... Berkley has given us both UNIX and LSD, we do no feel that this is a conincidense.
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