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More on SCO vs. IBM Lawsuit

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the circumstantial-evidence dept.

Unix 538

Colin Stanners writes "SCO has held a TeleConference and put up a page with information on their lawsuit against IBM. The key phrase (from their complaint) is: '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.' Their page also includes a Q&A, presentation, and exhibits, although these are mostly licensing agreements and not code." Bruce Perens had an interesting comment on the situation, more than one group is trying to organize a boycott, and Newsforge has a story based on SCO's press conference this morning. Newsforge and Slashdot are both part of OSDN.

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AIDS Cures Fags (-1)

Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460792)

suck down my poz load bitches.

Muahaha (1)

pkunzipper (652520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460811)

They are in the wreong market to be suing open source companies, especially when they agree to it themselves. (ul)

wicked!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461016)

wicked!!

why? (5, Funny)

reaper20 (23396) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460814)

more than one group is trying to organize a boycott

The market has been "boycotting" SCO and it's crap for years, not like there needs to be a special effort.

Re:why? (4, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460873)

The market has been "boycotting" SCO and it's crap for years, not like there needs to be a special effort.

hehehehe Isn't that the truth.

Better yet--

Why not have everyone send them letters of complaint, requesting a response. Do this repeatedly....

$0.37 is not much to each of us, but adding up all the postage and processing labor would likely cause a much higher cost (and lost oppertunity) to them.

In otherwords, lets apply the principles used in DDOS to saturate their mailrooms :) And we can do this *legally* :-D.....

Ha ha! You beat me to it! (4, Funny)

Praxxus (19048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460896)

How do you boycott a product that nobody is using, anyway?

Does SCO even care that they:
  1. Look like big, broke whiny crybabies
  2. Are shooting themselves in the feet, knees, hips, spines, etc. and can kiss any business (save for the Rambus business model) goodbye for the rest of their pitiful existence??

I hope IBM bitchslaps them. Litigiously speaking, of course.

--

Re:why? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460899)

Yeah, really -- how the hell do you boycott something that nobody uses?

Re:why? (4, Insightful)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460942)

Perens doesn't believe SCO realistically thinks it has a chance of winning this lawsuit. "In filing this suit they have put a gun to the head of their own software business and pulled the trigger. No one in the Linux world will ever recommend them for anything again, and other people will look at this and say 'no, this too nutty, I don't trust these guys.'"

He hit it right on the head here. After a lawsuit like this, who'd want to work with them? It's not worth the risk...

Re:why? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461061)

Let's boycott all of the Canopy Group companies (the vultures running SCO)!

If SCO is going down the tubes anyway, at least this will HURT them!

This reminds me of... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460829)

Monkey vs. Robot the classic tale about the constant battle between monkeys (who live in the jungle) and robots (who work in the factory). MONKEY... VS... ROBOT...

Re:This reminds me of... (-1)

Original AIDS Monkey (315494) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460844)

Is that like Blacks versus Asians?

Whatever SCO (3, Interesting)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460833)

"It is not possible for Linux to rapidly reach UNIX performance standards for complete enterprise functionality without the misappropriation of UNIX code"

Umm SCO is no gem in the rough. My opinion Five years ago Linux was a better choice then that of SCO.

Sounds like Penis envy to me.

Sorry, it was the dedication of thousands of programmers and millions of testers that made Linux what it is today.

Re:Whatever SCO (2, Funny)

tuffy (10202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460922)

"It is not possible for Linux to rapidly reach UNIX performance standards for complete enterprise functionality without the misappropriation of UNIX code"

Maybe SCO should subpoena IBM for the Linux source and find the offending code themselves ;)

Re:Whatever SCO (5, Interesting)

TaliesinWI (454205) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460962)

Yeah, no kidding. I switched more than one client away from UnixWare to Linux back in 1997 and 1998, well before IBM was seriously involved, AND got all the legacy applications running under the SysV emulation, even back then. Some of those systems are still running (they never really needed to be bleeding edge), and their upgrade path has been made an order of magnitude easier (and cheaper) by switching.

SCO was irrelevant five years ago. They figure that the possibility of getting any money from IBM beats killing off what little credibility they might have, because they're sinking anyway.

Re:Whatever SCO (1)

b_pretender (105284) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461086)

It's like when I used to play Euchre with my friend Ryan. Everybody would accuse us of cheating with comments such as: "You must cheat at Euchre because whenever you are partners, you always win".

The same people who considered that to be valid logic when on to become doctors and engineers.

In other words... (2, Redundant)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460840)

In other words SCO appears to believe that fair competition is unfair...to them anyways ;-)
It must be anti-competitive than right? heh, what a joke.

SCO -> Flames -> Crash -> Burn...bubye, don't let the door hit you on the way out...

Michael (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460842)

Suck my cock and swallow the cum please.
I know that ever since megans law fucked you over you havent gotten laid.

So come on

Harsh link! (4, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460850)

The lawsuit information found from the SCOSource link is an audio recording - it'll take about 1/10th of a normal /. effect to bring that to its knees!

Re:Harsh link! (1)

TheViffer (128272) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461040)

I bet you a maxed out IBM Blade Center running Linux would be able to handle the load. :-P

However it turns out (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460861)

you have to admit that SCO is the better platform for rapping, because SCO rhymes with "fro", "dough", and "blow".

Re:However it turns out (0, Funny)

Garfunkel (3569) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460935)

yeah, but linux has:
sucks
bucks
ducks
fucks
trucks

You can make a pretty good rap out of that :)

Re:However it turns out (4, Funny)

JimDabell (42870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460951)

Not to mention the all-important "yo".

Re:However it turns out (4, Funny)

Dr Caleb (121505) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461075)

So?

Re:However it turns out (4, Funny)

Homebrewed (154837) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461065)

You left out the most important one-- "slow."

Upside (5, Insightful)

skroz (7870) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460862)

Interesting thing... if/when this resolves itself, and it's shown that SCO's allegations are false, and Linux DID scale to those performance levels in such a short period of time, this will weigh extremely favorably on the side of the effectiveness of the open source model.

Re:Upside (4, Insightful)

pla (258480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461106)

this will weigh extremely favorably on the side of the effectiveness of the open source model.

As much as I would like to agree with your sentiment, unfortunately, it doesn't hold true. As the result of defeating a strawman, you get... A pile of straw.

I personally find it amazing that SCO would even suggest this as a reason to sue for IP violations. The speed of Linux development has NO connection whatsoever with SCO, aside from what code they VOLUNTARILY added to the open source community. And, even if their claim did have even a hint of validity (which it does not), UCB, AT&T, and DEC (aka Compaq) would all have just as much, if not more, right to sue by that logic.

Sad.

But, just to save people the trouble of rumblings of a boycott... What exactly would folks boycott? This suit comes as an end-of-life move by a defunct company, apparently looking to utterly destroy their once-good reputation to toss a few bucks to their stockholders. They just don't have anything (of relevance in the past decade) to boycott About the only thing that might get the message to them consists of those same stockholders waking up, realizing that, regardless of the outcome of this frivolous suit SCO will no longer exist, and dumping their shares as fast as physically possible. Perhaps killing SCO before this all goes through would remedy the situation, but nothing else will.

Isn't SCO under a de facto boycott? (4, Interesting)

pete-classic (75983) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460865)

more than one group is trying to organize a boycott


Everyone who has installed SCO (any type or version) in the last year raise your hand.

I don't think there is much of a point in boycotting a company who has clearly turned away from producting anything and now simply exists to litigate based on its IP.

-Peter

Re:Isn't SCO under a de facto boycott? (1)

sweetooth (21075) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460988)

Read the Bruce Perens comment posted above and then the list of companies that the Canopy Group is a part of in a post below his. There are plenty of ways to hurt the Canopy Group through boycotts.

Hey SCO! Fix the sendmail exploit! (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460871)

Maybe SCO/Caldera could hire some technical people to fix serious security exploits instead of spending money on lawyers. Instead, what does SCO post a week after the exploit on their security site?

We are aware of the CERT CA-2003-07 sendmail issue, and are currently working on fixes for our supported distributions. We will announce the fixes via our normal channels:

Maybe I can sue SCO for $1B when my sendmail gets hacked. SCO SUCKS!

wtf? (1, Troll)

Visaris (553352) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460876)

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.

Of course! Nothing can possibly be as good as your product unless they steal from you! I mean, after all, your product is perfect isn't it? If the person who made that comment meant it, I can't understand how they came to be in such a profession when they are clearly clueless. If they didn't mean it, I'm not so surprised. Liars are successful these days.

Re:wtf? (1)

anon*127.0.0.1 (637224) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460996)

They're not saying "it is highly unlikely", or "it would be extremely difficult"... they're flat out calling it an impossibility. Maybe there's some obscure law of physics involved here, or perhaps SCO has some elegant mathematical proof for this whole statement.

Re:wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461079)

If the person who made that comment meant it, I can't understand how they came to be in such a profession when they are clearly clueless.


I guess you've never had the opportunity to work with engineers and managers from SCO. I would guess "clueless". Pretty lame bunch overall, in my experience. Every tried to teach a monkey to play a Mozart sonata on the piano? That's analogous to working with SCO.


Golly, that was a childish, vile rant, wasn't it? Better post anonymous.

GPL in court (3, Insightful)

watzinaneihm (627119) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460897)

From bruce perens article:
SCO is also party to the GPL, which invalidates their patent portfolio for any of their patents that happen to have been used in a Linux system that they distributed. Under the GPL terms, if you distribute your patented practice in GPL software, you must grant a license to everyone to make use of that patent in any GPL software, for any field of use.
Would be interesting if it comes to court, if nothing else, just to see just how enforcable GPL is.

FYI: press release (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460903)

I don't know if anyone posted this yet, but the official press release is here [sco.com] .

Boycott SCO! (1, Funny)

sulli (195030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460904)

But I already don't use SCO! Nonetheless I'll use them even less!

What a tacky way to extort money... (2, Interesting)

KCardoza (593977) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460909)

It's fairly obvious to me what this is all about; Linux is stealing UNIX marketshare, so SCO is going to do everything it possibly can to discredit it's competitior. It's typical FUD. Unfortunately for SCO, they're too late. IBM has made too much money from linux to allow a little gnat of a company like SCO push it around. Even if this lawsuit isn't thrown right out of court, it'll be proven in short order that none of the code to the linux kernel comes from SCO's IP. ipso facto, IBM can countersue SCO into oblivion.

At least, that's how I see it.

Re:What a tacky way to extort money... (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461013)

ipso facto, IBM can countersue SCO into oblivion.

Non sequitor

Perhaps IBM can prove SCO's allegations are false, but fail to see how it is a self evident fact that IBM can countersue. On what grounds? Even if they could countersue for SCO making a frivolous claim, all they could recoup is their court costs. I highly doubt that will destroy them.

Re:What a tacky way to extort money... (1)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461082)

IBM owns several thousand patents on all sorts of OS components. They don't enforce most of them, but they are there just for cases like this.

Re:What a tacky way to extort money... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461019)

I HOPE IBM doesn't just pay them off so that they go away. This whole thing reeks of a Jesse Jackson shakedown.

This being /. and all... (1)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460913)

I think this is just a ploy by Microsoft to gain control of both entities, or maybe rather a ploy by both of these to become so pathetic that they get bought by the giant itself. See, it could be IBM vs SCO which would be IBMSCO or, I B MS CO, or I Be MicroSoft COmpany. This is obviously a cry for help.

I mean, if that isnt, then by golly, I must be crazy. Now where did I leave my tin foil hat...

Re:This being /. and all... (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460969)

that would be the counter suit.

Plaintifs are always listed first.

So it is SCO vs IBM. Sorry. SCOIBM doesn't work ;)

SCO (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460914)

sco == the sound a gay man makes when he is choking on a large cock

where is the sco code in the linux kernel? (1)

xose (219487) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460916)

I'd like to know where is the sco code.
Caldera/SCO showme the code!!!

Don't hire coders! (1)

secondsun (195377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460927)

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.

So a big iron company hiring people to work on linux is a "misappropriation" of resources where hiring lawyers to sue someone into oblivion isn't?

Re:Don't hire coders! (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460963)

Umm, that's not how the word missappropriation is being used. In the context, they're saying misappropriated as a nice way of saying 'stolen', as in, IBM stole trade secrets and gave them to the OS community to devalue our product.

And, know what? I wouldnt put it past IBM to have done just that.

Re:Don't hire coders! (2, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461070)


So a big iron company hiring people to work on linux is a "misappropriation" of resources where hiring lawyers to sue someone into oblivion isn't?


I don't think that this suit will push IBM into oblivion. Sco, OTOH, possibly ;-)

I think that Caldera *never* liked the GPL. My first impression of them was that they found that territory scary and were trying to appeal to risk-adverse businesses by trying to package it as proprietary software. Of course RedHat pulled the rug out from under then and now they can't even make that work.

So Caldera is trying make money by lawsuits because they are now so far behind, I doubt they could come back.

If you can win the old fashioned way - sue! (1)

motorsabbath (243336) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460930)

The obvious first step that would occurr to any of us would be to shun SCO - not to do business with them, not to recommend them in our jobs, etc.

That's from Perens. Funny thing is, I don't think SCO is even a player anymore are they? They're only revenue stream must be from old licenses.

An easy way out for IBM would be to buy and fire them, but then Canopy would get what they want. A better solution would be for IBM to kick the shit outta them in court and drag down Canopy as low as possible.

This is really beneath contempt.

JB

Acronym (5, Funny)

daeley (126313) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460931)

Market Cap of SCO: $25 million.

Desired SCO suit damages: $1 billion.

Having the biggest, baddest lawyers and patent holdings on the planet: Priceless.

SCO for corporate suicide; for everything else, there's Big Blue. ;)

I asked this before, answer this time (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460933)

What if SCO ends up being right in court?

Why would they poke the T-Rex that is IBM with a stick, unless they think they can bring it down?

We can sit around laughing or bitching or whining or moaning, but what will happen if there turns out to be code in Linux that we dont have the rights to, either by way of trade secrets or patents?

Can all the SysV and other SCO stuff be removed without killing Linux? Would a setback be weeks, months, years, or would it be the end?

Re:I asked this before, answer this time (4, Insightful)

Scarblac (122480) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460999)

We can sit around laughing or bitching or whining or moaning, but what will happen if there turns out to be code in Linux that we dont have the rights to, either by way of trade secrets or patents?

They distribute their own distro of Linux, Caldera Linux. So all the code there is in Linux, they have distributed themselves under the GPL. So we have the rights to it. This is really quite funny :-).

Re:I asked this before, answer this time (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461110)

We can sit around laughing or bitching or whining or moaning, but what will happen if there turns out to be code in Linux that we dont have the rights to, either by way of trade secrets or patents?

And if Caldera has included those binaries, we still have rights to it :-D

So they could get damages from IBM, but this still looks like a derivative words lawsuit, and it s very murkey territory. But Linux Users will be unlikely to be affected.

Re:I asked this before, answer this time (1)

SN74S181 (581549) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461114)

We're all too busy slagging SCO to answer that. It does bring to mind the question of wether IBM is at fault for corrupting the Linux source by bringing in dubious code. Could it be IBM hasn't been as good for Linux as many have been implying?

Just some thoughts for discussion.

Beating a dead horse... (1)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460940)

Lovely. Once again, I have to say that IP rights should not be assignable to corporations.

It is quite clear to me that SCO is only suing to get money from a cash cow / destroy a competitor (IBM) by leveraging IP rights that it should not be allowed to own in the first place.

Re:Beating a dead horse... (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461027)

If you worked for McDonalds, and signed an NDA saying that you will not disclose the contents of the secret sauce, and then your sister opens up a burger stand that just happens to have secret sauce on all the burgers, McDonalds would drag you into court for violating the NDA, and they would have to prove it's more likely you told her the recipe than that she figured it out herself.

This is the premise here, except you=IBM, secret sauce=SysV code, and sister=Linux kernel developers.

Re:Beating a dead horse... (2, Insightful)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461099)

The key word you used was "recipe". If your sister follows the same recipe, exactly, then yes, you are in violation of your NDA. If, however, your sister has a different recipe that just happens to taste similar, then you are not in violation of your NDA.

Except the recipe is the source code. :)

SCO to IBM (3, Funny)

L7_ (645377) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460941)

"We know your develoers and they are not competant enough to do that. So obviously you ripped it off of us."

'shared source' comment over at lwn.net (5, Interesting)

dd (15470) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460947)

One of the best comments that I've read about this lawsuit was made by "josh_stern" over on LWN.net [lwn.net] , and I quote:

But I hope Bruce and others won't lose time pointing out the implications for people who want to participate in programs like MSFT's "shared source". They open themselves up to later lawsuits if they later develop or distribute anything technologically related, even if it isn't textually derived from the original.

It is an interesting counterpoint in case Microsoft wants to use the lawsuit in any anti-linux campaign ...

What kind of argument is that? (1)

mebon (634191) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460948)

So their argument is that Linux has grown so quickly and effectively that Linux must have stolen code? Somehow I can't see that argument standing in court. Unless they have specific copywrited code that Linux has stolen, they won't have too much of an chance. And if they did find stolen code, they would have to prove that IBM as a company is responsible for it being there in order to be awarded money.

It's copyrighted, not copywrited.... (1)

HotNeedleOfInquiry (598897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461020)

Now right it 10 times on the blackboard.

Welcome to the future... (0)

conner_bw (120497) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460949)

5 types of people in North America - Politicians, Laywers, Marketers, Coders, Labourers.

This is what happens when type 4 and 5 begin to errode.

1) Don't make product
2) Sue.
3) ???
4) Profit!

We need much less of 1, 2, and 3 types.

Note to self. Shut up.

The boycott page is a little over the top (1)

scenic (4226) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460950)

They're a little nuts... They suggest that IBM should buy SCO, release SCO's IP into the public domain, and then fire all the SCO employees... that seems a bit harsh to employees that probably had about 0 part in the decision to pursue this IP strategy.

I live in Boston where the job market is tough even with a zillion computer-related companies around. I can't imagine how rough finding a job must be in Utah. It seems unfair to fault people for keeping a job in these tough times.

sujal

Tell sco what you think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460966)

www.sco.com/company/feedback/index.html?ref_dir=

Re:Tell sco what you think... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460987)

Lets try this again

http://www.sco.com/company/feedback/

I regret... (1)

xaoslaad (590527) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460968)

...ever buying a SCO Unix learning bundle. Granted it was 3 or 4 years ago, and only for the puposes of learning about UNIX, but I still regret it.

It was disregarded for the trash it was and I moved onto Linux, BSD, and Solaris x86 in more recent times to give myself an ongoing *nix education.

It sickens me to think 20 or 30 or 40 (whatever is was) dollars went to a company that openly wants to butcher the open source software movement; something that genuinely has the potential to help the world at large; and if not that then at least allows me to run more than one PC without paying taxes to 50 different software vendors & retailers, like SCO.

Flimsy (0, Redundant)

4of12 (97621) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460976)


It is not possible...

That doesn't seem like the firmest ground on which to base a lawsuit, as I'm sure other posters have noted earlier.

It's tantamount to saying

You're doing too well. You must have cheated.
Well, it's always possible. There are anecdotal examples where success has been built upon a foundation of misdeeds.

But in this case, that's a far-fetched possibility and I think any investigation in the facts supporting the allegations will soon bear that out.

Re:Flimsy (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461097)

>> That doesn't seem like the firmest ground on which to base a lawsuit

Not a trial, but a lawsuit, sure. You're "innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal court, but "innocent until proven guilty by a preponderance of the evidence" in civil court.

So the judge is supposed to ask himself "Is SCO more likely right than wrong?"

I don't think it's entirely far-fetched that SCO may be right.

Linux. New and improved? (2, Insightful)

term8or (576787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5460978)

'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.'

So how long has this linux thing been going on, then? A mere day and a half, from the sound of things. And there aren't tens of thousands more programmers available for linux than any other O/S, are there?

This is the end of SCO, for sure. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5460990)

SCO is the thief who puts a gun to his own head and says give me your money or I'll shoot.
I haven't read the filings yet, but it sounds as if SCO's main claim is that IBM (and perhaps others) violated their non-disclosure agreements by allowing employees who had seen the Unix source code to work on Linux. However, Linux was developed first on the Intel i386 processor family, way back in 1991, at least five years before IBM took an interest in it. Linux follows MINIX, an even earlier published-source-code system that very clearly isn't derived from Unix - its architecture was very different.

SCO claims that Linux could not have become ready for the enterprise so quickly without use of art originating in Unix. They seem to ignore the fact that hundreds of thousands of people have been educated in operating systems programming, and that very healthy communities of scientific research exist for systems design, and that most of the enterprise-ready features originated in research operating systems and only later were ported to Unix.

They claim that the Linux libraries could not have been produced without input from Unix. But these libraries are written to a printed specification called POSIX, published by the U.S. government and available to the general public. The GNU C library, and many other Linux libraries, existed long before IBM's involvement. We also had printed "man pages" for Unix available in bookstores without restrictions on implementation of the documented facilities, and shelves of published documentation on Unix in every technical bookstore.

So, I think the claims I've heard are specious, and not enforcible in court. Why, then, is SCO doing this? They want to be purchased. This is the exit strategy for their investors, Canopy Group. IBM can buy them just to shut them up. Or Microsoft can buy them to use them to FUD Linux. And Canopy Group management figures they'll play the two against each other to drive up the price. But IBM management is smart enough to poison this particular well, by bringing counter-claims against SCO.

SCO is also party to the GPL, which invalidates their patent portfolio for any of their patents that happen to have been used in a Linux system that they distributed. Under the GPL terms, if you distribute your patented practice in GPL software, you must grant a license to everyone to make use of that patent in any GPL software, for any field of use. This is why SCO's initial claim seems to be focusing on an NDA rather than patents. And of course, the fundamental patents that apply to Unix would have expired some 15 years ago.

SCO can't claim that IBM (or anyone else) was hiding the Linux development from them, since Linux source is available and is part of SCO's own Linux product. They have been distributing the source code that they claim violates their own NDA as Caldera's main product for years. So, they are going to have a very small chance of making this case work.

We in the Free Software developer community must make it clear that we will not tolerate specious intellectual property claims on our software, even if those claims are directed to a user or industrial partner rather than an individual developer. The obvious first step that would occurr to any of us would be to shun SCO - not to do business with them, not to recommend them in our jobs, etc. SCO must have known that they'd be shunned for these shenanigans, and they went ahead with them anyway. This means they're writing off their entire software and operating systems business. SCO is owned by Canopy Group, I guess those folks are writing off their other software businesses, too.

I look forward to getting a look at the court papers, and being a witness for the defense or amicus curae in these cases. I'm sure I'll be joined by a lot of you. In addition, we may have our own infringement claims to make, if the SCO filing violates the GPL terms. I doubt there will be much left of SCO at the end of this.

These folks could have been good partners. Other people in industry were, and beat Caldera and SCO in the market. Canopy Group, their venture firm, were the real managers of SCO and Caldera. Front-men like Ransom Love were not the ones making real decisions. Their business failed, and others flourished, because Canopy Group never understood how to be our partners. They've chosen to screw us one last time on the way out the door. Let's do our best to turn it back on them.

MOD PARENT DOWN - Karma Whore (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461073)

This guy is karma whoring like no tomorrow. Don't try to pass off Bruce's comments [slashdot.org] as your own.

There's nothing more to say. (1)

buffer-overflowed (588867) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461012)

Bruce already summed it up above, and a reply to the first thread [slashdot.org] I started on the original article posted by big_groo [slashdot.org] here [slashdot.org] and reformatted for easy reading by Jah-Wren Ryel [slashdot.org] here [slashdot.org] sums up what happened in the AT&T vs BSD court case.

They're highly informative in case you missed them in the last article.

SCO is and has always been MSFT's Trojan Horse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461014)

Bill Gates owned SCO for years and used it as hedge in case windows failed.

IBM's position? (1)

Consul (119169) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461015)

I already asked this question on Newsforge, but...

Does IBM have an official position statement, or any kind of response to this, available yet? I would very much like to read it.

Thank you for any help...

SCO's boardroom (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461021)

Board: "We must sue these bastards that are undercutting us!"
-"But boss Linux is open source and the companies dont really have all that much"
Board: "Well dammit we need to sue someone with money then! Howabout Microsoft?"
-Well boss I don't think they really fit in here, maybe if we stretch it it could somehow concievably be IBM's fault (and they still have money).
Board: "Thats it! The long sought after 'Step 3:' We're geniuses!..."

Trade secrets only as good as their protection (1)

ryants (310088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461028)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that trade secrets, which seems to be the basis of this action, are only as good as you're trying to enforce them.

IBM has been interested in Linux for some time, and Linux has been around for even longer; if there were trade secret problems, SCO should have complained immediately, back then. Waiting until now may provide IBM with a lot of ammo.

On the other hand, I may be confusing trade secrets with trademarks... little help?

Re:Trade secrets only as good as their protection (1)

term8or (576787) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461129)

It is an intellectual property complaint and would have to be either a copyright complaint or a software patent complaint (under those strange american patent laws).
For copyright, under American law, you need to enfore it as soon as you are aware of the breach if you are going to claim damages. Patent law, AFAIK, does not require this.

Hey... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461032)

Didn't IBM support the nazis [gnn.tv] ?

Fighting Back! (4, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461035)

How about someone setting up a list for Linux Hackers willing to spend time migrating SCO customers to the linux platform for free. To fight back I am willing to spend some of my time.

Re:Fighting Back! (2, Funny)

dbc (135354) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461128)

Great idea! And cheap, too! Should only take 4 or 5 guys a couple of weeks.

What if SCO kicks the bucket? (5, Interesting)

CoolVibe (11466) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461046)

What's going to happen to all that old UNIX licensing stuff that they do? AFAIK, I've used their ancient unix archives to play with a pdp-11 emulator. Heck, it was a great quick place to get a real UNIX from quickly that would boot on it.

What's going to happen to SCO's intellectual property when it croaks? Who will buy it? I think the ancient unices that they own are of great interest. I'd love to see those in the public domain, but that's probably wishful thinking.

What about Solaris? (5, Insightful)

MrTilney (188646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461047)

From the complaint:

Except for SCO, none of the primary UNIX vendors ever developed a UNIX "flavor" to operate on an Intel-based processor chip set. This is because the earlier Intel processors were considered to have inadequate processing power for use in the more demanding enterprise market applications.

What about the x86 version of Solaris?

IBM *buy* SCO? WTF? (4, Interesting)

gosand (234100) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461050)

From Bruce's comments: So, I think the claims I've heard are specious, and not enforcible in court. Why, then, is SCO doing this? They want to be purchased. This is the exit strategy for their investors, Canopy Group. IBM can buy them just to shut them up. Or Microsoft can buy them to use them to FUD Linux. And Canopy Group management figures they'll play the two against each other to drive up the price. But IBM management is smart enough to poison this particular well, by bringing counter-claims against SCO. SCO is also party to the GPL, which invalidates their patent portfolio for any of their patents that happen to have been used in a Linux system that they distributed. Under the GPL terms, if you distribute your patented practice in GPL software, you must grant a license to everyone to make use of that patent in any GPL software, for any field of use.

Why would IBM *buy* SCO? If they released their product under the GPL, couldn't IBM just take a distro and re-release it as "SCOSUCKS" under the GPL? Couldn't anyone? What would burn the top brass at SCO if after this lawsuit (clearly aimed at them just trying to cash in), someone took their distro and made it successful.

Re:IBM *buy* SCO? WTF? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461125)

If IBM bought SCO, they would have the IP rights to the original code, plus the name "UNIX" which is trademarked.

Shouldn't there be more? (0)

invisik (227250) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461052)

It sounds to me SCO is mad that IBM helped Linux along. Should they also be suing Silicon Graphics, Sun and other UNIX-type companies that contributed to Linux?? Like that's ever going to fly.

-m

I hope that... (1)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461055)

IBM buys SCO and flushed it's UNIX IP down the toilet.

SCO is dead.

Best line from the suit (1)

Scarpux (556596) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461068)

"Prior to IBM's involvement, Linux was the software equivalent of a bicycle. UNIX was the software equivalent of a luxury car." Cute. Then why are you selling Linux SCO?

Let SCO know what you think of them: (1)

deego (587575) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461081)

Contact SCO [sco.com]

"Wired" magazine on drugs (1, Insightful)

nutznboltz (473437) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461085)

http://www.wired.com/news/infostructure/0,1377,579 55,00.html [wired.com]

AT&T's Unix Systems Laboratories developed Unix in the 1960s.

UNIX was developed by Ken Thomson in the 1960's. There was no AT&T USL in the 1960's.

More [bell-labs.com]

But they sell the Linux they're suing over (1)

MrTilney (188646) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461091)

Let me make sure that I understand this.

SCO, I mean Caldera, sells Linux (and Unix). They claim that IBM improperly added their Unix technology to Linux. However, it didn't bother them when they sold Linux, with those improvements, for years. So they're suing IBM for improperly modifying a product that SCO is selling, and has known about for a long time.

I so love you guys (1)

Czernobog (588687) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461093)

I have been looking for an excuse to get rid of Caldera 2.3 from our desktops for ages.
Thanks to your suit against IBM and our illiterate management, I can now install any distro other than Caldera....

Seems straightforward to me... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461103)

SCO is basically claiming, much like AT&T did Long Ago WRT BSD, that the AIX source code is wrought with a mix of SCO's licensed code, as well as IBMs internal AIX code.

Based upon statements by IBM executives, IBM seems to be, essentially, raiding AIX to implement high end features into the Linux kernel. If they do so, then any SCO IP within AIX may be transferred into the open license of the Linux kernel.

IF THIS IS THE CASE, the SCO may very well have a valid claim here. The facts on whether SCO is a good Unix, bad Unix, good company, successful company etc, is irrelevant.

So, SCO is taking this claim to court to clear it up. IF SCO is correct, then further erosion and disclosure of their IP MAY harm SCO, so that's why they want to slow or stop the process quickly.

IF SCO is incorrect, then it's all a waste of time, but it does give IBM a clearer path to help Linux move forward using legacy techniques and technology already developed for AIX.

Oh, they're a hardcore Unix companyn all right... (1)

bratgrrl (197603) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461109)

... that distributes documentation in Windows Media Player, PowerPoint, .pdf...

http://www.sco.com/scosource/

Yeah, I'm whining and nitpicking. This is a stupid lawsuit.

McBride needs new board members (2, Funny)

pkunzipper (652520) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461112)

And yet, SCO still offers products named OpenLinux. Is that going to change to ClosedUNIX or OpenLinuxfor$100.

Slashdot must be full of pervs... (1)

BgJonson79 (129962) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461113)

to be talking about eunichs all the time.

Clean! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5461115)

Welp, I'm pretty sure there's no SCO code in this Linux distro's version of csh. Because && and || are the right way around.

(of course, to get this joke you have to admit to using both SCO Xenix, and the csh ;)

SCO's claims (3, Interesting)

dspeyer (531333) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461116)

As near as I can make out from their site, SCO is claiming that Linux is derived from Minix (which is sort of true) which was derived from BSD (again, a stretch) which came from AT&T Unix (true for once) which SCO now owns. Of course, no Minix code is present in Linux, so they're not claiming actual piracy (besides, with Linux's code available, they can hardly claim secret violations!), but maybe some mystical Unix-essence.

They're probably hoping IBM will buy them out for a couple million dollars in an effort to avoid bad publicity, and then the SCO managers can retirs in luxury. The sad thing is, it might even happen

boycott shmoycott (2, Insightful)

wfmcwalter (124904) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461118)

Boycott SCO? That's not going to be hard...

SCO is in the same position as Intergraph before it, and is trying the same gag. They're a formerly large and influential company, fallen to the point of minnowhood. They have no prospect of growing significantly, have no revenue, and no significant human capital. So they've gone the patent litigation route.

There's no obvious "strikebacks" at such a company (they're a lot like a "litigation proof" private citizen). Consumer actions or intensified competition won't work, as that is intended to interfere with revenue streams they don't have in the first place. Large tech companies (particularly IBM) might normally unleash a broadside of retaliatory IP lawsuits, but again SCO won't care much - that would interfere with revenue they don't have or enjoin actions they aren't taking. Their current claim is huge, but they'll try to negociate a more "reasonable" sum with IBM - one that would probably be less than the cost to IBM of the litigation.

Intel wouldn't roll over for Intergraph, and I'd guess IBM won't for SCO.

Dr Evil's new job (1)

Spamhead (462189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461120)

... is working in the SCOsource division of SCO.

"Hmmm. I believe we'll be suing them for (Long pause)

1 BILLION DOLLARS!"

Throw out their case (2)

cyclist1200 (513080) | more than 11 years ago | (#5461132)

I think legal arguments should have to be logically sound. This one is clearly begging the question. "It's not possible for them to be as good as we are unless they stole from us. So we're suing them for theft."

Cripes, sounds like 5-year-old whining to me.
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