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Novell Claims Ownership of UNIX System V

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the batter-up dept.

The Courts 1179

Novell has put out a press release this morning unequivocally claiming that they, and not SCO, own the patents and copyrights to UNIX System V. If true, this would torpedo SCO's claims over the last few months about intellectual property infringement in the Linux kernel, GNU/Linux distributions, etc. News.com has a story from last night, prior to this press release. SCO is releasing quarterly financial results today, including their notes about how much they've made from their licensing claims. You can join their conference call (mirror) if you like, and Bruce Perens weighs in below with a strongly-worded statement about SCO and Novell. Update: 05/28 14:22 GMT by M : SCO issued a response.

Bruce Perens writes:

"We knew that SCO's attack on Linux was a lie. But we never dreamed of the big lie behind it.

"This morning, Novell announced some of the terms of the company's 1995 agreement to sell its Unix business to SCO. The shocking news is that Novell did not sell the Unix intellectual property to SCO. Instead, they sold SCO a license to develop, sell, and sub-license Unix. The title to Unix copyrights and patents remains with Novell. To back up this assertion, Novell refers to public records at the Library of Congress Copyright Office and the U.S. Patent Office.

"In their announcement, Novell refers to recent letters from SCO asking Novell to assign the Unix copyrights to SCO. So, apparently SCO's management team knew that they did not own Unix while pursuing their sham campaign against Linux.

"Along with this revelation, Novell is reiterating its support of the Linux and Open Source developer community, and its status as a partner in that community. Novell rejects SCO's accusations of plagiarism. Novell management says they do not intend to stand in the way of the development of the Linux kernel, its companion GNU system, and other Free Software.

"It would be an understatement to say that this leaves SCO in a bad position. The company has loudly and repeatedly asserted that they were the owner of the Unix intellectual property, all of the way back to AT&T's original development of the system 30 years ago. They've lied to their stockholders, their customers and partners, the 1500 companies that they threatened, the press, and the public. Their untruthful campaign caused the loss of sales and jobs, and damaged Linux companies and developers in a myriad of ways. And now, SCO will be the lawsuit target. SCO's quarterly earnings conference call is this morning, at 9 AM MST (11 AM EST, 8 AM PST). Call 800-406-5356, toll-free, to participate. You might even get to ask a question. It should be fun to watch them try to weasel out of this one.

"Microsoft executives also have egg on their faces. The company self-servingly rushed to buy an SCO license one business day after the threat letter, bringing a senior attorney to the office on a Sunday to tell the press how much Microsoft values intellectual property. Microsoft's management could have taken the time to analyze SCO's claims, if the company had wanted this license for practical and technical reasons. Their decision to buy when they did must have been motivated by a desire to add to SCO's fear campaign. Of course they'll grab any opportunity to spread fear about Linux, but this time Microsoft bought a pig in a poke.

"SCO management, if they insist on standing in the way of a train, could still claim that software they developed in the years since 1995 is being infringed by the Open Source developers. That claim, always a dubious one, will be difficult to take seriously now that their prevarication throughout this campaign has come to light. SCO would be well advised to drop their suit against IBM in exchange for IBM's agreement not to counter-sue. But IBM might not feel that charitable toward SCO.

"In contrast to SCO, Novell's made a friend among the Free Software developers. We're always happy to see people using our software. But a real partnership between an IT vendor and our community is an equal partnership, with the company donating services and new software in exchange for the value it receives. Novell has already placed important software under Open Source licenses. Today, the company has done us a tremendous service, by stomping upon an obnoxious parasite."

cancel ×

1179 comments

Conference Call (5, Funny)

stu_coates (156061) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056516)

Oh my god, you /.'ed the conference call.... You bastards! ;-)

Re:Conference Call - Don't do it (5, Insightful)

Dub Kat (183404) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056651)

It's useless to call in and try to ask questions about this. I'm sure it'll be brought up by the financial analysts dialed in, and the SCO people will weasel out with something like "This just came to our attention today. We will be looking at the validity of the claims but are confident blah blah blah..."

You won't today be hearing a full-out apology to the OSS community, if ever at all. They might just quietly drop the whole thing while they figure out the next best lawsuit.

Colocated Linux Servers - From $60/mo [aktiom.net]

Re:Conference Call - Don't do it (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056684)

They only take a few questions, and they probably do filter them for press and analysts (so say who you write for). Shankland was one of the few to get through last time. But it will be fun to listen.

Bruce

Trolling is dying (-1)

gasaraki (262206) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056520)

It is official; Slashdot confirms: Trolling is dying

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

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

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

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

Political troll leader Theo states that there are 7000 users of political trolling. How many users of feminist trolling are there? Let's see. The number of political troll versus feminist troll posts on Usenet is roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7000/5 = 1400 feminist trollers. Homosexuality troll posts on Usenet are about half of the volume of feminist troll posts. Therefore there are about 700 users of homosexuality trolling. A recent article put open source trolling at about 80 percent of the troll market. Therefore there are (7000+1400+700)*4 = 36400 open source troll users. This is consistent with the number of open source troll Usenet posts.

Due to the troubles of Slashdot, abysmal posts and so on, open source trolling went out of business and was taken over by war trollers who post another troubled troll entirely. Now war trolling is also dead, its corpse turned over to yet another charnel house.

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

Fact: Trolling is dying

real Unix owner (4, Funny)

mschoolbus (627182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056525)

Will the real Unix owner, please stand up, please stand up...

Here he is (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056574)

*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_
g_______________________________________________g_ _
o_/_____\_____________\____________/____\_______o_ _
a|_______|_____________\__________|______|______a_ _
t|_______`._____________|_________|_______:_____t_ _
s`________|_____________|________\|_______|_____s_ _
e_\_______|_/_______/__\\\___--___\\_______:____e_ _
x__\______\/____--~~__________~--__|_\_____|____x_ _
*___\______\_-~____________________~-_\____|____*_ _
g____\______\_________.--------.______\|___|____g_ _
o______\_____\______//_________(_(__>__\___|____o_ _
a_______\___.__C____)_________(_(____>__|__/____a_ _
t_______/\_|___C_____)/_Unix_\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)_Inside|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\_(tm)_/__//__/_/_____\___e_ _
x_____|____\__|_____\\_________//_(__/_______|__x_ _
*____|_\____\____)___`----___--'_____________|__*_ _
g____|__\______________\_______/____________/_|_g_ _
o___|______________/____|_____|__\____________|_o_ _
a___|_____________|____/_______\__\___________|_a_ _
t___|__________/_/____|_________|__\___________|t_ _
s___|_________/_/______\__/\___/____|__________|s_ _
e__|_________/_/________|____|_______|_________|e_ _
x__|__________|_________|____|_______|_________|x_ _
*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_s_e_x_*_g_o_a_t_e_x_*_


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Important Stuff: Please try to keep posts on topic. Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) If you want replies to your comments sent to you, consider logging in or creating an account.

Re:real Unix owner (4, Funny)

gerf (532474) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056620)

Will the real Unix owner, please stand up, please stand up...

or, "Who owns the code code to the Unix source? SCO does.

who me?

yes you.

Couldn't be

Then who?

Novell owns the code to the Unix source

who me?

Yes you.

continue...

Ah, shit, why don't we just call it all open source and be happy.

Re:real Unix owner (2, Funny)

jpmahala (181937) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056680)

Ahem! I would like to announce that I am the real UNIX IP owner. (I can prove it. No, really...) And in the spirit of goodwill, I hereby declare that the code be given back to the people!

Now I'll go back to my FreeBSD box (which is arguably more UNIX than Linux) and hasn't come under fire at all for this...

And ransom love said.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056710)

Nothing you idiots! Ransom Love's dead, he's locked in my basement!

Re:real Unix owner (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056749)

Eminem sucks ass
Asshat

And.... (2, Funny)

mhore (582354) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056532)

the plot thickens!

*duh duh duh!!!!* (ASCII MP3)

Re:And.... (1)

olderchurch (242469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056546)

I will gonna sit back and enjoy the show

Finally (5, Interesting)

IpsissimusMarr (672940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056537)

For now, we demand that SCO either promptly state its Linux infringement allegations with specificity or recant the accusation made in your letter. Further, we demand that SCO retract its false and unsupported assertions of ownership in UNIX patents and copyrights or provide us with conclusive information regarding SCO's ownership claims.

Finally, SCO being put in its place. I just wonder why this took so long for Novell to bring up.

Re:Finally (1)

redtape (37014) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056595)

They probably needed to lawyers to read over the wording to get it "Just so".

Re:Finally (1)

krishy (461184) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056605)

Probably they had to search the library *just* to make sure;)

Re:Finally (5, Interesting)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056614)

I just wonder why this took so long for Novell to bring up.

My feeling on that is rather simple, actually. They had to make for 100% damn sure that they were right in what they were gonna say to the public. They've probably dumped millions into lawyers over the past few weeks / months to make for SURE that SCO is / was wrong. THAT is probably what took so long.

Or maybe it's just they're not doing all that well since M$ took over the Network arena.

Oh... right, I forgot... M$ has been giving money to SCO...

Hmmm...

Re:Finally (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056692)

From what I understand, Novell's new release of netware has gone through great pains to become Open-source compatible, and they have a lot to lose should SCO stomp linux. Novell is banking on becoming the corporate method of open-source.

Re:Finally (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056630)

Finally, SCO being put in its place. I just wonder why this took so long for Novell to bring up.

They where one of the 1500 companies to get the nastygram from SCO, and they probably had partners/customers asking them about that letter as well. And the letter probably had to go thru the legal department a couple of times. And there was probably a cooling off period as well...

Today is not a good day to be Darl McBride...

Re:Finally (5, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056670)

Finally, SCO being put in its place. I just wonder why this took so long for Novell to bring up.

Because SCO's earnings call is THIS morning.

This isn't just a smackdown, this -- today's release, the Perens-for-the-Prosecution piece on Page One of SlashDot, along with the divulging of the Conference Call Phone Number (nice one, that!) -- is a highly-coordinated strike meant to drop a tactical nuke down their shorts. This is calculated to not just damage SCO but make their Corporate Headquarters a Dead Zone for the next Three Thousad Years.

Nice Work, everyone! Proud to be a small part of it, even if only as a witness.

Re:Finally (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056686)

Because those good people from the land of the Angel Moronai couldn't talk about this stuff at bars like the people who came up with the High Sierra or El Torito CD formats did, or like the Firewire people did, they only get to talk about stuff at Church, where you can't talk and at Applebees and Olive Garden after church where they have to talk over the sound of 89 kids.

I have nothing but love for the big red N and the good people from Novell.

Go Novell!

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056721)

They had to wait until Microsoft had stuck their finger in.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056542)

roofle owned sco

No, _I_ own Unix! (0)

Anarchofascist (4820) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056543)

...and so does my wife!

Best Kirk Douglas gladiator type voice (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056549)

I own the IP rights to UNIX System V

Re:Best Kirk Douglas gladiator type voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056619)

I am afraid that your reference will probably go way over the heads of most people here.

Kirk Douglas? Surely you mean Russell Crowe! ;)

Re:Best Kirk Douglas gladiator type voice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056678)

Actually I believe Tony Curtis is who should be quoted. :)

Re:Best Kirk Douglas gladiator type voice (3, Funny)

tx_mgm (82188) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056689)

I am Spartic^H^H^H^H^H^H^H the UNIX System V IP owner!

Novell's press release (4, Informative)

mj01nir (153067) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056551)

Here is Novell's informative press release [novell.com] on the matter. A juicy excerpt:

"SCO continues to say that it owns the UNIX System V patents, yet it must know that it does not. A simple review of U.S. Patent Office records reveals that Novell owns those patents.

"Importantly, and contrary to SCO's assertions, SCO is not the owner of the UNIX copyrights. Not only would a quick check of U.S. Copyright Office records reveal this fact, but a review of the asset transfer agreement between Novell and SCO confirms it."

Of course, this doesn't address the "source code theft" issues, but hopefully this will shut SCO up about the UNIX IP issues.

Full text of release (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056675)

Some stupid-ass language selector JSP is stalled (who uses JSP to put up a press release?!) so here's the text:

Novell Challenges SCO Position, Reiterates Support for Linux

PROVO, Utah -- May 28, 2003 -- Defending its interests in developing services to operate on the Linux platform, Novell today issued a dual challenge to The SCO Group over its recent statements regarding its UNIX ownership and potential intellectual property rights claims over Linux.

First, Novell challenged SCO's assertion that it owns the copyrights and patents to UNIX System V, pointing out that the asset purchase agreement entered into between Novell and SCO in 1995 did not transfer these rights to SCO. Second, Novell sought from SCO facts to back up its assertion that certain UNIX System V code has been copied into Linux. Novell communicated these concerns to SCO via a letter (text below) from Novell® Chairman and CEO Jack Messman in response to SCO making these claims.

"To Novell's knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO's purchase of UNIX from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights," Messman said in the letter. "We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected."

"SCO claims it has specific evidence supporting its allegations against the Linux community," Messman added. "It is time to substantiate that claim, or recant the sweeping and unsupported allegation made in your letter. Absent such action, it will be apparent to all that SCO's true intent is to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Linux in order to extort payments from Linux distributors and users."

"Novell has answered the call of the open source community," said Bruce Perens, a leading proponent of open source. "We admire what they are doing. Based on recent announcements to support Linux with NetWare services and now this revelation...Novell has just won the hearts and minds of developers and corporations alike."

Text of the letter from Novell to SCO:

Mr. Darl McBride
President and CEO
The SCO Group

Re: SCO's "Letter to Linux Customers"

Dear Darl:

As you know, Novell recently announced some important Linux initiatives. These include an upcoming NetWare version based on the Linux kernel, as well as collaboration and resource management solutions for Linux.

Put simply, Novell is an ardent supporter of Linux and the open source development community. This support will increase over time.

It was in this context that we recently received your "Letter to Linux Customers." Many Novell business partners and customers apparently received the same letter. Your letter compels a response from Novell.

As we understand the letter, SCO alleges that unnamed entities incorporated SCO's intellectual property into Linux without its authorization. You apparently base this allegation on a belief that these unnamed entities copied some UNIX System V code into Linux. Beyond this limited understanding, we have been unable to glean any further information about your allegation because of your letter's vagueness.

In particular, the letter leaves certain critical questions unanswered. What specific code was copied from UNIX System V? Where can we find this code in Linux? Who copied this code? Why does this alleged copying infringe SCO's intellectual property? By failing to address these important questions, SCO has failed to put us on meaningful notice of any allegedly infringing Linux code, and thus has withheld from us the ability - and removed any corresponding obligation - to address your allegation.

As best we can determine, the vagueness about your allegation is intentional. In response to industry demands that you be more specific, you attempt to justify your vagueness by stating, "That's like saying, 'show us the fingerprints on the gun so you can rub them off.'" (Wall Street Journal, May 19, 2003) Your analogy is weak and inappropriate. Linux has existed for over a decade, and there are plenty of copies in the marketplace with which SCO could attempt to prove its allegation.

We are aware that you recently offered to disclose some of the alleged Linux problems to Novell and others under a nondisclosure agreement. If your offer is sincere, it may be a step in the right direction. But we wonder whether the terms of the nondisclosure agreement will allow Novell and others in the Linux community to replace any offending code. Specifically, how can we maintain the confidentiality of the disclosure if it is to serve as the basis for modifying an open source product such as Linux? And if we cannot use the confidential disclosure to modify Linux, what purpose does it serve?

In your letter, you analogize SCO's campaign against the Linux community to that of the record industry against major corporations whose servers contained downloaded music files. There are crucial differences between the two campaigns. The record industry has provided specific information to back up its allegation, while SCO steadfastly refuses to do so. In its allegation letter, the record industry provides evidence of allegedly infringing activity that is specific to the targeted company. This offers the company real notice of the activity, sufficient information to evaluate the allegation, and an opportunity to stop the activity if it determines the allegation is true. If SCO wants to compare its actions to those of the record industry, it should follow the example set by that industry and present specific evidence of the alleged infringement.

SCO claims it has specific evidence supporting its allegation against the Linux community. It is time to substantiate that claim, or recant the sweeping and unsupported allegation made in your letter. Absent such action, it will be apparent to all that SCO's true intent is to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt about Linux in order to extort payments from Linux distributors and users.

This true intent becomes clearer when one considers various public statements you and other SCO personnel have made about SCO's intellectual property rights in UNIX. SCO continues to say that it owns the UNIX System V patents, yet it must know that it does not. A simple review of U.S. Patent Office records reveals that Novell owns those patents.

Importantly, and contrary to SCO's assertions, SCO is not the owner of the UNIX copyrights. Not only would a quick check of U.S. Copyright Office records reveal this fact, but a review of the asset transfer agreement between Novell and SCO confirms it. To Novell's knowledge, the 1995 agreement governing SCO's purchase of UNIX from Novell does not convey to SCO the associated copyrights. We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership interest whatsoever in those copyrights. Apparently, you share this view, since over the last few months you have repeatedly asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to SCO, requests that Novell has rejected. Finally, we find it telling that SCO failed to assert a claim for copyright or patent infringement against IBM.

SCO's actions are disrupting business relations that might otherwise form at a critical time among partners around Linux technologies, and are depriving these partners of important economic opportunities. We hope you understand the potential significant legal liability SCO faces for the possible harm it is causing to countless customers, developers, and other Linux community members. SCO's actions, if carried forward, will lead to the loss of sales and jobs, delayed projects, canceled financing, and a balkanized Linux community.

We, like others, are concerned about the direction of SCO's campaign. For now, we demand that SCO either promptly state its Linux infringement allegations with specificity or recant the accusation made in your letter. Further, we demand that SCO retract its false and unsupported assertions of ownership in UNIX patents and copyrights or provide us with conclusive information regarding SCO's ownership claims. In the future, we hope SCO will adhere to standards of strict accuracy when stating its rights in UNIX.

Sincerely,

Jack L. Messman
Chairman, President and CEO

Three cheers for Novell (1)

HuguesT (84078) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056553)

If what Novell claims is true then SCO has more than a few problems to handle. It will have to start with a global apology.

That's unamerican! (1)

GQuon (643387) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056662)

It will have to start with a global apology.
They are form the U.S, right? Sue the bastards!

Their only hope now is to be bought by Microsoft. Then all charges will be dropped, because Microsoft brings in so much export revenue. Bah.

IBM's land sharks are cheering too! (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056688)

Not only will IBM's land sharks bite SCO for claiming to own the rights, but didn't IBM buy a whole company on the basis of those claims to get licencing for AIX?

"you repeatedly asked us to transfer ownership" (5, Interesting)

crivens (112213) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056554)

That's hilarious! Especially the part saying "you repeatedly asked us to transfer ownership over the past three months" (words are my own). If this is true, then it shows what SCO has been doing is extremely, extremely immoral. They knew they had no basis for suing IBM and for demanding that companies license SCO, but they did it anway to try to make some money. All I want to know is, who's idea was it - Microsoft's? ;)

and in the latest news (0, Troll)

fyonn (115426) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056555)

Novell sues IBM over linux IP issues....

?

dave

Re:and in the latest news (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056753)

And MS sue SCO for charging for IP they dont own.

AT&T (4, Funny)

budcub (92165) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056563)

How long before AT&T makes a statement of being the "real" owner of Unix?

An interview with SCO CEO here (5, Informative)

The Slashdolt (518657) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056565)

Business Week has interviewed the CEO of SCO Darl McBride here [businessweek.com] . McBride gives some tips as to where IBM may have used their code. Specifically:

" In the last 18 months, we found that IBM had donated some very high-end enterprise-computing technologies into open-source. Some of it looked like it was our intellectual property and subject to our licensing agreements with IBM. Their actions were in direct violation of our agreements with them that they would not share this information, let alone donate it into open-source. We have examples of code being lifted verbatim.
And IBM took the same team that had been working on a Unix code project with us and moved them over to work on Linux code. If you look at the code we believe has been copied in, it's not just a line or two, it's an entire section -- and in some cases, an entire program. "

Re:An interview with SCO CEO here (0)

linuxChique (570415) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056665)

If you look at the code we believe has been copied in, it's not just a line or two, it's an entire section -- and in some cases, an entire program.

Yet still no explanations, examples, specifics, or proof.

When does the trial start (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056566)

I can't wait to see this go down in flames. It would have been better if everyone had just held their onto this stuff till then, it could have been a giant blowup for SCO.

TV (5, Funny)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056567)

This could make an excellent soap opera. All we need now is a love triangle in this SCO/Novell/Linux/UNIX/IBM mess!

Re:TV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056722)

I can't help you out with the love; but at least we've got sex! [slashdot.org]

SCO (2, Funny)

Apostata (390629) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056568)

In light of this news, I wonder if the "SC" in "SCO" will stand for "Shit's Creek".

Re:SCO (4, Funny)

will_die (586523) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056591)

Santa Cruz but the two are the same.

Mod that up (was Re:SCO) (1)

Apostata (390629) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056644)

lmao

OK So... (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056570)

from firepot into the fire...
OR
from fire into firepot....whatever
I don't even want IBM to claim and get (legally) ownership of UNIX System V. Whats to prevent a future IBM CEO from claiming what SCO is claiming now.

Fire in the hole... (1)

Enraged_jawa (641736) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056572)

"SCO is not the owner of the UNIX copyrights. Not only would a quick check of U.S. Copyright Office records reveal this fact, but a review of the asset transfer agreement between Novell and SCO confirms it."

Well, this changes everything! Lmao, go Novel! Appears that the SCO webcast isn't working, but the stock has dropped since the open. This is really good news for the Linux communuty.

Re:Fire in the hole... (4, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056650)

You're in the wrong time zone. The conference call is 9 AM Mountain, in 39 minutes as I write this. I suspect the webcast will go up after the call ends.

Bruce

This is golden... (3, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056575)

All I can say is.... this is getting really funny. it's like everyone is coming out of the woodwork with whatever sticks they have to beat the SCO beast into submission.

what's next in this saga?

W00t!!! (5, Funny)

da' WINS pimp (213867) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056578)

This makes me proud to be a Novell admin! After all the years of abuse from *nix and even Windo$e admins I can stand proud behind a company that does the right thing. ;)

Proud Novell Admin, pimpin' to keep Bill in business.

Unix (5, Funny)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056582)

Multiuser, multitasking, and now, multiowner!

At this point, I'm not sure if I want it to be owned by everybody or by nobody, but at least being "owned" by two is better than by (a bad) one.

INCRDIBLE! (0, Offtopic)

kkonrad (319138) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056589)

BWHAHAHAHA I hope all this is true... that would be real fun!

Only one possible response (4, Insightful)

Cally (10873) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056590)

ROFLM~F~AO!

Like everyone else I got all got all pissed off with Caldera/SCO for their petty, vindictive & malicious behaviour. But now look at 'em... the management team will never work again in corporate America, the company will be bust quicker than you can say "busted flush", and the shareholders (if there's any justice) will be left with nothing. How hilarious! :))

Re:Only one possible response (5, Insightful)

jd142 (129673) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056642)

the management team will never work again in corporate America

If only that were true. Unfortunately, private enterprise does a poor job of recognizing a loser manager when it sees one. Even if you take your company into the toilet, you've got experience and a bunch of connections to get that next job.

Does this mean? (1, Funny)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056596)

That Microsoft isn't going to give SCO money? tsk!

SCO replies (5, Informative)

prostoalex (308614) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056597)

That was quick [yahoo.com] :

The following statement is being issued by SCO (Nasdaq: SCOX - News):
SCO owns the contract rights to the UNIX® operating system. SCO has the contractual right to prevent improper donations of UNIX code, methods or concepts into Linux by any UNIX vendor.

Copyrights and patents are protection against strangers. Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with. From a legal standpoint, contracts end up being far stronger than anything you could do with copyrights.

SCO's lawsuit against IBM does not involve patents or copyrights. SCO's complaint specifically alleges breach of contract, and SCO intends to protect and enforce all of the contracts that the company has with more than 6,000 licensees.

We formed SCOsource in January 2003 to enforce our UNIX rights and we intend to aggressively continue in this successful path of operation.

Re:SCO replies (5, Insightful)

Drakon (414580) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056636)

While this may be true, any and all complaints against the distributors and users of linux is completely and utterly shot down. They also can't even ask for the offending code to be removed, since they don't own the patents or copyrights to it.

Re:SCO replies (0, Offtopic)

will_die (586523) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056641)

MOD PARENT UP.
For a something as interesting, watch SCOX stock price, it is jumping up and down with all theses announcements.

SCO's Stock (1)

Cobralisk (666114) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056741)

Wow, Back in March, SCO was 2 bucks a share, now they're up around 8. I guess no publicity is bad publicity...

In Microsoft-ese (2, Funny)

agentZ (210674) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056598)

You have performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.

Number Changed (5, Informative)

mobileskimo (461008) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056599)

800-946-0719 for the Conference Call

No wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056604)

I am the real owner of the Unix IP!

Am I the only one who finds this... (1)

LeoDV (653216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056610)

...exceedingly funny?

Everyone fighting for ownership of a standard, and fighting over something that, down the road, won't change much to the fight between Linux and MS... "Turns out after all these years, I own Unix!" "No, I do!" I know sometimes the implications of these lawsuits seem scary, but I can't help laughing.

SCO's future (0)

linuxChique (570415) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056612)

So either SCO will be bought or sued out of existance. I bet SCO executives didn't count on that when they brought up all these charges against IBM. Thats poetic justice. Maybe now Novell will put up a bid on SCO.

In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056615)

In other news, it turns out that I am Sparticus!

I am Sparticus!

No, I am Sparticus!

could still be a problem (2, Interesting)

Horny Smurf (590916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056617)

If novell decides they need the money (and let's be honest, their market share has been eroding).


I remember long ago, when Richard Strawlman warned that the LZW algorithm (used by compress) wasn't free. So he wrote zip, which was free. People laughed at him at the time, but when Unisys acquired the LZW patent and started charging fees, he was universially acknowledged as a genius.


Likewise, it's probably best to migrate away from Unix since Novell could still bring up infringement claims. HuRD or Minix are probably the best alternatives.

The truth unfolds.... (0)

vaderhelmet (591186) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056618)

Finally we are starting to see the bigger picture... The truth always comes out in things like this, and the righteous always come out on top. Yay for free software!

wow (1, Funny)

EZmagz (538905) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056621)

Holy shit, I didn't see THAT coming!

Anyone else suprised?

Re:wow (1)

daveatwork (655626) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056705)

heh, i was just gonna write the same comment. I posted b4 on /. saying something along the lines "I dunno how this is gonna end up, but you can bet your willy its gonna get interesting" but wow, this was totally unexpected... WOOOOOOOOOOO!!! who would have thought open source could be so exciting!!!! heh, im not as excited as the text akes it look ;-)

Yes! (1)

notque (636838) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056748)

And it's utterly pathetic how excited I am about reading it.

I really need a life. :)

What did Microsoft buy ? (5, Interesting)

flyingace (162593) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056626)

So what did MS buy from SCO ?

And most importantly, how much did they buy it for ?

next up: (0, Funny)

Machine9 (627913) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056627)

-How Steve Jobs is the REAL owner of Windows.
-Bill Gates claims to have the IP rights to the concept of desktop computing

etc. etc.

is there no end to the madness!!!??!

Ok, who wanted to cheer? (1)

Wylfing (144940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056634)

It feels so good to read something like this. Of course, all the links are already slashdotted, so it's incredibly light on details yet, but yeehaw it would be great to see this proven out.

Learn your metaphors - cat out of the bag!!! (1, Interesting)

FredThompson (183335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056635)

A "pig in a poke" means a bag with a piglet in it, the traditional way of selling a piglet because it's a lot easier to carry that way.

"Letting the cat out of the bag" refers to the other traditional way of selling a "pig in a poke" that is really a cat. The purchaser isn't expected to look inside the bag until they've gotten home out of the risk the piglet will escape. When they do look, they find out the truth.

So...Microsoft DID NOT buy a pig in a poke.

Re:Learn your metaphors - cat out of the bag!!! (4, Interesting)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056740)

Hm. I looked around on the net for references when I wrote that in yesterday. "pig in a poke" does refer to purchasing something sight unseen. A poke is a bag. "Cat out of the bag" refers to news escaping one's control, as it is wont to do.

Thanks

Bruce

What else can be said? (0, Offtopic)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056638)

0wned >D

I would have gotten away with it... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056639)

...If it weren't for these meddling kids!!!

Scooby Dooby Doo!!!

/. 's reactions: (1, Funny)

A_Non_Moose (413034) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056643)

1) Oh, Shit....

2) Fight! Fight! Fight!

3) Microsoft's Lic. 6.0 vs Unix Sys V lic 0.6

4) Are Tux and the BSD Daemon safe from the pillage of The Mouse who buys Congress???

5) Iago from Aladdin: "WHY am I NOT Suprised!!"

.

change of conf call # (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056652)

I called the conf call # early and I am told that the phone number has been changed. The new number is 800-946-0719

Wait ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056654)

Is this the real Bruce Perens?

How sad... (1)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056658)

To see two companies circling the toilet bowl, desperately competing to grab hold of that white stream of paper. Give it up, guys!

future (1)

kipsate (314423) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056663)

Future NEWS: Novell sends "Letter to Linux Customers" stating that unnamed entities incorporated Novells intellectual property into Linux without its authorization.

Re:future (3, Insightful)

Lxy (80823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056738)

While I don't discount the possiblity, I find it hard to believe. Not only has Novell given the linux community its blessing, it's building the new Netware 7 OS [computerworld.com] on top of linux. If it were to come up that Novell's UNIX code was stolen at some point, Novell would be just as guilty as anyone as distributing copyrighted code under the GPL. They couldn't pull a SCO and sue every corporation, because they'd end up suing themselves.

SCO Statement on Novell's Recent Actions (1, Redundant)

Spock the Vulcan (196989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056671)

Link [yahoo.com]
LINDON, Utah, May 28 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The following statement is being issued by SCO (Nasdaq: SCOX - News):

SCO owns the contract rights to the UNIX® operating system. SCO has the contractual right to prevent improper donations of UNIX code, methods or concepts into Linux by any UNIX vendor.

Copyrights and patents are protection against strangers. Contracts are what you use against parties you have relationships with. From a legal standpoint, contracts end up being far stronger than anything you could do with copyrights.

SCO's lawsuit against IBM does not involve patents or copyrights. SCO's complaint specifically alleges breach of contract, and SCO intends to protect and enforce all of the contracts that the company has with more than 6,000 licensees.

We formed SCOsource in January 2003 to enforce our UNIX rights and we intend to aggressively continue in this successful path of operation.

Re:SCO Statement on Novell's Recent Actions (1)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056707)

SCO sounds a little butt-hurt... I wonder why.

file under...... (-1, Troll)

Cnik70 (571147) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056672)

SCO gets bitch-slapped :)

in late breaking news... (1)

m1chael (636773) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056702)

i own linux.
and then maybe you own it.
and then somebody else gets a turn at owning linux.

Why did Novell wait til now? (3, Interesting)

phr2 (545169) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056703)

IpsissimusMarr already asked that question but I figured it needs a new thread heading. That this didn't come out earlier, even as leaks, is suspicious. Xanadu-xtroot's explanation (they were waiting til their lawyers got the letter phrased absolutely right, that the assertions were correct, etc) reaches for plausibility but isn't entirely convincing.

How the heck did SCO buy "Unix" without buying the copyrights? Why have they been in discussion (dispute?) between SCO and Novell for the past several months? Novell's letter has qualifiers like "to our knowledge" when it says SCO doesn't own the copyrights. It sounds like the Novell-SCO agreement has been flawed all along and nobody knows what the real situation is.

I think there are yet more layers to this madness waiting to be unpeeled.

Conference Call (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056709)

mplayer "http://web.servicebureau.net/conf/meta?i=11123830 11&c=2343&m=was&u=/w_ccbn.xsl&date_ticker=5_28_200 3_SCOX"

Inquirer article includes text of Novell letter (5, Informative)

Bootsy Collins (549938) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056713)


Heh, I submitted this seemingly seconds before it was posted by Michael.

The press release link at Novell in the story appears to have been replaced with a blank page, at least for now. This story [theinquirer.net] at the Inquirer includes a copy of the letter that Novell's CEO sent to SCO's CEO Darl McBride. Good stuff.

Where's the white rabbit? (1)

BenjyD (316700) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056714)

What the hell is going on? When did the whole world go through the rabbit hole?

Personally, I reckon:

$>grep '(C) SCO' /usr/src/linux -r
$>

should settle the whole case.

Stock (3, Informative)

Waab (620192) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056715)

Down 4% since the market opened this morning, half of that in the last 20 minutes.

NASDAQ: SCOX [nasdaq.com]

That's right... (2, Insightful)

IpsissimusMarr (672940) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056716)

We formed SCOsource in January 2003 to enforce our UNIX rights and we intend to aggressively continue in this successful path of operation.

This is SCO's responce. And that's just why everyone hates them. Becuase the "formed" specifically to sue everyone they can get their hands on and not to do business.

This is just like the guy patenting "online aucitoning" and suing eBay. Its a load of shit. The sad thing is that its a growing industry.

Computing History (3, Insightful)

Organic_Info (208739) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056719)

This will be one of those saga's that become a part of computing history.

The plot twists and turns are making this into a very intersting story.

does this remind anyone of wrestling? (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056725)

You know, where the bad guy (SCO) comes out and talks trash about the good guy (IBM). Then when the good guy comes out to attack him, he gets jumped by another bad guy (Microsoft). And then just as they're about to pummel the hell out of IBM, Novell comes out of the crowd brandishing a folding chair...

Next week they'll be a tag match to determine the UNIX championship...in the cage!

I thought I'd never say this... (1)

CaptScarlet22 (585291) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056730)

But Thank God for Novell....

interesting (1)

daveatwork (655626) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056731)

this is interesting, have you noticed that /. put this up themeselves, rather than it being a story posted by someone else. First time ive seen something like this happen...

tee hee

/me sits back and watches the fireworks!

Linux is safe, even if IBM is not (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056737)

Based on SCO's response, claiming that no patent or copyright issues are involved, then Linux and Linux users are safe from any action by SCO EVEN IF SCO WINS AGAINST IBM. I certainly hope SCO doesn't win, but even if they do, since the entirety of their claims are contract based, and NOT copyright or patent based, the Linux code base can't be touched.

Gay Anal Sex (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056744)

I like gay anal sex

Idiot at SCO (2, Funny)

lauterm (655930) | more than 11 years ago | (#6056745)

It was in this context that we recently received your "Letter to Linux Customers." Many Novell business partners and customers apparently received the same letter. Your letter compels a response from Novell.

So who was the idiot at SCO that sent the "you're a bad Linux user" letter to Novell?

Novell to SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6056747)

All your Unix are belong to us
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