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SCO Might Sue Linus for Patent Infringement?

CmdrTaco posted more than 11 years ago | from the does-it-bother-you-when-I-poke-you-here dept.

Caldera 1154

An anonymous reader writes "[Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive stated] that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement." It's right at the end of the story and it's quite a statement.

cancel ×

1154 comments

WTF? (5, Insightful)

Verteiron (224042) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062039)

Ok, so what, exactly, are they planning to sue him for? It's not like he can be held responsible for what IBM may or may not have put into the kernel. Or can he?

Re:WTF? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062126)

You can sue anyone for anything. Doesn't mean that you will win though !!!

If they can prove that he knowingly used the Unix source code as a model while he was developing the Kernel then they may have a chance legally.

I can see a lot of big legal guns coming out on his side though. We could not allow such a precedent.

Remember that cases are adjudicated as points of law and not common sense!!!

Anything can happen in a court of law.

Well, that just shows what this is (2, Insightful)

Knife_Edge (582068) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062040)

All SCO is doing is blustering. This has been discussed to death here before.

Re:Well, that just shows what this is (1)

johny_qst (623876) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062124)

Yeah can we seriously get editors to stop putting SCO legal claims on the mainpage until some actual source code is released. I'm tired of seeing what three legal actions will come out of SCO *owning* infringed intellectual property each and every business day. Shakespeare and lawyers always come to mind at the same time.

Re:Well, that just shows what this is (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062151)

The Shakespeare character who said "first, kill all the lawyers" was a tyrant. He wasn't interested in killing the lawyers to stop stupid lawsuits, he wanted them out of the way so he could do whatever the heck he wanted.

DCR SPAMCANNON! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062041)

FRIST PSOT!!!!!

OMFGWTFBBQ?!?!

Should Linus be afraid? (5, Insightful)

valisk (622262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062049)

I think a 24% crash in SCOs stock price today shows what the market thinks of this news, and exactly how much Linus has to fear.

The threat to get Linus is as hollow as the rest, no Judge will allow a suit to be brought when the ownership of the IP is in question, and given that Novell own a vast majority of the patents (832 unix and novell vs 117 Sco and Unix), according to the USPTO [uspto.org] , the fact that Novell have taken some time and obviously a lot of expensive Legal advice before making such a series of claims vis a vis the ownership of the Unix IP and seems willing to step in the way of SCOs legal bullets, I'd say SCO's battle to steal Linux from the community has just got infinitely more difficult.

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (3, Insightful)

DetrimentalFiend (233753) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062119)

To be honest, I wish that Linus had a reason to be afraid. His reaction to this whole thing started off as complete apathy and is still hovering around it. Linus has treated the whole incident as though it has nothing to do with him, so I'm glad that SCO has crossed the line and done something that will force Linus' hand. Maybe it's selfish, but I really would like to see Linus sticking up for the Linux community, which now includes big businesses such as IBM.

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (5, Insightful)

Dante (3418) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062186)

I disagree, strange as it seems I don't want him to take it too seriously. It's supposed to be fun right? Personally I hope he quits when it is no longer fun.

How would you feel if you got sued because of what you did for _FUN_.

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (5, Insightful)

Alan (347) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062230)

If you've ever seen linux talk, or read his book, that's his attitude (as I see it, YMMV, IANAL, IMHO, etc). He wants to program cool stuff that interests him. He couldn't care less about linux vendors, desktop wars, or 90% of the shit that "the linux community" is concerned about. I'd be willing to wager that if no one but him used Linux he's *still* be hacking away on it, because that seems to be the sort of person he is (the fact he's more a manager of code now than a coder aside).

I for one agree with his apathy... it's denying the sort of media circus that could result. Think about how much better all our lives would have been if the media had chose apathy in the OJ case (I know I'm going OT here) and just reported "OJ on trail for murder" and then proceeded onto the next story.

Personally I'm ignoring it all too, until some code that is actually damning is produced, or there is actually a legal leg to stand on, it's just noise.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to get back to my perl, which is mostly just noise as well.

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (1)

bigfleet (121233) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062191)

This is clearly based on the assumption that stockbrokers have the first fucking clue about technical issues. Remember, all it takes is one person with an opinion, and the herd mentality takes over from there.

An you know what they say about assumption...

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (5, Interesting)

gwernol (167574) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062195)

I think a 24% crash in SCOs stock price today shows what the market thinks of this news, and exactly how much Linus has to fear.

Although if I were Linus I wouldn't exactly take the market as my best legal opinion in the matter... IANAL and the M(arket) is sure as hell is NAL either.

The threat to get Linus is as hollow as the rest, no Judge will allow a suit to be brought when the ownership of the IP is in question

Like I said, IANAL, but I would have thought a judge would allow such a suit. After all isn't one of the principle functions of the civil court to decide exactly these sort of contract disputes?

given that Novell own a vast majority of the patents (832 unix and novell vs 117 Sco and Unix), according to the USPTO,

I don't believe the USPTO keeps track of changes of ownership of patent rights. Even if it did, this seems to be primarily a contract dispute not a patent one.

the fact that Novell have taken some time and obviously a lot of expensive Legal advice before making such a series of claims vis a vis the ownership of the Unix IP and seems willing to step in the way of SCOs legal bullets, I'd say SCO's battle to steal Linux from the community has just got infinitely more difficult.

I don't think so. It has got a little harder (hooray) but I don't think it has got that much worse. Even Novell's chief executive is quoted in the article as saying "We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership whatsoever in those copyrights" (my emphasis). That isn't the totally unequivocal statement I would have liked to hear.

Re:Should Linus be afraid? (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062200)

SCO does not own 117 patents. Maybe they are mentioned in 117 patents, as an example of a Unix system. Mind your search parameters. They own only a handful of patents, and no significant ones.

Bruce

Huh? (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062053)

What happened to the "it's not patents, but licensing" arguement?

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062248)


What happened to the "it's not patents, but licensing" arguement?


It's Wednesday afternoon (please try to keep up)

Go To Hell McBride (0, Flamebait)

8282now (583198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062055)

like the title said...

Oh Dear... (-1, Offtopic)

el-spectre (668104) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062056)

Rob, RUN!!!! Your servers are about to have a meltdown....

And (1)

Bruha (412869) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062057)

Linus could always say Ni to all the source he's committed into every Linux Kernel and SCO would be in a world of hurt maybe.

Obviously it's time to stop talking about it becuase all you're doing is advertising their name for free.

Re:And (4, Insightful)

Jerf (17166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062187)

Obviously it's time to stop talking about it becuase all you're doing is advertising their name for free.

There is a such thing as bad publicity, especially for publically traded companies.

Does SCO just want the wrath of all Geekdom?? (2, Funny)

Sergeant Beavis (558225) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062058)

Oh yea, I can see every script kiddie on Earth going after them now. GEEZ what a dumb statement to make.

Re:Does SCO just want the wrath of all Geekdom?? (1)

j_dot_bomb (560211) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062131)

I can also see lots of donations heading to his defense fund. Geeks are apathetic but for this I think they would pony up in suprising numbers.

last post! (-1, Offtopic)

donutz (195717) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062059)

d'oh!

Counter Suit (5, Interesting)

rfmobile (531603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062060)

I suggest counter-suing for defamation of character. Just how much is an international reputation worth? Linus could end up owning SCO. Now *that* would justice. -rick

Re:Counter Suit (1)

rfmobile (531603) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062098)

*ahem* Now that would BE justice! -rick

I'd pay a couple of $$$ to the Linus defense fund (5, Funny)

rushfan (209449) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062061)

In short, Novel thinks SCO has lost it's gord, SCO knows they are hosed, and are creating MS style FUD by saying anything to get their lame company in the news....

I hope Novell is right in:
"We believe it unlikely that SCO can demonstrate that it has any ownership whatsoever in those copyrights," said Jack Messman, Novell's chief executive, in a statement Wednesday

But anyway, I'd pay a couple of bucks, especially if we get a Pay-Per-View event of Linus kicking McBride upside the head.

Rushfan

Re:I'd pay a couple of $$$ to the Linus defense fu (-1, Troll)

Usquebaugh (230216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062135)

Linus would get his ass kicked. He'd probably need his wife to bail him out.

Re:I'd pay a couple of $$$ to the Linus defense fu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062237)

Or he could get his wife to kick SCO's ass with her mad karate skillz.

Re:I'd pay a couple of $$$ to the Linus defense fu (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062197)

If Linus needs a legal defense fund, count me in. I'll kick in dosh until it hurts.

I owe that much to Linus, if it weren't for him, I doubt I've have ever gotten into Unix-flavored OS's.

Look at the contrast... Lunus wrote a Unix kernel... Gave it away to the wold. Scaldera? SUE all the world!

Theres a buck to be made here... (5, Funny)

jdehnert (84375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062062)

Think I'll go pattent "Hello World!"

I always wanted to name a band "Special Guest" too.

Re:Theres a buck to be made here... (5, Funny)

dogfart (601976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062129)

I always wanted to name a band "Special Guest" too.

I remember a band named "Free Beer". Clubs were always careful to put their name in double quotes.

Re:Theres a buck to be made here... (1)

Zack (44) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062194)

IIRC, they changed their name and became famous. I believe they're called "Bare Naked Ladies" now.

too bad (2, Informative)

McDrewbie (530348) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062064)

too bad SCO doesn't own the patents nor copyrights. on unix. Their deal with Novell never involved Novell giving up their copyrights on UNIX http://perens.com/Articles/SCO/BigLie.html http://www.novell.com/news/press/archive/2003/05/p r03033.html

Re:too bad (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062218)

the article on Perens' site is right to the point .....good read

HEY SCO, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062069)

*_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_____)/______\_(_____>__|_/_____t_ _
s______/_/\|___C_____)__SCO__|__(___>___/__\____s_ _
e_____|___(____C_____)\______/__//__/_/_____\___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_s_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:HEY SCO, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062167)

why are you stupid geeks modding that as offtopic? he's making his point of hatred towards sco!!

Make an enemy of everyone... (3, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062071)

McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds

SCO really does seem to want to make an enemy out of absolutely everyone left on Earth.

Excuse me, but didn't Linus actually write Linux from scratch to duplicate the functionality of the existing Unix systems -- or do I misremember those early days?

Re:Make an enemy of everyone... (1)

jerryasher (151512) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062134)

My understanding is that wouldn't matter in a patent case, unless you are arguing the patent was for an obvious invention.

Patents do protect against independent inventions of the same patented technology.

Re:Make an enemy of everyone... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062208)

Patents do protect against independent inventions of the same patented technology.

True. But not against prior art.

Re:Make an enemy of everyone... (1)

8282now (583198) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062162)

If I recall correctly, I believe he used Minix as a reference.
a free, unencumbered implementation of *nix.

Patents can be violated in "clean rooms" (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062213)

You dont have to have any previous knowledge of a patent to violate it.

Nor does the patent holder have to enforce it , until he feels like it..

Its why patent lawers make so much $$, the research.

Is this possible? (5, Interesting)

man1ed (659888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062073)

What patents still exist that cover Unix? Don't they expire after 17 years? I don't think patents filed for "time sharing systems" or "virtual memory" in the seventies are still applicable. Besides, if this is valid, why are they not also suing everyone else? I know Sun licensed the Unix code to make Solaris, but did they license patent rights as well? What about FreeBSD? GAAHHH! How can SCO even claim that this nonsense is valid?

live (sue) by the contract... (1)

kenl999 (166189) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062080)

die by the contract...

IANAL (NDIPOOS) but it'll be pretty obvious if the transfer of (copyright|patents) is in the contract Darl's so found of boasting about.

Save Linus (4, Interesting)

ShwAsasin (120187) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062085)

If SCO decides to actually sue Linus, I hope all the server companies (or atleast the big ones like IBM, Red Hat, Penguin Computing, etc.) will help with his legal costs. After all, he did give them a great product without them do all the R&D themselves.

tetris solution :) (5, Funny)

graveyhead (210996) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062088)

A while back, I posted this [slashdot.org] joke:
I don't know which planet YOU are from, but in my book SCO (the f**kedcompany formerly known as Caldera) is an extremely innovative company. I mean, when I installed their version of Caldera Linux back in 1998, they had a game of Tetris that you could play while the installer ran. Tetris! WHILE YOUR OS INSTALLED! Now, if that's not real innovation worthy of IP protection, I don't know what is. So don't you dare come along mister and say that SCO has no real effective Unix IP to license :P

The thing is, I got two interesting replies that went largely unnoticed:

dvNull (235982) [slashdot.org] wrote:

BTW i knew people who worked for The Tetris Company who planned on making a case against Caldera for infringing on the Tetris copyright.

and An Onerous Coward (222037) [slashdot.org] wrote:

I would be so happy if IBM stole that bit of IP and got it into every distro. That would be schweet, and well worth another billion dollar lawsuit.

OK, so why not? I second Onerous Cowards' motion. Except, instead of stealing, IBM should immediately obtain a contract with The Tetris Company to redistribute Tetris. Then they should file lawsuits against SCO for infringement. Even if the lawsuits are frivilous, it would still be a thorn in the side of SCO when it is realized publicly that they very blatantly stole the IP from The Tetris Company.

On a side note, it seems to me that Caldera has a serous history of copying technology... DOS and Tetris are the ones I know about, plus they came up with a Linux distribution... ooh there's originality at work. Also, I believe they bought those rights to UNIX (acquired when they bought the original SCO, IIRC) How can this company turn around and sue IBM for infringement?! It doesn't make any sense. As far as I can tell, that install+game really is the most innovative they've ever been as a company. God that was brilliant. I hate waiting.

Re:tetris solution :) (1)

Segod (463725) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062146)

I remembered reading something about this awhile ago so I looked it up on e2. http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node=Tetris

"Due to Soviet political structure at the time, the inventor, Alexey Pajitnov, was not able to patent his game. This gave rise to many sundry Tetris clones for all manner of machines."

So i think the first guy was probly making it up. Why else would there be so many clones?

This just in: (3, Funny)

Andorion (526481) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062089)

I'm suing everyone for everything. Details at 11.

~Berj

Irony alert (0)

dogfart (601976) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062091)

Wasn't Linux initially based on Minix, an academic look-alike for UNIX, designed specifically to avoid AT&T intellectual property claims?

I see some irony here

Re:Irony alert (1)

quigonn (80360) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062175)

Go learn history. Linux doesn't contain and never contained any Minix source code. Linux was totally written from scratch.

Re:Irony alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062233)

from snatch? who's snatch?

I think we need a term for this one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062093)

In L.A., there's "suicide by cop."

Here, we have "suicide by Linus."

Time to move (1)

Boone^ (151057) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062094)

Linus might think about working remotely from Finland until this mess gets straightened out.

Does this desperate attempt seem like SCO's struggling for survival, or now that their original plan has holes they must keep plugging away to reach their goals?

hmm (0, Troll)

adamruck (638131) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062095)

What would slashdot do if SCO would shop sueing people? Slashdot could be in trouble, after all it would loose half of its daily articles.

Re:hmm (-1, Offtopic)

zhrike (448699) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062171)

after all it would loose half of its daily articles.

Loose half of its daily articles? Upon whom?

Looser. I'd loose my head if that happened.
Slashdot would loose a lot of respect tooo.
My noose itches.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062209)

Nah, we would just go back to MS-bashing.

Not if Novell comes thru.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062096)

This whole issue could potentially be put to bed once and for all if Novell comes thru (earlier Slashdot article). It will be intresting to see SCO back pedaling and maybe even giving up the conspiritorial goods on other companies that bank rolled their legal steam roller.

wow (3, Insightful)

westcourt_monk (516239) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062099)

Stupid..

Stupid for reporting every little SCO quote. Stupid for thinking courts can allow such lawsuits.. and how in hell can SCO afford all this crap anyway?

Stupid...

Re:wow (2, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062154)

and how in hell can SCO afford all this crap anyway?

They can't. This is being handled on a contingency basis. If there are a lot of counter-suits SCO could be in big trouble.

Re:wow (5, Funny)

tomreagan (24487) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062168)

Legal Fees to Prepare a Spurious Lawsuit : $25000

Filing Fees in the Plaintiff-Friendly States of your Choice: $1000

2 Months of Free Press when the entire Tech Community goes apeshit: Priceless

For free and open source software, there's GNU. For everything else, there's SCO BastardCard.

Who owns the patents? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062104)

If Novell, not SCO, owns the patents then what can SCO sue Linus Torvalds for? Certaintly not for patent infringement.

FUD, FUD, and more FUD.

In Soviet Russia... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062107)

...lawyers sue you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

WetCat (558132) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062205)

... Soviet Russia sue you.
(there were NO lawyers).

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1)

Loosewire (628916) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062217)

dont you mean
"In soviet russia, Tux kicks SCO's ass"

Finally (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062110)

That fat bitch deserves to be sued. He stole my idea to create a free version of UNIX.

Re:Finally (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062216)

Cut it out, RMS.

We found HIM!!!! (3, Funny)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062112)

Darl McBride has been unmasked as the Iraqi Information minister [welovethei...nister.com] !!!

Thank Allah... i thought he had died at the hands of the infidels that were not in Iraq!

That's just regoddamndiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062116)

Why doesn't IBM just buy them out, and give Darl McBride the ass-raping he so sorely needs?

SCO == SUC (1)

DrCarbonite (560741) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062117)

Obviously SCO is grasping at straws now. Linus created Linux before SCO owned the patents, so any role he himself may have/had originating things took place before it was sold.

In addition, I think Novell must have a strong case otherwise they wouldn't have spoken out. They were not part of the original debate, so why would they enter it if they didn't have solid grounds to prove their point? If you own shares of SCO, you may want to ask the board why the CEO/president is running around wasting company money on frivolous lawsuits when they could be spending it on product development.

New definition (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062118)

SCO - v. as in, "To pull and SCO" - wreak havok on your own stock price by throwing lawsuits any way you can, thus driving down your stock so someone can afford to pick it up and keep the company/technology going

Sue this ! (1)

cyberchondriac (456626) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062121)

I'm waiting to see IBM countersue SCO for writing for the x86 platform !
Or would that be Intel ? :-)

Don't take this threat lightly! (5, Interesting)

sumbry (644145) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062122)

I've been an avid FreeBSD user for years, and I remember when this same exact thing happened with AT&T vs. BSD years ago. I would seriously avise the Linux camp not to take this threat lightly (as everyone seems to be doing) because even if you are in the right, this could screw up Linux distribution for years.

All SCO has to prove is that portions of code that it licensed for AIX to IBM ended up being used in Linux. This is alot easier than you think. All it takes is ONE PROGRAMMER out of the thousands that contribute code to have done this, for the Linux camp to be screwed. Since no one is out there auditing Linux code looking for stuff like this - how hard do you think it is for one person out of thousands of developers to have done this?

Look at how much code already is shared between the various BSD and Linux flavours already. Kernel drivers often have huge chunks of code that are just copy and pasted from one flavour to the next.

BSD had the jump on Linux way back in the day but has less marketshare now because of the same BS that happened with the AT&T suit oh so long ago - and we ended up winning that suit!

Be wary. This issue is not as cut and dry as all you may seem to believe. If SCO can prove that one person messed up, Linux is screwed. All it takes is 1.

Re:Don't take this threat lightly! (5, Informative)

Kissing Crimson (197314) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062201)

Since no one is out there auditing Linux code looking for stuff like this


Actually, there's a team of people at IBM (and I'm sure a few other companies) doing exactly that.

Re:Don't take this threat lightly! (1)

Camel Pilot (78781) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062219)

You are forgetting the Novell development. It looks like SCO has no footing for sue anyone.

Also the question comes down to, are they claiming copyright, trademark, patent rights or trade secrets violation? SCO keeps changing the claim which cause me to believe they grasping at straws.

Re:Don't take this threat lightly! (2, Insightful)

fwr (69372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062246)

Wow, that's unbelievably doom and gloom. Everyone is taking it easy in the Linux community because of two things, I believe:

1) SCO is suing IBM. IBM already invested billions of dollars in Linux and isn't about to let this one go.

2) Precisely because of the history of the BSD case. If there is offending code all we have to do is take it out. SCO can't ban Linux entirely, just Linux that contains copyrighted code, if that is the case.

*sigh* (1)

Mensa Babe (675349) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062123)

"[Darl McBride, SCO's chief executive stated] that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement."

Why won't he sue Richard Stallman, while he's at it? After all SCO has said that whole programs were copied ("stolen" if your will) and we know that Linux is a kernel (and quite monolithic at that), not a bunch of programs.

*sigh*

Hey! Darl!!! Can you hear me?! Will you please finally read this [opensource.org] ? Pretty please?

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my OS. (0, Offtopic)

Desmoden (221564) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062127)


prepair to die!

Or at least flog him or something...

should have posted this earlier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062130)

unfortunately most slashdotters won't see this article.

SCO deserves maximum bad publicity for this threat against Linus.

Are they fucking stupid?!! How dare they? I hope whoever at SCO is responsible for these crimes gets royally fucked in court by shareholders, linux users, joe blow on the street, Bubba from cell block 6, and whoever else wants in on the action.

Does this remind anybody else of the Jerky Boys? (1)

zhrike (448699) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062136)

This so reminds me of the sue-happy guy done by the Jerky Boys.

He calls up a lawyer to ask a number of questions about possible lasuits (all ridiculously frivolous), dragging the lawyer further and further into the realm of stupidity, then he asks the lawyer if he could sue HIM.

"Sue everybody!"

I think Ole Darl is that guy.

Next up: SCO sues Slashdot. News at 11.

Code to prove this? (1)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062139)

They still have not shown any code or IP for patent infringement. When are they going to find (or show) the smoking gun? I have not been following this story 100% so if I am wrong link me to some info.

Re:Code to prove this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062166)

Since it becomes a tradition NOT to show a smoking gun at all and say "I am right forever", like in case with Iraq war (where is the mass destruction weapons?), it seems that SCO doesn't feel obligated to show any code at all.

I hope there's a counter suite (0)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062141)

Why don't all the commercial linux vendors get together and counter sue SCO for their slandering of Linux. Maybe it will shut them up for good.

That or blow up their headquarters. Ok that's a little extreme. Burn it down slowly...

where's the popcorn? (2, Funny)

necrogram (675897) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062142)

if this didnt involve linux, and now Linus, i would think is down right hilarious. I just cant wait to see the season finale

what has linus done? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062152)

Even if linux does contain SCO owned code how is linus to blame for this? Surley if they're gonna sue anyone it should be the people who put that code in (oh wait wasn't that some SCO programmers???).

And SCO will burn... (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062158)

Methinks it's time for Linus Torvalds to sue SCO for defamation given Novell's revalation.

It'd be the dumbest thing they could do... Linus is an ICON to geeks. Fuck with Linus and we will make SURE our bosses don't buy SCO.

Ooops, I forgot, one one IS buying SCO, that's why they are filing bogus lawsuits!

What patent? (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062160)

What patent infringment? Since Novell NEVER transferred the patents/copyrights which patent in particular are they referring to?

SCO is so fucked now.....
All of you folks might want to head over to the message board of your choice and advise people to short SCO stock since they are not long for this world. You might even be able to help their speedy demise.

A more pressing issue.... (1)

curtisk (191737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062161)

.....what the hell is up with UTAH [state.ut.us] ? Is this a really just a turf-war? :p

SCO is screwed as SCO or any other derivative in the future....they're peeing in the pool, but with their swimsuit dropped to their knees! Shameless!

Funny... (2, Funny)

Kirby-meister (574952) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062164)

Just about everybody on Slashdot hates SCO with a passion.

A week ago I saw a banner ad for SCO Unix on the top of the front page...

SCO has descended to the playground bully level (5, Informative)

Bruce Perens (3872) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062165)

This is by far the most irrational thing I've seen from SCO. Go to www.uspto.gov and search the patent collection online. Look for "Santa Cruz Operation", "SCO", and "Caldera" as patent owner. They were granted one patent last month, and not a significant one. There isn't much else there.

A lot of patents owned by other people mention SCO as an example of a Unix system. That is by far the largest source of mentions of their company name in the patent database.

So, where's the ammo in Darl's gun? No patents. No copyrights for the stuff he said he owned. No trade secrets, as far as I can tell.

And then, to threaten Linus Torvalds as an individual sounds especially whiny. multi-Million-dollar corporation sues San Jose programmer who has made a life of giving his work away for free. SCO has descended to playground-bully level.

Karsten Self revealed this interesting tidbit from SCO's 10K report: [sco.com]

The Company has an arrangement with Novell, Inc. ("Novell") in which it acts as an administrative agent in the collection of royalties for customers who deploy SVRx technology. Under the agency agreement, the Company collects all customer payments and remits 95 percent of the collected funds to Novell and retains 5 percent as an administrative fee. The Company records the 5 percent administrative fee as revenue in its consolidated statements of operations. The accompanying October 31, 2002 and 2001 consolidated balance sheets reflect the amounts collected related to this agency agreement but not yet remitted to Novell of $1,428,000 and $1,894,000, respectively, as restricted cash and royalty payable to Novell. The October 31, 2001 balances were reclassified from cash and equivalents and other royalties payable to conform to the current year presentation.
This is SCO's admission that Novell owns Unix System V, all revisions - that's what they mean by "SVRx", and pays Novell 95% of the royalties. SCO gets to keep 5% as administrative agent.

That proves the Novell allegation.

SCO stock dropped from $9 to $6 today. I'm surprised it closed that high.

Bruce

Re:SCO has descended to the playground bully level (3, Insightful)

valisk (622262) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062242)

Yeah, I was watching the stock price plummet, interestingly the bulk of the fall took place after this comment from McBride, which indicates that nobody takes him seriously, I imagine SCO stock is facing a hammering tomorrow.

It's a great job you, esr and the rest of the community have done over the past few weeks, thank you and I hope we can now clean Sco's clock for them :)

Oh! my god, I'm scared (1)

gallir (171727) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062176)

Months ago I've made public a one liner patch [216.239.37.100] ... patched my kernel. Mama, mama!!!

Who owns the patents? Novel or SCO? (1)

yuri benjamin (222127) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062180)

How can SCO sue Linus for infringing patents and copyrights that Novel owns [novell.com] ?

put a rookie on this one.. (1)

segfault_0 (181690) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062183)

Put a rookie lawyer on this one and wait out any lawsuit that these morons file.. They will be chapter 7 and liquidated or bought before it comes to bear anyhow..

Tortious Interference (2, Insightful)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062188)

McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement.

IANAL but it seems that the above quote seems like great fodder for attorneys. One of the main arguments going against SCO's claims (other than the obvious Novell claim that SCO owns diddly/squat) is that this is a money making gimmick and not a "real" lawsuit. With McBride throwing out gems like this it'll be fun to read the answer brief!

The now is the time!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062203)

Dyslexics of the world, untie!

Duno, but... (1)

AchilleTalon (540925) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062204)

isn't required Linus making money directly by selling, trading, etc... proven intellectual property from SCO to be a sueable candidat?

As far as I know, Linus is an employee of Transmeta and is not running any Linux company. He may own some shares or been paid by Linux companies, but it doesn't make him a candidat for such a vendetta...

timing (2, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062206)

Novell added that in recent months, SCO executives had asked Novell to transfer the Unix copyrights to SCO -- a request that was denied.

It would be interesting to see if this request for transfer occurred before SCO's legal maneuvering or after..

McBride added that unless more companies start licensing SCO's property, he may also sue Linus Torvalds, who is credited with inventing the Linux operating system, for patent infringement.

IANAL, but there are no grounds for suing Linus unless SCO can prove that Linus was aware of infringement and knowingly let it occur, which is obviously far fetched, but SCO seems desperate enough to try anything. SCO had a profitable quarter with a 4.5 million profit, but I would be amazed if they company lasts more than a year given the current state of their legal situation and the public relations nightmare that is developing now and his sure to create a huge backlash. Most of the decision makers in charge of recommending SCO's products are the exact same people who hate SCO now because their BS legal actions.

I think it's time .... (2, Funny)

taniwha (70410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062221)

For the city of Santa Cruz to get SCO (based in Orem Utah) to stop using their name

Maybe (1)

T40 Dude (668317) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062222)

SCO owns Linus ?

SCO is dying (0)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062239)

It's cool to watch its agony.

just how sick is this goddamn SCO already? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6062240)

just shut down those SCOdiots already!

jeeeebuz, wholy frickin shiat, someone shut them SCOoooooooopid fuckers up atlast.

Which Patent? (3, Insightful)

GGardner (97375) | more than 11 years ago | (#6062241)

For a long time when these people mentioned IP, we thought they meant copyright infringement, not patents, but now there's all this talk about patents. However, no one lists which one(s).

There's the famous 4135240 setuid patent [uspto.gov] , which Bell labs granted to the public domain, and which has expired by now anyway.

Novell gave us a clue, by pointing out that some patents might be in their name. But searching [uspto.gov] for Novell and Unix on the USPTO web site yields 62 patents. Most of these seem like they came from work on NetWare, but it is hard to tell for sure. Looking through these patents shows how bogus the US patent system is -- I quickly persued several at random, and every one was either an obvious technique, or being violated all over the place, or both. (IANAL).

The first patent returned by the search (6,546,433) lists "PowerBuilder 5 Unleashed!", by Sams publishing as reference material. Frankly, if I were a patent examiner, this would be evidence alone to reject the application.

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