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IBM Points Out SCO's GPL Software Distribution

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the didja-read-the-license-first dept.

The Courts 482

An anonymous reader writes "Cnet is reporting that IBM has launched a counterstrike against SCO Group's attack on Linux users, arguing that SCO's demands for Unix license payments are undermined by its earlier shipment of an open-source Linux product." JayJay.br points out a similar but more colorful article on The Register "in which SCO says that 'SCO-Caldera does not own the copyrights to JFS (Journaling File System), RCU (Read, Copy, and Update), NUMA (Non-uniform Memory Access) software, and other IBM-developed AIX code that IBM contributed to the Linux kernel.' Gee, now that I was almost buying their license ..."

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death to sco!! (-1, Troll)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555422)

FP!! Go get em IBM!!!

Re:death to sco!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555441)

DIE SCO. .DIE YOU BITCH DIE.. DIE...

(ok imagine i'm the guy from evil death with a really big gun)

oblig. sideshow bob... (1, Funny)

eupheric (618980) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555545)

"die SCO, die" is actually German for "the SCO, the"

Re:oblig. sideshow bob... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555652)

Come on, mods, that was funny.

0wn3d! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555423)

Bend over and take it SCO!

Slashdot fanb0ys get-together (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555717)


I can't take credit for this, it's courtesy of a /. reader much more clever than I. Just enjoy, and add to it.

-----

"Here are some of the funny jokes you might get to hear:

1)

"What time is it?"

"I don't know, my watch just blue-screened, it must be running TEH WINDOWZE"

2)

"Johnny just got Doom III, let's go check it out on his computer."

"Is it going run? He's using Windows XP"

3)

"Want to try it?"

" Do I have to boot into Windows? I hate doing it." (actually, some of the editors have gone for this in actual article headlines)

4)

Any scenario involving a computer freezing at a presentation/workshop:

scenario a, using windows: "HAHA, WINDOWS IS TEH SUCKS."

scenario b, using linux: "HAHA, DID YOU INSMOD WINDOWS???"

The list goes on and on. I wish people would get over it. Yes, Linux is now somewhat usable for a normal human being that doesn't want to invest 4 hours reading up 4 tree levels deep of manpages. Yes, Linux is stable. Why can't you just be happy with this and enjoy yourself?

Can you imagine Luddites visiting a place with a loom 20 years later and going "Your sweater didn't turn out right? I guess your loom froze!! HAHAHAHA" This is how I feel every time I see this sentiment on Slashdot."

What about Xenix? (5, Funny)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555425)

I've decided I'm only using SCO Xenix to avoid all the licensing issues with Linux.

Hell I even bought a Compaq Deskpro 386/25M. Who knew the bios could only be accessed by boot disks!!! Took me a good hour or two to figure that out. Thank god HP/Compaq still has these on their site.

Xenix the choice of an old generation.

Re:What about Xenix? (2, Interesting)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555434)

Xenix the choice of an old generation.

And originally a Microsoft product.....

My question is-- what took IBM so long to do this? Or are their lawyers that slow?

Re:What about Xenix? (5, Funny)

Quarters (18322) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555590)

My question is-- what took IBM so long to do this? Or are their lawyers that slow?

Yeah, why aren't IBM's lawyers knee-jerk, arm-chair experts like everyone else? What the heck is IBM paying them for - to take their time, do their research, make sure they present facts not just heresay or inuendo, and generally make sure the issue is understood completely before they talk about it?

IBM's just pissin' money away with those guys on board!

Re:What about Xenix? (5, Funny)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555633)

"what took IBM so long to do this? Or are their lawyers that slow?"

They get their kicks by watching their victims wiggle and squirm around a bit before finally squishing them.

Re:What about Xenix? (0, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555452)

Heck!

I hafta run this on a Harris-made 20MHz 286 clone, with a Ministor 40Mb MFM drive. We all consider this a step up from Mark Williams Company's Coherent. UUCP works now!

Re:What about Xenix? (1)

JCMay (158033) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555530)

You say "Harris-made" like it's a bad thing :) I happen to work there [harris.com] ...

Re:What about Xenix? (0, Offtopic)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555716)

Not bad at all! Harris' Semi-Conductor Division made 'most all my pre-i386 AT CPU's! When no one had 386 memory management, and ran 'em like fast 8086's... I would pick up Harris 286-clones cheap! They got to 25 MHz, I'm recalling.

Re:What about Xenix? (3, Interesting)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555577)

Hell I even bought a Compaq Deskpro 386/25M. Who knew the bios could only be accessed by boot disks!!!

IIRC, the hard drive parameters for Compaq machines of that era were hard-coded in the BIOS. So if you want to upgrade from the 60 megabyte drive that came with the system, you might have to get out your EPROM burner. Good luck!

Re:What about Xenix? (1)

s4ltyd0g (452701) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555693)

Oh great another Microsoft customer, I'll bet you're posting from IE3 under vpix too (-;

Its funny because its true (-1, Troll)

headbulb (534102) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555428)

HA HA

TOASTER!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555430)

toaster,toaster toaser, do you have toast in you yet i think [rowdyruff.net]
so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Im not a toaster!!!!!!!!!!And one more
thing........YOUR A TOASER!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AND A COOKIE WITH MILK SOAGE
MILK!!!!!!!!!!AND A BUTT WITH POOP IN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ahh... (4, Funny)

deunan_k (637851) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555433)

And what do I say to this all?

I say.. Finally.. IBM really took their time to get things done. Frankly, I am tired seeing SCO bashes Linux community and generally making life miserable..

In your face SCO!

Re:Ahh... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555460)

"IBM really took their time to get things done."

A wise decision on their part.

Rather than leap into the fray, FUD cannons firing full effect, they likely took the time to research things a bit.

The end result?

IBM doesn't end up looking the fool, as SCO has.

Well either way... (0, Redundant)

ErisCalmsme (212887) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555442)

I have to say that I am lucky enough (or is it not lucky enough?) to not have to worry about using linux for business purposes. Therefore, though all of this licensing business is somewhat concerning, I can still use my favorite OS regardless of what the big companies say...

Re:Well either way... (1)

rolling_rox (690973) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555667)

I use Linux in my business every day and am not worried a bit.

Re:Well either way... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555715)

50/50 Linux/Windows over here. I'm not worried a bit. In fact, I'm still adding Linux boxes.

Let me get this straight (4, Insightful)

perimorph (635149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555449)

So does this mean that as long as you use Caldera or SCO or whoever's distro of Linux, you have the Top-Secret Stolen Code under a Proper License and you're safe from the supposedly Harsh Penalties Of Law for using Top-Secret Stolen Code?

I swear, this is getting more and more like threatening to sue the readers of a newspaper because it contained an AP story that wasn't properly credited.

Even better (5, Informative)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555528)

From the article:

It appears from Blake Stowell's answers to the copyright-related questions that SCO says it does not have copyrights to JFS, RCU, and NUMA software code or to items (a) through (k) of paragraph 108 of SCO's Amended Complaint in the SCO-Caldera v IBM lawsuit.

From the amended complaing:
108. IBM has breached 2.05 of the Software Agreement by, inter alia, actively promoting and allowing use of the Software Products and development methods related thereto in an open and hostile attempt to destroy the entire economic value of the Software Products and plaintiff's rights to protect the proprietary nature of the Software Products. By way of example and not limitation, IBM has used protected UNIX methods for others in accelerating development of the 2.4.x kernel and 2.5.x Linux kernel in, among others, the following areas: (a) scalability improvements, (b) performance measurement and improvements, (c) serviceability and error logging improvements, (d) NUMA scheduler and other scheduler improvements, (e) Linux PPC 32- and 64-bit support, (f) AIX Journaling File System, (g) enterprise volume management system to other Linux components, (h) clusters and cluster installation, including distributed lock manager and other lock management technologies, (i) threading, (j) general systems management functions, and (k) other areas. But for the use by IBM of these protected UNIX methods in Linux development, the Linux 2.4.x kernel and 2.5.x kernel capacity to perform high-end enterprise computing functions would be severely limited.

This is big. In essence, SCO has admitted that they don't really have *any* copyright case and that Linux intellectual property is all above board. They can still accuse IBM of breach of contract, but I really don't think any of us have the details on what the contracts stated.

Re:Even better (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555565)

That's essentially where SCO started this whole thing from -- before certain executives started shooting their mouths.

The core issues is still a big hissy fit over the failed Monterey AIX-UnixWare unification project, and you're right that nobody here has the details.

Re:Even better (5, Funny)

perimorph (635149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555584)

You didn't properly credit the article. Therefore, I'll be filling lawsuits against all Slashdot members who read the above post.

Joking aside, thanks for the clarification. I'm slightly less completely lost now.

Nope.... (5, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555581)

SCO can not distribute their proprietary code linked with GPL code, because it would be illegal under the GPL. So if they claim they can, SCO, and by the SCOian logic, all SCOs customers are liable for a class action lawsuit from everybody that has ever contributed to those OSS projects. Sounds like cannon fodder for some counter-FUD, not to mention a countersuit to me.

Kjella

Re:Let me get this straight (5, Interesting)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555601)

Considering SCO now admits that IBM owns the copyright to the code, this simply becomes a contract case. That means, since IBM disclosed code which they own all the IP to, no one else has anything to worry about. After all, it's IBM that's ultimately responsible for their actions. Having said that, most of their legal department is taking a nap because SCO's claims are so worthless. Furthermore, IBM's Unix license is irrevokable, so it hardly puts IBM in a pinch, even with AIX. For SCO's claims to even hold water, SCO would have to have IP or copyright claims to IBM's products, such as AIX, OS/2, etc. They do not. Remember, just because SCO has IP rights on Unix, doesn't mean they, in turn, have rights to everything IBM has done to add value to Unix.

If you look at what they've been doing, they've been trying to pump up their stock prices. SCO's execs have been dumping SCO stock almost as fast as they can. This doesn't even sound like a company that is expecting to get a huge infussion of cash from an outstanding legal battle. This is the act of rats trying to bail on a sinking ship. I personally hope the FTC is watching them very closely.

Your daily dose ot SCO... slashdot exclusive! (-1, Offtopic)

gatesh8r (182908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555450)

The editors of slashdot want to make sure that even while you breathe you have to look and read about SCO! They will put it under many different catagoeries so you can't just go into your preferences and say "I do not want to see SCO and SCO-related stories".


Stop with the fucking SCO articles. Or put it under SCO/Caldera. Either way, I think I speak for many.

Yes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555472)

No one wants to hear about the biggest legal dispute in the industry since 'DoJ vs. Microsoft!'

Last time I checked, Slashdot pretended to be a technical news site. If you don't want technical news, shut the hell up and read somewhere else.

Re:Your daily dose ot SCO... slashdot exclusive! (0, Redundant)

smoondog (85133) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555482)

I disagree completely, I think the SCO articles are some of the most interesting on /. That said, I think it is funny that it isn't associated with SCO/Caldera. It seems to be associated with everything else.

-Sean

Re:Your daily dose ot SCO... slashdot exclusive! (0, Redundant)

Rhone (220519) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555491)

Linux-related news dominates Slashdot, and SCO (and SCO's tactics, which could conceivably be used by other companies that want to hurt Linux) is the current Big Bad Threat to Linux.

So you're going to see the play-by-play posted here, whether you like it or not and no matter how much you bitch. If you don't want to see it, ignore it.

Re:Your daily dose ot SCO... slashdot exclusive! (0)

rowanxmas (569908) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555509)

The problem was that they had 7 other categories to put it under.

7 shall be the number thoust must count to, 8 shall be too many and 6 not enough. 9 is right out!

Re:Your daily dose ot SCO... slashdot exclusive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555615)

You know, you don't actually HAVE to read everything posted. SCO stories don't come every day (well, ok, maybe they do), but the title should be sufficient to warn you off, no?

BSD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555454)

This could be what us *BSD faithful have been waiting for.

Once SCO has killed off Linux forever, most everyone will be using *BSD.

And I promise you wont ever have to refer to it as "GNU/BSD"!

Re:BSD (-1, Flamebait)

alph0ns3 (547254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555496)

I never knew they were stupid people in the BSD camp!

Darl McBride also quoted as saying.. (5, Funny)

questamor (653018) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555455)

McBride was also quoted as saying "he he fellas, come on, you knew we were joking all along don't you? right?"

Darl was last seen in tattered pieces scattered around IBM.

Re:Darl McBride also quoted as saying.. (4, Funny)

capnjack41 (560306) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555668)

They were dragging his statue around the parking lot, and people were throwing their shoes at it.

Here we go again.. (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555456)

80% of the posts here will follow one or more of the below:

1. Die,SCO! Don't mess with linux!
2. They had it coming to them!
3. Linux is teh ghey!
4. Mod parent down!

Oh, and, of course, mod ME down for being redundant!

Re:Here we go again.. (1)

Rhone (220519) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555532)

Don't forgot "Here we go again with another SCO story". That's a popular one too.

badly worded story.... (2, Interesting)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555474)

Well from the chuff in the story it look like 'yet another sco v linus' slashdot artical.

The fact that IBM has evenetually responded to the allocations that SCO has made over the past few months if very important and more-or-less blows the worries of any users out of the window:(IBM will settle the issue)

Double standard, double talk. (4, Informative)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555476)

"On Friday, SCO spokesman Blake Stowell reiterated the company's earlier position that the GPL provisions don't apply because SCO is the Unix copyright holder and it never placed the copyrighted code under the GPL."

Bullshit. Go to their FTP site and READ THE GPL they have posted there. It states explicitly that SCO is distributing the code under the GPL.

Fscking LIARS....

Oh yeah, hey Darl, here's a little something special for you:
Behold, the truth.. [rr.com]

Re:Double standard, double talk. (3, Informative)

Spellbinder (615834) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555718)

"On Friday, SCO spokesman Blake Stowell reiterated the company's earlier position that the GPL provisions don't apply because SCO is the Unix copyright holder and it never placed the copyrighted code under the GPL." and the same time they are telling no SCO but IBM is the copyright holder and this is no copyright case but a contract case!!!

Re:Double standard, double talk. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555724)

It's spelled extortion

Simple (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555481)

I registered my copy of Linux with SCO. It only costs $700, and I don't have to worry about getting sued or breaking the law.

Re:Simple (-1, Flamebait)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555508)

You, sir, are a d-u-m-b a-s-s.....

Re:Simple (1, Offtopic)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555524)

I registered my copy of Linux with SCO. It only costs $700, and I don't have to worry about getting sued or breaking the law.

If that isn't a troll, I don't know what a troll is. But I appreciate the straight delivery....so I will bite. So, what did you get in return for this $700?

Re:Simple (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555563)

You should have stuck with your "troll" theory.

Re:Simple (1)

gearheadsmp (569823) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555609)

A joke! He made a joke, and he got $700 :P

Re:Simple (5, Funny)

Flower (31351) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555624)

So, what did you get in return for this $700?

Hopefully he gets a year's supply of K-Y. Obviously, SCO isn't going to have the common courtesy to offer a reach-around.

NUMA (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555484)

NUMA?!? Doesn't Dirk Pitt have the rights to that?

This is all they've come up with for a defense? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555489)

This is their one hope I guess: that even though THEY (IBM) put it there, the judge will rule SCO did GPL it even though they didn't know it was there at the time. I doubt it will go down that way, seeing as how SCO didn't know it was there at all in the first place, and Torvalds admittedly makes no checks himself.

Re:This is all they've come up with for a defense? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555618)

IBM actually has 9 different affirmative defenses against SCO [weblogs.com] in their response. The GPL issue is probably just part of 1 of these defenses (number 7th).

Even if none of these 9 were to work, the burden would still be on SCO to prove the 100+ assertions in their complaint.

Nerf Football (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555490)

1) Get a Nerf football and cut the ends off so there is a two inch flat on each end of the ball and carve a hollow two inch cylinder through it's length.

2) Get a piece of Armaflex which is a plumbing pipe insulator which feels amazingly like human skin and is not split down it's length like many others.

3) Cut a piece of Armaflex slightly longer than the hollow football and put it in the football.

4) Lubricate Armaflex tube.

5) ???

6) Profit!

Re:Nerf Football (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555642)

A lubricated skinlike material shrouded in a Nerf Football? That's not a Troll! That rocks! Bah. It will come in handy, if you know what I mean, and I think you do, to all of us trolls who read at -1! I'm out of here but I'll be back. I have to run to Home Depot, the drug store and Toys R Us!

Anonymous Hero wrote:
1) Get a Nerf football and cut the ends off so there is a two inch flat on each end of the ball and carve a hollow two inch cylinder through it's length.

2) Get a piece of Armaflex which is a plumbing pipe insulator which feels amazingly like human skin and is not split down it's length like many others.

3) Cut a piece of Armaflex slightly longer than the hollow football and put it in the football.

4) Lubricate Armaflex tube.

5) ???

6) Profit!

this seems to be the most important development (1)

sstory (538486) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555501)

This seems to be the most important development because if SCO distributed the controvertial code under the GPL, it's out there.

Linux in Germany (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555507)

I was wondering how this was going to impact the German switch from Windoze to SuSE Linux.

But then I realized, that Germany will simply pass a law which blocks any Americans from getting money from them - just like they made Napster legal.

The Germans are flagrantly taunting us now, ignoring our laws while having a virtual hissy fit about Microsoft supposedly breaking laws. Everyone knows how nationalistic they are. We really need to think and compete globally, because THEY aren't playing fair. Can you say 4th Reich anyone?

MozillaQuest (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555511)

I swear to god that MozillaQuest has to be the most god-awful, annoying, horrible and painfully formatted web magazines I have ever seen. I'm sitting here with 1600x1200 resolution and the article text is wedged into this little column stripe in the middle of the screen, not to mention the paragraph-long article titles which restate half the friggin article rather than summarizing it, the gigantic sidebars, the random chunks of text in the navigation bar (are they supposed to be links?) and the COLORS.

Re:MozillaQuest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555620)

How is this offtopic? I can't even comment on the topic because I can't even READ the article in question because some jerkass hasn't gotten past "Chapter 2 - Simple Formatting Using Tables" in "HTML for Complete Dumbasses"!!!

This is actually an improvement! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555635)

Mozillaquest is actually publishing substance, even though the publisher still doesn't grok style. Imagine when Mozillaquest was filed and filled with never-ending "articles" about the bug-rates in Mozilla? Imagine that ugly and unsubtle and blocky graphic design coupled with meandering text that never said more than was said the previous week? Painful, eh?

Gotta say: with the SCO vs IBM battle to the forefront, Mozillaquest has finally adopted something vaguely resembling journalism. Now, if the sole contributor ne-publisher would adopt something vaguely resembling tasteful graphic design; I might actually read for more than five minutes! Heck, correct the absolute positioning bungles and I might even read a column!

-John Le'Brecage

IBM is just repeating Slashdot (4, Insightful)

flicken (182650) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555517)

It's what Slashdot pundits have been saying all along: SCO's shipment of a Linux distribution undermines its demands for Unix license payments. Nothing new here for the well-informed Slashdot reader.

SCO counters with the expected: they didn't contribute the code knowingly, and thus the code was never officially released under the GPL.

Re:IBM is just repeating Slashdot (3, Insightful)

perimorph (635149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555558)

That sounds a lot like telling a judge that I didn't read a contract before I signed it, so how can it be enforced?

My fault, my loss. SCO's fault, SCO's loss.

But like you said.. SCO is countering with the expected, and no one expected them to come up with something better than that. Sad, ain't it?

Where's the meat? (5, Interesting)

darnok (650458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555522)

Several weeks after people were able to view the supposedly offending code (under NDA), there's still no report of what it actually is.

This is in contrast to every known FUD convention, where it's normal practice to sign a NDA, look at something secret, wait a few days then quietly have a word in your buddy's ear and get him to post some still-speculative-but-extremely-specific detail of what it is you looked at.

Why the sudden maintenance of SCO's secrecy, when there's an industry-wide history of violating similar NDAs at the first opportunity? How can we not know even the tiniest specific detail of SCO's case, yet we know e.g. details of every close-kept Apple product release several days before Steve Jobs announces it?

A few weeks back, I honestly expected the following to happen:
- a few people sign the NDA and view the code in question
- (nothing happens for a few days)
- new code gets quietly released for functions A, F, H and Z in the kernel, gets exhaustively tested by several key Linux people and very quickly appears in the next kernel release
- confident pronouncements from Linus, RedHat, SuSE etc. that they are absolutely sure the SCO case has no merit, that they believe (but can't confirm) the code in question is "old code no longer in use" and so on

Actually, maybe this happening now and I should keep quiet about it. If so, could someone tell me which step we're up to? I promise not to tell

Re:Where's the meat? (4, Informative)

Rabidbunnylover (600898) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555578)

According to that article a while back about the person visiting SCO, those that sign the NDA aren't given copies of the offending code. All he was able to do was look at a Powerpoint presentation that didn't even specify what version of Linux the code was from. Additionally, since anybody who signs the NDA can basically be barred from kernel development work, those who take SCO up probably aren't going to be familiar enough with the components SCO is talking about to be able to recall the exact sections of code from memory.

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

tktk (540564) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555657)

Besides, do you really want to break an NDA with a company with little in the bank and with a propensity to sue?

I've always suspected that the whole presentation and NDA was to have more people for SCO to sue. "You broke the NDA, we're going to sue you!"

Having said that, I have no money and am not worth suing.

Re:Where's the meat? (3, Insightful)

darnok (650458) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555732)

Even so, the guy still walked out from SCO with some intimation of what the code actually was. Assuming it didn't look ridiculously generic and therefore likely to be produced by 2 people working on the same problem at the same time, it would have some defining characteristics that a grep through the source would probably find pretty quickly.

If it's in an old version of the kernel, then it may just take a bit longer to grep for it.

I'm not talking about something as gruesome as a SCO copyright message, but you'd think there would be some aspect of the code that would remain in the guy's mind when he left SCO.

Furthermore, I can't believe the individuals who signed the NDA were that disinterested that they didn't do exactly this. I know *I* would have done so, if only to satisfy my own curiosity.

Assume just one of these people did this, and now has concrete proof (if only in their own mind) as to whether SCO is talking out of their arse or not. Would that person not be inclined to find a way to make this information public, via whatever obfuscation process was required to ensure their identity was untraceable? I mean, these guys were picked because of their kernel and/or coding knowledge; surely they could make a few discreet enquiries about anonymous mail relays and how to use them...

I'm not encouraging these guys to flout SCOs NDA; I'm just surprised that it hasn't occurred through "osmosis" as normally happens with NDAs, and there's not a general feeling among OSS people that the problem has gone away if it actually ever existed.

ob profit (0, Funny)

einer (459199) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555580)

Your plan was lacking a few key steps:

1. - a few people sign the NDA and view the code in question
2. - (nothing happens for a few days)
3. - new code gets quietly released for functions A, F, H and Z in the kernel, gets exhaustively tested by several key Linux people and very quickly appears in the next kernel release
4. - confident pronouncements from Linus, RedHat, SuSE etc. that they are absolutely sure the SCO case has no merit, that they believe (but can't confirm) the code in question is "old code no longer in use" and so on
5. - ?
6. - Profit!

Re:Where's the meat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555589)

Moreover, when is this stupid lawsuit supposed to start so we can all get on with our fucking lives? Everyone's tired of this not only gracing the front pages of slashdot, but the cloud hanging over our heads. Man.

Re:Where's the meat? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555621)

You're the stupid one for letting the SCO alegations affect you in this way. Just ignore it and get on with your life. It won't affect you, since the allegations are groundless.

Re:Where's the meat? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555673)

ARE YOU MAD?!

We do not get good soap operas like this in the computing world that often. Enjoy it, there will not be another for a few years...

and glorious gifs are free in america again :)

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

Zebbers (134389) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555599)

because they showed them nothing

Re:Where's the meat? (2, Interesting)

miratrix (601203) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555626)

Maybe it just means that the people who actually did sign the NDA and looked at the code are not technically familiar with the Linux Kernel. My understanding was that it was mostly members of the media and stock analysts who signed the contract and looked at the code. I remember reading one guy (analyst? can't remember) who looked at the code and wrote that every other line seemed copied - he obviously has no programming experience.

Otherwise, it may mean that infringing code actually does not exist or is insignificant. Take your pick.

Re:Where's the meat? (5, Insightful)

Theolojin (102108) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555641)

A few weeks back, I honestly expected the following to happen:...- new code gets quietly released for functions A, F, H and Z in the kernel, gets exhaustively tested by several key Linux people and very quickly appears in the next kernel release

i am amazed at the number of folk who simply assume the claims of sco are accurate, that there is unlawful code in the linux kernel. could it be that the above has not happened precisely because there is no offending code to replace?!

Re:Where's the meat? (1)

Enry (630) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555648)

If the code is as ingrained as SCO is leading us to believe, then the changes will be neither minor nor quiet. SCO is most likely watching the kernel mailing list to see what's going on, and will see if there are any substancial changes to what they think is theirs.

The code would then have to be tested extensively to make sure it works at least as well as the old code.

In addition, anyone who saw the SCO code would be tainted, preventing them from being able to make alternate code to do the same thing.

According to SCO in MozillaZine, this is a contract dispute between IBM and SCO. If so, then Linux users have nothing to worry about, as SCO would have to tell Linux users what the offending code they own is. At that point, it can be replaced.

Even so, SCO (Caldera) has been releasing various forms of Linux for years. The 2.4 tree has been out for 2.5 years (early '01). If Caldera has been distributing this code in their release for 30 months without knowing it, then they must have some very poor programmers. One would hope a vendor would know what they're selling, right? I could understand if it were 6 months or a year, but this is a bit strange.

You did what? (1, Informative)

VP (32928) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555548)

The second link in the article is to the MozillaQuest site, known for its brain-dead articles about Mozilla...

I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (4, Interesting)

Jameth (664111) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555551)

No, really, I do.

I don't think it will help anything if section six of the GPL can overrule section one. If the copyright holder did not Know they had code in Linux, they should not be obligated to have that code be considered GPLed because they distribute it.

It is a question of knowledge, and I suspect it would be hard to prove that SCO hadn't just missed a few snippets of code.

A ruling that SCO put its code under the GPL unknowingly would destroy corporate faith in the GPL, and that's a very bad thing.

Also, I don't think it is morally correct to punish for distributing code they did not know about.

Of course, I hope SCO dies painfully a few months later when its law-suit actually hits IBM.

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (4, Interesting)

edwdig (47888) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555645)

There's one problem with that defense. SCO continued to distribute Linux for a few weeks after they first announced their claims. If they stopped distributing Linux when they announced the claim, then they could use the defense that they only distributed Linux because they didn't know their code was in it.

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555697)

Actually there is no problem with that defense. An attorney posted on another site (OSNews I think) about how that counter-argument fails on 2 counts, (1) SCO can not undo past conduct, and (2) SCO are responsible for knowing what they distribute.

Further, IBM have 9 affirmative defenses (and this is just part of their 7th) in their response. Even if all 9 affirmative defenses fail, then SCO still have to prove their allegations.

Finally, SCO is still distributing Linux from their official FTP site. I didn't check (except to see the folders were there, earlier today) - however this was reported on CNet, TODAY.

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (3, Informative)

yamla (136560) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555730)

For a few weeks? SCO is still distributing the 2.4.x Linux kernel under the GPL. Now. Today.

I disagree (5, Insightful)

tkrotchko (124118) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555674)

If you have a business where you essentially own System V; where in fact, the only thing you have of value is System V, and you release Unix-like code under GPL, it seems to me you'd better understand what you're releasing!

What I mean is that the GPL in this case had the possibility of unique harm to SCO (a 1st year legal student could see that), and yet they (a) encouraged their own employees to work on a GPL project (b) released a version of the GPL OS themselves.

It seems a bit disingenuous to say "I am an operating system company, but I didn't know what I was releasing".

They're either stupid or lying. In either case, it appears to be that they lost their unique ability to distribute the moment they distributed Linux.

How can an Operating System company claim ignorance of the copyright within an operating system they sold? Its inexplicable. It goes beyond the boundary of veracity. Or, like I said earlier, they're a bunch of yahoo's that have no idea of what they're doing.

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (3, Insightful)

MrGrendel (119863) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555691)

How can they not know about this? [sco.com] They are distributing the supposedly infringing version of Linux as I type this. Regardless of what they may or may not have known in the past, they certainly do know that whatever code they believe they own is in Linux right now, yet they continue to distribute it in blatant violation of the license.

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555712)

they are _STILL_ distributing it, it would be another thing if they had stopped distributing it.

right now, on this day, several months after it this crap started, still it's on their ftp, with gpl attached.

you don't say to a judge that you didn't know your cars breaks were failing six months after it failed the inspection because of the brakes and you kept driving it anyways, "sorry sir, i didn't know they were faulty, even though i must have known!"..

and licensing binary only running of linuxes is just sick (paying for nothing, except for the privilidge of doing a contract with these jolly sue maniacs), and has no point at this phase of the legal progress anyways.

anyways, now they're claiming theres entire files in there, but at the same time they're claiming they belong copyright-wise to ibm.. so.. actually i don't have any idea anymore theres so much of this crapfud around, how on earth can they be ibm written and at the same time line by line copied from sco's unix base? or are they trying to say that their contract with ibm forces ibm not to do any research on their own on the same fields they have licensed from sco(seperate developer groups and all included)?

Re:I Hope SCO wins on that GPL thing (0)

marvin2k (685952) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555722)

I don't think it will help anything if section six of the GPL can overrule section one. If the copyright holder did not Know they had code in Linux, they should not be obligated to have that code be considered GPLed because they distribute it.
But they DID know that the code was in there for quite a while. In fact even now they're distributing the kernel under the GPL from their website so while I agree on what you said (and I think the courts would agree too) your point simply doesn't apply in this case.

You have no basis for that (1)

einhverfr (238914) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555729)

I don't think it will help anything if section six of the GPL can overrule section one. If the copyright holder did not Know they had code in Linux, they should not be obligated to have that code be considered GPLed because they distribute it.

Fair enough...

But-- SCO continued to distribute Linux *after* they filed the suit against IBM. So they *knowingly* distributed the software and hence knowlingly licensed it to everyone else.

IANAL, but I think that contracts require some degree of conscious acknowledgement. This is why you have to sign a contract and ideally have witnesses that can testify to that ;)

But maybe you are a troll....

SCO's shell game (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555568)

Last week SCO [sco.com] announced acquiring the assets and technology of Vultus [vultus.com] , a web services company, who offer web development tools called WebFace [vultus.com] ("Runs on Internet Explorer 5 and up").

While SCO predicted that they would obtain 15%-20% of a $3.7bn Web Services market [pcpro.co.uk] , I have to admit to being perplexed how this is supposed to happen, and also wondering how well an Internet Explorer-based product could fit into SCO's UNIX offerings.

ComputerWorld has an alternative explanation of the Vultus acquisition, they call it: "SCO's Shell Game [computerworld.com] ".

One thing is for sure - it sure is lucky that Vultus was in the same (Canopy-owned) building as SCO [vultus.com] (check the picture), even before the acquisition!

Update: More on this story at GROKLAW [weblogs.com]

Repost: Form-4 filings with the SEC [sec.gov] reveal Executives profiting from SCO stock sales: they made $398,833.90 in June, and $781,964.70 in July (so far)!

Typical Slashdot Post (-1, Troll)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555596)

Gee, now that I was almost buying their license ...

Just typical. You have to throw in a little snarky dig at SCO,don't you?

You can't have a single damn story here without getting all of this biased, unprofessional editorial content mixed in. No one would mistake this place for a real news organization, that's for sure.

Re:Typical Slashdot Post (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555606)

Maybe that's because it's a goddamn discussion forum, bright boy?

Re:Typical Slashdot Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555628)

And you are some freakin' genius for noticing this in 2003.

Re:Typical Slashdot Post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555660)

chill. It's not like your post added any value either.

Re:Typical Slashdot Post (1)

jonabbey (2498) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555709)

I thought it was pretty good parody, myself.

So who's not drinking the Kool-Aid? (2, Funny)

analog_line (465182) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555602)

Did SCO's counsel just miss the day everyone took a big swig at SCO, or has the company finally decided that this whole thing was getting out of hand (little late to the game, but hey, the stock is up)?

Or have we been in the grip of one hellacious Reality Distortion Field, and none of this "We Really Own Linux, We Don't Care About Some No-Name Finnish Geek" crap ever actually happened? What else has occured since then that might not have happened? Could Bush have been impeached and I just missed it somehow?

Backlash from argument: Example of Viral GPL (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555619)

One the one hand, we all know that SCO is full of crap, and this will help formalize it.

On the other hand, this will provide an enormous amount of ammunition to groups who think the GPL is viral by nature.

Im not saying its true... but spin factories will not have a hard time extolling the deviousness of the GPL in respect to SCO, the GPL just wandered up on poor unsuspecting SCO and stole SCO IP.

Of course, the argument is bull, but try and convince a CEO/CIO/COO of that. Unfortunately, a lot of CTOs may miss the boat too.

IBM and SCO are both EVIL( good cop bad cop ) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555632)

It is a trap. I have worked for IBM
and they are not for FSF. IBM and SCO are planning
this just like IBM wants to own redhat they both
think they can play good cop bad cop and distroy
they gnu/linux etc.. community. Don't buy their
Products !

a question about SCO (4, Interesting)

linuxislandsucks (461335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555638)

Sounds to me like SCO Group top managment disagreed with past actions of Caldera employees concerning the code they contributed to FS (Journaling File System), RCU (Read, Copy, and Update), NUMA (Non-uniform Memory Access) software

So McBride hatches this FUD plan to sue IBM for copyright infringement despite the fact that the actual code is from their own employees!

Hoping for buyout from IBM..unfortunately IBM has clear records of Caldera employee contributions and thus knows its own contributions to same subsystems and thus know its in the clear and ha snot violated copyrights..

So my question is..

When SCO goes bankrupt aroudn Christmas wil the top execs be charged with fraud for pumping up stock on false information and if so whne can we see MCbride behind bars?

prior art (5, Interesting)

Veteran (203989) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555644)

UNIX is as much a derivative of MULTICS as Linux is a derivative of UNIX. SCO's claim to hold the 'intellectual property rights' to all modern operating systems fails because of that fact - a point which needs to made against them.

Inconsistent Virality (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555650)

It seems that without copyright claims over the features in question, SCO's complaints are based on their contract with IBM over the Unix source code. SCO asserts that this contract license is viral. In fact, it's the Ebola virus of licenses: If you write some code then link it with System V, your code becomes a derivative work of Unix, and it falls under the control of the Unix license forever. Your code becomes permanently tainted and it can never be revealed to anyone, even in its original form from before it was linked to Unix.

Meanwhile, SCO says that the GPL is barely viral at all, not even worthy of a runny nose. That's because they linked their code to a bunch of GPL'd software, but they say that they can ignore the license because "hey, we didn't really mean it". In fact, the GPL must be so unviral that SCO can still distribute this code from their FTP site.

It will be interesting to see if any court buys both of these arguments at the same time.

So, now there's two separate issues to address.... (5, Interesting)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555686)

1. This bozo spokesman essentially affirmed what Linus said, that the lawsuit is a contract case between IBM and Caldera. Caldera has no claim on the technologies that IBM contributed, other than to say, "Hey, you can't tell them that! That's a part of proprietary Unix, and can't be disclosed, even if you wrote it!" Doesn't bode well for some other companies who've contributed parts of their proprietary Unixes to Linux. *cough* Silicon Graphics *cough* But that covers NUMA, RCU, and JFS. If IBM loses here, they are also open to a lawsuit from Microsoft. Why? Because JFS didn't come initially from AIX. It came from OS/2.

2. All that said, there's no resolution of the "copied" code sections Caldera has brought up. From many, many, of their previous statements, it would seem that the technologies mentioned above are what they're trying to milk GNU/Linux users for. If it's *not* NUMA, RCU, and JFS, what, exactly, are the infringments GNU/Linux users are responsible for? I eagerly await a cogent answer, but I know the chances of getting such are slim to none. I will use GNU/Linux (when I'm not playing around with the Hurd) until an individual user loses a lawsuit to SCO over copyright or patent infringement.

Good point in the MozillaQuest Article (5, Interesting)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555692)

Actually, this is the first SCO article in a while which has made me think of the case in a new light... refreshing for a rehashed story like this.

It seems that SCO are saying that the issue is not actually about copyrighted code being in Linux at all. The issue is about IBM putting it there in contravention of their contract to "keep it secret, keep it safe".

However, I understand that IBM's linux teams and the AIX teams were pretty seperate for that specific reason - no cross pollination. So, SCO is saying that algorithms, solutions and ideas are the problem, not code.

<irony>Luckily this area of legal rights on ideas, concepts and algorithms is really clear in the US legal system.</irony>

clips from the article:
This lawsuit is about breach of contract and other tort claims. It is not about copyright infringement.

SCO-Caldera being able to prove that IBM-developed AIX code ... are derived works under the Unix licenses is the critical and key issue to SCO proving that IBM breached the Unix license agreements. ...the Unix license prohibits IBM from disclosing Unix Software Product code, methods, secrets, and so forth to third parties.Simply put, if SCO-Caldera can prove that IBM-developed AIX code ... are derivate works and therefore part of the Unix Software Product and that IBM disclosed the code, methods, secrets and for them to the Linux developers, then SCO wins its IBM lawsuit.


IBM didn't do anything; big battle ahead (1)

KoalaBear33 (687260) | more than 11 years ago | (#6555694)

None of this really proves anything or advances the issue in any direction. IBM has simply rehashed the FSF argument. I still think there is a big battle ahead.

The article from MozillaQuest is more of an op-ed piece than anything else. Sure, they quote stuff here and there but there is nothing concrete--either way.

This whole SCO thing started out as an attack on IBM, and a money-making scheme. Now it looks like it is going to test the GPL and many of the FSF principles. I don't know if this is exactly the test we wanted for the GPL but we are getting something.

In other news, SCO claims that they will sue Linus Torvalds. Depending on the day of the week, and how the stars are aligned, this may be true or simply be a threat. If SCO does sue Linus, it will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

A lot of the open-source, free software, and Linux stuff haven't had much challenge in the courts. We'll find out how the US government and its proxy, the US courts, view all this. It wouldn't surprise if some 3rd parties even got involved. This SCO situation will be ground-breaking.

Of course, what I have said is with the assumption that SCO will actually take all these parties to court. For all I know, they may not.

KoalaBear33

Don't buy SCO or IBM products ! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6555703)

You want real news how about IBM cheating its
employees on salaries. IBM lies. You can make
more money as a security guard than working
for IBM. SCO and IBM are both bad. No one needs
them. Ask your representatives to drop any form
of IBM or SCO goverment contracts.
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