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SCO Attorney Declares GPL Invalid

michael posted more than 11 years ago | from the look-at-the-silly-monkey dept.

Caldera 1137

chrullrich writes "According to heise (German, fishbait), SCO's chief counsel Mark Heise (unrelated) of Boies, Schiller and Flexner has declared that the GPL violates the US copyright law and is thus null and void. SCO's legal position is actually a little too crazy to believe: The GPL allows unlimited copies, the copyright law allows one. Therefore, the GPL is invalid. Apparently, they try to argue that the copyright law, in giving consumers the right to make one backup of their software without any permission from the copyright holder, outlaws any contractual agreement that allows users to make more than one copy." There's an Inquirer article in English. Apparently SCO is now using the Chewbacca Defense. Other SCO news: SCO reports a profit, examining SCO's contributions to Linux, an attorney summarizes the case.

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Hold up a second... (4, Interesting)

cruppel (603595) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697552)

So the GPL violates copyright law, eh? I thought the GPL is copyleft.

From the FSF website [fsf.org] :

Copyleft is a general method for making a program free software and requiring all modified and extended versions of the program to be free software as well.
...
In the GNU project, our aim is to give all users the freedom to redistribute and change GNU software. If middlemen could strip off the freedom, we might have many users, but those users would not have freedom. So instead of putting GNU software in the public domain, we ``copyleft'' it. Copyleft says that anyone who redistributes the software, with or without changes, must pass along the freedom to further copy and change it. Copyleft guarantees that every user has freedom.

So why is anyone talking about copyright When the GPL is specifically designed to provide copyleft? :)

Re:Hold up a second... (5, Funny)

EMH_Mark3 (305983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697663)

Well everyone knows that two wrongs don't make a right, but three copyrights make a copyleft :)

Re:Hold up a second... (0)

Lostman (172654) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697706)

Noone will probably mod you up and that is a shame -- just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed it. It made me smile.

Re:Hold up a second... (4, Informative)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697687)

When the FSF refers to the GPL license as being a "copyleft" they're making a joke, because they're using COPYRIGHT law to ensure that the code remains freely available. Copyleft is not a principle the law recognizes.

Re:Hold up a second... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697740)

...the GPL is specifically designed to provide copyleft? :) <--

arrow points at emoticon. emoticon == joke. moderators mod randomly, user receives karma.

Re:Hold up a second... (4, Insightful)

echo (735) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697715)

Because Copyleft isn't a Law, it's just an idea. Copyright is a law.

However, that being said, Copyleft is BASED on Copyright. What they are saying is.. no matter what the license says, you can only make one copy. Of ANYTHING.

So the Book Publishers and Authors need to start suing the printing press companies, since they give them the "right" to make copies so they can sell them.

Re:Hold up a second... (5, Interesting)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697722)

because there is legally no such thing as "copyleft" its something that RMS made up to stand for his ideas. Copyright is a a legal term defined by law treaty and convention. Copyleft is a concept that can only exist ontop of copyright.

Now in truth while IANAL, when he wrote the GPL rms did consult with law professors who created a document that should stand up in court.

SCO can say that it not valid, but they are probably wrong.
They could say that 2+2 = 5 but they would probably be wrong about that too.

SCO and UNIX (4, Interesting)

mao che minh (611166) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697559)

And people still wonder whether or not UNIX is really dying, when you see companies like SCO fighting tooth and nail, in any way that they can regardless of how despicable and embarrassing it is, to stop Linux. SCO basically gave up the UNIX business because of Linux.

Sun Microsystems doesn't seem to mind what's happening with SCO. I wonder why?

The penguin is insatiable. Better wake up and smell the coffee [slashdot.org] .

Hmm (5, Insightful)

Vokbain (657712) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697571)

I thought part the GPL was the copyright holder giving permission for people to make copies, etc..

Re:Hmm (3, Insightful)

Interesting Username (697410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697678)

It does. If you aren't allowed to do that, then technically you shouldn't be able to license your software/music/whatever either because that allows for another copy. Really what is the difference between giving it away, and selling the rights other than the amount of money that exchanges hands?

Well now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697572)

I think I'm just going to hang around this article the rest of the day and see what happens. It'll be interesting to see if anyone has an opinion on this.

...and I declare SCO "petunias"... (4, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697574)

but that doesn't make it so. Anyway, if it is invalid, then Linus should file suit immediately regarding their unauthorized distribution.

Re:...and I declare SCO "petunias"... (1)

multiOSfreak (551711) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697656)

Anyway, if it is invalid, then Linus should file suit immediately regarding their unauthorized distribution.


I disagree. I think the last thing we need is another friggin' lawsuit. Litigious greed is what got us into this mess to begin with.

Re:...and I declare SCO "petunias"... (1, Funny)

plover (150551) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697730)

[because it needs to be done:]

1. Use the Chewbacca defense.
2. ???
3. Report Profit! [com.com]

The news story is kind of tragicomic, McBribe says "We intend to use this capital to continue our intellectual property protection and licensing initiative..."

I wish all their customers would simply stop giving them money. I know my company has; we've ditched using the products that ran on the SCO platform, but that's only about 60-70 licenses. The rest of you need to pony-up!

Re:...and I declare SCO "petunias"... (2, Insightful)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697741)

"Anyway, if it is invalid, then Linus should file suit immediately regarding their unauthorized distribution."

I'm afraid that would only validate SCO's claim that the GPL is invalid. I'd say, in this case, the damage that could be done to SCO in such a lawsuit is insignificant compared to the damage that eliminating the GPL would do to open source software.

So I can't copy something I create? (4, Insightful)

Radix37 (670836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697577)

They're trying to say that if I create something (it doesn't have to be a software program, call it a book) that I can't allow other people to copy it? What baloney!

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (5, Informative)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697650)

They're trying to say that if I create something (it doesn't have to be a software program, call it a book) that I can't allow other people to copy it? What baloney!

I see no mention of how many copys are allowed from the ppl that wrote the law here [copyright.gov] .

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (1)

Radix37 (670836) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697705)

I see no mention of how many copys are allowed from the ppl that wrote the law here. Exactly, so where do they go off thinking "the copyright law allows one"?

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697683)

You are obviously one of those goddamn commies. Stop questioning authority and get back to being a good consumer. If you don't like it, go and live in Russia.

;-)

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (3, Funny)

AndroSyn (89960) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697733)

In Soviet Russia authority questions you..oh wait, that really did happen in Soviet Russia, nevermind.

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (4, Funny)

IFF123 (679162) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697694)

No, they are agruing that whatever you create doesn't belong to you.
I am waiting for the next SCO press conference where McBride will announce that "all your bases now belong to us".

PS: M$Bride knows that the only way they can getout of prizon sentence in the end is to demonstrate their insanity now. So far it's working well...

Re:So I can't copy something I create? (1)

cpuffer_hammer (31542) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697751)

would this not better show his value? MBride

Article from NYT (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697581)

New york Times ran a story [tinyurl.com] (partner link-no reg.) on this ealier today.

Yeah, Karma come to me.

MOD PARENT UP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697624)

Mod it up so people can discuss this.

NOOOO GOATSE.CX LINK!!! Save your virgin eyes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697750)

Thanks dude, I have now seen where your brain resides, deep inside a man's ass

And the GPL.... (1, Funny)

icemax (565022) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697582)

Declares SCO invalid! OOH!

Re:And the GPL.... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697691)

That would be in Soviet Russia, comrade.

And I declare... (1, Funny)

KillerHamster (645942) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697585)

...that SCO does not exist. HA!

Re:And I declare... (1)

Salsaman (141471) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697723)

...I want some of whatever (non-existant) SCO is smoking. Must be some pretty good shit.

The Next SCO Declaration ... (1)

Mr. Mai (587155) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697586)

At this pace the next declaration of SCO will be that Bill Gates is the mesiah or some sh*t like that!

Re:The Next SCO Declaration ... (1)

genkael (102983) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697648)

Isn't he?

A little old... (0, Redundant)

yanestra (526590) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697590)

The interview has taken place in May!

This could have been published earlier... (-1, Offtopic)

Senecca (25298) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697591)

I dont want to moan; but I have submitted this story 4 hours ago and it got rejected...

2003-08-14 13:54:28 SCO lawyers: GPL is invalid (articles,news) (rejected)

Well.. wonder what the reason was..

Re:This could have been published earlier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697644)

It's because you suck at life.

Re:This could have been published earlier... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697684)

Maybe because it was already queued for the page? Whining fucking dumbass.

How about a higher court of reason... (1)

Thinkit3 (671998) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697593)

...declares copyright and patent law illogical. Kind of like how that one judge wants the "higher law" of the ten commandments in the courthouse.

Please! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697594)

Would somebody please just set these guys on fire or something. God, why won't they just fuck off and leave us all alone? SCO is like that annoying kid in school that nobody likes, who is mean to everyone, but just keeps hanging around.

Chewbacca Defense? (3, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697599)


You mean SCO is going to go after George Lucas?

Re:Chewbacca Defense? (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697682)

Maybe it means SCO will get it's arms torn out of their sockets!

your mom (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697600)

frost piss!!!!!!

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697606)

Now real developers can take all the code they want from shitty projects and put into real products and make it work!

see folks

the system works!!

I for one... (1)

CowsAnonymous (697884) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697607)

...welcome our new... wait a minute, it's another SCO article....nm

in additional news... (5, Funny)

bongoras (632709) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697608)

SCO has declared that the earth is actually flat, that you *can* dig a hole to China, and that the moon is, in fact, made of green cheese.

Review of Attorney's Summary (5, Interesting)

ipandithurts (516079) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697610)

After reading the attorney's article in ZDNet, while I enjoyed it, I have to make a couple comments as he's simply missing the point on one point he made and outright wrong on another point.

First, on point two he states:

2. SCO has a duty to mitigate damages. Any plaintiff complaining that it is being injured by wrongful conduct has a duty to mitigate its damages. In order for SCO to assert claims against Linux users, it has to take reasonable steps to lessen the harm that it is suffering. This means giving Linux users the opportunity to remove the infringing code from Linux. SCO's refusal to identify the Linux code in question is hard to defend. SCO says that it can't do so, because it would be akin to showing a thief his fingerprints so that he can clean them off. But that makes no sense. The "fingerprints" are available in many forms, and can be traced electronically. Keeping the Linux community guessing about the code seems more tailored to running up the damages than preserving evidence.


While it is most assuredly true that parties in a contract have a duty to mitigate their damages, that mitigation duty hasn't been applied as far as I can tell to copyright infringement. And even if it is applied to copyright issues, the duty to mitigate only goes to the question of the amount of damages sustained by the plaintiff, not to if the defendant is infringing.


Second, in point four he stated that:
4. SCO may have set a ceiling on recovery. SCO has already announced a licensing program with specific license rates. In the worst case, and unless and until SCO makes a much clearer and more public case that its code has been stolen, SCO is not likely to recover from individual users more than it has announced its license fees to be. Why pay now when you can pay later or quite possibly not at all?


First, it is clear that SCO is offer a per seat license at 50% and will increase after a certain date (Oct. 15>) Second, statutory damage amounts are provided by law to those who have a registered copyrighted work infringed. This amount is above any "ceiling" that Mr. Carey may mistakenly assert that exists.

Finally, Mr. Carey is right. If SCO's claims are without merit, then they have placed themselves at a huge risk of a substantial judgment against them. Of all our sakes, I hope that this is the case.

Only one copy, huh? (4, Insightful)

Elendil (11919) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697615)

So shareware and freeware programs have been illegal all these years... thank you so much SCO, for clarifying this point. NOT!

Yes, but. (1)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697618)

IBM attorney's declare SCO's existence invalid.

There will be a day of reckoning soon... A totaling of sums and a snapping of necks!

All I can say is... (0)

alph0ns3 (547254) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697619)

LOL

when do we get a SCO section on /. (4, Insightful)

Grand (152636) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697620)

Seriously, there is a post every 2 days about SCO.

Re:when do we get a SCO section on /. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697698)

funny, it seems more like every 2 *hours*. sigh

Re:when do we get a SCO section on /. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697701)

topic 88, Caldera

Re:when do we get a SCO section on /. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697752)

there is a post every 2 days about SCO

Not for long

Waiting for the "Wookie on Endor" defense (0, Redundant)

digity (187608) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697623)

You know its coming.

So if this actually gets upheld... (3, Interesting)

Captain Tenille (250795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697628)

... will there be a massive shift to BSD-style licenses. I like the BSD license just fine, but I'd be concerned that if the GPL is ruled invalid, that the BSD license wouldn't be valid either.

Sigh....

darn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697629)

now I can't read any more books since (by this logic (sic)) publishers can only make one copy.

- "I thought the stuff about lessened expectations was satire."

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697631)

...want to know why half the posts modded as +5, Funny today begin with "I, for one, welcome our new [ insert related character here ] overlords"! Is this the Soviet Russia / Natalie Portman of august?

howto: disable caldera news (5, Informative)

Comsn (686413) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697633)

go here http://slashdot.org/users.pl?op=edithome [slashdot.org]
and check Caldera under topics, then hit save.
I'm sure i'm not the only one tired of these sco articles.

This is stupid (5, Insightful)

Fiver-rah (564801) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697634)

This interpretation also eviscerates the book publishing industry. After all, how can an author own copyright on a book, and then allow a publisher to go and violate that copyright by tossing off hundreds, thousands, even millions of unwarranted copies? Why has nobody stopped this outrage before?

Because authors and publishers make a contract?

The GPL is, in a sense, also a contract. It says, "We're giving these rights to you. You don't have to agree to our terms, but if you want the rights we give to you, you have to agree to our other terms." The GPL doesn't modify copyright laws, any more than a contract an author makes with a publishing house does.

Sheesh.

It would also make /. illegal (1)

Zachary Kessin (1372) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697754)

after all in submitting my post to /. I am granting slashdot rights to make lots of copies of it so that people can read it.

SCO's legal team (5, Funny)

Hieronymus Howard (215725) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697635)

I've often heard of companies having a crack legal team, but this is the first time that I've heard of one being on crack.

HH

Anybody else notice... (1)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697636)

It's been over a week since both IBM and Red Hat filed their suits, and SCO still hasn't upated their PR page?

Re:Anybody else notice... (1)

gnuadam (612852) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697744)

Sorry, here's the PR page [sco.com] link.

Wow, simply amazing (3, Funny)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697639)

And SCO is paying how much per hour for this legal mastery?

The future of SCO. (5, Funny)

gregarican (694358) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697640)

I think they will combine forces with Banyan and Lantastic to usher in a new era of useless has-beens.

What a joke. Johnnie Cochran must be part of their legal team.

... and why wouldn't they? (3, Funny)

*weasel (174362) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697643)

if the gpl is -legal- then they have no legal legs to stand on.

-of-course- they'll 'declare it' illegal.

thank goodness their lawyer's opinions matter only slightly more than my cat's.

Copyright... (2, Interesting)

c0dedude (587568) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697645)

The GPL is a license that allows people to use a work. Copyright is the owners method of ownership of a work. These licenses describe the way a work can be used. The GPL is a specific type of license. It retains the ownership of the work, yet allows the work to be distributed. Because it maintains ownership by a specific owner (eg Linus for the Linux kernel), it is constant with copyright law. Just because you use an GPL work doesn't mean you own it. I'm fairly sure this is how it works, but IANAL.

Is it just me? (1)

Jack William Bell (84469) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697652)

Is it just me, or do others feel like the whole SCO thing has somehow slipped into a P.K. Dick novel?

Simple stuff, really... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697654)

Is it a ludicrous claim? Sure. But it's a claim about something that the majority of people out there don't even know about in the first place, and as such it won't be recognized as a ludicrous claim until after the executives finish selling their stock.

All things considered, I'm almost surprised that some company like SCO hasn't tried to do this sort of thing to free software and such earlier. When you look at it, free software has the advantage of being pretty much impossible to truly defeat (what with it being all grassroots), but it also often lacks major corporate/lawyer support for the same reason. At least we've got IBM and Redhat in the game, so we'll "win" eventually, but as I said not until SCO executives make a bundle.

chewbaca defense (3, Funny)

Trinity-Infinity (91335) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697657)

If they can use the chewbaca defense, I'm calling SHENANIGANS!!!

The more articles I read about SCO (0)

DaddyExcellent (632540) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697658)

...the more surreal it gets. They clearly do not understand the concepts of 'ridiculous' and 'preposterous'. They act like the kind of idiot who thinks that if he says patently stupid something often enough with a straight face, people will believe him.

They're whole legal case is just one big troll where they've gotten in so much shit because of it, they have to stick to their guns.

It's a shame real life moves so slowly, because all this will make for the most hilarious comedy ever in a decade or so.

Doesn't this mean (1)

SiMac (409541) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697660)

That SCO will have to remove any BSD-licensed code from their Unices? (And I'm sure there is some.)

SCO lisencing screwed me out of a job (0, Funny)

TrollBridge (550878) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697661)

As an ex-employee of a Fortune 500 company that recently purchased the controversial (and pricey) SCO Linux lisences [slashdot.org] , I can say from experience that SCO doesn't take kindly to opposition.

I first became concerned for my job three weeks before my employer purchased the lisences, when I noticed our mail administrator returning from a meeting with our comapny's board of directors. The conversation had gotten rather heated, as there had been a good deal of shouting and cursing coming from the board room. Two days later he was fired.

Rumors began spreading when 3 more people were laid off under similar circumstances, and the general consensus was that these people had been unfairly screwed by management.

I had no idea how true those rumors were. I soon found myself before the board of directors, being asked what I thought about purchasing Linux lisences for our servers from SCO. I answered truthfully: that not only was such an investment a waste of money, but that SCO's claims regarding intellectual property in Linux were questionable at best. My supervisor considered this thoughtfully for a second, nodded, and the secretary locked the door of the office. Two of the directors, with deceptive strength and agility, bound and gagged me. My memory is somewhat blurry about this part, but I remember having my pants torn from my waist, and then all of the board members took turns ravaging my virgin cornhole. The rumors were true: there I was, being screwed by management because of my opposition to SCO's Linux IP claims .

In the kind of shock that only comes with a brutal ass-raping, I stumbled back to my desk, thankfully unaware of the small stream of blood, liquified stool, and man-cheese that had stained my underwear, oozed down my leg and began to pool in my shoe. To complete my utter humiliation, I was given my pink slip 3 days later, before I had even recovered from my ordeal.

I have always been concerned about SCO's dubious legal claims, but I could never have prepared myself for the amount of personal violation that opposing the corporate bully would bring.

Yes This Guy Is Right... (-1, Offtopic)

dirtydiaper (697253) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697662)

Oh and by the way I created Linux

Re:Yes This Guy Is Right... (0, Offtopic)

Interesting Username (697410) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697720)

No, I did! Bow down before me, or feel the wrath of my lawyers.

How can I join the party? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697664)

Wildly offtopic, I know, but I was just wondering if anyone had reverse engineered the msblast payload yet. I'm sitting here with all these linux boxes on a fat pipe, and I heard there was a party planned next saturday in Redmond. I feel a bit left out and would hate to install 2k/XP just to be able to join in. Can anyone help out?

Boies is hexed (1, Flamebait)

blamanj (253811) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697665)

Apparently, after Boies tangled with Microsoft, they hired some major voudou priestess to hex him good. First there was the Gore recount fiasco, now this.

Witty, lightly sarcastic headline (3, Funny)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697667)

Vague expansion of witty idea, looking like every other one-liner predictably posted to the thread.

--
Pointless and/or overly-geeky quote

SCOX profit ???? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697676)

They musta cashed that check from Micosoft "for licensing their IP" (wink wink) real fast.

Uncontrollable Outrage? (3, Insightful)

sisukapalli1 (471175) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697680)

This is just so ridiculous that the only thing that keeps the sanity is that *eventually* SCO shit will tumble down - may not be weeks, but definitely a few months to a couple of years.

SCO press releases make the (former) Iraqi Information Minister look "forthcomingly honest" and makes Faux news "fair and balanced". Heck, it makes Steve Ballmer look sedated.

S

With a lawyers like this... (1)

B Ekim (472969) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697685)

I'd be worried if I were Kobe Bryant.

Chewbacca defense (1)

Znonymous Coward (615009) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697686)

It doesn't make sense!

In other news... (5, Funny)

Jasin Natael (14968) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697695)

SCO has announced an agreement with the Business Software Alliance to raid data backup centers. SCO CEO Darl McBride was quoted as saying "These renegade 'backup' centers are no more than a front for illegitimate software duplication. Any customers who are found to have multiple 'backup' copies of any of SCO's intellectual property will be required to pay additional licensing fees, according to the number of processors in the machine that served as the source for these illicit duplicates."

Future targets, according to the press release, may include schools, small businesses, and FTP 'mirrors', which not only house myriad copies of copyrighted works, but also make them available to further illegal duplication by end users.

SCO Claims that copyright law prohibiting multiple backups of information may also cover music, movies, and published works. The RIAA and MPAA were reportedly intrigued, but unavailable for comment.

--Jasin Natael

While we're at it... (0)

soulsteal (104635) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697699)

I declare SCO's declarations null and void. I also declare Carrie-Anne Moss and Natalie Portman as my bikini-clad slaves.

SCO declares basic human rights invalid!! (0, Redundant)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697700)

This just in: The SCO company has made startling news with the announcement that they have copyrighted breathing, and that basic human rights are invalid! ... When the federal government was questioned on this startling development, most members of congress admitted that they wish they had thought of it.

Any more proof needed? (1)

Esion Modnar (632431) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697708)

That SCO is one of Microsoft's minions? This is not just about some alleged code theft. This has always been about attacking the whole concept of the GPL.

SCO is a bunch of belly crawlers. Scuttling cockroaches. Bottom feeding den of legal vermin.

If the SCOTUS were to buy this... (1)

ihummel (154369) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697711)

then I'd move to another country.

that attorney (1)

joeldg (518249) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697713)

I wonder if that guys knows he is working for monopoly money?

Poor sod.

His argument is invalid (4, Informative)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697719)

US Copyright law guarantees the right to make one backup copy. That's fair use. It does not prohibit the copyright owner from allowing more than one copy. That would be absurd and the wording of the law does not resemble that at all. I have no doubt that he knows his own argument to be utterly false, but his job is to try and prove it in court anyway.

sco (2, Funny)

loconet (415875) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697725)

sco .. drugs are bad mmmmmmmm-kay?

This would make other licenses illegal (5, Interesting)

OfficerNoGun (686128) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697728)

Unless I'm reading this wrong this would also invalidate any site license for software, which allow for unlimited copies (albeit with some restrictions), it would also make freeware and pretty much everything else given away illegal. No court is going to buy this argument and deny the right to give things away. On the other hand, if SCO had sold something that had be GPL'd they might have a case that they had the right to sell it, but I really don't find anyone believing the "Hey You Guys, no giving away things for free" argument.

SCO Went Over This In The Conference Call (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697732)

Parahpased/loosely transcribed events of the SCO financial conference call (I was multitasking on other work). It is biased, but you should get the gist of things.

rah rah rah

go sco

we made money. our market cap went from 10 million to over 140 million making it one of the leaders on the Nasdaq (Go lawsuit go!).

we r the "leader" in the Unix market.

over 100 parties have seen the code

our linux license was based on "demand". LOL. (because people who came and looked at the code inquired as to whether they would offer a license). that's demand?

companieS have been signing up! (no mention of who or how many). I didnt know ONE was plural.

4Q revenue to grow to 22-25 million due to ScamSource licensing

there are two Operating System platforms in the world. Windows and Unix. Microsoft owns Windows, we own Unix. We don't have a VERSION of Unix, we own ALL of it.

we will see this case through to the end despite what our competitors say (red hat: unmentioned by name).

the industry is being divided into two camps: those who respect IP and the those who are trying to destroy it. the "silent majority" is firmly behind SCO.

legal position is ROCK SOLID.

we continue to gain in credibility.

Q&A:
Budgeted Legal Expenses?
We have spent less than half of what we budgeted so far. Million/quarter range. 600,000-700,000 so far. they include these costs in as "costs of sales".

Guidance on First Linux License you sold?
Confidential. sorry, no.

The GPL
building your company around a GPL licensed software is like building your HQ on quicksand.
Even Linux companies that are pro-Linux are scared that their code "will get sucked into the GPL machine". Pure FUD.

Linux License
If you bought SCO linux, the binary license will be given to you for free.

Our "heritage line of software" wont grow but not because everyone hates us and thinks the product sucks, but because of the global economic slowdown.

Do you have new licensees?
Umm, hmmm, hummina, ermmmm, we are projecting we will for next quarter!

More GPL
When we were more involved in Linux, companies came in and said "how can you get involved with this beast.
There is NO WARRANTY in the license. This is problematic.
We look forward to going into a courtroom and dealing with these GPL licenses. We are very confident.

Insider Trading
When their shares vest, it causes the executives a tax event and this is the only way they can pay those taxes.

Darl McBride
My goal is to get money back on the shares I put into the company in 2000. The strike price on those is 56 dollars a share.

rofl. Good luck buddy.

Looks like SCO is trying to deviate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697736)

...from the problem at hand. Once IBM countersued, SCO knew they were finished. Now their trying to make as much FUD in Linux before it is terminated. I'm sure IBM will add this to their list of damages that SCO has caused them.

What a pantload. (2, Insightful)

pair-a-noyd (594371) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697737)

The author of something can define his terms of agreement as he sees fit. If the author of a package wants to allow unlimited copies to be made and distributed, then so be it, no law can negate his wishes if he is the author of that work.

In other words, I can write a poem and I can make a public declaration that my poen belongs to the world and that anyone that wants can copy it and give it away and modify it and give that away, as much as they like. You can't then come along and tell me that there is a law that overrides my wishes (that my work be freely copied and distributed) and that I'm a lawbreaker..

SCO is a dirty diaper. They are full of shit, they stink and they need to be changed and thrown out..

Silent Majority? (5, Funny)

mod_parent_down (692943) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697743)

"I would say that the silent majority is behind SCO in this case," McBride said.

In the RED Corner, weighing in at $140M, we have the Self-Proclaimed Siiiilent Majorrrity. . .

And in the BLUE corner, weighing in at One Hunnnndred and Fifty Beeeellion Dollars, The Heavyweight Champion of Patent Litigation, DEEEEEEEEP POCKETTTTTTTS!!!!

Round 1.

Fight!

Not How I Expected the GPL to be Challenged (4, Insightful)

Carnage4Life (106069) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697745)

This current ploy by SCO sounds like it doesn't hold any water. On the other hand, there is one part of the GPL [gnu.org] that I am unsure how well would stand up to quick witted lawyerisms in a court of law. The section
You may modify your copy or copies of the Program or any portion of it, thus forming a work based on the Program
seems too open to interpretation from my layman's perspective. I'm actually quite surprised that no one's ever gone to court over exactly what it means to say their application is based on another application with regards to what the GPL has to say. If a project with 1000 source files, totalling a million lines of code uses some GPL code in one of the routines that performs some utility function, is the application based on the GPL program? According to armchair lawyers on Slashdot the answer is YES, however would a judge and jury see it the same way?

Flamebait (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#6697748)

I think it is about time we modded all SCO publicity stunts to -1 for being flamebait.

***self-destruction*** (1)

useosx (693652) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697749)

I have read and attempted to understand the SCO's arguments. My head will now explode. They have won.

Long live Chewbacca!

***boom***

no GPL means SCO is and was infringing copyright (4, Informative)

nuggz (69912) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697755)

If there is no GPL they are infringing on the authors copyright.
They are selling this product.

Infringing copyright for financial gain is a criminal offense. By arguing that SCO does not have a license to distribute Linux definately hurts them.
To actually hurt ANY Linux distributer they would have to #1 prove they don't have a license to distribute. #2 be a copyright holder.

This is so obvious to me leads me to think that they really are MS monkeys and this may be the strongest attack they could muster.

War=peace, Freedom=Slaver, Ignorance=Strength (1)

zapp (201236) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697756)

Seriously, if this works... it marks a very sad point in our development as a society (obviously).

If someone in power can just declare something so obsurd, and have it accepted as the truth, then what's next? We've always been at war with Eurasia.

Wrong (5, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | more than 11 years ago | (#6697757)

From one of the linked articles:
How does that work then? According to Heise, federal law only lets people make a single backup copy of software, and that makes the GPL void under US law.
This is a gross misunderstanding of copyright law!!!

Copyright dictates that the copyright holder has final say on who, exactly, will have permission to copy a work. The single backup copy issue is "fair use", and has nothing to do with this.

The GPL works *WITH* copyright by telling recipients that the author has explicitly granted them permission to further distribute their works only so long as they comply with the terms of that license. If they do not wish to comply to those terms, they do not have permission from the author to distribute. End of story.

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