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SCO Now Willfully Violating the GPL

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the this-just-gets-more-interesting dept.

Caldera 1043

Pogue Mahone writes "According to The Register, SCO is now distributing Linux code under a more restrictive license than the GPL. This is a violation of copyright, since only the GPL gives them any rights to distribute the code. Time for every single developer who has contributed code to the kernel to send a Cease and Desist letter to SCO."

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FIRST PR0ST (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358069)

FP ;)

Hmm.. question.. (3, Insightful)

rylin (688457) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358072)

Not only should people send a C&D letter, but can't they also take scox to at least small court?
Not that I know smack about law or anything

Re:Hmm.. question.. (4, Informative)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358187)

Not only should people send a C&D letter, but can't they also take scox to at least small court?

It's been a while since I studied Civil Procedure, but I believe that federal courts have exclusive jurisdiction over copyright matters, and so small-claims court could not hear such cases, since they are state courts.

Re:Hmm.. question.. (2, Informative)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358188)

Most states you cannot take a corporation to "small court." If you want to file a lawsuit against a foreign corporation (which would take into account all the US kernel developers who do not live in Utah), you have to serve papers on their registered agent in your state, unless you want to sue them in Utah (and why on earth would you want to do that?).

Re:Hmm.. question.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358270)

Now is when SCO gets the butt-kicking it's so clearly asking for.

Now is when IBM, SGI, Sun, Cray, ... and all the other myriad companies that have contributed software to Linux under the GPL to first send a C&D, and failing immediate resolution, file for an injunction against SCO.

The case is pretty clear; IANAL, but any reasonable judge would be bound to issue a restraining order.

Get over it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358074)

GPL is invalid and has never been tested in court. Some hippies came up with it on the pretense that it actually had to do anything with the copyright law. You have been mislead. You have lost. Have a nice day. Switch to BSD license.

Re:Get over it (5, Informative)

Curtman (556920) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358163)

Nice troll.. But copyright law is exactly what this is about. If, the GPL was invalid copyright law would still hold. It's the GPL that gives them distribution rights. Without that, they are violating copyright law.

Hippies unite! Have a nice day.

That's right (5, Funny)

Kierthos (225954) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358075)

we'll Slashdot their mail room....

Are they even obligated to legally respond to any C&D letters? IANAL, so I have no idea...

Kierthos

Re:That's right (5, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358184)

Are they even obligated to legally respond to any C&D letters?
No, nobody is. But cease and desist letters are usually sent with an understanding (at least they attempt to foster the understanding) that if they are ignored, further legal action will be taken, such as a suit. Sending a C&D letter is cheap, but if all you want to do is scare somebody into stopping, they're often effective.

They don't do much to SCO, however. Somebody will have to actually sue.

As always, I am not a lawyer.

Re:That's right (1, Flamebait)

buff_pilot (221119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358210)

we'll Slashdot their mail room....

Nah.... how about their server...

http://www.sco.com/support/linux_info.html

Re:That's right (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358213)

So many of you Slashdotters think that committing copyright violations against RIAA is just fine, but as soon as someone does it to Linux, you're all up in arms.

This is the funniest thing I've ever seen!

Re:That's right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358273)

Because Linux is good. RIAA is bad. So it is written, so it shall be done.

Re:That's right (5, Informative)

jchawk (127686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358222)

IANAL, but we have had to send a handful of cease and desist letters. Our lawyers advised us to send 2 copies of the letter. 1 copy goes by certified mail and the other goes in the regular mail. Get a recept that both were sent, that way if it goes to court you have proof you sent the letter, even if they don't sign for the certified letter.

Finally if you are really worried you can pay a constible to serve them papers. Once they are served, they are responsible for this information even if they throw the papers in the trash without reading them.

Strange... (1, Funny)

nefele (654499) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358079)

Such a topic and no comments? Is everyone writing their letters? ;)

A non-issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358084)

The GPL only gives rights, it does not take them away, right? Forbidding SCO from doing this would be taking away rights.

Re:A non-issue (3, Informative)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358105)

Wrong, the GPL defines the rights. One right it does not give is the ability to restrict rights.

Re:A non-issue (1)

ThePiMan2003 (676665) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358129)

Actually the right that the GPL gives SCO is to distribute GPL'd code but only under the GPL. They never had the right to distribute it under any other license. So no the GPL isn't taking anything frmo them.

Re:A non-issue (2, Informative)

Trick (3648) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358130)

No, it wouldn't. The GPL gives them the right to distribute code, provided they follow the conditions of the license. Without the GPL, they'd have no right to distribute it at all.

You can't take away a right SCO didn't have to begin with.

Re:A non-issue (1)

nxt (679989) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358181)

Anyone who publishes and copyrights software has to display its source code. Otherwise it puts all other software companies at risk of violating their rights without even knowing it. How should I know this code was written two years before I wrote it, when I can not see it?

When will the madness end? (1)

buff_pilot (221119) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358086)

SCO seems like a drunken idiot, getting deeper and deeper into a disease. How irrational can the get?

NEO DIES, SMITH TAKES HIM OVER, TRINITY DIES (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358118)

Sorry to spoil it.

Re:When will the madness end? (1)

Foofoobar (318279) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358139)

So which disease would this be? The tech version of syphilis? Going insane and blind as time goes by?

Lucky they have Microsoft funding their insanity. Can someone put this poor stupid beast out of its misery before it starts fucking our livestock and peeing in our drinking water?

Re:When will the madness end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358200)

SCO seems like a drunken idiot, getting deeper and deeper into a disease. How irrational can the get?

I'm from the future, you should save you question till after they break out the small firearms. They days that ensue pit geek against geek in a horrible tragic turn of events culminating with the bloody battle of Redmond hill.

Venting my Outrage... (1, Funny)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358089)

Outrageous!

OMG FRANCE (0)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358168)

VIVA LA OUTRAGE!

Darl McBride Dance Dance Revolution (4, Funny)

corby (56462) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358090)

SCO Group is to resume distributing Linux, but only if you agree to a new "IP license" which implicitly supports SCO's intellectual property claims.

So SCO can distribute code they do not own, and I can download the code I do not own, so long as SCO and I agree to our own made-up license for distributing this IP.

Don't you see where this is headed? SCO is entering the music distribution business!

Under this precendent, they will be able to host MP3s for major-label artists, even though the do not own the IP for the songs. Anyone can download the music, so long as you agree with SCO on the licensing terms!

Long live the Darl McBride Dance Dance Revolution!

Re:Darl McBride Dance Dance Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358232)

Darl, Darl, twist and whirl
Prancing round like a little girl

Corporations... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358092)

Between the Phantom and SCO, what the hell is wrong with poeple these days?

Re:Corporations... (1)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358182)

Phantom isn't ripping off other peoples work and saying that those people have no rights to them any longer.

Hmm (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358094)

They've gone mad!!!

Such audacity (2, Funny)

base_chakra (230686) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358097)

It's as if they're actually trying to outdo themselves!

Oh boy! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358098)

Lawyers are gonna love this one! Sue 'em boys!

Makes sense (1)

ruisantos (316753) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358100)

Don't they think GPL is invalid?

Re:Makes sense (5, Insightful)

Talthane (699885) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358239)

That doesn't matter, because much of the code is not theirs (they haven't claimed ownership of everything). Suppose you offer a licence for your app at X pounds; if I don't like the licence, the application doesn't nonetheless become mine.

It's my right to refuse to take the offer on your terms, if I don't like them or think they're wrong; however, it's not within my rights at all to substitute my own terms for your product instead.

This doesn't of course apply to their own stuff, which they can sell under whatever licence they choose; however, in changing the licence for someone else's code (e.g. Samba) they are breaking every rule in the book.

Re:Makes sense (1)

JeffTL (667728) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358285)

...in which case they are stealing code from developers.

A better idea (2, Interesting)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358102)

Time for every single developer who has contributed code to the kernel to send a Cease and Desist letter to SCO.
A better idea might be to get together a petition, sending it to SCO telling them to stop this. If they fail to comply, the petition could be used as evidence in court against SCO, strengthing the cause of the open source community.

Re:A better idea (5, Insightful)

AllUsernamesAreGone (688381) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358170)

No, a proper C&D, drawn up and sent by a real live lawyer (or as alive as undead bloodsuckers can get) on behalf of someone who owns the copyright on th ecode that SCO is distributing is the way to go.

Petitions are the last resort of the helpless attempting to achieve the impossible through the rediculous.

Re:A better idea (1, Insightful)

azzy (86427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358217)

Ermmm a 1,000 name petition (for example) being ignored is not any more powerful in court as evidence than SCO ignoring 1,000 C&D notices. Even though I'm not a legal type (am I an illegal type then?) this seems pretty obvious.

Re:A better idea (4, Insightful)

dougmc (70836) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358245)

A better idea might be to get together a petition, sending it to SCO telling them to stop this.
All a petition does is show that lots of people care about something -- either they want something, don't want something else, etc.

They're effective against people seeking re-election, or companies who actually sell a product (to the masses.) SCO knows that what they're doing is very unpopular, and so telling them that what they're doing is unpopular isn't going to have any effect on them.

Grrrr... (2, Informative)

GaspodeTheWonderDog (40464) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358108)

Just more corporate games... if only the strategy made any sense... as far as I can tell though, big business rarely makes any sense.


Honestly though, is a COD *really* going to do anything? Unless somebody comes up with the money to back it up... I can't imagine it doing any good.


They'll just keep doing as they please and leave a tangled mess in the courts.

Re:Grrrr... (1)

happyfrogcow (708359) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358240)

Honestly though, is a COD *really* going to do anything?

You truly underestimate a mail room full of stinking cod. Throw in some carp and they'll be begging for forgiveness.

Re:Grrrr... (1)

csnydermvpsoft (596111) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358247)

COD? Would that be a cease or desist? How would that work?

Re:Grrrr... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358277)

Honestly though, is a COD *really* going to do anything? Unless somebody comes up with the money to back it up... I can't imagine it doing any good.

'course. * anonymous_coward slaps SCO around a bit with a large codfish.

Re:Grrrr... (1)

azzy (86427) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358287)

> Honestly though, is a COD *really* going to do anything?

It might swim around a bit, and perhaps avoid any hooks or nets it spots.

Slashdot them anyway (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358109)

How to access RPMs and SRPMs for OpenLinux, eServer, or eDesktop through the password accessible download area.

The Linux rpm and sprm files once available on SCO's ftp site are now offered for download to existing customers of OpenLinux, eServer, or eDesktop through a protected download area. To enter these areas you will be asked for a username and password. If you do not have a username and password, please read the Registration section below.

The download location for OpenLinux, eServer and eDesktop products can be located at:

http://linuxupdate.sco.com/openlinux

The Caldera System Updated (kcupdate/cupdate)

The Caldera System Updated (kcupdate/cupdate) will remain available to our customers for Linux non-kernel rpm files. To access Linux kernel rpm and srpms files you will need to use the protected download site noted above.

Registration

In order to honor our support obligations to our customers, the registration process has been updated to deliver you username and password information. If you have registered in the past, we ask that you re-register so that we can deliver the information you need. Registration of each product license is necessary, the registration site is located at:

http://www.sco.com/register

During the registration process you will be asked to enter the product license number and code located on the license card you received with your product. At the completion of the registration process, you will receive a UserName, Password and FTP site location information. Please keep this information as you will need to use this information to gain access to Linux rpm and sprm files.

Note: If you are an SCO Linux customer, the SCO Linux SRPMs once located from the FTP site are now available through a protected download site. To access, please use the username and password you received during the product registration process.

The download location for SCO Linux 4.0 products can be located at:

http://linuxupdate.sco.com/scolinux

Time to enforce the GPL? (5, Interesting)

l2718 (514756) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358110)

So far this was between IBM and SCO. However, now the major copyright holders for the GNU/Linux system can assert themselves.

In particular, should the FSF (GNU project) sue SCO for license violation?

But... (1)

siskbc (598067) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358209)

So far this was between IBM and SCO. However, now the major copyright holders for the GNU/Linux system can assert themselves.

...the only interested one I can think of with the requisite deep pockets is....IBM. It certainly gives more to any further action by IBM though.

Re:Time to enforce the GPL? (5, Insightful)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358269)

IANAL, of course. This is Slashdot, we all play lawyers here.

The FSF and the kernel hackers could have a field day with SCO right now. This, along with the aborted attempt to sell binary run-time licences that restrict rights in a similar fashion, may be exactly the mistakes the GNU/Linux copyright owners have been waiting for.

I'm pretty sure SCO's public statements about the invalidity of the GPL, combined with the GPL's own statements that any disagreement over the terms of GPL-code distribution kicks the whole package back to standard copyright and thus makes SCO's own continued distribution illegal as hell, will make this case a laugher. For all of SCO's claims that the GPL is anti-copyright and unconstitutional, the licence itself makes clear that if the conditions can't be fulfilled or the licence is found to be unenforceable, standard copyright law applies--which means, unfortunately for SCO, the code they're trying to distribute is not automatically public domain, and thus they have no right to distribute any code they can't claim direct ownership for. It just means the authors would have to come up with another way to licence their code, either collectively or individually--and SCO would be in no position to make demands.

Obligatory $699 rip (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358112)

Wow, looks like they're taking an oz. of blood instead of the $699...

What about me? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358119)

The offer is only open to SCO's existing customers


Well, darn...

Isnt' this a good thing? (5, Insightful)

moehoward (668736) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358120)

Hasn't the slashdot crowd been clamoring for a test of the GPL since day one?

Why is this a bad thing?

Fine. Take them to court. Seems pretty simple at this point. Both sides want the same thing. A legal test of the GPL. Shouldn't we be celebrating?

Re:Isnt' this a good thing? (1)

mirko (198274) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358244)

Exactly, just show them it's not because it has not costed millions in "lawyer^Wexpert" fees that it is not solid..

Re:Isnt' this a good thing? (2, Insightful)

tuffy (10202) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358259)

Hasn't the slashdot crowd been clamoring for a test of the GPL since day one?

Only the morons. There's nothing to test. If the GPL isn't an applicable license, code licensed under it can't be redistributed in any fashion without some new license. But since the copyright holder gets to determine the license, there's little reason the GPL shouldn't be a valid one.

Oh boy. (1, Funny)

maelstrom (638) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358124)

This is gonna be fun. Anyone care to short SCO?

12 percent of SCO's stock is short already. (2, Interesting)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358288)

People are catching on.

- A.P.

Makes me wish I contributed to Linux (1)

phunhippy (86447) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358125)

Makes me wish I had contributed to Linux(not that I'm a coder but hey ya know...)

I'd love to jump in and send a C&D letter to them now :(

Come on... (2, Insightful)

MoeMoe (659154) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358131)

We already knew the SCO were up to no good. They are just re-affirming what we already know. SCO seems to want revenge for a crime that hasn't been commited... How long do you think it will be until Linus files for a class action suit?

The only true question I must ask considering that the SCO knew the consequences is... why?

From SCO's eyes (3, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358132)

Speaking from SCO's eyes, the Linux developers violated SCO's user agreements. So it's essentially a retaliatory move I take it. However, even in a court of law 2 wrongs don't make a right. I can only hope for a speedy resolution to this whole mess so even SCO could go back to doing something normal and productive, instead of shooting themselves in the foot all the damn time (do they even have any foot left?)

Re:From SCO's eyes (2, Insightful)

aug24 (38229) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358283)

However, they are violating the rights of *all* kernel contributors and they only allege infringement by IBM's kernel developers.

Hence there are an awful lot of innocent people out there with whom SCO are breaking their licence terms. Got get 'em!

Justin.

How can It be?? (1)

still_the_same (529998) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358138)

How can it be that SCO is still a partner of United linux??

Ask for compensations then... (2, Interesting)

xPertCodert (596934) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358141)

I think that every developer ever contributed to GNU/Linux should not send cease-and-desist letters, but ask for monetary compensation and enforce his own copyright . Let's see, how SCO will be able to cope with that

Ahh (2)

UrgleHoth (50415) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358145)

My SCO drama fix for the day.
Thank you!

Understand.. (4, Insightful)

adeyadey (678765) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358146)

If the GPL *is* invalid, as SCO claim, then the code reverts back to being the copyright of the individual contributers, who can then sue them for breach. Either way they are stuffed..

Re:Understand.. (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358261)

If the GPL *is* invalid, as SCO claim[s], thene the code reverts back to being the copyright of the indivdual contributers...

Only if the GPL is totally voided--which would make the re-compilation of Linux impracticable. (Annoying word, that--sure, it COULD be done, but it's not practical...)

If SCO wins their "Copyleft is non-constitutional" argument, then they'll probably argue that the GPL is a warranty-free release into the Public Domain, or at least similar to the BSD license.

Re:Understand.. (1)

fishbonez (177041) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358280)

SCO is actually claiming in their legal filings that the code would not revert back to the original contributors but instead be placed in the public domain. Therefore, the original contributors would have no legal claim against SCO and the SCOholes would be free to redistribute the now public domain software as they see fit. IANAL

Rubbish. (2, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358152)

I've heard that their legal basis for this is that they don't believe the GPL to be enforceable. I don't think that parts of some EULA's are enforcable (especially those "you must agree before you open, but you're agreeing to what's inside" type), so can I go distributing that software as and when I like under my own license?

I don't believe Microsoft XP's EULA is enforceable in Europe, so I'm gonna GPL it and stick it on the internet? Can't see a judge agreeing with this.

When they have a written statement from a court of law saying that the GPL is unenforcable and the copyright of all GPL'd work is null and void, then maybe they could try this.

Re:Rubbish. (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358255)

> When they have a written statement from a court of law saying that
> the GPL is unenforcable and the copyright of all GPL'd work is
> null and void, then maybe they could try this.

It's simpler than all that, even. If the GPL is declared null and void, then you revert back to conventional copyright law which doesn't allow redistribution in the first place.

Hey SCO (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358154)

Stop it you big brute.

You are going to make me cry.

boo hoo hoo, there, happy you big poo head

SCO is a big poo head!

SCO, MSOFT, RIAA, GOOGLE!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358164)

and it's not even 10:30am !!!!!! does life get any BETTER???!?! :D:D:D:D:D:D

Some has to make them stop. (1)

Darth_Foo (608063) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358179)

Since I'm not a developer, I can't very well send SCO a cease-and-desist from using my code in violation of the license. On the other hand, I'm an attorney and I am also an end-user who uses Linux. What I can do is dare SCO to sue me, as they've threatened to sue end-users in the past. Sue me, you stupid bastards, and see what Federal district judges think of your licensing charade. God, I can't wait until IBM takes these assholes apart in Court.

/. just reach a new low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358180)

This is the worst article I have ever seen. No references, apart from two links. One's a 404 and the other useless.

Nice work!

Re:/. just reach a new low (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358236)

You must be new here.

What's the deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358186)

So WHAT CAN WE DO???????????

Obviously I'm not a lawyer. SCO IS BREAKING THE FUCKING LAW!!!!!! Yet no one seems to be doing anything about it? Seriously, what we can we do, and how can I help??

If you know how to procedd with this, GET OFF YOUR ASS and do something already!

I like the sound of this. (1)

LNO (180595) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358191)

In a move likely to antagonize the free software community even further, the SCO Group is to resume distributing Linux, but only if you agree to a new "IP license" which implicitly supports SCO's intellectual property claims.

Dear SCO,
I am to resume encouraging you to agree to my "suck my wang" license which explicity supports my wang-sucking claims.
Love,
Me.

PS- No teeth.

Of course, SCO, you realize... (1)

Noryungi (70322) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358192)

... this means WAR!. Go FSF, go!

What do they have to lose? (1, Interesting)

jtnishi (610495) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358194)

Think about it. At this point, if their case really is that bad, what do they have to lose by pushing the envelope? I don't think this is a move that necessarily hurts their case, per se. And if they were to somehow win in the courts, they'd make off with a fortune

And to anyone who says that they have absolutely no chance in court, because the law is clearly on the other side, just remember how many id judgments have come out of this court system.

Ramifications (4, Interesting)

Shadow2097 (561710) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358195)

If they invalidate the GPL in this manner and get away with it, won't they just have the effect of providing legel precedent for throwing out ALL software licenses and EULAs? Surely this move has got to be one of the STRANGEST moves yet by SCO.

Assuming that their actions of late (starting with the IBM lawsuit) have been directed under the advice of their team of lawyers, who the heck gave the approval for this? Even IF they somehow invalidate the GPL, are their lawyers so short-sighted that they can't see this coming back to haunt not just SCO, but the entire commercial software industry?

-Shadow

Conspiracy Theory (2, Interesting)

TexVex (669445) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358197)

I would like to once again put forth the theory that SCO is in fact on the side of open source -- that what is really going on is, they are just working a win-win-win deal where they make a little bank while getting the GPL upheld in a court of law as they go out of business with a bang!

The time has come (1)

CRiMSON (3495) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358198)

Everyone wanted a test of the GPL, well here it is. Now we will see just how enforacble the GPL really is.

The MASSIVE problem with SCO's actions... (5, Interesting)

Rahga (13479) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358203)

Is that right now, their actions are in violation of the GPL, and while they can claim that they believe the GPL is unenforcable and void, that does not mean it is until the courts say so.

Essentially, what they are doing RIGHT NOW is as wrongheaded as pirating and selling the latest sets of MSDN.

The other issue is their notion that an invalid GPL means that all copyrights on Linux source code also becomes invalid and the work enters public domain. I'm no copyright expert, but I really doubt that's the way this works in the real world.

Re:The MASSIVE problem with SCO's actions... (1)

Pfhreakaz0id (82141) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358237)

.. there's someone who doesn't have the latest sets of MSDN?

Real Strategy? (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358205)

Ive been starting to wonder about SCO's massively brain damaged antics lately and im wondering why. Im starting to think its all a scheme to shuffle as much money as possible to someone's law firm before the company implodes from planned stupidity.

In other news, i hope SCOs investor wake up and realize that SCO itself is now willfully violating the law.

It's time (1)

Digital Dharma (673185) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358207)

For me to release those pictures I took of Cary Sherman and Darl McBride getting it on in the copier room at the last Xmas party.

Hrmm (1, Funny)

acehole (174372) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358212)

words and phrases you might need for your letter:

* bitch
* open source
* crack & crack pipe
* fuckyou
* GPL
* upside your head
* enema
* what is up, my homie?
* copyright
* fraud
* federal 'pounding in the ass' jail

Re:Hrmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358293)

It's "federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison", watch the movie again.

Small claims court (1, Insightful)

Lane.exe (672783) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358214)

Take 'em to court! Cease and decist letters are one thing, but SCO is willfully violating the IP of millions of programs by violating the license under which code was written and released. Because GPL is not public domain, SCO is not free to do with this code as they please -- they too must abide by the license. A license is a conract, and the GPL doesn't *have* to be tested in court. If two parties enter into a legal contract (which the GPL is, because it doesn't violate any existing laws) then they must abide by the contract or face the consequences.

And since SCO is now not abiding by that contract, by releasing GPL'd code under their own license, they can be sued for breach of contract. I'm not sure what someone could actually pull for monetary damages, but it would be the show of support for OSS that such suits would bring. SCO might even be balked into small, out-of-court settlements to save time.

Basically, this is the same thing that happens anytime someone uses a proprietary license. It's not really a copyright so much as it is a contract -- it says Person A will only do X and not Y with software P. SCO is doing Y with software P, and this leaves them in breach.

I suggest Legal Engine [legalengine.com] as a good resource for how to file small claims in Utah.

Role model (1)

Koos Baster (625091) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358215)

<SARCASM>
Wow. SCO has finally decided to take their arduous taks as role-model evil company seriously. Mr. Balmer, mr. Gates, please look closely because you might learn something.
</SARCASM>
--
Nothing is illegal if one hundred businessmen decide to do it -- Andrew Young

Ignore it? (1)

jevring (618916) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358216)

Honestly, SCO just seems to grasp for more and more desperate measures, none of which actually do anything, and most are semi-illegal at best.
And since SCO hasn't been able to prove their case, or that they even HAVE a case, I think this is just something we can ignore, and hopefully, it'll go away.
Atleast untill SCO actually DOES something worth our collective effort.
They dont have any bite, only bark...

Asswipes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358223)

Asswipes. I wonder long before they accuse Linus of being a terrorist.

It would be more to the point... (1)

Tenareth (17013) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358224)


If Darl would go on National TV, hold out both hands with the middle fingers up and shout "You could not have written better code than us, so FUCK YOU!" "WAAAHHH!!!"

I must congratulate SCO. (4, Funny)

pecosdave (536896) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358225)

I didn't know it was possible to invent a better kick me sign.

Lets All register with SCO (1)

Avihson (689950) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358231)

Bolster their claims of a customer base by going here [sco.com] and registering as a bogus customer.
Can we /. a database?

SCO smells (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358233)

like that raunchy fart I just let go. Wow, it stinks bad.

death by 1000 cuts (3, Insightful)

Ffakr (468921) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358250)

I think the idea of individual developers taking SCO to small claims court is actually a really good idea.
Small claims verdicts are usually not all that tough to win. You go in, show you own the code, show the judge the GPL that was attached to the code. Of course SCO won't/can't send out a lawer for every regional small claims court session so they pretty much default.
You get a 1000 developers winning $1,500 a pop against SCO and it starts to hurt the bottom line.
Not to mention an ever growing list of losses against the corporation.

Cry me a river (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#7358258)

This is a violation of copyright, since only the GPL gives them any rights to distribute the code. Time for every single developer who has contributed code to the kernel to send a Cease and Desist letter to SCO.

Why aren't you calling for cease and desist letters for music pirates? Why is it OK to violate RIAA company's copyrights but not Linux??

Amazing (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358268)

Amazing what $50 million can buy. The gotcha is that, by default under copyright law, one has no distribution rights whatsoever. So, if SCO holds the GPL to be invalid, then they have no rights and can't redistribute the code. It's one or the other, it can't be both.

The only reason I can see for SCO's actions is that they have a vested interest in destroying Linux, and the only person with such an interest iwth $50mil is Microsoft. Let's stop protending that the enemy is anyone buy Bill Gates. Darl is nothing but a puppet.

SCO Was in total violation anyway (5, Informative)

JamesSharman (91225) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358271)

To understand the extent of the hole that SCO have dug for themselves, you have to look at the full extent of GPL software that is out there that they are relying on, and then read clause 5 of the GPL.

5. You are not required to accept this License, since you have not signed it. However, nothing else grants you permission to modify or distribute the Program or its derivative works. These actions are prohibited by law if you do not accept this License. Therefore, by modifying or distributing the Program (or any work based on the Program), you indicate your acceptance of this License to do so, and all its terms and conditions for copying, distributing or modifying the Program or works based on it.

Now read it again. You are not required too accept this licence (they don't, they claim it is contrary to the us constitution, us copyright law yada yada yada). But nothing else gives you permission to modify or distribute the program. Considering the wording of this in the GPL (IANAL so please correct me if I'm wrong) this paragraph effectively removes all rights for SCO to distribute ANY GPL software, not just Linux.

Lets go on and look at another clause.

6. Each time you redistribute the Program (or any work based on the Program), the recipient automatically receives a license from the original licensor to copy, distribute or modify the Program subject to these terms and conditions. You may not impose any further restrictions on the recipients' exercise of the rights granted herein. You are not responsible for enforcing compliance by third parties to this License.

You may not impose any further restrictions (which is obviously exactly what they are trying to do). Incidentally the first bit states that a copy is licensed by the original licensor (not the distributor) which in the case of the contested code is IBM, this both means but SCO should be going after IBM and not end users, and in my interpretation also suggests that SCO did not release there code under the GPL by distributing Linux (if there actually is any in there) since IBM would still have been the licensor.

And now the bombshell that it's seems SCO are completely unaware of.

7. If, as a consequence of a court judgment or allegation of patent infringement or for any other reason (not limited to patent issues), conditions are imposed on you (whether by court order, agreement or otherwise) that contradict the conditions of this License, they do not excuse you from the conditions of this License. If you cannot distribute so as to satisfy simultaneously your obligations under this License and any other pertinent obligations, then as a consequence you may not distribute the Program at all. For example, if a patent license would not permit royalty-free redistribution of the Program by all those who receive copies directly or indirectly through you, then the only way you could satisfy both it and this License would be to refrain entirely from distribution of the Program.

If you agree to SCO's new licence you are agreeing that they have a right to charge a royalty. However not only is the issuer (SCO) breaching GPL but the recipient would be if they then distributed (since they are accepting that a licence is payable to SCO) so in effect SCO are in double breach.

IANAL, But I wish I were, someone is going to make some serious money fighting this one.

Class action lawsuit. (2, Interesting)

MongooseCN (139203) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358276)

IANAL but how about every coder who has contributed to Linux, get together and file a class action lawsuit against SCO? SCO's current move violates everyones contribution to Linux. I think a lawsuit that combines as many FOSS developers as possible is the only way the GPL will get the financial backing to fight SCO.

Someone should put up a website that will coordinate this effort. Someone, or some group, should get a lawyer and discuss the problem. I would start something but I know nothing about law.

Awesome! (2, Interesting)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358279)

I remember the simpler days. Back when falmes wars would be fought over the defendability of the GPL in court. Its was interresting conversation then but all speculation. Now we finally may have a chance to see it.

I say good! Let SCO violate the GPL blatently, and let it go to court. Lets put it all on the line and see once and for all what the courts say about the GPL. Of course I believe the GPL is rock solid and will prevail, but even if it doesn't we'll have it settled and know what has to change.

Imagine the insanity if all the code has to be re-licensed! - things like this point to everything that is wrong with our so-called "intellectual property" system. Sane people using common sense can clearly see the intent of the GPL, and if not it can be discussed easily. But we can't do it that way, why? because the world is filled with assholes and degenerates that will do every thing they can to lie and cheat and get away with it.

Too bad the legal system isn't as simple as common sense, then the authors of the code could go to a judge and say "any child with half a brain can see our intent, and that SCO is violating that intent" :) - of course the whole reason for the GPL wouldn't exist if it weren't for proprietary software makers exercising the 'rules' in a much harsher way.

Indemnification (3, Insightful)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 10 years ago | (#7358291)

Has SCO made an offer to indemnify all the users or redistributors of their illegal license?
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