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SCO Says No Way To a GPL Solaris, Moves Trial Back

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the the-change-of-the-times dept.

Caldera 429

penguino writes "Looks like it didn't take long for SCO to formally respond to claims by Sun that it will open source Solaris. According to SCO 'they [Sun] still have licence restrictions that would prevent them from contributing our licensed works wholesale to the GPL'. The company has also released a statement dated June 8 that 'SCO is making a motion to move the scheduled trial date to September 2005 and split IBM's counterclaims into a separate case'. Also quoted is AUUG president and FreeBSD developer Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'."

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429 comments

Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (5, Interesting)

stecoop (759508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375777)

What version of Linux is IBM using now-a-days. Whichever it is, Sun should basically drop Solaris and focus developing Linux for sparks along the same lines as IBM is doing. I like Solaris machines, they're fast and reliable but I only see a future for Sun at IBM. Sun has Java technology that IBM could really use as a synergy for the core products. IBM with SUN would be a large player in the future of computing, but currently SUN standing alone will be like SGI and other once powerful computing companines.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (4, Interesting)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375813)

Whichever it is, Sun should basically drop Solaris and focus developing Linux for sparks along the same lines as IBM is doing.

Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings, or something.

Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

Sun is already using Linux at the low end, where it has it's niche. It's called the Java Desktop System.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (5, Interesting)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375864)

Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

Agreed, but how much of that "high-end Solaris" is under SCO license restrictions? (None, or it would be in SCO's products.) While Sun may not be able to open source Solaris due to SCO license restrictions, as soon as a judge declares that IBM enhancements to AIX are not the property of SCO, Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux. This would have the added benefit of destroying whatever is left of SCO.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (5, Informative)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375910)

Agreed, but how much of that "high-end Solaris" is under SCO license restrictions?

Like you say, it is probably none. Plain System V is ancient, and there has been a lot of development at all the big vendors since those days. It's probably a safe bet that Sun owns all of these high-end features in Solaris, since they're not in any other UNIX.

Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux.

Why bother, when it's already in Solaris? People seem to assume that because various *nixes are similar on the outside that it must be fairly straight forward to grab code from one and put it in another. Code bases have diverged so much in the last 15 years, that this is not the case. The POSIX interface to the kernels may be similar enough, but what's going on inside is radically different. Don't forget that internally Linux is nothing like a Syatem V or derivative, so any serious porting takes a lot of effort. It's a whole very large and interesting subject in itself, and one I have barely scratched the surface of...

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (4, Interesting)

pegr (46683) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375962)

Sun can roll whatever "high-end Solaris" code they have into Linux.

Why bother, when it's already in Solaris?

Because the stated goal was to Open Source Solaris... Without that, this whole exercise is meaningless.

While bolting on Solaris functionality to Linux would be a formidable task, it would also put Sun squarely in the middle of Linux development as a strong Linux consulting and implementation partner. Pretty cool way to beef up your Linux "street cred" if you ask me...

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375988)

While bolting on Solaris functionality to Linux would be a formidable task, it would also put Sun squarely in the middle of Linux development as a strong Linux consulting and implementation partner. Pretty cool way to beef up your Linux "street cred" if you ask me...

And give Dell, RedHat, IBM and SGI all those Solaris features they didn't have before?

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1)

Sunnan (466558) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376020)

And give Dell, RedHat, IBM and SGI all those Solaris features they didn't have before?

That's an additional advantage for all parts involved, yes.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375936)

Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

Solaris is nice, but it has one absolutely fatal flaw: updates. Sun would take a huge leap into the 21st century if they got rid of their antiquated patch system and replaced it with apt. Patch Pro sucks ass and doesn't work half the time for me so don't even suggest that.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (3, Informative)

pitr256 (201315) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375984)

On the Solaris update issue, check out http://www.blastwave.org/

From the website:
What is blastwave.org?
blastwave.org is a collective effort to create a set of binary packages of free software, that can be automatically installed to a Solaris computer (sparc or x86 based) over the network.

Re:SCO want not to compete ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376019)

An enterprise can put his sourcecode to public domain. Why not?

Why do an enterprise as SCO negate the decisions of other enterprise?

The true reality is enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise versus enterprise ...

open4free ©

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (4, Interesting)

molarmass192 (608071) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375964)

Hang on there. I like Solaris and I admin a dozen Sun servers myself, but since the 2.6 kernel went prod that's only true on the biggest and baddest >64-way E-series servers. Obviously, Sun would have a little issue with our service contract if I were to slap Linux on any of those servers, but I don't have a doubt that it could be just as reliable if I did.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1, Funny)

MartinG (52587) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375967)

Have you any clue as to how many years more advanced than Linux Solaris is at the high end?

Go on then, enlighten us.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1)

(H)elix1 (231155) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376108)

Sun is already using Linux at the low end, where it has it's niche. It's called the Java Desktop System.

I'll not argue the high end... but my experience with Sun does not pitch JDS as a low-end server but rather a low TCO client. Too bad, as I know my code runs just fine on SuSE 8.x. There are tons of department level servers out there that will run single/dual CPU boxes - heck, even a lowly worm like myself has a few cheapo SunBlades and 1U rackmount jobs. More and more, they just get used to test code on Solaris (SPARC) for deployment on higher end boxes. I'm seeing customers spending a few thousand on dual x86 kit running Linux and being pleased - problem is, it is almost never Sun hardware. They are missing out on the transition from $5k to the 'lets spend mad enterprise' cash.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1)

vk2 (753291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375870)

I like Solaris machines, they're fast and reliable

Funny thing you say that - not a single day goes by in our organization without a page about a failed CPU or a FCAL cards. Always wonder why we pay millions to such sh1t.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376024)

What does a failed CPU or FCAL card have to do with Solaris? Sounds like a hardware problem to me, not an OS problem.

As for hardware... I've never had serious problems with sun hardware that I haven't had with any other companies. At least Sun has always been helpful, fast and friendly in helping our company diagnose and fix -- or when needed even replace -- hardware.

I occasionally have my gripes with the Sun guys but I really prefer them to any other option out there. As a linux fiend, I would love to see them do for linux what they do for their sparc and solaris lines.

Re:Sun will Shine at the Big Blue (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375884)

It does make sense after the acquisition of Rational. All IBM is missing is Java now.

Just the GPL? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375780)

Just the GPL? Any open source license? What about the BSD license? How about public domain to really piss SCO off? Anyone?

Hmmm (5, Interesting)

liamo (699840) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375783)

Hmmm. I wonder if Sun expected this response from SCO, allowing them to say "Well, we offered" without actually opening anything.

Re:Hmmm (2, Informative)

acidos (39557) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375809)

Although Sun has not publicly stated under which licence it intends to release an open source Solaris, Schwartz said: Make no mistake, we will open-source Solaris.

If you wonder about something, you should read the article.

Re:Hmmm (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375854)

Well, this response from SCO serves Sun Microsystems right for having previously been one of the few companies to cave in and pay SCO the stupid "SCO licsense" for linux/solaris. Now it's coming back to bite them in their stupid asses. Morons.

Re:Hmmm (2, Insightful)

ScouseMouse (690083) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375932)

Actually, i suspect it may be more along the lines of they realise where the current SCO case is going, and are trying to appeal to Open source developers again.

They dont seem to have had a very good press recently on a variety of points.

Its unlikey to happen soon, and even in the very unlikely worst case of a SCO victory, they can just say "Well we cant anymore" and they have at least the cudos for trying so they really cant loose.

I have to say even with the recent announcements on Java and such like, i still wouldnt mind a nice multi-way Solaris box on my desktop instead of my Dell, no matter what they say.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Short Circuit (52384) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375980)

I'm sure Sun expected it. And I also figured on how they could get around it: Rewrite any portion SCO may think they have license to. Don't worry too much about taking a performance hit on any general mechanisms SCO might try to lay claim to; just replace them with something else.

*shrug*

Conspiracy Theory (1, Interesting)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376003)

Here's a simplified theory :)

1 - MS "funds" SCO to sue IBM (but really to screw Linux)
2 - Sun adds to SCO fund via license agreement
3 - Time passes, SCOX drops like a rock, party nearly over
4 - MS settles with Sun over long standing issue ($$$ -> Sun)
5 - Sun offers (threatens?) to open source Solaris, allowing SCO to delay the inevitable, all while generating more new PR

Re:Hmmm (3, Interesting)

Smallpond (221300) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376013)

Solaris source code has been available [sun.com] for a long time to qualified educational institutions, developers and computer hackers. Open Source doesn't mean free to copy in this case. They allow people to look at the source so that they can develop code and suggest improvements. They would be very upset if their code found its way into Linux, for example.

Re:Hmmm (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376038)

Source available is not the same as open source.

Sun just learned... (4, Insightful)

halivar (535827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375787)

You sleep with dogs, you wake up with fleas.

Can't say it could happen to a more deserving company.

Note to Linux Clowns (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375788)

Too bad linux stop the IP from SCO. Pay your license fees now( or dont use linux ).

Ummm... (4, Insightful)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375790)

How much code is still SVR5? I really can't imagine Sun would have been making all this noise about OpenSourcing Solaris recently if their lawyers hadn't looked over it.

Re:Ummm... (4, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375829)

The question isn't really if the code has any SVR5 in it, as it likely has little. The real question is how "derivative" is defined, and how that applies to the license Sun had with AT&T and more recently, SCO.

Re:Ummm... (1)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375991)

And how derivative is SVR5 of Berkeley Unix?

Re:Ummm... (2, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376002)

please refer to the BSD lawsuit to answer how relevant that is.

Re:Ummm... (2, Insightful)

AliasTheRoot (171859) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376036)

Well for people such as myself that aren't familiar with the case:

http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/ ki rkmck.html
http://ezine.daemonnews.org/200312/edi torial.html
http://www.atnewyork.com/news/article .php/3110981

Remember who the SCO angels are (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375791)

Microsoft and SUN. That's right. Sun is a licensee of SCO. They are the ones keeping the lawsuits alive.

Funny how the hand that feeds you makes for a nice meal in itself.

Well SCO are demons, anyway. (2, Insightful)

trezor (555230) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375874)

Now that the SCO-fud had finally weakened to an inaudiable level, SUN (although maybe not intentionally) decides to start the circus yet again.

In history, SCO will be given an entire chapter of the sad states of affairs in our time. Probably named something like "Lawyers, litigaters, outright dishonesty and profit"

SCO are demonspawns from hell to overrun the earth with lawyers and thus confusion. All to ensure chaos and armageddon.
/my theory

Reverse (4, Insightful)

dorward (129628) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375792)

We love Linux!
We don't know what Linux is!
Solaris is the first OS to work on these platforms (lets not mention Linux, even though it was really there first and we sell it)
What's the GPL?
The GPL is wonderful!
We will open source Java!
We won't open source Java!
We will open source Java! Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon, and for the rest of our lives (maybe).
We will open source Solaris!
We won't open source Solaris!

How does Sun find time to do stuff between its constant reverses of its positions?

Re:Reverse (5, Funny)

danormsby (529805) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375855)

So in summary...

Sun goes up
Sun goes down
Sun goes up
Sun goes down

Just doing what the name calls for.

Re:Reverse (1)

kpansky (577361) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375941)

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears

Re:Reverse (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376060)

Sun goes down

You just gave me an image of McNealy that I *really* didn't need bright and early in the morning.

Re:Reverse (3, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376074)

If you look here [yahoo.com] , the story looks more like:

Sun goes down
Sun goes down
Sun goes down
Sun hits the bottom and slides along...

Re:Reverse (0, Flamebait)

doug (926) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375898)

I never realized that John Kerry worked at Sun.

Re:Reverse (-1, Offtopic)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375957)

I think its funny....

seriously, I think somebody has their sarcasm/humor detector broken.

If you modded doug down, think about it this way--it would have been just as funny with almost any other politician's name instead of John Kerry. If you had happened to dislike said politician, mr. moderator, then you probably would have marked it as funny, not flamebait.

for me, it's hilarious. I would have still laughed if he had said bush, but not as hard. Why not? Bush, despite his many other failings, is not known for his reversals of position in the same way that Kerry is. So it's not as funny.

WIth Kerry's name, however, its amusing. Not politically correct, but I don't really think its flamebait either.

Re:Reverse (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376016)

They have been taking pointers from John Kerry, he has all but perfected it.

SCO will not exist when Sun opens Solaris! (2, Insightful)

iJed (594606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375804)

I seriously doubt that SCO will still exist when Sun gets round to opening the Solaris source. Then again I doubt that SCO will survive the rest of this year! Their rediculous claims will be proven to be rediculous in court soon.

Re:SCO will not exist when Sun opens Solaris! (4, Insightful)

fatgeekuk (730791) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375979)

SCO will continue to exist until the court cases show that they have no case, at which point they will implode.

long before that there will not really be much left other than a CEO, company accountant and liason to the law firm.

Any suggestion which prolongs this or other lawsuits will just prolong the problem. We really want this sorted as quickly as possible.

The longer this continues, the longer we are focused on this and away from other things...

1) development effort
2) notice that another company is quietly (or not so quietly) trying to patent everything under the sun (pun intended)

SCO are an irrelevent distraction that everyone involved should be working to eradicate as an issue as quickly as possible.

Re:SCO will not exist when Sun opens Solaris! (1)

swordboy (472941) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376034)

Its only a matter of time. [yahoo.com]

(and congrats to the rest of the people that shorted SCOX stock prior to the fall... talk about an easy buck)

seen/done almost everything, still thirsty? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375807)


try this strange brew [kombucha.org] , that's good for you, & freely distributable too.

Re:seen/done almost everything, still thirsty? (-1, Offtopic)

YOU LIKEWISE FAIL IT (651184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376037)

I know this is offtopic, but you have to be fucking kidding me. This stuff is a biological contamination timebomb waiting to go off. You're basically making a giant tea / sugar / fungus culture, and then drinking the stuff that comes out the bottom.

Now I know Slashdotters aren't always the brightest of people, but surely you see why this isn't a good idea. Here's an FDA bulletin [fda.gov] about contamination risks, a CDC article [cdc.gov] on possible related illness resulting in death - possibly a result of lactic acidosis brought on by this extremely acid drink. Finally, from my faithful companion the Australian Adverse Drug Reactions Bulletin [tga.gov.au] , another report including such delights as rashes, fever, rigors, nausea, vomiting, impaired liver function, elevated white cell count and hepatitis.

Please don't try this at home.

An element of truth? (3, Interesting)

Epeeist (2682) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375812)

This one may be partially true. Sun did licence SysV when they moved from SunOS. However, they have done a large amount of work on it since.

Are we going to see SCO try and claim the work that Sun have done on high quality SMP, multi-path support, hardware partitioning etc. as their "Intellectual Property" in the same way that they are attempting for the NUMA and JFS stuff.

and.... (4, Insightful)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375815)

...this is news?

SCO Says No Way To a GPL Solaris, Moves Trial Back

No one really expected Sun to GPL Solaris, or expected that SCO will allow them to without a threat of lawsuit. This only gives SCO something else to bitch about, and Sun and excuse to do nothing about opening their code base. Sorry to be so negative, but I haven't had much of a reason to think that Sun is on "our side" when it comes to open source software.

SCO and Sun do have one thing in common, however: They will both soon be dead because of Linux and the contributions of IBM and others.

Re:and.... (4, Insightful)

thomasa (17495) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375893)

you are mistaken, Sun will be dead because of
the PC. The PC can run Windows OR Linux. The
PC is what kills Sun. Just as the PC killed the
minicomputer.

In my opinion anyway.

Re:and.... (1)

southpolesammy (150094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375943)

The PC can run Windows OR Linux

OR Solaris x86. The fact that Sun has never actively marketed that offering (until recently with their new Sun Fire V60x/V65x/V20z servers) is one of the reasons that people don't seriously consider Solaris x86 as a viable platform -- Sun keeps wavering on their support of it. It looks like they're back on the bandwagon again now, but given their track record, who knows?

Re:and.... (5, Insightful)

cgenman (325138) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375939)

Sorry to be so negative, but I haven't had much of a reason to think that Sun is on "our side" when it comes to open source software.

Right. Because Sun has never contributed any useful piece of code to be OPEN. OFFICErs at the company are gnome for their lack of contribution to any real groupzilla.

Know your roots.

Re:and.... (1)

Zocalo (252965) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376064)

I haven't had much of a reason to think that Sun is on "our side" when it comes to open source software.

I got into a Monty Python-esque "What have the Romans done for us?" style discussion about this a few days ago, only the question was "What has $NON_OSS_SPECIFIC_MAJOR_CORPORATE done for OSS?" instead. IBM and Novell are no brainers obviously, we even made a good case for Corel, but Sun stopped us dead. Sure, they've made contributions to various projects, but so have pretty much all companies working with OSS code - it's kind of a given. Apart from providing a language (Java) used by many OSS projects, what grand gesture *has* Sun made for OSS?

Is it simply that we over looked something and Sun perhaps needs to do its self promotion a little better? Or is it merely that Sun is merely playing lip service to OSS in an effort to keep what it perceives as its friends close and its enemies closer?

Serves them right (4, Insightful)

puppetluva (46903) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375819)

As the ancient saying goes: "If you play with a snake, you get bit."

I really like Sun, but this serves them right after paying SCO and acting holier-than-thou about IP rights re: Linux (even though they had the means to know and probably did know that the claims weren't true).

By the way, that same saying holds true for the Microsoft crowd. . . but they probably know that already.

Uh... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376021)

I really like Sun, but this serves them right after paying SCO and acting holier-than-thou about IP rights re: Linux (even though they had the means to know and probably did know that the claims weren't true).

Sigh... would poster and moderator both read the article? It's not about Linux, it's about the ancient rights to Unix, from which Solaris is based. And they never bought them from SCO, who only in the later years have bought the rights.

Remember that if you ever sign a contract - that contract may be taken over by someone that exploits it to the full extent of any ambiguity or deliberate misinterpretation. Scum like SCO is trying to make a living of things like that.

Kjella

It might keep them quiet... (2, Informative)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375824)

... it would also allow SCO to delay further for all the time they need for the trial.

IBM have been more than patient and reasonable with SCO. And SCO have produced zilch to support their claims.

Re:It might keep them quiet... (2, Interesting)

Jane_Dozey (759010) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375875)

I think IBM have just been giving them enough rope to hang themselves. They've been patient and efficient (mostly) and have let SCO do most of the work for them.
I'd prefer SCO being able to take their time and make that hole bigger rather than being able to make a good appeal.

Re:It might keep them quiet... (1)

Analogy Man (601298) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376018)

Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO

You don't think SCO could find a way twist 20 tons of stuff into at least a few hundred pounds of FUD?

Suppose they do some indiscriminant diff's and aggregate that into "statistical" correlation. They could say 14% of the IBM code is COPIED from SCO!!!

Nevermind that the offending code is...flower boxes, {, }, return; etc etc.

Apple has straddled the line... (0, Offtopic)

ross_winn (610552) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375843)

...so why not SCO as well?

No more stalling! (4, Interesting)

the_mad_poster (640772) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375858)

That would keep them quiet for a while.

We don't WANT to keep them quiet for a while. We want IBM to go in for the kill and cut their tongue out to keep them quiet for GOOD. No more stall tactics, and definitely don't aid them in their stall tactics by giving them something to do. If they get even the faintest air of legitimacy again, rest assured some moron with more money than brains is going to pump funds into their hot air balloon to help reinflate it. I don't think I an take another year and a half of these stories every day like they were coming for awhile...

Re:No more stalling! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376027)

We don't WANT to keep them quiet for a while. We want IBM to go in for the kill and cut their tongue out to keep them quiet for GOOD.

It has been pointed out a couple of times on Groklaw that it is not in the interests of either IBM or the Linux community to snow The SCO Group under with paperwork. Rather, IBM should provide exactly what SCO asked for as conveniently and quickly as possible. Neither IBM nor the Linux community has anything to gain from delaying this case. SCO has everything to gain. Extra paper gives them an excuse to ask the judge for more time. If IBM gives them exactly what they asked for, in the most convenient for possible, as early as possible, it is harder for them to argue that they need more time.

Unfortunately, they're right (4, Informative)

IGnatius T Foobar (4328) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375859)

As much as we all hate SCO, unfortunately they are right this time. Solaris is built from the original Unix code. There is a direct descendence here, and SCO is absolutely within its rights to tell Sun that they can't sublicense it (which is essentially what open sourcing the code would do, assuming that it's a DFSG/OSD compliant license).

On the other hand, if Sun is in cahoots with SCO, as some here suggest, then perhaps they are shooting themselves in the collective foot today. Solaris is demonstrably descended from System V -- Sun programmers had all the original code to work from. It only strengthens the contrast between Solaris's development and Linux's development; i.e. the Linux developers did not have access to System V. Perhaps someone will subpoena Solaris code eventually, and show the court what a derivative work would really look like, contrasted with Linux, built from scratch and looking very different.

or are they (5, Informative)

not_a_product_id (604278) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375933)

and SCO is absolutely within its rights to tell Sun

Slow down there friend. There's actually quite a lot of doubt (seeGroklaw [groklaw.net] ) about whether or not SCO even has any rights over the Unix code. I believe that's the basis of their current legal tussle with Novell.

Re:Unfortunately, they're right (4, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375944)

As much as we all hate SCO, unfortunately they are right this time. Solaris is built from the original Unix code. There is a direct descendence here, and SCO is absolutely within its rights to tell Sun that they can't sublicense it.

Assuming that they, not Novell, actually own the relevant rights.

Re:Unfortunately, they're right (2, Insightful)

Wybaar (762692) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376050)

... SCO is absolutely within its rights to tell Sun that they can't sublicense it ...

Actually, depending on the result of one of the pending trials, isn't it Novell that would have to tell Sun that they can't sublicense it? Yet another thing pending an SCO lawsuit.

Re:Unfortunately, they're right (1)

coolmos (138993) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376099)

What Sun could do is what IBM did. GPL the code THEY wrote. There's nothing derivative about that, just as their is nothing derivative about the IBM code in Linux.

But then again, Sun is part of the evil empire. I'm not sure i want their code.

Licensing & RAND (2, Insightful)

pmfp (682203) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375865)

Remember who backs up SCO in this case. Microsoft. I think it's amazing that with all this legal mumbo-jumbo hitting the fan, people really trust MS not to cut off Mono. They have an incentive, they got the legal base for it, and soon they'll have plenty of cooperations dependant on a .NET platform.

No API breakage, they got all the reason in the world to maintain backwards compatibility.

P.S. On topic for being a legal issue involving some of the same characters... albeit it's not clear cut.

Incorrect Title (5, Informative)

Omni-Cognate (620505) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375866)

SCO haven't moved the trial back. They've requested that the trial be moved back. The judge has taken it under advisement.

20 tonnes of paper (5, Informative)

cynicalmoose (720691) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375883)

That's exactly what SCO did to IBM, and IBM successfully got the court to agree that the stuff must be given electronically.

You can't have the cake and eat it.

You would, after all, only do that if you thought that your case was so weak that you couldn't give your opponent fair access.

Re:20 tonnes of paper (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375925)

What's wrong with 20 tonnes of paper delivered by air?

Re:20 tonnes of paper (1)

Aneurysm9 (723000) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376093)

It's not as effective as 20 tons of lead and TNT.

Send it with a magnifying glass (-1, Redundant)

Ghost-in-the-shell (103736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375900)


SCO's attempts to corner the market of just about every Open Source product becoming annoying. I agree with the post that IBM should print it all out, every version and send them the resulting documents........ but can we do it in that really small font that Oxford uses for the Oxford Dictionary. Oh and send only one magnifying glass with it so only one person can read it at a time.

For extra kicks remove all the comments to cut back on paper usage. Let the code speak for its self!

Bite the bullet and buy the damn thing (2, Interesting)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375916)

by spending more than $US100 million in Unix licence fees Sun has the broadest rights of any of SCO's Unix licensees

They have paid $100 million over the years to a company that has a market cap of $78 million (market close yesterday). $78 Million! IBM (Not sun) probably spent that on toilet seat covers last year. How is it that a company that could be wiped out (yes I get the irony of wiping andthe toilet seat cover) of existence for $30-40 million is bringing in $100 million in fees from sun and causing lawsuit problems for IBM. I realize that for IBM it is giving SCO just what they want as far as paying them off, but why not have Sun, IBM, Red Hat, SuSe and whoever else is pissed at SCO get together and spend 78 million and buy the bastards? Then open up the source to the world and laugh at what a dumbass Darl was.

Re:Bite the bullet and buy the damn thing (2, Insightful)

jhunsake (81920) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376114)

buy the bastards

That's probably exactly what they want.

what a dumbass Darl was

Yeah, he'll be a dumbass when he's laughing all the way to the bank.

Shipping (1, Funny)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375919)

When you mentioned the smartest thing IBM could do would be shipping those 20 tonnes of paper to SCO, you should have added shipping it via COD ;)

but... (3, Interesting)

mattyrobinson69 (751521) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375922)

IBM will own all of SCO's IP at the end of the trial anyway - if SCO even go that far.

what happens to the IP of a company that goes backrunpt (does it go to their investors maybe?)

Re:but... (1)

razmaspaz (568034) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375966)

It goes to their creditors. But definately not their investors.

Re:but... (1)

Celvin (601177) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375989)

When a company goes bankrupt, all it's property (including the intelectual kind) is sold to pay off outstanding debt (or given directly to the debtors). Investors are at the bottom when a company goes bankrupt, and rarely gets anything.

Re:but... (2, Informative)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376066)

The assets (including IP) of a bankrupt companies belong to the creditors. Stockholders are also creditors, but usually have to join the back of the line (depending on the type of stock). After government taxes and direct bank loans, I'd expect IBM to be at the front of the line with knife, fork and bib.

Search the Archives (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376117)

You asked what happens to the property of bankrupt companies, specifically what happens to IP/software when companies get dissolved. I recall an Ask Slashdot about that very topic, so you might search /. archives. Alas, Slashdot has never been very good about causing knowledge to 'persist' in that you can't browse by topic for past articles. . . and you have to know there was an article about it to begin with, or at least think to search.

Which, /. crowd doesn't seem to be very good at - ask first, search for answers second.

Anyhow, the short answer is, it goes through probate. By which I mean, just like when a human being dies, when a company dies all there assets get assigned by the courts to 'heirs' according to an established pecking-order.

Something to the effect of Lawyers that are owed money by the company have first dibs (of course - law is made by lawyers), then I think it is creditors (people/institutions that loaned money to the company, or provided goods or services on credit who never got payed), then Preferred Shareholders, then whatever paltry worthless thing is left is split between the common shareholders, or something like that. I may have the order wrong.

Point is, there is always *someone* who can claim rights over whatever IP a company had when it went bankrupt. If it has any immediate monetary value (like a competitor is interested in the IP) it will usually be sold or licensed immediately, and the proceeds claimed by someone who had an interest in the company).

If it doesn't have any immediate, obvious monetary value, it usually gets forgotten about. Well, sort of - because if anyone else picks up that IP, spends time, money, and/or effort on adding value to that IP, and then tries to make money off of it, the people who neglected it for so long will immediately turn around and scream bloody-murder and demand huge royalties/settlements.

The best scenario I can think of would be for someone to do everything they humanly could to find who is the succesor-in-interest for the IP in question, if it is viewed as worthless, and offer the successor some small amount of cash up-front in order to buy the copyright and trademarks, or patents, or whatever, in whole for the product, and *then* do whatever they want with it.

You have to convince the original 'owner' of the IP that they aren't getting *anything* for it from anyone else, but you are willing to give them *something* for it. If they bite, you get the rights to it, and if it turns out to be worth something later, too bad for them - they no longer have a legal right to sue you after they have signed the instrument of conveyance that transfers ownership to you.

SCO's real goal (2, Insightful)

prgrmr (568806) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375923)

"In the absence of the requested discovery items, SCO has had to rely upon some alternative sources for proof," the memorandum read. "IBM has so far only produced selected pieces of AIX and Dynix."

Apart from any monetary gains they hope to make, SCO is still fishing for AIX and Dynix source code. Even without verbatim copying, what they can learn from the IBM source code can be applied to SCO's own software products. Were this not the case, they would only need the revision histories for IBM to demonstrate ownership.

Re:SCO's real goal (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376040)

Yes. They have pretty much said that they need AIX and Dynix to prove IBMs guilt. Which makes you wonder just how much of a case they had before they went in.

Oh, that's right, Linux couldn't possibly have got where it got without the superhuman geniuses at SCO.

Addendum to the Lehey's recommendation (5, Funny)

eXtro (258933) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375924)


Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'."

I would like to add that the 20 tonnes of paper be dropped without a parachute from a C130 Hercules [michigan.gov] onto SCO and Darl McBride.

OSS License (3, Interesting)

Peartree (199737) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375926)

Was there ever any mention of Sun making their license GPL?

Sco are like.. (2, Insightful)

Scaz7 (179078) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375927)

Sco have the image of the bad guy that just keeps comming back.. again and again and again..

You think there out of the pictures and they just conjour up another evil plan. There just as annoying as most hollywood sequals they just get less less interesting over time and rather frustrating.. kind of like the halloweens or friday the 13ths.

All honesty is bad when IBM get involved and you know your in trouble if Novell has it in for you but Sun?

Personally for there own sake when will they just call it a day. All there doing is destroying their "reputation" and basically eliminating anysort of customer or industry trust.

Re:Sco are like.. (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376115)

If they call it a day and drop the case, they will be crushed. Their share price will drop massively and they the associated legal teams of IBM, Novell and Red Hat will chew them up.

After suing some of their own customers, I imagine that some of those left will now be accelerating their migration plans off SCO UNIX.

To break it down (4, Insightful)

Artifakt (700173) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375930)

1. SCO is essentially just claiming that Sun may or may not be able to release code to the GPL, depending on what parts Sun picks. There's not really a SCO related story there, until Sun does it, and SCO either objects to the specifics or doesn't.
2. SCO is claiming that it needs until SEP 2005 to go to court against IBM.
That's absolutely true. In fact, SCO needs all the delays it can possibly get.
3. SCO is claiming that the trial should be split into two parts, and their claims tried seperately from IBM's counterclaims. This is the part that is actually interesting.
Possible reasons:
I. it adds additional delays.
II. SCO expects to lose on its claims against IBM, and is hoping that splitting the trial will let them somehow get a venue for the IBM counter suit that won't be influenced too much by that loss. If the motion to split is approved, expect SCO to file motions to supress some of the results of the first trial.
III. SCO doesn't expect the motion to split to be allowed, but hopes that not getting it will give them grounds for an appeal.
IV. I can't think of other reasons offhand, but then I am not a lawyer. Someone else may.

Judge denies SCO any delay (4, Informative)

brett_sinclair (673309) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375935)

This story is a bit old already. See groklaw [groklaw.net] .

Delay == Bad? (2, Insightful)

FrO (209915) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375946)

'...the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'

-- Wouldn't that be a bad thing? I mean, SCO obviously has no qualms about suing major corporations for their use of Linux even though their copyright clames haven't been proven. If the trial gets delayed, it'll just give them more time to spread their FUD and scare companies, not to mention extending the "wait and see" attitude of companies that are thinking of embracing Linux.

Does Sun realize they gave Solaris to SCO? (1, Redundant)

expro (597113) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375951)

Sun should realize that through their actions supporting SCO and taking out new licenses with them, they have given over all control of Solaris to SCO. How long until even Microsoft realizes that their worst nightmare is a SCO who has won some legal victories and comes back with new money and claims that Windows is a derivative work of DR-DOS?

The only solution (3, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375968)

The only long-term solution is the end of SCO, either by bankruptcy or takeover. SCO will disappear eventually because no public company can survive solely on licensing "old" software without developing any new offerings. (Yes, Microsoft exists because of licensing, but they continually sell new software. SCO doesn't.) The problem is this process will take a long time due to the influx of money they've gotten indirectly from Microsoft.

I think IBM or Sun (if they have the money) should purchase SCO, with a hostile takeover if necessary. It's a relatively quick solution, gets them out of litigation, and probably saves them millions of dollars in the long run. Otherwise this stuff will just drag on for years.

Re:The only solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376011)

The only long-term solution is the end of SCO, either by bankruptcy or takeover

It has to be done in such a manner so the SCO execs don't get rewarded for their behaviour. Hopefully the court fees and damages will wipe them out so Darl won't have any bragging rights.

Print it on rolls (5, Funny)

hussar (87373) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375974)

They should print the source code on rolls of paper about six inches wide and four in diameter. It'll make reusing the paper after the trial much easier...

Hmmm...squeeze-ably soft source code!

Re:Print it on rolls (0)

Wun Hung Lo (702718) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376043)

They should print the source code on rolls of paper about six inches wide and four in diameter. It'll make reusing the paper after the trial much easier... I don't think that would work;just think about it...SCO would charge you $699 every time you went to the bathroom.

Maybe sun expects (1)

earthforce_1 (454968) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375983)

That SCO will be out of business by this time next year, so the problem will be moot. Or they plan to give SCO the bird and let them sue - They are already fighting on a dozen fronts anyway. Nothing like cranking up the burn rate another notch.

Death of Trees (1, Offtopic)

DreadSpoon (653424) | more than 10 years ago | (#9375993)

I don't know about the rest of you, but I think nature is pretty swell. Forests are beautiful. Some of the best places on our planet.

'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'.

Do we _really_ need to encourage wholesale destruction of every tree on our planet for something so incredibly stupid as the assholes at SCO? Seriously, can't you just electronically send all that code? DVDs or something? Just a small handful of them would be all that's needed, if you need more than one at all.

Just one thing... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9375994)

Also quoted is AUUG president and FreeBSD developer Greg Lehey who recommends 'that the best thing for IBM to do would be to print out every single version as requested and send the resultant 20 tonnes or so of paper to SCO. That would keep them quiet for a while'."

I guess I missed the reference to his law degree, oh wait he doesn't have one. In that case I'd trust that IBM folks have a much better idea of whats going on.

How Sun Might be able to do this (4, Insightful)

HighOrbit (631451) | more than 10 years ago | (#9376057)

IIRC - The original SunOS was a BSD Unix derivative. Solaris was built by combining Sys V and SunOS. Since then, Sun has hacked up (read improved) Solaris substantially. So at this point, I don't know how much of the original AT&T code still resides in Solaris, but I'd wager that there is not too much left. In the mean time, BSD derivatives have also improved over time.

It would take some investment in man-hours, but Sun might be able to comb through Solaris and rip out all the remaining AT&T Sys V stuff and replace it (as a place holder) with either *BSD code or some of their own re-writes. This would be a process similar to what BSDi/UC-Berkley had to do with 4.3/Net2 in order to reach the unencumbered 4.4BSD-Lite. Depending on how much of the old AT&T stuff still exists, this might be either a trivial or Herculean task.

Once that is done, Sun is left with an OS that contains BSD code along with its own Sun-originated Solaris code. At that point, they are free to license it as they see fit.

Hmm... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9376116)

SCO? That thing is still aroung?
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