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SCO Tells Courts What IBM Did Wrong

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the are-we-there-yet dept.

IBM 389

linumax writes "It took more than two and a half years, but the SCO Group finally has disclosed a list of areas it believes IBM violated its Unix contract, allegedly by moving proprietary Unix technology into open-source Linux. In a five-page document filed Friday, SCO attorneys say they identify 217 areas in which it believes IBM or Sequent, a Unix server company IBM acquired, violated contracts under which SCO and its predecessors licensed the Unix operating system. However, the curious won't be able to see for themselves the details of SCO's claims: The full list of alleged abuses were filed in a separate document under court seal. The Lindon, Utah-based company did provide some information about what it believes IBM moved improperly to Linux, though."

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389 comments

What Next? (4, Interesting)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924199)

So they've gone from saying Linux lifted huge chunks of code from Unix wholesale to saying that IBM shared "methods and concepts," oh and a little code too?

What's next, they'll say some IBM employees might have had coffee with Linux developers? This still just looks like a fishing expedition by SCO.

Re:What Next? (1)

judas6000 (748273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924222)

This is probably just going to be more of the same crap we're heard so often before coming from SCO. Another plug at theft of ideas but with very little actual evidence to back it up. It's just another example of SCO trying hopelessly to save themselves

Re:What Next? (5, Funny)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924258)

IBM shared "methods and concepts,"

such concepts as:

for( int i = 0; i < someValue; i++ ) {

and let us not forget the rampent use of:

while(1) {

that's in the linux kernel

Re:What Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924470)

Hmmm, I don't see them with a lawsuit against Microsoft for releasing Microsoft's own software called "services for Unix" that runs under Windows... I never thought that was of any use, but it might have some very interesting legal ramifications.

Re:What Next? (4, Funny)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924507)

while(1) {

Well then, this is a good thing. Maybe SCO should realize that their kernel shouldn't contain an endless while(true) loop-- that explains many problems.

Re:What Next? (5, Interesting)

bedroll (806612) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924381)

So they've gone from saying Linux lifted huge chunks of code from Unix wholesale to saying that IBM shared "methods and concepts," oh and a little code too?

Well, you have to read what the intro says, the story says, and some history about the case. As I understand it, SCO is finally saying the ways that IBM abused it's contract with SCO. Notice the lack of Copyright claims in this statement. That's because the original case, regardless of what Darl liked to spew to the public, was about a contract violation. Whether that's still what the case is about eludes me right now, I thought they dropped the contract claims to focus on Copyright.

It's been reported that IBM's contract with SCO stated that they weren't allowed to put technologies from their Unix into any other OS. This is not exclusive to those that weren't put there by IBM. That means that IBM could not use their "IP" in any other OS without consent from SCO. Many think that, if this stipulation were in IBM's contracts with SCO that SCO had a decent case against IBM.

Then SCO started with all of the Copyright junk.

If I'm reading this right, then this still would seem secondary and SCO still hasn't provided any evidence of Copyright infringement. They've just strengthened a case that few contested, and they've declared as less important.

Re:What Next? (5, Funny)

Iriel (810009) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924398)

This still just looks like a fishing expedition by SCO.

You obviously can't spell phishing. You forget that SCO is trying to pass themselves off to the courts as a reasonable group.
</toungeincheek>

Re:What Next? (4, Insightful)

IGoChopYourDollars (924633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924425)

What's next, they'll say some IBM employees might have had coffee with Linux developers?

It sounds stupid, but when large corporations have to put up "firewalls" between projects to deal with sensitive issues such as IP leakage, that's *exactly* one of the things they have to worry about.

IBM knows all about the procedures that are necessary in these situations, which is what makes SCO's charges so brazen. But when you have teams of hundreds of Linux developers under tight deadlines and under pressure to get their bonus or an acceptable job performance rating, along with intense corporate pressure to deliver results, it wouldn't be surprising if one or two didn't decide to take a shortcut and help themselves to a little AIX code.

Re:What Next? (1)

Svippy (876087) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924438)

Well, my guess is that Microsoft will sue construction sites for creating "objects" with windows in them.

But you can't blame SCO for not trying.

Re:What Next? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924471)

Um... are "concepts" protected by copyrights? Like, "Star Wars" is a copyrighted work, yes? I can't use characters from them, or specific artwork, etc. But can they sue me for using a concept similar to "the force" in my own story? The concept of a lowly farmboy becoming a hero? The concept of, I don't know, the villain turning out to be the hero's father? Does the copyright protect methods such as plot devices? Like the cliff-hanger, the surprise twist, or character development?

If the court rules that concepts and methods are protected by copyrights, then I think we've really hit a point where IP laws need to be reevaluated, because it would mean the end of free production of any kind of software/movies/music/etc. It would be all the bad things of software patents, but without even the patent application process.

sux (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924201)

to be them

The hell? (5, Insightful)

rincebrain (776480) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924206)

So they finally release a list of what they think was put in Linux illegally, and we can't see it to rewrite the code to have a "legal" OS?

How entertaining.

Re:The hell? (5, Insightful)

supun (613105) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924306)

It because of the big throbbing brain of the OSS community. They release that information and the OSS community will pick their violations apart like they did in the past. It's like IBM has a free legal reasearch team.

Re:The hell? (1)

yfkar (866011) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924315)

"However, the curious won't be able to see for themselves the details of SCO's claims: The full list of alleged abuses were filed in a separate document under court seal."

I don't think you can really even call that "releasing". They're probably^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H too afraid that the claims would be disproved right away if the public saw them.

Re:The hell? (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924474)

Well, this paradox arises in other areas too. Say you take nude photos of someone without their consent and without their face in it and publish them. The victim sues you. Then you say "How do you know they were photos of your body? We have to compare." Then someone would complain that this comparison was not made public.

In Solvat Russia... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924209)

Court tells you what IBM did wrong.

Who cares about SCO? (0, Troll)

picz plz (915164) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924218)

Really. Let the courts figure this out, okay?

Today's secret word is: solace. For the rest of the day, whenever anybody says the secret word, scream real loud!

Jay Leno (2, Funny)

/ASCII (86998) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924223)

This sounds like a good candidate for 'Tonights Top-Ten list'.

Aaaaand the number one Copyright infringement made by IBM is.... /* Copyright 1979, 1980, 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved. */

The crowd goes wild!

Re:Jay Leno (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924279)

It's Letterman who does the Top Ten, not Leno.

this is still going on? (3, Interesting)

twiggy (104320) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924225)

Oh. This is still going on?

I thought they had given a bunch of supposed code a long time ago that was supposedly "lifted" from them, and it was pretty much proven on all counts that prior art existed, etc etc...

Won't SCO just keel over and die already?

Re:this is still going on? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924506)

Because they are dead already, and now animated only by demonic forces.

Linux/Unix (5, Funny)

SpaceAdmiral (869318) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924226)

I notice the words Linux and Unix share many of the same letters. Guilty!

Five pages, 217 violations? (2, Interesting)

floppy ears (470810) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924227)

In a five-page document filed Friday, SCO attorneys say they have identified 217 areas .... A secret five page filing supposedly detailing 217 contract violations? Guess they didn't get into too much detail, eh?

Re:Five pages, 217 violations? (5, Informative)

conJunk (779958) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924262)

Not quite. There were two filings. One was five pages. The other, the one that's sealed, includes the 217 "violations" and is of unknown length.

Why? (1)

rancmeat (924113) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924229)

Why does this asinine trial drag on?

Re:Why? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924311)

Why does it drag on? Because SCO thought they had a slam-dunk FUD case and believed that IBM knew they had done wrong and would give in, so SCO didn't need to bother with providing actual proof. But IBM told them where to stick it, and so it's taken this long to get where we are at. The funny thing is that the trial is still in the initial discovery period where the two parties get information from one another. SCO has constantly filed for repeated continuations and extensions because they claim IBM was holding out on them, and SCO tried to get hundreds of depositions from IBM (of which about 30% of the depositions they were granted they actually followed through on).

To put it simply, SCO looks like they knew they messed up a long time ago and now they are trying to delay their death as long as possible while they try to get an actual business model up and running. That explains why they are partnering with MySQL and some others and hyping their ironically named OpenServer.

Re:Why? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924480)

To put it simply, SCO looks like they knew they messed up a long time ago and now they are trying to delay their death as long as possible while they try to get an actual business model up and running. That explains why they are partnering with MySQL and some others and hyping their ironically named OpenServer.

If SCO was smart, they'd cut their losses and run. All they need to do is cooperate with the court, have the court decide that IBM isn't infringing, take their lumps in a settlement, then apologize profusely to their customers and save a little face by stating that they believed their case to be real. SCO would then announce that they are accepting the court's decision and that they have decided to work with the Linux community by sharing some of their highly valuable IP. Then they promote the old versions of Unix they already open sourced, and get some free press while they work on an actual business model.

Step 6. ???
Step 7. Profit!

The biggest advantage to simply getting it over with is that SCO can finally dump all those highly paid lawyers they've been using, not to mention the fact that they can try to establish good relations with the developer community BEFORE their funds run dry.

Re:Why? (1)

hrvatska (790627) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924462)

Because SCO paid a big name law firm tens of millions of dollars in advance to represent them to the bitter end. SCO is betting everything on this lawsuit. A popular theory is that SCO thought IBM would settle early on for a large sum just to make SCO go away. I don't think SCO ever expected this to drag on this long.

The list... (3, Funny)

laptop006 (37721) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924233)

The character 'a'
The character 'b'
The character 'c' ...
The character 'A' ...
The character '{'

You get the idea.

But seriously, most of them sound very dodgy, and the JFS issue has already been looked over by people better then SCO.

Apple should just buy out SCO (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924244)

Somebody's got to own Unix, why not Apple and Steve Jobs? Jobs' number one priority is serving the customer.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

gabebear (251933) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924351)

From a long time Apple user .... "HA!!!"

Personally I'd like to see someone buy the UNIX trademark and then donate it to Linus for safe keeping.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

aurelian (551052) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924510)

The UNIX trademark is owned by The Open Group [unix.org], and they do a pretty good job of defending it - better than Linus has done with Linux, some might say.

What would really be good would be if the rest of the material relating to Unix, copyrights et al, were put into the public domain, once and for all. Then we could all read the Lyons book again!

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

laffer1 (701823) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924354)

Good idea, but what would apple do with sco? Another issue is what will happen to apple's image if they buy sco? I already get made fun of for using a mac at my university both in and out of the cs department.

Now if apple (or anyone) bought sco and then if they actually own UNIX then release it to the open source community that would be amazing. Think about how linux, *bsd, or solaris could benefit from the development on a completely free OSS UNIX.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

c0l0 (826165) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924363)

It somewhat hurts me to disappoint you, but even Apple the Company and Steve Jobs as its CEO are after one thing, and one thing only in the end:
  3. Profit!
 
And form my point of view, there's nothing to get out of buying SCO except you're a bit of a masochist and like getting 0wned rigorously in front of a court over years, because of your own bold but impressively stupid and uneducated moves based on wild guesswork and thrive for a quick and massive buck earned.

NOVELL owns UNIX, not SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924413)

And I've no idea what Apple has to do with it.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924419)

Because the opengroup owns the UNIX name, and the copyright is held by Novell.(Not SCO, since SCO has asked Novell to transfer the copyrights to them.), and I feel a lot better with Novell owning the copyrights, and OpenGroup taking care of the Unix name. Imagine, iUnix, *shudders*. They are of course welcome to try to buy the names and copyright, however, I think Unix clone or Unix derivative would suffice to show what kind of operatingsystem it is, or even BSD derived.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (1)

eln (21727) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924446)

Steve Jobs's number one priority is providing wealth for his shareholders, which is the job of all CEOs. He chooses to do so in a way that you like, but that doesn't mean what you like about it is the number one priority.

Re:Apple should just buy out SCO (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924461)

Well if Apple wants to "own Unix" then they shouldn't buy out SCO, because SCO doesn't own Unix... duh?

They just don't know when to quit, do they? (5, Funny)

DrLlama (213075) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924245)

"The numerosity and substantiality of the disclosures" - Look out, they're languaging again!

All kidding aside, I continue to find it astonishing that given everything that has gone on before SCO is still persuing this. I'd dearly love to see the 217 ways they've been wronged.

It's getting downright pathetic....

Off topic, but.... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924253)

Utah IS the home of more fraud than any other US State...perhaps it has to do with their history?

Why.. (1)

MrEcho.net (632313) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924254)

hide it from the public? Is it that bad?
Tired of getting laugh at?
They keep changing their story... just drop it guys.

I wonder (4, Interesting)

ndansmith (582590) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924255)

Some of these wrongful disclosures include areas such as an entire file management system . . .

Does file management system mean file-system, or the actual names and structures (i.e. folder tree) of the files?

. . . others are communications by IBM personnel working on Linux that resulted in enhancing Linux functionality by disclosing a method or concept from Unix technology.

Metod or concept? I would sure like to see the technical list, cause these generalities are putting ants in my pants.

Re:I wonder (1)

johnkoer (163434) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924391)

Does file management system mean file-system, or the actual names and structures (i.e. folder tree) of the files?

I think they meant Betty from accounting, who left SCO to work for IBM. She used to handle all of their filing processes.

Re:I wonder (5, Insightful)

Col. Klink (retired) (11632) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924401)

File Management System means JFS, which IBM developed for OS/2 and later ported to AIX and Linux. Note that the Linux port was from the original OS/2 implementation and not from AIX. However, SCO's theory is that once something touched AIX, SCO's property rights to Unix infect it and travel back up the tree and down any other branches.

And they call the GPL viral...

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924497)

They are talking about JFS, a filesystem from IBM's AIX which was ported to Linux. Good for you that you haven't been folowing this case, I can't imagine what ants would have done to your underwear and more in 2 years time.

Took them long enough! (1)

olegm (233286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924256)

But they are afraid that after all this waiting it will be looked over and scrutinized very carefully by the entire community (go figure). So they hide it from us. The truth will come out, and when it does I suspect that SCO will have even more egg on their face.

First Time For Everything... (4, Funny)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924257)

> SCO Tells Courts What IBM Did Wrong

What you are witnessing is real. The participants are not actors. They are actual litigants with a case pending in a U.S. District court. Both parties have agreed to dismiss their court cases and have their disputes settled here! In our forum! The People's Court!

Judge Yakov Smirnoff (Ret.) presiding.

Re:First Time For Everything... (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924456)

I would watch that on pay per view.

But only if it was, like, $10 or less. Cause I'm cheap like that.

Merry Christmas (4, Insightful)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924263)

"SCO, whose Unix business continues to struggle, said it will file a final report on the alleged abuses on Dec. 22."

This is a clear sign that SCO itself doesn't believe their list is worth the paper its printed on. There isn't a time of the year when people are paying less attention. It's like they're saying "Details at Christmas - in the meantime, enjoy your FUD."

Quick check... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924265)

Two and a half years to put together a case... Guilt by association... Undisclosed charges...? For a minute I thought this was an article about Guantanamo Bay.

Attorney Conversation (5, Funny)

thebdj (768618) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924266)

SCO Attorney 1: You know this is a waste of time right?
SCO Attorney 2: Yeah but those idiots are still paying us.
SCO Attorney 1: How much longer can they pay us to do this?
SCO Attorney 2: Maybe another year or two.
SCO Attorney 1: What then?
SCO Attorney 2: Well we will either win the case and be filthy rich while they are still broke, or we'll just apply for jobs with Microsoft and repeat the process with someone else.
SCO Attorney 1: BRILLIANT!

Re:Attorney Conversation (4, Informative)

Rolan (20257) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924384)

While somewhat amusing, it's not at all accurate. The SCO lawyers stopped getting paid a while back. They, foolishly perhaps, agreed to a cap on legal fees which has been reached.

Re:Attorney Conversation (1)

idesofmarch (730937) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924397)

Actually I think there is some kind of contingency fee in effect, or Boies is taking a certain percentage of the firm's stock, which amounts to the same thing.

how many??? (-1, Redundant)

phelix_da_kat (714601) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924269)

I would have thought 217 violations would not have fitted on 5 pages!! LOL

Re:how many??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924377)

your right, at 12 pt font, they could only get about 250 lines on standard (non legal)US letter paper. That includes introduction, conclusions, all accusations, letterhead, and all of the re: and cc: stuff. each accusation could take only 1 line. This assumes NO whitespace at all.

What me worry ?? (4, Funny)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924270)

One day my linux license from SCO will be worth it's weight in gold ! actually I never really bought one, I only look that stupid....

Re:What me worry ?? (1)

drxenos (573895) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924333)

Do you suppose that the people who actually buy a license will have a case against SCO when it is proven they did not have the right to sell them?

Given this, can we trust SCO involvement in MySQL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924273)

According to SCO's press release on the deal with MySQL, the finances and assistance SCO is providing to MySQL should only benefit the commercial version of the product.

http://ir.sco.com/ReleaseDetail.cfm?ReleaseID=1720 37 [sco.com]

Wonder if they are betting MySQL gets super popular, more than it is currenltly, so they can do a similar lawsuit. That is, claim SCO's knowledge etc. was used to improve he GPL version. With MySQL refusing to protect users from liabilities arising from the SCO deal (specifically a lawsuit from SCO resulting DIRECTLY from this deal .. nobody would expect them to protect users from other frivolous lawsuits obviously).

Big Blue Marbles (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924282)

I don't understand why behemoth IBM can't squash SCO, even after years of SCO BS. Is it the influence of Senate Judiciary chair Orrin Hatch (R-UT-dumbest-person-in-the-Senate)? Or is IBM playing cat & mouse to get SCO to legally document the boundaries of business operations under open source, especially as OSS IP relates to parallel proprietary IP? Both smart Armonkers and dumb Salt Lakers might play their parts in that legal game. But do IBM's boundaries coincide with those of the OSS community?

Re:Big Blue Marbles (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924447)

Second dumbest, Kennedy is still D-MA there too.

Re:Big Blue Marbles (2, Insightful)

mykepredko (40154) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924451)

I used to wonder about that as well - but:

1. They are getting a lot of good geek press/word of mouth. Fighting for Reasonable IP could be good business for them.

2. They may want to make sure anybody else that tries a frivolous lawsuit to see what happens - not only will you loose, but you will be bled dry in the process.

3. It may be a message to Gates to fight his own battles and not through proxies.

4. Somebody is really pissed at Darl and want to see that the only job he is able to get after this is hired hand on a dirt farm.

myke

Re:Big Blue Marbles (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924505)

Well, that underscores my skepticism of the simple appearance of the longevity of this case. Because if IBM slammed SCO's apparently totally worthless claims into dust immediately, and publicly, all of those would have happened. Except #1, keeping the "lesson" in the buzz for years. But lack of closure also keeps SCO's "tenacity", "resilience", or other spin of "David" vs IBM's "Goliath" as a credit to SCO, in the lesson - for years. Which killing SCO after 6 months would not. Puzzling. I still think IBM is trying to torture this case into something it otherwise would not be, for IBM's benefit - and likely no one else's.

Sucky lawyers... (1)

jskline (301574) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924283)

This smells so much like the lawyers are involved under the exclusivity of keeping it financially tough on IBM. Keep em' spending loads and loads of cash and get them to eventually dwindle the coffers.

Re:Sucky lawyers... (2, Interesting)

iocat (572367) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924380)

Wait... you're saying that SCO is trying to drain IBM's coffers? I mean, I know IBM is a scrappy little underdog and SCO is a major, public, corporation, but I'm guessing IBM will be able to hang in there a little longer...

Re:Sucky lawyers... (1)

ClickOnThis (137803) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924407)

This trial is alot tougher financially on SCO than on IBM. For SCO, this is a "hail mary" with perhaps a stock "pump-and-dump" thrown in. For IBM, this is a mosquito bothering an elephant.

Re:Sucky lawyers... (1)

Bradee-oh! (459922) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924481)

On a slightly different note, can anyone give me a semi-valid reason I could personally sue Microsoft? I want to take them on myself, and represent myself in the suit to avoid nasty legal fees. But I need the basis for the suit to be valid enough that I can string the trial out as long as possible. My strategy:

1 - Draw out a lawsuit against M$ so long that I drain their coffers

2 - ???

3 - Profit!

Seriously, bud, get a little perspective.

question that has to be asked (2, Insightful)

scronline (829910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924285)

WHO THE HELL CARES ANYMORE?!?! It's obvious that Darl McBride is a litigious bastard and that's how he...well, pretty much earns his living is taking people/companies to court. It's already been all but proven that SCO has no grounds and it's just dragging on now. Plain and simply, this whole move was NOTHING but a stock manipulation for corperate gain. It's also very probable that they were paid to do this by Microsoft and then left out to hang on their own when MS decided to sell off it's preferred stock because MS didn't like the way McBride was handling the situation. Hell, for all we know he approached MS saying "this is what we got, you want to help me fund it?"

Either rate, the effects are all still the same. McBride sued IBM without any proof of wrongdoing. SCO has seriously opened itself up for a plethora of lawsuits with this action and once it's proven in court that there was nothing going on.

bigger issue at hand. (1, Insightful)

CDPatten (907182) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924286)

This really could be a road block for Linux. Well, a temp. road block until it gets re-written. However it really brings into light a larger issue with OSS. Closed source software maybe subject to this, but by its very nature, its very difficult to prove. OSS, could easily expose a large organization that decides to integrate community code.

There is no real check and balances to prevent a small author from stealing code, and then publishing it under one of the OSS licenses. At that point a larger company (red hat maybe?) picks it up and integrates it into their distro. They sell a million, and then a million violators. The author fades a away, and red hat gets stuck with the bad press and a big bill.

What are the ways to avoid this when you use community code? Is it to only use the big developers code (kinda defeats the purpose)? Anyways, what do you guys think about this...

Two things: (5, Interesting)

schon (31600) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924301)

1. Considering that *everyone* who was involved with the Unix source licensing agreements has said that the licenses doesn't mean what SCOX claims it means (including AT&T publishing this in their $echo newsletter), how the hell does SCOX think they can push this past a judge?

2. Even if SCOX were correct in this, and it was against the contract for IBM to give *THEIR OWN SOURCE CODE AWAY*, why does this mean I owe them $699 per CPU? If (as in SCOX's insane world) IBM did something wrong, and IBM has to pay them Five Brazillion Dollars, doesn't that mean that SCOX has already been paid, and they can't go after someone else for the same thing?

Re:Two things: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924475)

Five Brazillion Dollars


Wow, IBM should just pay up then. That's only about $2.21 US!

Re:Two things: (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924495)

...doesn't that mean that SCOX has already been paid, and they can't go after someone else for the same thing?

Unfortunately, no. If SCO wins the case, they could (and almost certainly would) then argue that Linux was improperly licensed under the GPL, having the effect of REVOKING its use from everyone. They would then license it exclusively to those who had paid up. Anyone else would be infringing on their copyright, because they would be using an invalid license.

I can't wait for IBM's response (1)

Canonical AC (884705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924309)

IBM's lawyers should put this to rest pretty quickly...

I assume that "an entire file management system" refers to JFS, which IBM wrote. I recall SCO claiming that anything written for UNIX somehow belonged to them, so that little argument should be entertaining to watch them lose.

And, of course, as others have pointed out, "methods and concepts" are not code. I wonder where people (and I'm looking at you Larry McVoy) got the idea that copying functionality was the same as copying code. Seeing a spell-check in another product and adding it as a feature in your own product is not infringing on anything. (I've seen posts by Larry where he's threatened Subversion if he saw features from Bitkeeper in Subversion).

Groklaw got a story ... (4, Insightful)

linumax (910946) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924323)

and part of that story [groklaw.net] says:

Yeah? We'll see. Or maybe only the parties and the judge will, but if they had found infringing literal code, there is absolutely no reason not to show it without seal, because if it's literal, it's out there in the public already. All Linux code is freely viewable by anyone on Planet Earth. The astronauts can look at it too. SCO may be afraid the Linux community will pull the rug out from under them before they can get to trial, if they tell us publicly what they think they have. Every time they tell us what they think is infringing, somebody proves they are mistaken. At best.

A Large Ball of Light... (3, Funny)

lax-goalie (730970) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924324)

...was reported [nbc29.com] in the sky over Virginia last night.

Astronomers initially believed it was a meteor, but it was later determined to be SCO's case against IBM cratering spectacularly...

Five pages, 217 "areas of infringement" (1, Funny)

StevenMaurer (115071) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924327)

By my count, that's 43 "areas" per page. Each "area" is one or two lines.
Not much specificity in there, methinks.

They probably filed it under seal to keep the whole OSS community from howling in laughter.

How much did they pay this lawyer? (5, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924355)

FTA: "The numerosity and substantiality of the disclosures reflects the pervasive extent and sustained degree as to which IBM disclosed methods, concepts, and in many places, literal code, from Unix-derived technologies in order to enhance the ability of Linux to be used as a scalable and reliable operating system for business and as an alternative to proprietary Unix systems such as those licensed by SCO and others." -- attributed to SCO

Commenting on a disclosure in big words doesn't make the complaint any more valid. I mean, sure, I've a propensity to bloviate without regard to efficient communications strategies and verbal deployments utilizing synergistic vocabularistic qualities to increase comprehension.

But, why can't they say "IBM broke our contract by using our proprietary ideas to make their software work as well as ours. They did it so much that it was obviously intentional and illegal." (note: I am not accepting this as fact)

Is Jessie Jackson their lawyer? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924389)

Sounds like him

The important thing (actually, not) (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924360)

Where do I mail the check for $699? Or more precisely, where do I mail $699 in Monopoly money? I was considering $699 in pennies, but then I thought about the shipping costs...

Never thought I'd be saying GO IBM!!, but this is getting ridiculous.

The documents are under SEAL (4, Insightful)

HavokDevNull (99801) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924383)

According to http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=200511010 0443634 [groklaw.net] the Docs are under seal, and as PJ puts it "there is absolutely no reason not to show it without seal, because if it's literal, it's out there in the public already." and "SCO may be afraid the Linux community will pull the rug out from under them before they can get to trial, if they tell us publicly what they think they have. Every time they tell us what they think is infringing, somebody proves they are mistaken. At best."

IMHO SCO is just blowing smoke again, and trying to pump up the stock.

mo4d Up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924406)

case you want to What provides the volatile world of A relatively shout the loudest JOIN THE GnAA!! if you move a table

The beginning of the end for SCO (1)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924418)

Once this has been thrown out and SCO have to cough up to pay
all the lawyers (again) , no one will want to touch their products
with a rose scented bargepole. Not that SCO unix is exactly flying
off the shelves anyway. This is a last gasp of a company dying very
publically, though I'm not sure that even the fat lady will
bother to sing for them now.

I have some inside information... (3, Funny)

nicholaides (459516) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924433)

I don't know if I'm supposed to be posting this on /. but I have some inside information. I had the priviledge of seeing some of the code that SCO says Linux stole, and I believe SCO has a very strong case. There were many instances where Linux took SCO's code almost verbatim. Many instances looked like this:
for (i=0; i<size; ++i)
{
/*... omitted for vagueness ...*/
}
and often times:
if ( /*... some condition ...*/ ) {
/*... do something ...*/
}
Often times variable names, such would be changed, and the code in the middle was alwaysn altered to have different functionality, no doubt in an attempt to cover their tracks.

I think if you saw the code SCO provided, you would see that Linux blatantly stole huge chunks of code almost verbatim.

Re:I have some inside information... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13924522)

Here is the actual offending code:

/* hello.c - demo code
  *
  * This code, and all code derived from this code, including
  * translations into any other language, are the property of
  * the SCO Group.
  *
  * This code and everything derived from it is
  * Copyright (c) SCO Group. All Rights Reserved
  */

#include

int main (int argc, char **argv)
{
          printf("Hello, World!\n");
}

Since the famous 'Hello World' program or some variation thereof is the first program written by nearly every programmer regardless of the language, ALL programs in every computer language infringe on SCOs IP.

WTF (1)

kurbchekt (890891) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924437)

So this means that the operating system I went to, to free myself from using stolen software, is possibly stolen itself? Aaaahhh, delicious irony.

Nightmare if SCO folds with case unresolved? (2, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924440)

What happens if SCO goes bankrupt and nobody wants to go on paying their lawyers? Does the simply get abandoned, unresolved, leaving LINUX with a legal cloud over it? And the DiDios of the world warning businesses that if they use LINUX someday the acquirer of SCO's assets might successfully finish the suit?

Linux's purpose (1)

Eli Gottlieb (917758) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924442)

disclosing a method or concept from Unix technology

Wow, so I suppose Linux really shouldn't be a Unix workalike after all. Let us march joyously back to the drawing board!

Will list of violations to be unsealed? (2, Interesting)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13924468)

The court has already asked that documents in this case not be sealed arbitrarily without valid reasons. I cannot fathom what reasons tSCOg could have for needing the list of supposed violations sealed. I hope IBM asks (at a minimum) for a redacted version to be made public.

If not, I suspect the final list of supposed transgressions (in December if the schedule does not slip) and the battle over IBM's motions for summary judgments to be mostly sealed. We can then expect some spectacular media grandstanding from tSCOg, trumpeting the strength of their sealed case, before they finally go down in flames.

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