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IBM Denies Destroying Evidence in SCO Case

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the i-sincerely-doubt-it dept.

The Courts 125

Rob writes "IBM Corp has denied claims made by SCO Group that it destroyed evidence relevant to their ongoing breach-of-contract and copyright case, maintaining that SCO has had the evidence in question in its possession since March 2005. SCO, which believes IBM breached a contract by contributing Unix code to the Linux operating system, accused IBM of destroying evidence in a July 2006 court filing, claiming that "IBM directed 'dozens' of its Linux developers within its LTC [Linux Technology Center] and at least 10 of its Linux developers outside... to delete the AIX and/or Dynix source code from their computers.""

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What cojones! (5, Interesting)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001380)

What's really funny about this particular SCO accusation is that they're basically accusing IBM of being careful not to accidentally put SCO's (alleged) IP in Linux, and trying to spin it as a bad thing. IBM didn't want its developers to inadvertently use AIX or Dynix code in their Linux development work, because IBM didn't want to risk revealing AT&T's trade secrets and violating their contract. So, IBM prudently directed developers who were going to work on Linux to get rid of the AIX and Dynix source on their machines prior to beginning Linux development work. Now SCO wants the court to interpret this attitude of respect for AT&T/Novell/SCO/TSG IP as bad-faith destruction of evidence.

I guess I have to admire their chutzpah.

Re:What cojones! (1, Flamebait)

aussie_a (778472) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001522)

What's really funny about this particular SCO accusation is that they're basically accusing IBM of being careful not to accidentally put SCO's (alleged) IP in Linux, and trying to spin it as a bad thing.

Not quite. They're claiming IBM put the code in, and are now removing it to try to hide their infringement.

SCO's claims are so ridiculous it is possible to refute them without misrepresenting them. Although I will admit it might not be possible to do that while trying to get a first post.

Re:What cojones! (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001734)

Not quite. They're claiming IBM put the code in, and are now removing it to try to hide their infringement.

While I agree that I simplified the claim, perhaps excessively, you've done the same thing.

To be very precise, they're claiming that IBM's developers copied "methods and concepts" from AIX/Dynix via the process of:

  1. Creating and testing new or altered functionality in AIX and/or Dynix.
  2. Implementing said functionality in Linux.
  3. Deleting the AIX/Dynix code showing the functionality to hide the evidence of the "infringement".

Note, though, that the above doesn't contradict my statement that they're trying to twist IBM's cautious and respectful behavior into a bad-faith destruction of evidence. Basically, SCO concocted this weird "your code becomes mine if it rubs against mine" infringement argument because they couldn't find any copied SVR4 code. Then they were unable to find enough evidence of that sort of "transitive infringement", and when they noticed that IBM had asked developers to delete code, they saw an opportunity to argue that IBM did that *because* it wanted to destroy evidence of such "transitive infringement".

I stand by my original characterization. SCO is trying to twist IBM's cautious avoidance of IP contamination into evidence of malfeasance.

Re:What cojones! (5, Insightful)

orkysoft (93727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002226)

Basically, SCO concocted this weird "your code becomes mine if it rubs against mine" infringement argument because they couldn't find any copied SVR4 code.

Wow, talk about your viral licences!

Re:What cojones! (2, Interesting)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004434)

The most funny thing about it is even IF there was such infringement (which several years of trial have shown there is not) there was a clarification of the contract terms by AT&T in a published letter to their licensees stating that such behavior was NOT covered by the contract.

Re:What cojones! (5, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001588)

So, IBM prudently directed developers who were going to work on Linux to get rid of the AIX and Dynix source on their machines prior to beginning Linux development work. Now SCO wants the court to interpret this attitude of respect for AT&T/Novell/SCO/TSG IP as bad-faith destruction of evidence.
Except that isn't what constitutes bad-faith destruction of evidence.

The two really key parts of TFA are:
1. "Despite SCO's dogged efforts, it can identify nothing that has been destroyed."
2. "IBM also maintained that SCO did not show that IBM acted in bad faith or that SCO suffered any prejudice, and that SCO agreed in March 2006 that there were no disputes between the two parties over discovery evidence."

Basically, SCO can't prove shiat and even if they could, it's too late; since SCO already said that there were no evidentiary problems.

As others have said, Groklaw goes more indepth, but those two facts are all you really need to understand the issue.

Re:What cojones! (2, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001778)

Except that isn't what constitutes bad-faith destruction of evidence.

Exactly. In fact, it constitutes good-faith, conscientious care with licensed code. Which is why it's so amazing that SCO thinks they can twist it 180 degrees and turn it into evidence of bad faith.

They don't care. (1)

Kadin2048 (468275) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005076)

I don't think that they really can; they're just delaying the case while the executives and lawyers at SCO make money. I don't think they have any hope of winning anymore, it's just a stock-pumping scheme and a way to slowly liquidate SCO and feed it to its lawyers, so when they finally lose the case, IBM can't turn around and go after them for court fees. It's like Bleak House; at the end, there won't be anything left but a bunch of executives with big retirement funds and a lot of lawyers packing up and moving on to other projects.

It's impossible to prove a negative (4, Informative)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002216)

SCO is making claims that cannot be proven either way. If there had been such file deletion, the files are gone so there is no proof they were ever there. If there had never been such files, the drives are in the same state as if they had existed and been deleted.

Time to stop playing word games.

Hang the SCO team or line them up in front of a firing squad. This witchhunt has gone on too long. They've used the courts to try to extort customer license fees, they've used the courts to impose heavy expenses on their targets, and they've used the courts to dig for evidence of vague claims without performing the due diligence of searching the public OSS archives first.

Fraud at the least, but I expect SCO is guilty of much worse. Stock manipulation. Extortion. Anything else?

Scrap the firing squad. Hang them and let the bodies rot in public so every other IP leech out there knows what their fate will be.

Actually, it is possible to prove a negative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17002476)

Assuming a limited universe of discourse, and thus a severely restricted model, one can prove negated statements quite simply via inspection.

Slightly OT: Computer Forensics (2, Informative)

Spaceman40 (565797) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003044)

If there had never been such files, the drives are in the same state as if they had existed and been deleted.

That's not technically true. While I agree with your general sentiment (this trial really needs to end), and while SCO's spin on this makes me dizzy, there are still ways to find evidence that has been deleted off a hard drive. (As long as the drive still exists, you can pull things off of it. The earlier after a deletion, the better chance you have to find things, but unless the developers were used to writing over the entire drive -- and had done so after the deletion of code -- there is most likely some of it left on the drive.)

Just so you know.

Re:What cojones! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17002762)

"Shiat" is not a word. You may be thinking of "shit".

Re:What cojones! (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005942)

Except that isn't what constitutes bad-faith destruction of evidence.

If IBM had destroyed any AIX and Dynix source code, that would be destruction of evidence. What IBM did was to create a firewall between their AIX/Dynix and Linux developers by having their Linux developers get rid of their copies of the AIX/Dynix source code. They provided the source code to SCO during disclosure.

Not a logical argument (4, Insightful)

Josh Lindenmuth (1029922) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001394)

Companies have their employees delete copies of source code all the time, particularly when they change projects or switch departments. It isn't in a company's best interest to have proprietary software in too many places at once, which was probably why IBM instructed these employees to delete it. This isn't destruction of evidence at all, since IBM almost certainly did not delete EVERY copy of AIX.

Now if these were the last copies of AIX source, then IBM is by far the dumbest company in existence ... who would ever delete source code for products clients are still using? I'm sure even Microsoft would never delete all source copies of Windows 3.1 ...

Re:Not a logical argument (1)

Gimble (21199) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002008)

I'm sure even Microsoft would never delete all source copies of Windows 3.1 ...
Of course not, how else would they be able to provide all the "documentation" on protocols that the EU is asking for?

IBM has lost source code of supported products (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17002274)

I consider it even more bone-headed than intentionally deleting the source code of products which your company is still officially supporting, but IBM has actually lost the source code for products before (and I'm talking about products for which they were still charging customers for support contracts).

Your source code repository's database can be accidentally corrupted, backup tapes don't always work, etc.

Re:Not a logical argument (1, Interesting)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002518)

Companies have their employees delete copies of source code all the time, particularly when they change projects or switch departments.

I'd wager that only unbelievably dumb companies destroy their source code, since any company with a quarter of a clue and above enforces the use of a source code management system.

It's part of the nature of those thingies that you can pull the code for just about any version of a specific, version controleed software.

I'd be absolutely stunned if this wouldn't be the case for AIX, given that it's IBM maintaining the code.

Re:Not a logical argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003172)

I'm sure even Microsoft would never delete all source copies of Windows 3.1 ...
It's called Vista.

Hmmm (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17001408)

Seems SCO are still trying to grasp at straws.
Can't wait for this nonsense to be over and for them to finally file for bankrupcy.
Hope all the SCO executives spend a long time in prison for this.

Re:Hmmm (2, Funny)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002506)

No no no, the real fun will begin when they are investigated for what looks like an elusive pump'n'dump scheme.

Re:Hmmm (2, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002564)

Doubtful. They'd have to be guilty of criminal misconduct. The only thing that comes to mind that'll do that is if the SEC goes after them on suspicion of running a pump-and-dump scheme.

SCO's toast no matter what, but SCO execs are probably safe. It takes a lot to "pierce the corporate veil" and go after execs directly.

What a mess! (5, Insightful)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001418)

I simply cannot believe how long this has gone on. What a staggering waste of time and resources. This is probably as good an example as any of why the West is probably going to fall. While China is ramping up production and making huge economic strides, [wikipedia.org] we here in the US are arguing over lines of code as our manufacturing base continues to crumble [indystar.com] . Changing over to a "service economy?" Please.

How many hours have been wasted on this type of crap? What useful item has been produced out of this or any of the other spurious "copyright" or "intellectual property" cases?

Trial lawyers giving money to politician lawyers [opensecrets.org] , who make laws so trial lawyers can argue cases against rival trial lawyers in front of judge lawyers. So, what's the common denominator and who benefits? Follow the money.


Re:What a mess! (5, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001540)

Ah, but you miss the point. When the Exxon Valdez spilled its oil over the coast of Alaska, the money spent to clean it up counted towards the GDP.

Likewise, lawsuits, dollar for dollar, count just as much towards economic growth as manufactured goods.

Edward Abbbey once said, "Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell." In a country where monthly economic figures are cited in election debates, is it any wonder that our system favors fast growing tumors?

Re:What a mess! (4, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001772)

That's the Broken Window Fallacy [wikipedia.org] . Money not wasted on lawsuits could be spend on something else, specifically something else that provides the economy (and the involved company) with more utility. If IBM didn't have to spend millions defending itself, it could go spend that money on hurrying up 65 nm production of the Cell processor, or building a bigger super-computer, or making improvements to AIX or Linux.

The problem is (5, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001840)

All of those things would infringe on SCO's intelectual property.

Re:The problem is (1)

ffoiii (226358) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003318)

+6 funny.

Re:What a mess! (2, Informative)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001990)

That's the Broken Window Fallacy. Money not wasted on lawsuits could be spend on something else, specifically something else that provides the economy (and the involved company) with more utility
I think that was the parent poster's point.
 

Re:What a mess! (2, Interesting)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002010)

ah, but the money spent on lawsuits is still in the economy enabling the lawyers to purchase yachts and houses and thus paying the salaries of the house and yacht builders and then going on whatever they decide to spend it on. It's only "lost" money as far as IBM and their shareholders are concerned. The money is still going around the money-go-round being taxed at every opportunity...

Re:What a mess! (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002142)

Yes, the money still moves around the money-go-round (love the term, BTW), but the fact is that traded something productive for a bunch of lawyers talking. If we had that productive thing, then the money spent later would be even more effective. You're not just moving money around, you're experiencing an opportunity cost.

Re:What a mess! (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004524)

Except luxury items are probably the least efficient items for accelerating internal velocity of money in the US economy since they are among the things most likely to be foreign produced, so taking that wealth and using it to purchase foreign made luxury goods probably slows down the internal velocity of money AND contributes to trade imbalance =)

Re:What a mess! (2, Funny)

powerlord (28156) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003480)

... it could go spend that money on hurrying up 65 nm production of the Cell processor, ...


AHA! Now it all makes sense.

SCO is the reason that the PS3 is shipping in such small units and costs so much ... because it can run Linux ... right? ;)

Re:What a mess! (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004688)

I know you're kidding, but having the Cell go to 65nm will help drop the PS3 price (to Sony, maybe not MSRP). Won't help with the current supply problems, as they are currently being caused by a blue-laser-diode-thingy that's in short supply industry-wide (hence other Blu-Ray player delays).

Re:What a mess! (2, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001992)

IANAE (economist) so, for all I know, if SCO won this lawsuit and IBM had to pay up, it might be counted towards the GDP too. Juking the stats to create a perception of growth is meaningless except if you're running for reelection.

At least in the case of the Exxon Valdez cleanup, something constructive was done. What would happen with this SCO thing? A big chunk of cash moves from one party to another, with a hefty percentage for the lawyers, of course. But when all is said and done, what benefit will be realized, except to the winning party and the lawyers? No new technology is created, no goods produced--a lot of heat and no light.

By the way, excellent quote from EA, one of my favorites. Here's another good one: New Yorkers like to boast that if you can survive in New York, you can survive anywhere. But if you can survive anywhere, why live in New York? New Yorkers, don't hate me, ILNY as much as anyone else--it's just such a clever quote.

Re:What a mess! (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003346)

At least in the case of the Exxon Valdez cleanup, something constructive was done.
No, not really.

The cleanup got things to roughly the same state as they were before the disaster, so the gain is zero. But it did use up resources to do it. So you got nothing for something, when compared to the baseline case where the disater didn't happen. That doesn't fit my definition of constructive; it sounds like running to stay still.

Someone already mentioned the broken window fallacy, why don't you look it up? This is a close parallel.

scene from "The Fifth Element" (1)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004360)

I can't but help but be reminded of a scene from "The Fifth Element" between Priest Vito Cornelius and Zorg.

Priest Vito Cornelius: I try to serve life. But you only... seem to want to destroy it.
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Oh, Father, you're so wrong. Let me explain.
[closes office door, places an empty glass on desk]
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: Life, which you so nobly serve, comes from destruction, disorder and chaos. Take this empty glass. Here it is, peaceful, serene and boring. But if it is...
[pushes glass off table]
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: destroyed...
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: [robot cleaners move to clean broken glass] Look at all these little things. So busy now. Notice how each one is useful. What a lovely ballet ensues so full of form and color. Now, think about all those people that created them. Technicians, engineers, hundreds of people who'll be able to feed their children tonight so those children can grow up big and strong and have little teeny weeny children of their own, and so on and so forth. Thus, adding to the great chain... of life.
Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg: [Desk prepares a glass of water and a bowl of fruit] You see, Father, by creating a little destruction, I'm actually encouraging life. In reality, you and I are in the same business. Cheers.
[drinks water with cherry, only to choke on cherry stuck in throat. Zorg frantically presses all buttons on his desk in an attempt to get something to clear his throat]

Re:scene from "The Fifth Element" (1)

Duggeek (1015705) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005992)

If what Zorg says is the paradigm for the "Service Economy" model, then I, for one, can live without it.

Why would we want to emerge into an economy based on catering to the whims of the power-brokers and corporate despots?

It's not that the Service Industry is in any way reprehensible, quite the opposite. I believe the morality of a Service Industry is measured by whom the industry actually serves.

In the end; to argue that SCO has provided for the national GNP in a positive light is like saying "parking tickets have created more jobs!" There's a real fuzzy quality to that theory, and it seems to completely ignore where the money actually goes. (kinda like Reganomics [wikipedia.org] )

The only good thing about the SCO debacle will be when it ends. (a'la Zorg choking on his cherry)

Re:What a mess! (2, Interesting)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001946)

Those economic strides have their costs [clb.org.hk] . Do you think USians would put up with 6000 coal miner deaths per year? It's not even proportional counting population and production amount. And that's just one sector. The old adage is that growth entails risk, and we just aren't willing to put up with the amount of risk it would take to grow at a competitive rate.

Re:What a mess! (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002130)

Agreed. I just read in my most recent issue of Bicycling, that the death rate (% of population) for traffic accidents in China is an incredible 200 times higher than in the US. 250,000 per year.

And maybe those risks are too much for a us in a developed nation but I just think that we should stop wasting all of this effort and hours doing totally unproductive things.

Re:What a mess! (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002168)

Sorry to reply to myself. Why can't they move the "submit" button to the other side--away from the "preview" button. It's actually 20 times higher, not 200. Again, sorry.

Re:What a mess! (1)

Kerstyun (832278) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003392)

How ever much it is, it sure ai'nt enoughf.

Re:What a mess! (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003520)

Why can't they move the "submit" button to the other side--away from the "preview" button.

Because if they did that all the time, everyone would make the same mistake you just did. Now, it's just you!

Re:What a mess! (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002002)

This is probably as good an example as any of why the West is probably going to fall. While China is ramping up production and making huge economic strides, we here in the US are arguing over lines of code as our manufacturing base continues to crumble.
If you are implying that China will be the one to cause "The West" to fall, I believe you are mistaken. Many companies in China blatantly ignore western IP laws, in some cases getting their rip-off products to market before the originals. This is frequently accomplished by outright industrial espionage. You cannot expect the same western nations that consume China's products to continue to tolerate this indefinitely. At some point, China will have to crack down on this problem, or risk very damaging WTO sanctions. The only question is in how long western nations will wait before coming to a consensus about how to deal with the problem.

Re:What a mess! (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002254)

If you are implying that China will be the one to cause "The West" to fall, I believe you are mistaken.

Not at all. We will be the cause of our own demise with our Byzantine laws, greed and decadence. If it weren't China that was taking all of our manufacturing capacity, it would be someone else. Perhaps the Goths, Vandals or the Visigoths?

Re:What a mess! (2, Interesting)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002362)

At some point, China will have to crack down on this problem, or risk very damaging WTO sanctions. The only question is in how long western nations will wait before coming to a consensus about how to deal with the problem.

True enough. One thing is certain though, when the West does come to a consensus, the little dictator in North Korea will suddenly burst back on the world stage with his missile-rattling. He's China's pawn, whom they use as a bargaining chip when we object to their crap.

Re:What a mess! (1)

partenon (749418) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002376)

Just wondering... Will *any* country in the world stop doing business w/ China just because WTO said so? China is already too important and can start to refuse WTO's rules :-)

Re:What a mess! (1)

joto (134244) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003550)

This assumes that any sanctions against China will be more damaging to China, than to everyone else. Look at the fifteen items closest to you. How many of them are produced in China?

Re:What a mess! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003978)

You're assuming of course that IP laws are advantageous to a country, or that the WTO at this point has any power over what is the fastest-growing world power. It is sort of like the UN thinking that it could control the U.S.'s invasion of Iraq. At some point nations are big enough that you can't slap an acronym on a group of other nations and boss them around, because they're either too powerful militarily or too essential financially. China has a billion people that aren't all fat and lazy from easy lives, plus it has the greed of all of the Western nations stumbling over each other to export all of their work there.

Re:What a mess! (1)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004588)

Many companies in China blatantly ignore western IP laws, in some cases getting their rip-off products to market before the originals.
Just to follow up... I meant to use the term "knock-off" instead of "rip-off". The latter implies that the goods are poorly made, which is definitely not what I meant.

Re:What a mess! (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002504)

we here in the US are arguing over lines of code as our manufacturing base continues to crumble [indystar.com].


Our manufacturing base isn't crumbling on its own, executives of domestic companies are, for all intents and purposes, intentionally smashing them with BFHs and selling the American public at large out in the name of short-term gains (quarterly bonuses for "cost saving measures").

Re:What a mess! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003868)

US politicians are complicit in giving China most-favoured nation trading status, and The American public is complicit by re-electing them and shopping at Walmart.

Re:What a mess! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17002632)

Yes, I'm sure that the 1.05 billion people in China that live in rural areas and are earning the equivalent of $800 per year agree that the West will collapse. (For the record, that's 50 million people that live in the industrialized areas).

Please read what China and India are actually like instead of constructing this hypothetical nation-state where everyone works for $10,000 per year, drives around in Mercedes, and are all IT outsourcing workers for the US.

Re:What a mess! (1)

udderly (890305) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002828)

...constructing this hypothetical nation-state where everyone works for $10,000 per year, drives around in Mercedes, and are all IT outsourcing workers for the US.

Way to set up that straw man [wikipedia.org] and knock it down. No wonder you posted AC.

Re:What a mess! (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003124)

Trial lawyers giving money to politician lawyers, who make laws so trial lawyers can argue cases against rival trial lawyers in front of judge lawyers. So, what's the common denominator and who benefits? Follow the money.

And your solution is?

The problem is that you can't find one without putting undue burden on people who legitimately have a case and who need to go up against big pockets to get redress. Of course, as one who probably sees no personal need to do so in the future (as is the case for most of us), you can always work to change the system to screw the few who need to do so in order to prevent the even fewer cases like this one from taking place. Just be careful about what you wish for, because once you remove the right of redress from some, you're quite a ways down the path to removing it for all.

Re:What a mess! (1)

Cyno (85911) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003490)

What useful item has been produced out of this or any of the other spurious "copyright" or "intellectual property" cases?

Windows! :)

Ever heard of Groklaw? (5, Informative)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001424)

This was reported [groklaw.net] a week ago on Groklaw (in much greater detail).

Re:Ever heard of Groklaw? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17001682)

Where did you get this expectation that /. is the techy CNN 24/7 hotline service? Last week we were thinking about the mass murder of millions of turkeys and now that we have had our fill, we can turn our gravy soaked minds back to business. Every story appearing on /. now seems to come with an obligatory "well, when I sent this to /. and they denied me my supreme glory 3 days ago" or the "so-and-so reported this story last week and did a much better job" postings. Its like trolls have changed their objects of obsession from pouring hot grits down Natalie Portman's pants (that were imported from Soviet Russia) and um... overlords.. or something, to pointing out or staking claim to a story being already reported. Well guess what, to my knowledge anyway /. doesn't have any writers to actually write the stories so they HAVE to be repoted elsewhere first. Now that we're past that, the people that seem to revel in a story being submitted by them X days ago and getting passed over, has it occured to you that /. stories come once every so often, allowing the discussion to take place - the important bit. Without the discussion you might as well ready the reg or cnet or something else. I like the discussion, I like hearing all the points of view and if *your* story had to wait a couple days (and the person actually listed just may have sent it even before you did) so be it. Get past it, move on.

Re:Ever heard of Groklaw? (3, Insightful)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002752)

I never submitted the Groklaw story to Slashdot; you're missing the point. The point is that the editors of Slashdot should know by now that any story submission involving SCO is (or shall be) covered in great detail on Groklaw. Adding a link to better coverage of the story at hand is trivial and makes the discussion better (since the Slashdotters are better informed). The Slashdot editors should try it sometime...

Re:Ever heard of Groklaw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005256)

I didn't say *you* did submit it, you're missing the point. Every article has become riddled with comments (including yours) that fall into a category of pantied-ass bitching. I, and most every other /. reader, know Groklaw has the IBM/SCO story by the balls, if you read down this thread I bet there are at least a dozen similar posts to yours. And if you read down other threads you'd find there are dozens of posts that fall into the "I submitted this already" or "the better article is over here" categories.

Better informed Slashdotters don't exist, you think any of us actually RTFA?

Your posting history is very impressive, I wish I was cool enough to post a +2. You're a good /.er, don't take my ramblings personal, [tongue-in-cheek] I got all cranked off because the editors didn't post a story I submitted [/tongue-in-cheek]

Re:Ever heard of Groklaw? (1)

nadamsieee (708934) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005862)

Every article has become riddled with comments (including yours) that fall into a category of pantied-ass bitching.

Sort of like this post [slashdot.org] and oh, maybe this one [slashdot.org] . :)

Re:Ever heard of Groklaw? (2, Funny)

mdf356 (774923) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001736)

The Groklaw story is better because it has my name in print! My declaration is exhibit F.

Unfortunately, because it has my name in print I cannot comment on this story at all. :-(

Cheers,
Matt

Deleting a Sandbox -- Not the Repository (5, Informative)

gtwilliams (738565) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001490)

This is old news. [groklaw.net]

IBM instructed developers to purge their sandboxes. This, of course, has nothing to do with the source code in IBM's source control systems. It's just working copies on developers' machines.

Re:Deleting a Sandbox -- Not the Repository (2, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003094)


IBM instructed developers to purge their sandboxes.


Hmm. And they say that managing developers is like herding cats...

And it seems to be moot besides (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003618)

Isn't the real issue whether there is AIX/UNIX code in Linux? So who cares if there ever was AIX code on a developer's machine, just as long as it is not in the Linux code base. So given that we know SCO has access to their own UNIX source code in question, and access to the Linux source code... and has so far still failed to prove their case (at least so it seems), we can say this sounds like a red herring.

The judge should order a statement of WTF has this got to do with anything to SCO. Obviously IANAL ;-)

shenanigans! (0)

phil42 (24711) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001492)

Thats just too much. SCO needs to have it's butt kicked.

The Disappeared Ones (2, Interesting)

CmdrGravy (645153) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001514)

It's funny, there used to be a fair amount of posts in SCO Threads from people ( usually using words likes Slashbots, Groupthink, Worship OSS etc ) who believed that IBM might certainly be in the wrong and SCO could well have a case.

It's funny they don't seem to crop up anymore, just like all those people telling us our governments could never be so wrong about WMD and how they'd certainly find loads of evidence once the invasion was completed.

Re:The Disappeared Ones (5, Funny)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001590)

It's funny they don't seem to crop up anymore

Their bosses at MS told them to work on the Novell story spin and let the SCO thing go since everyone saw through that ruse.

I'm not joking. Astroturf is real and is happening.

Re:The Disappeared Ones (1, Offtopic)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002066)

and promptly demonstrated by the flamebait mode from an astroturfer with mod points

Re:The Disappeared Ones (2, Funny)

Xisiqomelir (735729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001760)

It's the Rapture, man.

Re:The Disappeared Ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003616)

Wow and I thought this story had nothing to do with Bush. You may want to seek help with your Bush Rage problem. When all you can see is red and you think George Bush is the reason for your hemorrhoids you need some serious mental health assistance. questions: Do you believe George W. Bush is following you? Do you believe that GW flew all three planes that crashed on 9/11?

Re:The Disappeared Ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003766)

questions: Are you gay? Are you a nigger? If you answered "yes" to both of these questions, then GNAA [www.gnaa.us] might be exactly what you're looking for!

Re:The Disappeared Ones (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#17006022)

When all you can see is red and you think George Bush is the reason for your hemorrhoids you need some serious mental health assistance.
Which you could get if this country had a decent national health care system.

Re:The Disappeared Ones (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17006100)

It is OK, we are still reading. And now one of the 'we' will point out that BSD doesn't have this problem of SCO lawsuit.

And, given past IP issues of people who've 'contributed' code to Linux by removing FreeBSD copyright notice (2.0.36 net code and I found it in 5 mins when I decided to go looking for a violation) and the ATA code issue....there may very well BE some SCO-owned 'stolen code'. Hard to prove, and may just be like the 2.0.36 net code taken from FreeBSD.

There. Feel better that someone has pointed out copyrigt violations of FreeBSD code in GNU/Linux?

I deny all sorts of things also... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17001556)

I really hate the use of "deny" in headlines as it seems to imply that something is true and it is being denied for some nefarious reason.
If something is simply not true, guess what? I'm going to deny it.
The headline should be "SCO accuses IBM of destroying evidence"
(eg: the party making the accusation should be the subject of the sentence)

TDz.

I understand what you're saying, but... (1)

merc (115854) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001894)

SCO made this accusation some time ago, this is IBM's response to those claims. IANAL (except on slashdot where everyone is a lawyer), but I believe admitting or denying claims is part of the whole legal process. If both parties admit to something it's not in dispute and probably saves a lot of time.

Re:I understand what you're saying, but... (4, Interesting)

KokorHekkus (986906) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002496)

I thought so as well so I looked it up: "In answering, the defendant is limited to admitting, denying or denying on the basis he/she/it has no information to affirm or deny"

Source:http://dictionary.law.com/default2.asp?sele cted=488&bold=%7C%7C%7C%7C [law.com]

Re:I deny all sorts of things also... (1)

anothy (83176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002554)

(eg: the party making the accusation should be the subject of the sentence)
two points here, one factual/logical, the other grammatical.
first, IBM is the "actor" in the article; it's explicitly about IBM's issued response to a much earlier SCO allegation. the reworking you've suggested is appropriate for an article about that earlier SCO accusation.
second, the abbreviation "eg" is used to introduce an example; you've instead given a rewording of your point, for which you probably really meant "ie". see here [wsu.edu] for further explanation.

Re:I deny all sorts of things also... (2, Insightful)

christurkel (520220) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003064)

Actually, Deny is a proper legal term. When someone files a lawsuit against you, you can either Admit or Deny the accusations in the suit. So SCO filed a motion accusing IBM of something and IBM Denied it.

Re:I deny all sorts of things also... (1)

sasdrtx (914842) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003736)

Of course they denied it! What would be the point of destroying evidence, and then turning around and admitting it?

IBM's lawyers should point out to the judge that SCO is attempting to play him for a fool. The accusation sounds as ridiculous as much of the rest of their case.

I think the thing to do would be to have every officer and director of SCO killed, along with their families, pets, friends (if any); their houses should be burned down, and their land salted. Surely the criminal trial and subsequent prison sentences would end sooner than this abortion of civil justice. And the world would be a better place.

The above paragraphs are intended to be interpreted ironically, literally, and hyperbolically, respectively.

Lawsuit that never ends (4, Funny)

pete.com (741064) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001560)

This is the suit that never ends, Yes, it goes on and on, my friend Some people started it not knowing what it was, And they'll continue litigating forever just because--

Re:Lawsuit that never ends (1)

arthurpaliden (939626) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001862)

Violation of copyright. Lambchop will sue.

Re:Lawsuit that never ends (4, Funny)

AJWM (19027) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002326)

No, it's fair use. That song has an infinite number of verses, so the one he copied is a negligible fraction thereof.

Besides, it was a parody (also fair use), not a direct copy.

Re:Lawsuit that never ends (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17002110)

Yes, it's just a lawyers game now. I mean, after all, if they did remove/destroy AIX/dynix or whatever code they are talking about, then obviously, it is not in linux now, hence, it is all quite meaningless.

IBM does the right thing, and gets it wrong (4, Insightful)

jmagar.com (67146) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001706)

Of course they sent an email like that. You need to ensure none of the developers are cutting corners when SCO is breathing down your necks. So what do you do? Well, you remove the ability to access the source code in question. Any code out in the wild must be destroyed, and access to the code in the archive needs to be restricted. Simple.

SCO's claims here a bit funny, why complain when IBM does the thing you most desperately want them to? Or perhaps the problem here is that SCO wants the Linux source pollution, then they might have an actual case...

Anyway, I'm thoroughly bored with this story now. I can't spare any more time griping about those bad people at SCO. They have become irrelevant.

Don't be bored (3, Insightful)

Bozdune (68800) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003458)

SCO are not irrelevant, not yet. They need to be stamped into the ground with a boot heel, every ounce of life ground out of them, every molecule disassociated. Next, their principals need to be sued into oblivion, and their demonic attorneys censured for their unbelievably atrocious behavior. A message needs to be sent to IP trolls and their minions everywhere.

Even though we've centered the SCO trolls in the gun sights, there's still plenty of time to enjoy watching them try to slither away before their component atoms are blasted back to the alternate universe they came from. The longer and more painful this process is for them, the better. Where's the popcorn? Bring on the show.

SCO's response (2, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001808)

SCO's response: "Of course they're denying it! Denying it means they have something to hide!"

mod `vdown (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17001892)

numbers continue are about 7000/5 Our cause. Gay over to ye7 another documents like a

Maybe... just maybe this will (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001952)

end up being the mess we all see it as, but others will too, and then decide that the patent, IP, and copyright laws in the USA are not exactly working and need to be fixed.

SCO strategy .. (2, Funny)

rs232 (849320) | more than 7 years ago | (#17001996)

SCO: there is line by line copying of SCO code in Linux.
IBM: what source code.
SCO: we aren't saying and besides which you deleted the evidence.

Re:SCO strategy .. (2, Funny)

Loco Moped (996883) | more than 7 years ago | (#17002742)

SCO: there is line by line copying of SCO code in Linux.
IBM: what source code.
SCO: we aren't saying and besides which you deleted the evidence.


You forgot one step:

Dear Mr. "Bates":
Please send next payment.
Regards,
SCO

Is there any evidence that th (1)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003206)

Picture the scene in the courtroom.

SCO Lawyer: "They destroyed evidence that the stole our code!".

Judge: "You have anything to back that up? That they destroyed evidence, I mean."

SCO Lawyer": "Er.... no. So better make that TWO counts of destroying evidence!".

Go IBM (2, Interesting)

qaz20 (264928) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003242)

I'm glad they chose IBM to go after. IBM has the resources to defend against this shite.
They could have knocked out half a dozen distros just filing the complaint. Thanks, IBM.

IBM The Most Ethical Company Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17003488)

They love Linux. They sponsor Linus and friends. They pay bills for most Open source developers. They release all their software under GPL the most open friendly license.
That's why we support them.

Relevance (1)

jav1231 (539129) | more than 7 years ago | (#17003514)

Does this case have any relevance anymore? I would hope we're nearing the end of the judge's patience on this whole case.

Re: when did you stop beating your wife (2, Insightful)

sillybilly (668960) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004108)

As long as we're talking about IBM denies destroying evidence, we're talking about a question like "when you stopped beating your wife." Even if it has nothing to do with reality, it instills into the subconscious "knowledge" that will be hard to ignore.

Keep Looking! (2, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004324)

They can't find any copied code, so the copied code must have been deleted! The absence of evedence is not the evidence of absence after all! You have your known knowns and your known unknowns, but you also have your unknown unknowns! Stuff we don't know that we don't know. The lack of copied source code is an unknown unknown! No one could have foreseen it! Perhaps the copied source code was moved to Syria prior to the lawsuit! We should sue Syria next...

Well OK, so maybe only a retarded person would try to make (or buy) that argument. We already know that the SCO legal team isn't retarded -- they're getting paid buckets of cash to drag their feet. The SCO upper mangement isn't retarded -- I'm sure they made a killing on options in the few days when SCO was trading at $20 a share after the lawsuit was announced. Then I guess the retarded people would be... the other people who invested in SCO expecting this lawsuit to go anywhere. Poor retarded people, always being taken advantage of by SCO...

What this really means is... (2, Insightful)

3seas (184403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17004918)

SCO can't find any infringing code in teh "OPEN SOURCE" of GNU/Linux.

So there is nothing for GNU/Linux to have to remove and work around.

Or was this already obvious?

IT'S ALL MOOT ANYWAY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17005010)

Even if there was SCO source code in Linux, SCO DISTRIBUTED THAT VERY SOURCE CODE UNDER THE GPL LICENSE.
End of story.
SCO would have lost the exclusive rights to that code the minute they distributed it.
And SCO did distribute linux under the GPL.
Case closed.

The SCO Effect (2, Interesting)

JaJ_D (652372) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005550)

It appears to me that this SCO v's IBM is a type of "Concorde Effect" (aka sunk-cost [wikipedia.org] )

SCO have NO other business plan, and will (more likely than not) be destroyed if they pull out. They have NO other choice but to carry on this fight to the very end. There is, basically, nowhere to retreat to.

My guess is that, in 5 years time, there will be an economic thery known as "The SCO Effect" which will basically be summerised as:

There comes a point when a company has invested so much money in one course of action, which is now apparent to all parties (inside and external to the company) to be futile; however they have no other choice but to carry on, with a full knowledge, and with clarity of thought (albeit fatally flawed) that this is the ONLY course of action left to them.

The company have to have faith in the outcome as failure will lead to the total destruction of the firm.

The company has no choice BUT to drive on - no matter how ludicous their actions. This is, in summary, The SCO Effect. These are the slow, painful death-throws of a weaken and fatally wounded company trying to do anything to survive.


Lets face it - it happens frequently in the software industry.

Jaj

Dear SCO: (1)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 7 years ago | (#17005778)

As the judge said:

"Specify the SCO owned code in Linux by file name and line number."

No?

SCO has now delayed past the end of discovery, no further weasel words can be accepted.
If there is any code in Linux, owned by SCO, they did not show; it is SCO's fault for not providing it to the court.
They cannot blame IBM for there own failure to provide evidence as ordered (twice) by the federal judge.

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